Come winter, what could be better than hitting the slopes—especially when there's fresh powder? The ski trip is a quintessential cold-weather vacation across the country, from storied, glitzy Vail and Aspen to lesser-known hidden gems like Big Sky and Taos. Our roundup of ski resorts offer spa treatments, ski lessons for all ages, bunny slopes, double black diamond runs and some of nature's most stunning views—not to mention vibrant social scenes. Whether you love the powder of big mountain skiing, the après-ski scene, the thrill of sitting in a hot tub in subzero temps or simply a warm fireplace to curl up by with a Hot Toddy, these are the 23 best ski resorts in the U.S.A.
The 23 Best Ski Resorts in America
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- Why We Love It: Vibrant ski town, runs cater to beginners and advanced skiers, consistent snowfall
- Where to Stay: Tuscan Lodge Home (from $666/night), Ski In/Ski Out Condo (from $450/night), Marriott Mountainside Ski In/Ski Out (from $390/night)
Spanning 7,300 acres with more than 330 trails, Park City Mountain is the largest single ski and snowboard resort in the U.S. And, with a wide range of skiing that suits both beginners and experts, it’s a great option for group trips with varied skier abilities. Consistent snowfall makes for great powder. Plus, it’s under an hour from the Salt Lake City airport and the town itself has plenty to see, do, eat and drink for the non-skiers in your crew.
- Why We Love It: Kids ski free, wellness treatments at Cliff Spa, ski and snowboard lessons for all ages and abilities
- Where to Stay: Luxury Ski In/Ski Out Condo (from $500/night), Cliff Lodge and Spa (from $229/night), Snowbird Loft Condo (from $400/night)
Like Alta, its Little Cottonwood Canyon neighbor, Snowbird has some of the best snow in North America. The no-frills mountain is also known for its steep, rugged and challenging terrain. Snowboarders are welcome.
- Why We Love It: Limited lift tickets control crowds, valet services, après-ski lounge at the upscale Montage hotel
- Where to Stay: Empire Pass Ski In/Ski Out Condo (from $1,071/night), Montage Deer Valley (from $1,895/night), Deer Valley Condo (from $289/night)
Ski-only Deer Valley is one of America’s poshest resorts, with ski valet to unload your gear from the car, one of the highest ranked ski schools around and excellent customer service. It even limits the number of lift tickets each day to guarantee you can enjoy all the terrain without it being overcrowded. Book a room at the Montage. It boasts a 35,000-square-foot spa and a Champagne après-ski lounge, housed in a yurt at the base of the mountain.
- Why We Love It: Hidden gem (short lift lines), tram to Lone Peak, family-friendly
- Where to Stay: Ski In/Ski Out Condo (from $441/night), Modern Home with Lone Peak Views (from $899/night), Gallatin Gateway Condo (from $695/night)
Big Sky may no longer be the Montana secret it once was, but it’s still known for few, if any, lift lines. It’s also family-friendly with vast terrain and amazing scenery, a 15-passenger tram up 11,166 feet to Lone Peak, and après-ski activities for kids and adults at Base Camp. Stay slopeside at Summit in the heart of the Mountain Village or rent a luxury home or condo along the trails at Moonlight Basin.
- Why We Love It: Trademarked "Champagne Powder" snow, Winter Carnival, affordable ski option loved by Olympians
- Where to Stay: Mountain Retreat (from $216/night), Après Chalet (from $271/night), Trailhead Lodge Studio (from $240/night)
Nicknamed Ski Town U.S.A., Steamboat is revered for its Champagne Powder (it’s even trademarked), its ski-chic meets Wild West vibe, festive outdoorand its annual . It’s also more affordable than its Colorado neighbors Aspen and Vail, and home to more Olympians than any other town.
- Why We Love It: Iconic Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, breathtaking views of the Maroon Bells, famously steep terrain for daredevil skiers
- Where to Stay: Downtown Resort Condo (from $508/night), Luxury Downtown Aspen Residence (from $875/night), Aspen Mountain Condo (from $928/night)
At Aspen Highlands, you’ll favor the steep, big-mountain skiing and incredible powder and the liveliest après-ski scene. Treat yourself to fondue, raclette and a bottle of bubbly (or two) at the iconic ski-in/ski-out Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, which turns into a giant daytime party that could rival any Las Vegas pool.
- Why We Love It: Family-friendly, recently-constructed Base Village, plenty of après-ski activities
- Where to Stay: Snowmass Ski Chalet (from $2,600/night), Premier Downtown Aspen Condo (from 938/night), Base Village Ski In/Ski Out Condo (from $329/night)
Snowmass is known for being Aspen's kid-friendly mountain—but with enough serious skiing to impress even the most discerning of skiers. After years of planning, construction and anticipation, the $600 millioncelebrated its grand opening in December. The Plaza has fire pits for roasting s’mores and an ice-skating rink; it’s also where you can catch live local music at the Limelight Lounge after a day on the slopes.
- Why We Love It: No lift lines, European ski town vibes, great weather
- Where to Stay: Downtown Ketchum Condo (from $225/night), Mama Mountain Condo (from $365/night), Remodeled Sun Valley Townhouse (from $399/night)
With long, wide-open runs and zero lift lines (seriously), Sun Valley can feel a little like a private mountain. It was the first destination ski resort in the U.S. and the first in the world to use chairlifts. With old-world, rustic charm built in a faux-Alpine style, it’s best described as a mix of Euro ski town meets western cowboy. Plus, it sees 250 days of sunshine a year—hence the name—which is great for fair-weather skiers.
- Why We Love It: Classic New England Ski town, home to Vermont's tallest mountain
- Where to Stay: Modern Mountain Luxury Home (from $1,243/night), 1854 House (from $142/night), Ski In/Ski Out Condo (from $324/night)
Stowe is a quintessential New England ski town, home to some of the best skiing in the northeast with plenty of activities for those who’d rather not strap into a pair of boots for the day. Ride the gondola between the resort’s two mountains—Spruce Peak and Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak. And book a room at the Lodge at Spruce Peak, formerly the Stowe Mountain Lodge. It’s one of the only ski-in, ski-out accommodations in New England.
- Why We Love It: Beautiful views of Mount Washington, cross country skiing heaven, free children's activities
- Where to Stay: A-Frame Chalet (from $180/night), Bretton Woods Resort Ski In/Ski Out Cottage (from $1,286/night), Carroll Townhouse (from $285/night)
In the White Mountains, Bretton Woods is New Hampshire’s largest ski resort, with panoramic views of Mount Washington and the Presidential Range. It’s also a haven for cross-country skiers with more than 60 miles of Nordic terrain.has a rustic ski lodge feel with traditional après-ski festivities plus free, supervised activities for kids.
- Why We Love It: Haven for experienced skiers, Teton Village features lively food and music scenes
- Where to Stay: Town Square Condo (from $208/night), Teton Retreat (from $1,048/night), Downtown Jackson Condo (from $289/night)
The Teton-rimmed valley that is Jackson is world-renowned for its skiing—with lots of moguls, chutes and steep runs, it’s the terrain expert skiers seek out. Teton Village also gets high marks for the adjacent town of Jackson Hole, with plenty to do off-mountain: vibrant food, shopping and music scenes, all with a Wild West vibe. Back at the village, you’ll find a luxe ski-in/ski-out enclave with more high-end accommodations at the Four Seasons Jackson Hole, Teton Mountain Lodge, Hotel Terra Jackson Hole and the freshly-minted Caldera House.
- Why We Love It: Excellent (and frequent) powder, close to Jackson Hole, less crowds
- Where to Stay: Mountain Family Cabin with Teton Views (from $98/night), Driggs Luxury Family Home (from $134/night), Mustang Meadows (from $163/night)
This family-friendly resort has a lot of powder days—it gets more than 41 feet of snowfall each year. An hour from Jackson Hole, within the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, it’s smaller than Jackson with a casual, laid-back feel, wide-open terrain and smaller crowds.
- Why We Love It: European-style ski town, famed runs and trails
- Where to Stay: Vail Treehouse (from $307/night), Condo with Mountain Views (from $440/night), Ski Condo (from $428/night)
Vail is the biggest ski area in Colorado, storied for its long, wide runs; incredibly varied trails; and a charming, European-style ski town at its base. It’s also one of the most expensive and most crowded mountains in the U.S., but even that isn’t deterrent enough to keep it off this list. Not surprisingly, a big ski town means there are lots of options when it comes to accommodations, from luxury ski-in/ski-out to less pricey choices. We love the luxe and romantic Four Seasons and the chic Sebastian - Vail.
- Why We Love It: California's highest peak, long ski season, over 300 sunny days per year
- Where to Stay: Village Townhouse (from $766/night), Eagle's Nest Home (from $1,141/night), Comfy Modern Condo (from $334/night)
If you’re in Southern California or Las Vegas, Mammoth is the best skiing within driving distance. It’s home to the highest peak of any ski resort in the state and it gets ample snow—its elevation further helps that snow stick around, making for one of the longest ski seasons in the States. Plus, with over 300 sunny days per year, you’ll be able to soak up plenty of California sunshine right from the mountain. (Pro tip: Wear lots of sunscreen.)
- Why We Love It: Historic downtown, vibrant nightlife, fewer crowds, daring black diamond and easy beginner slopes
- Where to Stay: Elkstone Telluride Retreat (from $579/night), Main Street Condo (from $1,600/night), Modern Mountain Home (from $645/night)
This former mining town in the San Juan Mountains is widely recognized as one of the best ski resorts in the U.S. Tucked into a canyon along the San Miguel River, Telluride has everything you want in a winter wonderland: Incredible skiing, a charming and historic downtown and plenty of nightlife and après-ski options. It may have fewer truly luxe hotel options than its Colorado siblings, but it does have some swanky rental homes, like this Modern Mountain Retreat.
- Why We Love It: Close to NYC, ski/ride lessons for all ages, glitzy après-ski scene
- Where to Stay: Ski In/Ski Out Condo (from $149/night), Liftside Condo (from $213/night), The Barnhouse (from $498/night)
If you’re used to West Coast—or even New England—skiing, Hunter is small with just 320 skiable acres. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in its proximity to NYC; it’ll take you less than three hours to drive there from the city. It also has a legendary snowmaking system and the kind of après-ski scene you’d expect from a resort so close to Manhattan.
- Why We Love It: Close to downtown Santa Fe, lots of snow and sunshine, access to incredible food, art and culture
- Where to Stay: Casa Alba (from $135/night), Casa de Cooper (from $125/night), Artist Retreat (from $278/night)
Arguably the best part about this small Sangre de Cristo Mountains resort is its proximity to the heart of downtown Santa Fe. Ski Santa Fe—which gets both plenty of snow and lots of sunshine—is just 16 miles from the state’s capital, where you’ll find delicious food, fantastic museums and a rich, eclectic culture.
- Why We Love It: Dry powder, ski runs for all abilities, myriad activities off the slopes, spa and wellness center
- Where to Stay: 5-Acre Home (from $220/night), Stylish Adobe Home (from $195/night), Designer Ski Condo (from $346/night)
In northern New Mexico, Taos is already well-regarded by skiers for Kachina Peak—at 12,450 feet, it’s one of the highest lift-served mountains in the U.S. Plus, it’s packed with dry powder and expert terrain. Visit the historic town of Taos and the UNESCO Taos Pueblo site. Both are less than 20 miles from the ski area.
- Why We Love It: Six ski areas to choose from, year-round skiing at Timberline
- Where to Stay: East River Rest (from $245/night), Wandering Woods A-Frame Cabin (from $151/night), Riverfront Mt. Hood Cabin (from $536/night)
Roughly 50 miles from downtown Portland, Mt. Hood—Oregon’s highest mountain—is actually home to six ski areas. Meadows is the biggest, on the southeast side of the mountain. If you’re a fan of summer skiing,is the only ski resort in the U.S. open 12 months of the year, thanks to its lift access to the Palmer Glacier.
- Why We Love It: Easy access from big East Coast cities, varied terrain, children's ski programs
- Where to Stay: Cozy Ski House (from $401/night), Andover Cabin Retreat (from $217/night), Ludlow Townhouse (from $357/night)
This southern Vermont resort is convenient to the big cities of the East Coast and has some of the best conditions in the region. With a wide variety of terrain, a massive snowmaking operation and great ski programs for kids, Okemo is an easy choice for families.
- Why We Love It: Convenient proximity to Lake Placid, impressive views of Adirondacks, ski and ride lessons for all ages, small-town feel
- Where to Stay: Grand Log Cabin (from $279/night), River Road Loj (from $407/night), Woodland Vacation Home (from $268/night)
Close to Lake Placid and with sweeping views of the Adirondacks, Whiteface has the highest vertical east of the Mississippi (3,430 feet). The small mountain town has the charm, activities and nightlife you’d expect from a place that has hosted two Olympics.
- Why We Love It: Lake views, lively social scene with casinos, clubs and music
- Where to Stay: Cozy Heavenly Condo (from $188/night), Forest Cabin (from $275/night), South Lake Tahoe Townhouse (from $276/night)
At Heavenly, you’ll come for the skiing but stay for the incredible views…and the nightlife. The 4,800-acre resort sits high above Lake Tahoe, overlooking the sapphire blue water below. From casinos to dive bars to dance clubs, South Lake Tahoe goes non-stop at night and on mountain, the resort hosts a weekend après-ski dance party with a DJ spinning from the back of a Snowcat.
- Why We Love It:
- Where to Stay: Cozy Ski In/Ski Out Studio (from $212/night), Kirkwood Condo (from $318/night), Luxurious Kirkwood Townhouse (from $280/night)
If you make the effort to get to Kirkwood—located 45 minutes from South Lake Tahoe, it’s pretty remote—you’ll be rewarded with deep powder and steep, challenging terrain. Compared with its Tahoe neighbors, Kirkwood is pretty laid-back and no-frills, but it’s been adding dining, drinking and lodging options since Vail Resorts took over operations several years ago.