The 10 Best Ski Resorts In The USA

Winter’s here, which means it’s time to polish up your skis and hit the slopes. But careful when you start planning that perfect winter ski trip. Not all U.S. ski resorts are the same. A little planning now can save you a lot of headaches later. 

Unless everyone in your group is an Olympic skier, you’re gonna want a place that caters to all ski levels from beginner to expert. Just as important is something fun to do in your down time. Not every second of your trip is gonna be spent skiing, right? Your legs are gonna need a break some time. So pick a place that has things to do when you’re off the mountain.

Newverest Scratch Maps are a great way to keep track of all the ski resorts you visit so you’ll never forget where you’ve been, and where you still need to go. Mark your trips, plan future ones and take your memories home with you. And remember to let us know how your ski trip turns out, we love hearing adventure stories. 

Here’s our list of The 10 Best Ski Resorts In The U.S.A.

1. Aspen, Colorado

Even people who don’t ski have heard of the star-studded mountains of Aspen. You’ll get 4 amazing ski areas grouped closely together so that you can travel between them without any hassle. This is the playground of the rich and famous, and if you can find your way in, you’re guaranteed a fun time and world-class skiing. 

PROS:

  • Pristine slopes
  • First-class skiing
  • 4 ski areas for 1 ticket

CONS:

  • Crowded
  • Expensive
  • Longline

2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole is not for the faint of heart. Half the mountain is rated for experts. The other half? It’s divided up: 40% intermediate and 10% beginners. If you’ve never been on skis in your life, Jackson Hole is definitely not the place to start. But if you’re looking for challenging courses that will get your heart pounding, look no further.

PROS:

  • Steep slopes
  • Tons of snow
  • Small-town charm

CONS:

  • Rough terrain
  • Nothing for kids
  • Beginners won’t do well here

3. Steamboat, Colorado

On the flipside of Jackson Hole is Steamboat. Where Jackson Hole fails to be family-friendly, Steamboat’s got you covered. Every year, Steamboat hosts a variety of kid-friendly events including their Winter Carnival and Spring Festival. And there are plenty of trails to pick from. Rather take your skis through the trees than down the slopes? Beginners will have no problem glade skiing in Steamboat.

PROS:

  • Kid-friendly activities
  • Good for all skill levels
  • Year-round family events

CONS:

  • High-priced dining
  • Snow quality varies
  • Fewer lodging options

4. Big Sky, Montana

If you’re looking for the ski resort with the best views, this is it. From up top their mountain you’ll see 3 states, 2 national parks, and 400 inches of snow every year. If you want to take a break from skiing, they’ve got a 1500 foot zipline that’s ready to knock your snowshoes off, then head down to Yellowstone for a tour.

PROS:

  • Breathtaking views
  • 1500 ft zipline adventure
  • Close to Yellowstone Park

CONS:

  • Gets crowded
  • Lifts could be better
  • Strong winds can shut things down

5. Whiteface Mountain, New York

Whiteface doesn’t have all the glitz and glamor of Aspen, but it does have one thing not every mountain resort can claim. It’s eastern slope, Lake Placid, hosted the 1980 Winter Olympics alpine ski competition. If this place is good enough for the Olympics, it’s probably good for most skiers. And it’s diverse slopes make it good for beginners through experts.

PROS:

  • Hosted Winter Olympics
  • Hike, ski, or drive up the mountain
  • Diverse runs for beginners through experts

CONS:

  • Ski school gets busy
  • Parking lots fill up fast
  • Small compared to other resorts

6. Telluride, Colorado

Telluride is the perfect combination of family fun and high-class skiing. You’ll find an authentic Wild West town that will entertain kids to adults, and great slopes that cater to every type of skier. They’re known for their “champagne powder,” or light, fluffy snow, that’s easy to move over even if it’s your first time on skis.

PROS:

  • Kid-friendly
  • “Champagne” snow
  • Authentic Wild West town

CONS:

  • Kind of pricey
  • Hard to get to
  • Limited dining and lodging options

7. Snowbird, Utah

Planning a winter skip trip with expert-level skiers? Snowbird is the place to be. You’ll find rugged terrain meant for thrill-seekers who really know what they’re doing. Extreme skiers love hanging out in Snowbird, which ought to tell you something. And they’re known for having some of the best snow on Earth.

PROS:

  • Plenty of thrills
  • Experts won’t get bored
  • Topnotch snow that can’t be beat

CONS:

  • Not much nightlife
  • Steep slopes get scary
  • Beginners should keep looking

8. Vail, Colorado

If you can only go to one ski resort, it should be Vail. It’s the largest ski resort in Colorado and incredibly popular for good reason. Modeled after a European village, it charms everyone who comes for a visit. You’ll find plenty to do whether you ski or not, and you’ll never run out of snow. Vail gets almost 400 inches a year, and they keep it well-groomed.

PROS:

  • European style village
  • Largest resort in Colorado
  • Lots to do off the mountain

CONS:

  • Not very challenging
  • Easy to get stuck in a snowstorm
  • One of the most expensive ski lifts in the country

9. Stowe, Vermont

Looking for a mountain resort with lots of backcountry and enough trails to satisfy any level of skier? Then Stowe’s your place. They’ve got a little something here for everyone, from snowboarders to skiers to foodies. After a day on the slopes, hit nearby Burlington for a little nightlife. They’ve got craft beer and restaurants that will make your taste buds sing.

PROS:

  • All ski levels
  • Close to restaurants
  • Things to do year-round

CONS:

  • Snowfall varies
  • Limited parking
  • Long wait times

10. Alta, Utah

If you’re looking for the most snow for your money, then check out Alta Ski Resort. They’re known for getting 550 inches of skiable, powdery snow every year. The other thing they’re known for? Keeping snowboarders at bay. It’s skiers only on this mountain, which can be a good thing or a bad one depending on what you like to do.

PROS:

  • No snowboarding
  • Tons of powdery snow
  • First-rate extreme terrain

CONS:

  • No snowboarding
  • Limited dining options
  • Nightlife is non-existent

So now that you know all the best places to go, which one tops your list? If skiing is your thing, then don’t stop with one resort, keep going until you’ve seen them all. Use this as your ski resort bucket list, or make one up yourself. Either way, you’ll have a blast.

And remember to post plenty of pictures from your ski trip so we’ll know how things turned out. Your pictures might inspire someone else to take a turn on the slopes. At Newverest, we want to encourage everyone to get out there and experience the world. Happy skiing!