No matter the season, the search for the best slopes is a neverending journey for serious skiers and snowboarders. You can find mountains of all sizes in the US and slopes to fit your skill level. From New York to California, the US offers world-class resorts with well-groomed slopes and reliable equipment. You can find good, average size mountains in Vermont and Pennsylvania on the east coast and Washington and Oregon to the west. If you are looking for the ultimate thrill and have already conquered most slopes out there, this is the list for you. Here you will find some of the best ski resorts in the US with mountains that offer a top-notch experience both for families and pros.
Alta, UtahAlta is a mecca for true skiers that are looking for the best snow on earth. It gets more that 500 inches of snow fall per year, which puts it near the top of the list. It has a unique microclimate and great terrain, which makes for the best powder Utah has to offer. This is a great place for both pros and families with varying degree of skills. The views from the slopes are breathtaking and Alta offers ski-in restaurants and a ski shop. Its proximity to Salt Lake City (45min from the international airport) is also a huge plus. The only downside is that snowboarding is not permitted here.
Alyeska, AlaskaIf you are looking for the ultimate winter pilgrimage as far north as possible, the Alyeska resort is the place for you. It receives an impressive 650 inches of snowfall per year. The terrain here is mostly at pro level, only 11% percent of the 1400 skiable acres are rated for beginners, although intermediately skilled adventurers will be happy with 52% of the terrain rated at their level. For those searching for the last frontier, Alyeska offers plenty of challenging freestyle terrain. Keep a watch on the weather for it can change dramatically to rain and high winds, which can lead to closed trails. The low angle of the sun is also something to consider, so bring low light goggles.
Vail, ColoradoVail is one of the most legendary ski resorts in the world. It is also one of the largest with 5300 acres of skiable terrain. It has plenty of snowfall and offers something for everyone. It accommodates the needs of novice skiers, intermediates, and pros. It has a vibrant ecosystem of shops, spas, restaurants, and off-slope activities that will suit anyone’s needs. It has one of the most modern lift systems, with 31 lifts including 1 gondola and 17 high-speed quad chairs. It offers a range of accommodation for families and groups, award-winning dinning and just about anything you can think of. Pros favor it for its off-piste terrain that is impressive and almost never crowded. Vail is about a 2-hour drive from the Denver international Airport and is a must-visit for ski lovers. Keep in mind that is also pricey, the lift tickets are some of the most expensive in the US.
Telluride, ColoradoTelluride offers 2000 acres of skiable terrain and an impressive lift system. It offers gentle, wide slopes for beginners, long well-groomed slopes for intermediates, and plenty above-treeline advanced and expert terrains. The resort is accessible via the two regional airports and the mountain is well-serviced with a gondola and shuttles. The town offers a range of accommodations as well as upscale dining and nightlife experiences. There are tons of activities such as ice climbing, horseback riding, winter fly-fishing, dog sledding, and you can even go heli-skiing. Telluride is rather expensive, but you can find some hotels that cater to low-budget travelers. With that said, this is one of the very best ski resorts in the US.
Mammoth Mountain, California
The Mammoth resort is one of the best in California and, indeed, one of the best ski resorts in the US as a whole. It is near Yosemite National Park. It offers 3500 acres of skiing terrain and extensive system of 28 modern lifts. The resort gets more than 400 inches of snow, but also plenty of California sunshine to make your ride more pleasant. Mammoth is at a very high elevation (2424m at its base and 3368m at the top), which gives you breathtaking views over the surrounding sierras. There is a regional airport that connects to a number of cities, including LA and San Francisco. The drive from San Francisco is about 4 hours and about 6 hours from LA. The resort is very popular with Californians because it is more easily accessible than Lake Tahoe.