With the Alps that we all know and love just a short flight away, we can sometimes forget the world of exciting ski resort terrain that lies beyond. North America may take longer to get to, but once you lay your eyes on the stunning scenery of the Rocky Mountains that surround Aspen, Vail and Breckenridge, or take your first thrilling run through the trees in Heavenly, it will have been worth the journey across the pond. Here’s our pick of the best ski resorts in North America.
Quaint Victorian buildings, opulent hotels and high-end restaurants draw a crowd of jet-setters to Aspen Snowmass each year. Snowmass mountain is renowned for its crowd-pleasing range of pistes – it has 91 slopes, all with varying degrees of difficulty. One of the largest ski resorts in North America, Snowmass has 237km of piste. While most are intermediate level, there’s plenty for beginners and experts too. The Hanging Valley Glades and Cirque are perfect for off-piste adventures.
Mount Norquay, Banff Sunshine and Lake Louise make up the SkiBig3 area that are under the same lift pass and connected by free shuttles. SkiBig3 is comprised of almost 8,000 acres of world-class skiing. Banff is fortunate to have one the longest ski seasons in North America and offers plenty of opportunities to ski untouched powder in the vast backcountry. Receiving nine metres of light, dry snow on average each year, powder hounds love dropping into the chutes and bowls.
Linked by a gondola, the two villages in Panorama are great for families, with good childcare and ski school options. The upper village has an ice rink, swimming pool and Canada’s largest slope side hot pools. If you are looking for some of the best skiing in North America, try Panorama. With 2,975 acres of skiable terrain, there are a variety of slopes, starting with the Discovery Zone for beginners, followed by two powder bowls and incredible heli-skiing.
North America’s number one resort, the linked mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb make up the largest ski area in North America. Over 200 runs cater for all abilities, and great off-piste activities include ziplining, ice cave tours, eagle viewing and a lively après scene. Whistler’s tasting tours are multi-course dinners with each plate provided by a different fine-dining restaurant.
Park City is something of a Mecca for skiers – it’s home to the biggest ski resort in North America, no less. You can ski any time of year on the pine-studded mountains, and there are slopes for all skill levels and ages. Park City is home to over 7,300 skiable acres with a good mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain. Off the slopes, the historic former mining town of Park City is a delight to spend time in. Park City is a unique blend of the old and new, and a welcome contrast to those more used to purpose built ski villages in Europe.
One of the most convenient ski resorts for ski-in ski-out, even Big White’s main street is a designated ski run. A modern, purpose-built resort, it’s great for families, intermediates and learning powder in the shelter of the trees. Big White runs three ‘Masters’ Weeks’ for skiers over 50 that include ski guiding and coaching to improve technique, as well as off-piste activities.
The newest resort of them all, Revelstoke has transformed from a one-lift wonder into a powder
hounds’ playground. Featuring 3,121 acres of slopes, the resort receives around 12m of fresh
powder a year and is home to the biggest vertical in North America of 1,713m. Uncover untouched powder chutes and bowls with a local guide either by heli-ski or snowcat.
A hit with locals thanks to its generous dumping of up to 11m of light, dry powder each year. The deep, steep terrain off five bowls – Currie Bowl and Polar Peak in particular – and the tree lines make for challenging and enjoyable runs. After skiing, you might like to enjoy off-slope activities including dogsledding, snowshoeing and curling.
This authentic town is in a beautifully remote location in the Teton mountains. The legendary routes that make up the resort’s 116km of ski terrain are perfect for advanced skiers looking for an exhilarating challenge. Some of the best skiing in the US can be found on extreme runs such as the ‘Steep and Deep Camp’ and Corbet’s Couloir in this resort. Skiers who would prefer a slightly more gentle week on the mountain are well-catered for with 50% of the resort’s terrain dedicated to beginners and intermediates.
One of the best ski resorts in the USA, Vail is the ultimate Colorado ski destination. Enjoy luxurious hotels, gourmet restaurants and some of the most varied skiing in the USA. The snow comes in an abundance, and is typically light, dry and wonderfully powdery. Enjoy the three sectors that comprise the ski area – Front Side, Back Bowls and Blue Ski Basin. 234km of runs unravel down the vast faces of the Rocky Mountains in a combination of high-altitude ridges, super-steep stretches of moguls, cruisy pistes and scenic tree routes.
This high-altitude town is one of the best ski resorts in the USA for advanced skiers. The resort itself is located at almost 3,000m, with the skiing stretching up to 3,915m – topping almost anywhere in the Alps. Enjoy 139km of piste spread out across five peaks of the iconic Rocky mountains, with plenty of uninterrupted magnificent vistas. Breckenridge is a mecca for skiers looking for challenging terrain with 55% of the runs marked as black.
To find out more about the best ski resorts in North America contact our ski experts today.