USA is known for making everything big and ostentatious, so why should skiing be an exception?
As compared to ski resorts in locales like Japan, Australia and New Zealand, ski resorts in America are much larger in scale with over 2,500 acres of skiing terrain available at most properties.
Besides the sheer size of the terrain, skiing in the region has many other benefits too: North American resorts benefit from much more snow than their European counterparts, which makes it the ideal location for powder hunters. If you’re planning on travelling to the States for some slopes this winter season, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite ski resorts to help you with your planning.
Read on for the full list.
The best ski resorts in America to visit on your next trip:
(Hero and featured image credit: Sam Axness for Aspen Snowmass)
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Encompassing four resorts, the Aspen Snowmass ski resort is a seriously sizeable space that’ll have the whole crew talking about for ages. The 5,527-acre property offers plenty of good options for beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert powder hounds, complete with 362 marked trails that are 319 miles in length, 41 lifts, and multiple terrain parks. While it might be common for skiers to neglect the location because of the crowds, you don’t have to fret: just get acquainted with a guide in the area for some secret powder stashes. Apart from the slopes, other activities like ice skating, paragliding, hot air ballooning, the alpine coaster, and hot springs are also available here.
(Image credit: Matt Power Photography)
If you’re looking for some seriously challenging slopes, a trip to Jackson Hole is necessary. It’s generally geared towards advanced on-piste, off-piste, steeps, chutes and other expert terrains, but there are a couple of slopes labelled for the (upper) intermediate skiers. Lift lines can be pretty long at the 2,500-acre property, but we can promise the slopes will be worth it.
(Image credit: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort)
Sun Valley has plenty of experience running a ski resort: it was, after all, the location of the world’s very first chair lift that went into operation. Here, the runs are long and have a consistent pitch, and the immaculate grooming makes it the perfect place for intermediate skiers. While there aren’t any ski-in ski-out lodging or accommodations near the main base of the ski resort, the property is generally charming and not as heavily trafficked as compared to other ski resorts.
(Image credit: @sunvalley via Instagram)
Those who don’t mind paying top dollar for exclusivity and luxury will find themselves welcomed in the arms of Deer Valley Resort. The ski-only resort (snowboarding is prohibited here) has well-groomed slopes, spread across over six mountains that span 2000 acres of terrain. While intermediate skiers will enjoy themselves the most here, there are a couple of bowls for advanced skiers too, as well as a highly regarded ski school program for beginners too.
(Image credit: @deervalleyresort via Instagram)
Grand Targhee Resort is a must-go for powder fiends looking a deep, light, and consistent snow. A less trafficked locale compared to the nearby Jackson Hole, it boasts some pretty challenging advanced terrain and great backcountry access, and the beginner and intermediate slopes are commendable too. While the gorgeous scenery does make it an unforgettable run, do note that it won’t be party central once you’re off the slopes, and there isn’t much to do besides skiing or snowboarding.
(Image credit: Grand Targhee Resort)
Whitefish Mountain Resort, a world-class ski destination, is one of our favourite ski destinations because of its terrain and the chill, laid-back vibe. The resort, which encompasses a sprawling 3,000-acre skiable terrain, has a bit of everything for everyone: beginners will do well here, while advanced skiers will find the steep trees, glades and bowls enough to challenge and excite them during their visit.
(Image credit: Brian Schott)
The 2,600 acres of terrain that Crystal Mountain Resort covers is mostly a steep mountain, so it’s mainly suited for experienced skiers. There are large sections of the Crystal Mountain skiing terrain that are single and double black diamond slopes, after all. Here, the lift infrastructure is quite well developed, and its army of 10 lifts includes an 8-person gondola, two high-speed 6-packs, and two high-speed quad chairs. Come on a good day and you’ll even be able to get superb views of Mount Rainier.
(Image credit: Crystal Mountain Resort)
Solitude Mountain Resort is overall a pretty good ski resort for skiers of all levels. While it has a reputation for being a family-friendly ski resort, there is still plenty of really challenging terrain for more advanced skiers. Do note that there is a natural segregation of terrain for differing ability levels, so if you and your friends are on the opposite spectrum of skill scale, you might not be able to stay together here.
(Image credit: Solitude Mountain Resort)
You can already tell that Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is big just by its name; it has over 3,500 acres of skiable terrain with plenty of snowfall and a vertical drop, which makes it one of the biggest and best ski resorts in California. Mammoth has abundant terrain for everyone, with plenty of good amenities for kids to make it family-friendly as well. It might be a little out of the way for some, but it’s not as crowded as other ski resorts that are close to LA — you can even make it a long weekend trip and head to the nearby Yosemite National Park for some hiking.
(Image credit: Mammoth Mountain)