Now that winter is here, it’s time to plan your ski trip of the season. More than an athletic pursuit, skiing allows you to marvel at beautiful landscapes while speeding down seemingly endless pristine white snow. When the swish of the snow on your skis or snowboards bring a smile to your face, then you’ll want to review this compilation of 25 Best Ski Resorts in America and Canada.
Best Ski Resorts in America and Canada
There are resorts all across North America, and each one of them has its own character — not to mention acreage, snowfall, elevation and amenities — so your choices are far from limited. To help you plan future ski excursions, WanderBat* compiled this list of the best ski resorts in America including a few in Canada. Did your favorite ski resort make the list?
#25. Copper Mountain
Location: Colorado, United States
Copper Mountain receives a relatively high amount of snowfall annually and offers more than 142 trails and 2,465 acres of skiable land.
NOTE FROM EDITOR: Copper Mountain Colorado ski resort was where my two daughters took their first lessons many years ago, and we returned with our multigenerational family multigenerational ski family getaway.
#24. Whitefish Mountain
Location: Montana, United States
As the 14th largest ski resort in the U.S., it has 3,000 acres of skiable land, covered with an average 335 inches of annual snowfall. But don’t limit your visit to the snowy season — Whitefish also offers other activities during the summer.
Location: Utah, United States
The Huntsville, Utah, Snowbasin is the 14th largest ski resort in the U.S., and it’s no surprise, considering that it has more than 3,000 skiable acres to explore.
Snowbasin has a high number of trails — 104 to be exact — where off-piste skiing is allowed.
#22. Winter Park
This resort is a true winter park for the ski aficionado, since more than half of its 153 trails are designed for the advanced skier. If you’re feeling really adventurous, Winter Park allows plenty of off-piste skiing from its eight terrain parks.
NOTE FROM EDITOR: Winter Park, Colorado is perfect for families of all ages. LOVE!
Alta offers wide-open spaces and a variety of choices when hitting the slopes; it has a total of 2,200 skiable acres, 116 trails and 11 lifts.
Tailored for the advanced skier, Alta has a long, one-mile downhill slope that can take even the most expert skier four minutes to finish.
#20. Aspen Highlands
One benefit to skiing in Aspen is the diversity of resorts, and the Highlands is a great choice. It has a high altitude of 12,510 at the summit peak, with 1,040 acres of skiable land.
#19. Mammoth Mountain
Don’t assume California is all beaches and palm trees; Mammoth Mountain’s wintry temperatures and pristine slopes make for some sublime (and award-winning) skiing conditions.
More than 3,500 acres of skiable land at the resort offers 151 trails, plus 11 terrain parks for practice jumps, rail slides and other feats of snowy athleticism.
#18. Sunshine Village
This beautiful resort in Calgary has four terrain parks and one-half pipe to hone your tricks on. The mountain can handle a total of 20,000 skiers per hour but offers just 12 lifts. Though this is more than the average resort offers, lines can form on crowded days.
With a high percentage of intermediate trails (55 percent), those with some experience under their belts will benefit from it at Sunshine Village.
#17. Big Sky
Big Sky might just as well be called Big Ski — it’s the largest ski resort in the United States, with 5,750 skiable acres and 4,350 vertical feet.
Choose between beginner, intermediate, advanced or expert slopes; the longest, at six miles, will take you 24 minutes to ski down! (Try to beat that time.)
Heavenly Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe, Calif., might just be heaven on earth for the avid skier. An average yearly snowfall of 360 inches covers 4,800 acres of skiable land, dispersed over 97 trails. While there are nearly three dozen ski lifts, you may encounter some slope congestion and high wait times on crowded days.
Like many other Colorado ski resorts, Keystone is known for its overall snow quality. It receives 230 inches of snowfall annually, on average. You’re sure to have the time of your life skiing down any of Keystone’s 3,148 acres.
NOTE FROM EDITOR: Last year, we enjoyed Keystone with our multigenerational family. All I can say is: PERFECT!
#14. Squaw Valley
With an Olympic pedigree to its history, Squaw Valley is the perfect park for the advanced skier looking to work on his jumps, rail slides and straight downhill skiing. (The longest run is three miles!)
#13. Aspen Mountain
Just the name Aspen conjures images of freshly fallen snow, crisp air and a perfect skiing atmosphere — not to mention some down time back at the lodge with a fire and some eggnog in hand.
Up on the slopes, mix it up on one of 76 trails, most of which are intermediate in level. Since Aspen Mountain has no easier runs, beginners might want to steer clear until they build some experience.
Steamboat Springs rivals Vail as one of Colorado’s most popular ski resorts, earning a number of accolades from the SKI Mag Resort Guide.
It boasts nearly 3,000 acres of skiable land and 165 trails. However, its lift infrastructure fails to cover the entire mountain, so you might run into long lines on crowded days.
This ski resort was ranked No. 7 by SKI Mag Resort Guide. Visitors with a bit of experience will enjoy the abundance of intermediate and advanced trails.
Canyons is the fifth largest resort in the nation, with more than 4,000 skiable acres of snowy land. From the base to the summit, Canyons’ vertical measures more than 3,190 feet.
#9. Beaver Creek
Beaver Creek Resort has received numerous awards from the Ski Mag Resort Guide. The base elevation at this beautiful resort is approximately 8,100 feet.
Among the 25 largest ski resorts in the U.S., Breckenridge receives an average 374 inches of annual snowfall across 2,358 skiable acres.
Keep in mind that there’s a high base elevation of 9,600 feet, so be careful of altitude sickness or dehydration while you’re on the slopes. The summit is a high 13,000 feet.
#7. Deer Valley
Located in Park City, Utah, Deer Valley was featured in the 2002 Olympic Games, which is just one indicator that your experience on these slopes will be challenging as well as fun.
Three hundred inches of snow falls here every year, so you’ll always find abundant, fresh snow for your skis. At Deer Valley, there are 101 trails, broken down quite evenly for beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert skiers.
Snowmass near Aspen, Colorado, is a massive ski resort — the ninth largest in the U.S., in fact. Its highest vertical point is over 4,400 feet high; its longest downhill run, at 5.3 miles, would take you 21 minutes to ski down.
Half of the resort’s trails are intermediate level, so beginners might want to take some ski lessons first.
#5. Park City Mountain
When these Utah slopes open up for the season, 302 trails are yours for the taking. An average annual snowfall of 370 inches ensures that you’ll have plenty of powder to practice your downhill racing skills. The resort is equipped with six terrain parks and eight halfpipes.
Telluride Ski Resort offers a host of choices no matter the season, including nordic skiing, summer activities and three terrain parks. Plus, a four-mile-long run that’s worth the trip alone.
#3. Jackson Hole
From a summit elevation of 10,450 feet, it’s an exhilarating experience skiing all the way down this mountain. Jackson Hole is a gem in the winter sports community, offering more than 2,500 skiable acres in Teton Village, where skiers young and old have 116 trails to choose from.
Located in what’s arguably the ski capital of the U.S., Vail Ski Resort demands a visit. One $100 ticket gives you access to 31 lifts and 193 trails, so ride to the summit and enjoy.
#1. Whistler / Blackcomb
Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort in Whistler, B.C., is one of the world’s best ski resorts. With over 200 trails to choose from (187 more than the average resort), Whistler’s longest downhill run is six miles — though it may take you 24 minutes to ski down, it can take days to explore all this premier resort has to offer.
Did your favorite ski resort make the list?
Note: WanderBat’s ranking is based off a Smart Rating that factors in mountain size, terrain, annual average snowfall, and top publisher rankings (including SKI Mag Resort Guide and PowderHounds.com).
Article courtesy of WanderBat and written by Paul Sisolak