The best places to ski in the US depend on where you are. There is such a wide range of great places to ski it may be best to zone in on different geographic regions and different types of skiing to look at the best places. We will then take a look at our neighbors to the north and see some of the best skiing in Canada.
Cross-Country or Nordic Skiing
Unfortunately, the East suffers from generally smaller hills than those found in the West. Still, these gentle slopes may be an asset, depending your ski style. If you enjoy cross-country skiing, gliding along peacefully as you watch the wind sway in the pines, you will find something in almost any part of the country.
In the Northeast, you can visit Great Glen Trails in Gorham, NH. These trails wind within the White Mountains and were designed just for Cross-Country Skiers. The resort also works with the Appalachian Mountain Club, offering the chance to ski with a naturalist at Pinkham Notch. Because Great Glen Trails is located on the Mount Washington Auto Road, you can get your “This Car Climbed Mount Washington” bumper sticker too!
The best place for cross-country skiing in the Midwest is at Telemark Resort, Mount Telemark in Cable, WI. This resort has sixteen trail loops. There is access to the American Birkebeiner Trail, a path with 27 miles of the best cross-country skiing in the world, nestled in the Wisconsin Northwoods at the Chequamegon National Forest.
Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop, WA is another great place for cross-country skiing. Sun Mountain is part of the Cascade Mountain Range, approximately 220 miles from Seattle. Trails begin at the mountain top and wind down into the Methow Valley, one of the most sought after cross-country skiing areas, with 120 miles of trails.
Best Places to Ski in Vermont
Downhill skiers will generally have more fun out west because of the great mountain ranges, like the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevadas. The best place for downhill skiers in the East is Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, Vermont. Stowe offers a one-lift ride to the top of twin peaks, which skiers just love. Stowe is also well known for its active night-life.
The Alta Ski area may just be paradise for skiers. No boarders are allowed on these mountains. Alta is known for its perfect powder snow, breathtaking alpine scenery and seemingly endless trails. Thousands of happy skiers drive away calling the snow at Alta the best in the world.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is also highly regarded by downhill skiers. Located just 12 miles north of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the resort is also near to famous Yellowstone National Park. This resort boasts over 4,000-vertical feet and various types of terrain. Teton Village sits at the base of the slopes, with luxury accommodations and dining available.
Extreme skiers have fewer choices than cross-country and downhill skiers, but more resorts are trying to open up previously out-of-bound trails to extreme skiers. Some purists consider any inbounds skiing to be non-extreme. Out-of-bounds skiing is extremely dangerous with the risks of avalanche, injury and death.
Best Places to Ski in Colorado
The Extreme Skiing Championships take place every year at Colorado’s Mount Crested Butte and the Crested Butte Mountain Resort. The North Face and Headwall are known as some of the greatest steeps available anywhere. The nightlife in Crested Butte is said to be filled with unusual and distinctive people, places and events.
Squaw Valley is found on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, California. It is part of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. This resort puts a cap on the number of visitors, so it is never overcrowded. Everywhere you look, you will see examples of daring stunts and breathtaking brushes with death as skiers and boarders literally jump off a cliff. However, these extreme skiers put no pressure on the less-advanced to be as crazy. The atmosphere is fun and accepting.
Best Places to Ski in Canada
Our Canadian cousins also have some world-class ski areas. Canadian resorts are known for excellent facilities and accommodations. Trips to Canadian ski resorts are well worth the extra mileage.
Whistler, British Columbia is home to Whistler Blackcomb ski Resort, which can easily be called the best ski resort on the North American continent. Its slopes are of epic proportions, offering unrivaled scenery and adventurous skiing. The area is also known for a wild nightlife.
Banff Lake Louise in Alberta’s Banff National Park is known for steep slopes and friendly people. This national park is located amidst the Canadian Rockies. The locals here say, “Our home is your home, at least while you are here.” They are proud of their pristine surroundings and respect for nature. Nature lovers and skiers alike will have a great time here.
North of Montreal, in Quebec, you will find a snowy paradise known as Mont Tremblant. The area is part of the Laurentian Mountains. Getting to the mountain is easy, making it an excellent family destination. The area boasts more than 610 acres of skiing, with 92 groomed trails, plus 31 acres of glades. The resort village at Tremblant is known for ample activities, shops and restaurants.
Many of these ski areas offer great fun for all types of skiers, so there is good reason to try out each of them. This winter, go someplace new and experience the adventure these places have to offer.