Skiing has been taking the world by storm over the past few decades. Some of the best ski resorts can be found in North America.
There are over 800 ski resorts in North America. This spoils you for choice and leaves you with a long list of beautiful resorts to visit before the end of the ski season.
However, a vast selection of resorts to sort through comes with its challenges. Making up your mind regarding which one is the most ideal for you is always the most difficult part of the trip.
Don’t worry, we’ve done all the research for you and have got you covered. This article is a compilation of the top ten best ski resorts in North America (in no particular order). We are sure that you will be able to experience some of the best skiing in North America at these resorts!
These resorts were evaluated based on factors such as terrain, difficulty, vertical drop, and accessibility. We have also included some other factors for you to consider when choosing a resort – accommodation, nightlife and food.
To make your life a little easier, the top 10 ski resorts have been grouped into states. The states covered include Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and British Columbia. These states have so much to offer in terms of skiing, accommodation and experiences, let’s check them out!
Aspen Snowmass, Colorado
Aspen is situated in the tranquil Pitkin County in Western Colorado and is idealized as a little, traditional skiing town. Although most true, that vision has been changing over the past couple of decades.
Today, Aspen is full of frolicking tourists looking to have a good time, both in and out of the snow. Aspen’s spectacular slopes are constantly in open season for those looking to experience some of the best skiing in North America.
The Aspen Snowmass slopes have a top elevation reaching 12 510 feet and a vertical drop of 4 404 feet. This allows for the snow to stick around until March. Aspen Snowmass has four separate skiing areas – Aspen, Snowmass, Highlands and Buttermilk.
Snowmass is the largest, with about 3300 acres of skiing terrain that encompasses all levels of difficulty. With snowfall reaching 62 inches, there will be a slope for everyone to try!
Aspen has the most consistent daily flights out of any ski town in North America. This allows you to access the slopes any time that you want.
For a place to stay, consider Viceroy Snowmass, The Snow Queen Lodge & Cooper Street Lofts, The Little Nell and The Inn at Aspen. Also be sure to check out the cuisines at Toro Latin Kitchen.
Beaver Creek, Colorado
Tucked away from the noise of Vail Ski Resort lies Beaver Creek, comprising of three mountain villages; Arrowhead, Bachelor Gulch, and Beaver Creek Village.
Beaver Creek is a luxurious, calming and peaceful resort. This is mainly due to the fact that it receives fewer visits than other resorts in the area. This means that the slops are sparsely populated, perfect for open runs and some of the best skiing in North America.
Beaver Creek has an approximate 1,800 acres of skiable terrain, 11 440 feet of vertical elevation and 77.4 inches of snow. Beginners should feel comfortable here as a good number of the runs cater to those who are still finding their feet on the slopes.
The 25 lifts make Beaver Creek even more accessible and appealing to all abilities. Beaver Creek is the ultimate destination for families with a penchant for skiing since it can host novices, experts and everyone in between.
For a place to stay, consider booking yourself into the Pines Lodge, Beaver Creek Lodge (Autograph Collection) or The Osprey at Beaver Creek, a Rock Resort.
Remember to take advantage of all the free cookies that you can lay your hands on from the cookie cooking contest. (It runs all year long!)
Telluride Ski Resort, Colorado
If you are a fan of sharp and steep runs that get you into town, then Telluride should service your tendencies, and more. The town is located in the southern part of Colorado, built on an old mining town. Telluride is one of the most beautiful ski resorts on the continent, but this comes at a fairly hefty price.
The resort has over 2000 acres of skiable area, which makes it perfect for skiing, snowboarding and other snow adventures. It averages on 330 inches of snow, 3 150 feet in elevation, 4425 feet of a vertical drop.
Telluride has 127 runs, catering for all abilities. There are free gondola services which make for more comfortable transportation. The resort prides itself on having some of the finest and most sophisticated lift systems. There are a total of 18 lifts, 2 gondolas, 7 high-speed quads, 2 double chairlifts and 2 magic carpets.
The Telluride Ski Resort offers more than just some of the best skiing in North America. It offers breathtaking views and a serene environment too.
Consider eating at La Marmotte, walking along Colorado Main Street and West Colorado Avenue and staying at the Inn at Lost Creek.
Vail Ski Resort, Colorado
Vail is exactly what one would envision if they were asked to think about their ideal ski resort. Top-quality snow (370 inches), excellent terrain (a 3 450 feet vertical drop and a top elevation of 11 570 feet), and stellar accommodations are some of the reasons why many people have listed Vail as as their best spot for skiing in North America. Additionally, up to 40 percent of the slopes are North-facing, thus ensuring that the powder stays put for longer.
Vail also caters for all levels of skills; thus junior and other novices will not miss out on the fun. Vail has a sophisticated lift system, comprising of 31 lifts, 2 gondolas, 2 triple chairs and 9 surface lifts. These take you to over 5000 trails Vail has developed and groomed over the years
Consider eating at the Mountain Standard while staying at The Sebastian, Sonnenalp or the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort. After a day on the slopes, you would do best to experience some of the afterski/nightlife in Vail. Places to check out include The Los Amigos, Garfinkels, Tavern on the Square and The Red Lion.
Alta Ski Resort, Utah
Alta receives some of the best snow in the country, with an average of about 14 meters of snow every year (547 inches). This is 15%-20% more snow than the surrounding areas.
The Alta Ski Resort is famous for being a throwback in the present day, lacking many of the modern luxuries we have come to expect from ski resorts. It does, however, have modern-day conveniences to make you more comfortable. One such example is children’s ski school, leaving you free for the day to explore the more tricky slopes.
Alta’s slopes are ideal for those experienced skiers looking to get their feet on some high-grade snow. The top elevation of Alta’s slopes is 11 068 feet, which is slightly shorter than the slopes in Aspen. However, the early snowfall makes it a great destination to head to if you are wanting to start skiing before the other peaks are ready with snow.
The Alta Ski Resort is usually best accessed around mid-December after massive snowfalls get the slope ready. If you are looking for a place to dine and stay, consider eating at the Tram Bar and resting at the Rustler Lodge, or have a look at some of the top 5 Utah Ski resorts worthy of your visit (besides Alta Ski Resort).
Park City, Utah
While Park City is a small town, its Ski Resort is not. With an impressive 7,300 acres of skiing terrain, 365 inches of snow and a top elevation of 10 000 feet, it is North America’s largest and some say best skiing area in North America.
The large number of slopes to choose from means that everyone should find what they are looking for. However the terrain for beginners is limited to 2 slow zone areas. This makes it slightly unsuitable for a beginner level skier.
Nonetheless, a major emphasis has been put into the intermediate slopes. There are plenty of wide groomed runs and big and bold powder lines to try your skill out on.
Utah Ski Resort’s Park City Mountain Resort offers an impressive 341 trails. To facilitate access to the slopes, Park City has over 40 lifts. This eliminates the long waiting period to get to the top and leaves you with more time to shred.
Accessing Park City Mountain Resort is quite easy, as the nearest airport is just 35 minutes away and finding accommodation shouldn’t prove to be a difficult exercise, as Park City offers a range of accommodation, from B&B’s to luxury hotels.
Some of the top accommodation picks are The Grand Summit Hotel, The Chateaux Dear Valley, Waldorf Astoria Park City, Treasure Mountain Inn or Davanza’s.
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, Utah
Snowbird might just be the ideal skiing destination. It has one of Utah’s longest ski seasons lasting from mid-November to May, a good number of north-facing runs, has a vertical drop of 3 240 feet and rises to 11 000 feet.
Additionally, it has some quick gondolas that channel you to the bottom of the resort at dizzying speeds. There are also numerous steep fall lines to keep your adrenaline surging. Snowfall averages at 500 inches, which aids in providing some of the best skiing (and snowboarding) in North America.
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort caters for all abilities. If you aren’t too steady on your feet yet, Snowbird’s Mountain School gives riders and skiers the chance to gain their confidence before hitting the slopes.
8% of Snowbird’s terrain is suitable for beginners while 41% of Snowbird is dedicated to advanced skiers. However, with a total offering of 170 runs, all skiers should be able to find a route right for them.
The resort is easy to access and Snowbird offers accommodation themselves in their Cliff Lodge. The lodge is located by the ski-in-ski-out beginners run, allowing guests to easily access the beginner’s trail.
Afterski life is limited at Snowbird, but there are a handful of restaurants and souvenir shops for guests to experience after their day on the slopes.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
If you are still getting your feet wet at skiing, Jackson Hole is not the place to test your skills. About 50% of all the runs at Jackson Hole are black. If you have new riders or young ones with you, it would be advisable to consider getting them to a different resort, unless they really know what they are doing.
Jackson Hole receives about 275 inches of snowfall every year, has a vertical terrain of over 4,100 feet and the mountain can be accessed easily via 14 lifts, all heading up to 10 450 feet.
This ski resort, therefore, is designed to cater to veteran skiers in search of a new challenge. Jackson Hole has increased its popularity over the years by installing some amazing trails and fall lines.
It has also become popular for backcountry and side-country skiing options. If you are an intermediate skier, you should find some lines that you can manage. However, you should be prepared for a challenge.
Jackson Hole is home to some amazing hotels and resorts and there are a number of affordable lodgings in the area. But be sure first to check out Hotel Terra as a place to stay and the Piste Mountain Bistro, which offers some of the best dining options in the area, as a place to eat.
Nonetheless, as most of the slopes face towards the south, there’s a tendency for the snow to disappear early. Fortunately, the area receives regular snowfall; thus, there’s always fresh snow around the corner, making for some of the best skiing in North America.
Revelstoke Mountain Resort, British Columbia
With a sheer vertical drop of 5,620 feet, Revelstoke boasts of having the most significant vertical drop in North America. It goes without saying that even the most experienced skiers should meet their match on these slopes.
Even though Revelstoke’s top elevation is considerably shorter than those of other ski slopes at only 7300 feet, it does provide some of the best skiing in North America.
On average, Revelstoke receives about 350 inches of snowfall every year, ensuring that you never run out of prime powder. For a long time, accessing Revelstoke had been challenging, as the nearest major airport to the resort is about 2 hours away.
Fortunately, however, the recent inception of Revelstoke charter flights has made it easier since you can now fly directly to the resort from Vancouver.
The neighboring town is peaceful, friendly, but quiet. There are not a lot of tourist activities going on as it is still developing but you can find moderate, modest accommodation and healthy, heart food.
For lodging, try out the Sutton Place and Chubby Funsters should be an excellent place to get your food.
Whistler, British Columbia
Whistler has earned a reputation in the ski resort sector due to its massive proportions. With over 200km of skiable terrain, Whistler is North America’s biggest alpine skiing resort.
The amount of snowfall it receives is also another reason why skiers love Whistler. An average of 458 inches every year should ensure you do not run out of ride-able powder along with its steep vertical drop of 5 280 feet and top elevation of 7494 feet.
Whistler Blackcomb played host to the alpine skiing competition during the 2010 Olympic Games. It is slowly becoming more well-known now, however, for its off-piste skiing and Heli-skiing.
Just as in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, most of Whistler Blackcomb’s runs are south-facing. This means that the snow tends to disappear quite early as compared to other skiing resorts of its caliber.
Fortunately, however, people and activities are abundant in Whistler village, which should make for a good time.
Whistler is an expensive place to stay, but you will get all of your money’s worth, both on and off the slopes. For lodging, consider checking into Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Four Seasons Resort, Hilton Whistler Resort and Spa or The Westin Resort and Spa.
Whistler is also well-known for life off the slopes. You would do well to head to Dusty’s, Garibaldi Lift Co., Brewhouse and Crystal Lounge to experience the entirety that Whistler has to offer.
If you are looking to try out some of the best skiing in North America, you will certainly not be at a shortage of options. When you search for the best ski resorts in North America, you are spoilt for choice.
You would do well to remember that your ideal ski resort will depend on your needs and preferences. Questions to ask yourself when choosing a ski resort include: “Do I want to spent my day skiing and then cuddle up next to the fire with a good book?” and “Do I enjoy some nightlife on the side?”
Hopefully our list of the 10 best ski resorts in North America will help you find something that is the perfect fit for you, both on and off the slopes! Have a good time shredding.