Are you looking for the best skiing in North America? 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 ski resort, it will have been worth the journey across the pond. Here’s our pick of the best places to ski in North America.
1. Aspen, US
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.
Buttermilk is where beginners coalesce at this ski resort. There are plenty of instructors available to offer a helping hand, while its 44 runs are always perfectly groomed, making it as easy as possible to get started. It’s not all easy going, though. Buttermilk also plays host to the ever-exhilarating X Games, meaning there are plenty of pipes and snow parks for the more advanced skiers to take advantage of. The Hanging Valley Glades and Cirque are perfect for off-piste adventures.
2. Banff, Canada
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.
In addition, there’s a fantastic range of accommodation options for different budgets. From the luxurious conic Fairmont Banff Springs to three or four-star hotels. In all three ski resorts in the area, there are excellent restaurants and bars to visit, with great service and menus.
3. Panorama, Canada
One of the best places to ski in North America is Panorama. 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 ski resort. 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.
The village itself is purpose-designed which means you’re never more than five minutes away from the slopes. It is an ideal destination for families with good links to the slopes and great childcare facilities.
4. Whistler, Canada
Whistler ski resort has some of the best skiing in North America. 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.
The village itself has a great atmosphere and plenty of restaurants and bars to visit. In addition, the accommodation options are vast with chalets, hotels, apartments, and some high-rise blocks. The nightlife is varied too with some relaxed bars to drink at or lively live music in some establishments. There’s a reason why Whistler is on many bucket lists.
5. Park City, US
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 welcome contrast to those more used to purpose-built ski villages in Europe. We recommend taking a visit to the Freshies Lobster restaurant to try the excellent seafood menu.
6. Revelstoke, Canada
The newest ski 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-skiing or snowcat.
Despite being a remote mountain village there are plenty of great restaurants and bars to enjoy. If you’re looking for great fine dining options Woolsey Creek and 112 are the best in town. The nightlife is relaxed in Revelstoke. There is great live music at The Village Idiot, which also serves great drinks and food.
7. Fernie, Canada
Fernie ski resort is a hit with locals thanks to its generous dumping of up to 11m of light, dry powder each year. It’s one of the best places to ski in North America for advanced skiers. 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.
There are great restaurants and bars to enjoy in the area too. Yamagoya is a fantastic Japanese restaurant with a great menu. For the best burgers in town head to the Brick House. If you want a drink after a day on the slopes head to Griz bar or Park Place Lodge Pub.
8. Jackson Hole, US
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 North America 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 terrain in Jackson ski resort dedicated to beginners and intermediates.
Off the slopes, there’s a thriving ‘farm-to-table’ scene with many award-winning restaurants. You can enjoy regional specialities such as trout, elk and bison. In addition, there are plenty of international dishes to enjoy too with sushi, Thai, Indian and more.
9. Vail, US
One of the best places to ski in North America, 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. Enjoy a combination of high-altitude ridges, super-steep stretches of moguls, cruisy pistes and scenic tree routes.
Off the mountain, you can enjoy shopping, restaurants and bars. Larkspur is a fantastic contemporary American restaurant that uses first-class ingredients and top-class wine. Garfinkels is a great spot for a drink and live music.
10. Breckenridge, US
Breckenridge is one of the best ski resorts in North America for advanced skiers. The ski 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 has challenging terrain with 55% of the runs marked as black.
There are over 140 bars and restaurants in the area. Whether you want a classic American burger or a full fine dining experience, there’s something for every taste. There’s great nightlife too in the area. Base Nine Bar has an extensive martini menu and is a brilliant quiet spot to relax. Easily one of the best places to ski in North America.
11. Steamboat, US
Steamboat is best known for its excellent snow record, forest terrain and great family skiing programmes. Located in the high Rockies, this Western-styled ski town has a real charm and fantastic skiing to match. The ski resort is renowned for its powder bowls and backcountry opportunities for the more advanced skiers. Beginners have plenty to enjoy too with nursery slopes and cruisy blues to enjoy.
Off the slope, Steamboat has excellent hospitality to enjoy. There are over 100 bars and restaurants to choose from and a breath-taking mountain view from most points of the village. Non-skiers can enjoy horseback riding, snowmobiling, hot springs, sleigh ride dinners and much more. Shopping is also a real draw too. On and off the slopes Steamboat has something for everyone. Some of the best skiing in North America.
12. Kicking Horse, Canada
Kicking Horse has an incredible snow record with skiers around the world visiting for the terrain and powder in the area. There is 100km of slopes to enjoy and there are fantastic off-piste opportunities too. No wonder the Kicking Horse is a regular stop on the Freeride World Tour competition. The world’s best freeride skiers and snowboarders battle it out each year in Kicking Horse. Some of the best skiing in North America.
During your visit, you must eat at the Eagle Eye restaurant. It is situated at over 2,300m and serves delicious gourmet food with panoramic views. In the village, Copperhorse Steakhouse has a fantastic menu and great atmosphere. Local Hero Pub is the best place for a drink and live music. It also has an open fire on its patio.
That concludes our list of the best places to ski in North America. To find out more, please contact our ski experts today on 0207 471 7700.