A lot of people aren't too fond of the arrival of cold weather, but for those with an adventurous soul, the cooler seasons mean getting to ski and snowboard. There are a variety of resorts where one can hit the slopes within the United States, but finding the one that is just right for you will ensure you’re having the best experience possible. And luckily for you, the U.S. has some of the best ski resorts in the world.
When you’re planning a trip this winter, there are a handful of things you want to keep in mind when it comes to the resort you’ll be staying at. What amenities are important to you? What kind of atmosphere are you looking to experience? What type of snow conditions do you prefer? These are what you need to keep in mind before booking your trip. “Whether it’s a hobby or an exercise routine, skiing is both fun and exciting, so you want to choose a quality, scenic ski resort to visit,” travel expert Shawn Richards shares.
We spoke to Richards and other ski enthusiasts to nail down the seven best ski resorts to visit in the U.S. this winter.
Travel advisor Sandy Pappas loves how easy it is to get to Deer Valley (Park City) from Salt Lake City’s airport. “It’s only a short ride, which makes the travel portion less of a hassle,” she shares. You can ski for free the day you arrive — which is a perk. “Deer Valley actually limits the number of lift tickets they sell, so there are no long lines,” she explains. If you’re a skier then you’d be pleased that there are no snowboarders allowed on the Deer Valley Resort. Guests also have the option to take a 15-minute shuttle to the town of Park City and its Main Street.
This New England mountain styled lodge is home to 312 environmentally designed rooms. “This lodge is perfect for the eco-traveler because Spruce Peak has won various awards for its green policies and programs,” blogger Sammie Pearsall shares. They have committed to protecting the forests and wetlands in the Spruce Peak Community as well as converting over half of their electricity to renewable sources.
The amenities on site include their spa and wellness centers as well as their special culinary interactive events, where chefs delight your tastebuds with food and fun. The grounds are dog friendly, include a spa, wellness center, meeting and event spaces, kids club, adventure center, fitness gym, golf course, performing arts center, ski valet, fine and casual dining, and a pool.
Pappas says that you can’t beat the authentic charm of this historic mining town with its saloons and ice skating rinks. “I can’t recommend taking the complimentary gondola from the mountain down to town enough,” she adds that it is such a fun experience for anyone. Telluride has fantastic ski terrain, lodging and restaurants. “It can be a bit more challenging to get to the Montrose Regional Airport and then there’s a one-hour drive on top of that, but I have always believed that the best things in life are worth the effort,” she shares. For those who prefer a more low-key resort, Telluride is usually less crowded than other ski towns or resorts.
Steamboat has some of the driest powder Pearsall has ever snowboarded on. “The location is just far enough from Denver that you’ll never need to worry about overcrowding and long queues,” she shares. There are hot springs sprinkled around the village to soak in after a long day on the mountain. The Sheraton Steamboat Resort Vilalge is a ski-in ski-out resort that offers all the amenities on site to make your stay feel as comfortable as bringing your own home with you on vacation.
The resort is on the doorstep of the mountain and the accommodation offers villas with full service kitchens and washers and dryers. Onsite, guests can enjoy the heated outdoor pool or relax in their world class spa. When visiting, you’ll have access to a restaurant, convenience store, hot tub, fitness center, free wifi and more.
Pearsall says that one of the most historic ski lodges in all of the U.S. is The Timberline Resort. It offers visitors the option to stay in a luxury condo, a silcox hut (bed and breakfast), or in a room at the resort lodge. “The lodge provides a beautiful pool and hot tub overlooking the white mountains as well as plenty of other recreation activities,” she shares. What makes this accommodation special is that it is owned by the U.S. Forest Service, but has been family operated since 1955. It is located at the edge of Mt. Hood, home to the steepest vertical drop in the Pacific Northwest. Some amenities are a fitness room, pool, sauna, and onsite dining options.
Richards says that the Park City Mountain Resort in Park City, Utah is well-known and highly reviewed as the views and experiences are something out of a movie. “The resort is great for beginners and professionals alike with the option of purchasing lessons,” he shares. There are numerous dining locations to sit down and relax with friends and family, as well as high-class lodging options suitable for individual adults and families.
Richards says that the Big Sky Resort is a beautiful ski resort filled with great trails and packed with snow. Located in Montana, this ski resort comes highly recommended by skiers and for good reason, he explains, the area gets over 26 inches of snow at one time, creating quality snow trails suitable for individuals of any skill level.
“The resort offers comfortable, stylish amenities complete with hot tubs and fireplaces, a perfect cozy setting after a cold, fun day of skiing,” Richard shares. There is also a range of activities including snowshoe tours and headlamp night skiing.