Abundant snowfall has blanketed the U.S. — to the delight of skiers and riders ready to take full advantage. Whether you want to burn your quads on powder days or split time between the slopes and some fireside R & R in the village, these mountain destinations await your arrival.
Vail and Beaver Creek – Colorado
These sister resorts are the crown jewel of Colorado skiing. Vail boasts 5,317 acres of terrain with pow, trees, chutes, parks, pipes, moguls and miles of manicured groomers — plus the legendary Back Bowls. Of equal acclaim is the largest ski school in America and the idyllic Vail Village for après-ski treats, fine dining and shopping. Beaver Creek offers Euro-style village-to-village skiing with terrain for every ability level, including the Birds of Prey downhill course on the World Cup circuit. The upscale village is a luxe mix of fine dining, spas, art galleries and a performing arts center to rival big cities.
TREAT TIP: For a one-of-a-kind escape, tuck into exclusive Trappers Cabin, nestled on Beaver Creek Mountain amid the aspen and pine trees at 9,500 feet.
Sun Valley – Idaho
Aptly named for the 120 days of sunshine during ski season, Sun Valley has two major mountains: Bald Mountain, with extensive intermediate and expert terrain, and Dollar Mountain, well-suited for beginners and families. The resort has a massive new expansion, adding 380 acres of terrain known as the Sunrise zone. The area was once a local secret, but now beckons mid-level to expert skiers and riders to its glades, steep chutes and open bowls.
TREAT TIP: There are daily nonstop flights from Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle into Hailey, Idaho, an easy 17-mile drive to Ketchum/Sun Valley.
Brundage Mountain – Idaho
Rising above the quaint mountain town of McCall, and expansive Payette Lake, Brundage Mountain makes the list for its renowned tree skiing and lift-serviced backcountry bowls. There are plenty of superwide intermediate runs for families and a pair of terrain parks with rails, boxes, jibs and rollers.
TREAT TIP: Shore Lodge is an award-winning lakefront resort boasting in-room fireplaces and private deck views of snowcapped mountains rising from the water. Reserve a table for fine dining, the theater for a private viewing or a spa treatment with time in the soaking pools.
Timberline – Oregon
Known for its historic lodge and nearly year-round skiing, Timberline is the quintessential alpine retreat at an elevation of 6,000 feet. Constructed in 1937, the lodge was made famous in the 1980 movie The Shining, and is one of Oregon’s most popular attractions. Beyond the lure and lore of the lodge, Timberline terrain is near the top of picturesque Mt. Hood — a volcano that peaks at 11,245 feet. What makes the resort special is the intimacy of the lodge and an opportunity to ski well into July. For that reason, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard team has a formal partnership with Timberline, making it a training ground for past and future Olympic champions.
TREAT TIPS: Timberline is an ideal weekend retreat. Well-appointed rooms, some with wood-burning fireplaces, are cozy — though the walls are thin. For a private escape, request Silcox Hut located one mile above Timberline Lodge — accessible by snowcat.
Mt. Bachelor – Oregon
Mt. Bachelor is in central Oregon, just 22 miles from the city of Bend — one of the nation’s top adventure sports towns. What makes the mountain unique is the ability to stand at the summit with 360-degree views and choose your descent in literally any direction.
TREAT TIP: Beginners can get their ski legs on two carpet lifts for free. When you’re ready to make your way uphill, the Learning Progression ticket offers a discount on a handful of lifts for a less than a full-price ticket.
Palisades Tahoe – California
Formerly known as Squaw Valley and forever hailed as host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, Palisades Tahoe is a cornerstone of progressive ski and snowboard culture. An aerial tram glides ever higher to reveal 6,000 skiable acres across two mountains. From the rarefied air, breathtaking views of snow-covered peaks surround the glacial lake. Adrenaline kicks in as you choose a descent: powder, glades, cliff jumps, groomers, terrain parks and open bowls. With one of the longest ski seasons in the country, you can float neck-deep in mid-winter snow or work on your goggle tan during sun-drenched spring days.
TREAT TIP: Besides bustling après-ski action in the slope-side village, when night falls, a live DJ spins music and colorful LED lights and lasers illuminate the sledding hill for Disco Tubing.
Park City and Deer Valley – Utah
Utah snow is hard to beat and there’s more of it in Park City, which earned the distinction of the nation’s largest resort with more than 7,300 skiable acres and 330 named trails. A former Winter Olympic host, Park City has as many lifts (41) as some resorts have runs, plus 13 bowls, six terrain parks and a pair of half pipes — regulation and mini. Guests love it for the endless bounty and its connection to a true mountain town. Mere miles away is Deer Valley, offering a skiers-only paradise with deep powder and miles of manicured groomers. Luxury lodging, world-class dining and impeccable service — from ski valets to private car service — offer every convenience.
TREAT TIP: Take a free, guided tour of Utah’s historic mining buildings — on skis. Tours depart daily from Park City Mountain Village.
Big Sky – Montana
Nestled in the northern Rockies, midway between Bozeman and Yellowstone National Park, Big Sky touts the “biggest skiing in America.” Varied terrain invites skiers and riders of all ability levels with beginner and expansive intermediate slopes. Experts, extreme skiers and thrill-seekers take the Lone Peak Tram to an elevation of 11,166 feet, with views for miles, before dropping into a sea of black diamond runs. Thanks to an ongoing investment in high-speed lifts, including a new six-seat chairlift with heated seats and weather domes, Big Sky boasts next to no lines so you have more time on the snow.
TREAT TIP: The brand-new Montage Big Sky is the region’s preeminent luxury resort offering ski-in/ski-out accommodations, inspired dining and a world-class 10,000-square-foot spa.
Jackson Hole – Wyoming
No ski list would be complete without Jackson Hole, in the jagged Teton Range. With high altitude steeps, deeps and chutes, the terrain favors high-intermediate to expert skiers and snowboarders. Part of Jackson’s appeal is an authentic Western vibe that attracts everyone from college students and legendary athletes to families and affluents. At the base and in the town of Jackson, you’ll find designer boutiques, art galleries and nightlife from casual aprés-ski spots to five-star fine dining and accommodations.
TREAT TIP: Saddle up at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar where every seat is suitable for horseback riding. Leave room in the suitcase for cowboy boots. If you don’t bring your own, there’s a chance you’ll buy a pair to take home.
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