Our Top 20 Favorite Ski Resorts in North America

By Published On: February 15th, 20210 Comments

There are tons of amazing ski resorts to choose from, which is great, but it can also feel overwhelming. Some resorts are better for beginners or advanced riders, others are better for powder seekers or park rats, and some are popular because of their exciting Après ski scene.

Depending on what you and your skiing or snowboarding group of friends or family are looking for, the top ski resort will look different! Generally, the top ski resorts in North America are popular for a reason. Expansive terrain, fast chair lifts (don’t forget to get a stomp pad), fresh snow, and beautiful views are some other things to love.

Do you relish the fun crowds or are you looking for challenging backcountry terrain? Do you want to take it easy on wide open greens or are you looking for challenging moguls? Whatever you are looking for, one of our top picks will suit your style. If you are traveling in a group, be sure to choose a ski resort that is diverse enough for everyone joining.

In this feature, we rounded up our top 20 favorite ski resorts in North America, taking the hard part out of choosing a location for your next ski trip!

Top Utah Ski Resorts

Snowbird, Utah

Acres: 2,500

Average Annual Snowfall: 500 inches

Located in the Wasatch Valley, known for having some of the best snow in the country, Snowbird boasts an 11,000 ft. summit. Just 45 minutes from Salt Lake City, the quick drive to the mountain and quality of the snow are some of the reasons the second snowiest ski area in the US made it onto our list of top ski resorts. With a diverse map of beginner and advanced terrain, there is something for everyone at this top resort.

Park City, Utah

Acres: 7,300

Average Annual Snowfall: 350 inches

Known for being one of the largest ski resorts in the United States, Park City Mountain Resort offers tons of terrain options for beginner, intermediate, and advanced riders. Less than an hour from Salt Lake City, this resort town is easy to get to – which is hard to come by. Boasting a quality Après ski scene filled with restaurants and bars, a historic downtown, and tons of options for accommodation, this resort town has something for everyone on and off the mountain.

Deer Valley, Utah

Acres: 2,026

Average Annual Snowfall: 300 inches

If you are aiming for a luxurious skiing experience, then Deer Valley has got you covered! Located just up the road from Main Street in Park City, Utah, this fine spot boasts 2,000 acres of skiable terrain, with high quality grooming, and sophisticated dining options. With terrain options that are suitable for everyone, those who enjoy the finer things will enjoy everything Deer Valley has to offer.

A note, Deer Valley remains a skier only resort, so this is not an option for snowboarders.

Beaver Mountain Ski Area, Utah

Acres: 828

Average Annual Snowfall: 400 inches

Located in Garden City, Utah, the Beaver Mountain Ski Area takes pride in being one of the most affordable ski resorts in the country. Fun fact, it is also the oldest continuously owned family ski resort in the United States. A notoriously family friendly resort, this is one of the better picks if you are traveling with children.

Alta Ski Area, Utah

Acres: 2,614

Average Annual Snowfall: 550 inches

Alta Ski Area is home to one of the best ski schools in the US, so if you are traveling with beginners, this is a great option! For those looking to learn and progress on more challenging terrain, or for more experienced riders in the group, the mountain still has plenty of trails for experienced skiers! One of the snowiest resorts in the America, this is a great option for individuals looking for tree skiing.

A note, Alta remains a skier only resort, so this is not an option for snowboarders.

Top Colorado Ski Resorts

Telluride Ski Resort, Colorado

Acres: 2,000

Average Annual Snowfall: 167 inches

In the heart of Colorado lies a well-known mountain and world class ski resort, that does not tend to be overcrowded. Telluride Ski Resort offers breathtaking views, overlooking the San Juan Mountains and a charming downtown scene. It showcases 19 lifts and 148 runs, and offers terrain mostly catering to intermediate and expert riders, with about a quarter of the mountain suitable for beginners.

Beaver Creek, Colorado

Acres: 1,832

Average Annual Snowfall: 325 inches

Beaver Creek is known for being one of the most extravagant resorts in the US and caters primarily to beginner and intermediate skiers. Located just twenty minutes West of Beaver Creek’s sister resort, Vail, not only do you get to enjoy the charming town of Beaver Creek, if you are looking to make the most of a trip, you can easily travel to Vail as well.

Vail, Colorado

Acres: 5,289

Average Annual Snowfall: 190 inches

Vail is known for being the biggest ski area in Colorado and offers a notoriously luxurious ski experience with extensive terrain and perfectly groomed runs. Vail is also home to a large variety of high-end hotels, entertainment hubs, upscale spas, and sophisticated shops. No matter who you are traveling with, there is something for everyone in this world-renowned mountain town. Take note, because of its great reputation, this top ski resort can be relatively crowded.

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado

Acres: 673

Average Annual Snowfall: 300 inches

For skiers looking for a variety of runs, Aspen Snowmass offers a great diversity in terrain. Aspen Snowmass receives a rough average of 25 feet of snowfall a year and has a lively town that offers a variety of high-end shopping options and gourmet dining. If you are traveling with beginner level skiers or snowboarders, Snowmass is where you will want to spend most of your time. Those looking for more difficult terrain will appreciate the more challenging trails on Aspen mountain. This expansive resort offers even more options at Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands.

Breckenridge, Colorado

Acres: 2,908

Average Annual Snowfall: 366 inches

Breckenridge offers a great variety of terrain, lots of areas for beginners, four terrain parks, and challenging runs for experts. Boasting the highest lift in North America, this expansive resort is about a two-to-three-hour drive from the Denver airport, depending on snow conditions. It is highly recommended you sit back, relax, and enjoy the mountain scenery, in an express shuttle from the airport. While this option is one of the easiest spots to get to in Colorado, this does increase the crowds. If you are traveling with non-skier or snowboarders in your group, they will have lots of activities to choose from, with lots of hiking trails, a lovely historic downtown, and even dog sledding.

Steamboat, Colorado

Acres: 2,965

Average Annual Snowfall: 300 inches

Also known as Ski Town USA, Steamboat Ski Resort is home to a variety of snow activities and receives an average of 26 feet of snow annually. It is about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Denver, boasts low elevation (great for energy levels), and offers a variety of mountain accommodations. Looking for something else to do? Besides world-class skiing and snowboarding, there are plenty of opportunities for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing trails, and hiking paths as well. One of our favorite things in Steamboat are their hot springs.

Top Montana Ski Resorts

Big Sky, Montana

Acres: 5,850

Average Annual Snowfall: 400 inches

Easily one of the most iconic ski resorts, Big Sky takes immense pride in having 5,800 skiable acres. Because of the size of this resort, lift lines do not get incredibly long, and trails rarely feel crowded. While there is still a great amount of terrain for beginners, intermediate and expert level riders will have the best time at this top ski resort.

Located about an hour from the Bozeman airport, Big Sky offers “big” skiing, a shorter drive, and expansive mountain views. If you are traveling with friends or family who are not interested in skiing, Big Sky Resort also showcases a variety of activities, such as zip lining, sleigh rides, and even snowmobile tours!

Top Idaho Ski Resorts

Sun Valley Ski Resort, Idaho

Acres: 2,154

Average Annual Snowfall: 215 inches

Sun Valley Resort is popular for those looking for an all-around great place for skiing, with two combined mountains. This area receives about 18 feet of snow annually and is in the charming town of Sun Valley. Great for beginners and experts alike, though advanced skiers will certainly rejoice, as this mountain is known for their black diamonds, moguls, and the opportunities for heli-skiing. The downtown area provides a great variety of accommodations, and more activities, such as sleigh rides, shopping, dining, and even ice skating.

Top California Ski Resorts

Mammoth Ski Resort, California

Acres: 3,500

Average Annual Snowfall: 400 inches

Known for its heavy snowfalls, great snow conditions, and diverse terrain Mammoth Ski Resort is one of our favorites. Perfect terrain for learning and then loads of intermediate and advanced trails make this mountain great for groups. If you are traveling with people who prefer to have more activities than just skiing and snowboarding, they can enjoy scenic gondola rides – all the way up to the 11,053ft summit, – snowmobiling adventures, tubing, cross-country skiing, and so much more. Time and time again, you will find something new at Mammoth.

Squaw Valley, California

Acres: 3,600

Average Annual Snowfall: 450 inches

Squaw Valley – Alpine Meadows is the largest ski resort in California and is popularly known for its high snowfall count at 37 feet per year. Located adjacent to breathtaking Lake Tahoe, this resort offers some of the most pristine scenery of any of the resorts on our Top 20 roundup. With an exciting Après ski scene, this area is fun on and off the mountain. Over half of the skiable terrain is great for beginner and intermediate riders, with some of the most exciting, advanced terrain in the country. Squaw Valley – Alpine Meadows is also known for being one of the best resorts for spring skiing in the world.

Top Wyoming Ski Resorts

Grand Targhee, Wyoming

Acres: 3,000

Average Annual Snowfall: 500 inches

On average, the snowiest resort on our Top 20 Ski Resorts, Grand Targhee located in Western Wyoming, receives an impressive 500+ inches of snow annually! If you are looking for nearly guaranteed powder and otherwise great snow conditions, this is one of your best bets. With just enough terrain for beginners to learn, to then gain confidence on the blues, this impressive top resort is best suited for intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders. Additionally, nearby towns offer a great variety of dining and shopping, there is plenty to do off the mountain.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Acres: 2,500

Average Annual Snowfall: 460 inches

A world-renowned top resort, Jackson Hole offers mostly challenging and exciting terrain for intermediate to advanced riders. Like its nearby neighbor, Grand Targhee, Jackson Hole receives an abundance of snow each year, increasing the likelihood of a precious powder day. With hot springs, dog sledding, fantastic dining options, and loads of other options for fun.

Top British Columbia Ski Resorts

Whitewater, BC

Acres: 1,180

Average Annual Snowfall: 472 inches

Located in Eastern British Columbia, Whitewater takes pride in its terrain well suited for the adrenaline junkie, with unforgettable tree skiing and advanced trails. It also boasts some of the most incredible scenery, and it is close to one of the top spots for restaurants and bars, Nelson.

Whistler-Blackcomb, BC

Acres: 8,171

Average Annual Snowfall: 470 inches

Whistler-Blackcomb is the largest resort in North America and while it might feel bustling in town, it never feels crowded on the mountain! Boasting some of the most breathtaking, expansive views, and fantastic terrain for every single level skier or snowboarder, Whistler is one of our favorites in our “Top” ski resorts. Popular for its village and Après ski scene, you will find fine dining, memorable quick bites, a fun night scene with great bars, luxurious spas, spectacular shopping and so much more.

Revelstoke, BC

Acres: 3,121

Average Annual Snowfall: 425 inches

Revelstoke is located far into the Canadian Rockies and is known for its majestic views and wide selection of restaurants, bars, and Après ski options! Intermediate to advanced skiers will have a great time exploring versatile terrain, with over 80% of the mountain dedicated to this level riding. This top resort is also home to some of the longest runs in the world!

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