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Best Ski Resorts in North America

Best Ski Resorts in Colorado

Best in Rockies (U.S.)

Best in West Coast States

Best in Upper Midwest

Best Ski Resorts in Canada

Best Ski Resorts In North America

  Resort Network
Pass?
True
Snowfall*
     Acreage Vertical
Drop
Summit
Elevation
Lifts PAF
Score
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
151 Massif du Sud

QC
236 in 226 acres 1,312 ft 3,001 ft 2 47.6
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
152 Mt. Shasta Ski Park

CA
300 in 425 acres 1,435 ft 6,900 ft 5 47.5
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
153 Cannon Mountain Ski Resort

NH
160 in 264 acres 2,180 ft 4,080 ft 10 47.3
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
154 Hunter Mountain

NY
125 in 240 acres 1,600 ft 3,200 ft 11 47.3
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
155 Stratton Mountain

VT
188 in 600 acres 2,003 ft 3,875 ft 11 47.2
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
156 Soldier Mountain

ID
125 in 1,150 acres 1,425 ft 7,177 ft 3 47.0
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
157 Saddleback Maine

ME
175 in 220 acres 2,000 ft 4,120 ft 5 46.7
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
158 Gore Mountain

NY
150 in 428 acres 2,537 ft 3,600 ft 13 46.5
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
159 White Pine Ski Resort

WY
150 in 370 acres 1,100 ft 9,500 ft 2 46.3
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
160 Sipapu Ski Resort

NM
190 in 200 acres 1,055 ft 9,255 ft 5 46.3
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
161 Mont-Sainte-Anne

QC
184 in 526 acres 2,050 ft 2,625 ft 13 46.2
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
162 Antelope Butte

WY
200 in 250 acres 1,000 ft 9,400 ft 3 46.2
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
163 Indianhead Mountain

MI
210 in 220 acres 638 ft 1,935 ft 9 46.2
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
164 Bretton Woods Ski Resort

NH
200 in 434 acres 1,500 ft 3,100 ft 10 45.9
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
165 Kelly Canyon Ski Resort

ID
200 in 640 acres 1,000 ft 6,600 ft 5 45.8
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
166 Loon Mountain

NH
168 in 370 acres 2,100 ft 3,050 ft 12 45.1
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
167 Mountain High Resort

CA
122 in 290 acres 1,600 ft 8,200 ft 14 44.8
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
168 Marble Mountain Resort

NL
200 in 225 acres 1,758 ft 1,791 ft 4 44.5
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
169 Sandia Peak Ski Resort

NM
125 in 200 acres 1,700 ft 10,378 ft 6 44.4
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
170 Mt. Baldy

CA
167 in 400 acres 2,100 ft 8,600 ft 4 44.4
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
171 Big Powderhorn Mountain

MI
214 in 253 acres 600 ft 1,200 ft 10 44.1
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
172 Attitash Resort

NH
155 in 307 acres 1,750 ft 2,350 ft 10 44.0
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
173 Marshall Mountain

MT
150 in 400 acres 1,500 ft 5,400 ft 3 43.7
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
174 Mount Snow

VT
167 in 590 acres 1,700 ft 3,600 ft 23 43.3
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
175 Burke Mountain

VT
200 in 260 acres 2,011 ft 3,267 ft 4 43.1
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
176 Harper Mountain

BC
156 in 400 acres 1,400 ft 5,000 ft 3 42.9
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
177 Holiday Valley

NY
180 in 282 acres 750 ft 2,250 ft 13 41.8
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
178 Hemlock Resort

BC
180 in 300 acres 1,300 ft 4,500 ft 4 41.0
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
179 Boyne Highlands

MI
140 in 435 acres 554 ft 1,290 ft 8 40.7
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
180 Troll Ski Resort

BC
150 in 240 acres 1,700 ft 5,000 ft 4 40.6
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Best Ski Resorts: West Best Ski Resorts: East
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All ZRankings Articles

Best Ski Resorts In North America: What does that mean?

Perhaps we should just headline this section: What we are trying to do here, but we thought abstracting things that far might betray more hubris than the considerable amount we've already shown. So we'll just stick with this.

Many people who rip and riff on our rankings like to whine that the 'best ski resort' is a wholly subjective thing that can only be determined by the skier herself. There's truth in this statement, of course. We've all met that person who has skied all over and still believes Sun Valley to be the finest skiing available. Those people exist. We're here to show them the light, the truth, the awesomeness.

We've worked hard on our rankings, on our site, on our statistics, on our prose, to help inform the skier who has the view of I love skiing, but I haven't been everywhere—tell me more—what ski resorts should I consider for my next trip? We want to tell you more, we want to tell you about every ski resort we can. We haven't been everywhere. But we've been most places that matter, certainly most places that you will find on this site, and all of them within the top echelons of the rankings.

You should ski

The winter must be cherished. Just as so many of us celebrate summer as a season of recreation, of outdoor life, of ideal childhood memories, we must see winter in the same light. We must grasp winter by its wool lapels and give it a kiss, for it can be ours, just like summer.

Too many people make the mistake of playing defense in the winter, of hiding indoors, cowering at the thought of their flesh being exposed to 20-degree air. But this is wrong. Winter must be attacked. We must bring it to heel under the tip of our ski, the blade of our skate, the runners of our sled. To dominate the outdoors, we must dominate winter.

Ski resorts—most of the big ones built on public land here in the United States—give us one of the best avenues through which we can subdue winter and make it ours.

Yes, you can run away to Florida or Arizona or wherever. You could do that. But deep in your soul you know that's wrong. It's no way to live.

Human beings have evolved as an incredibly adaptable species, capable of shearing sheep for wool, plucking feathers from a goose, or even creating a membrane that allows water vapor to escape while keeping H2O from getting in (hello, Gore-Tex).

Put simply: Humans, it's quite clear to us, evolved to ski.

So seize the season. Own the winter. Make the ski resort yours.

Ski.


This is it, this is what we try and deliver. Courtesy: Breckenridge.

How to book the cheapest ski trip possible

In short, we are here to make your ski trip better. And cheaper. By booking through our partner, Ski.com, you can save 40% compared with simply booking lodging, lift tickets and lessons separately. We recommend at least checking it out and comparing it against your other options. You can use the link from this paragraph or call 1-800-778-8578. Any time you book through one of these two methods, ZRankings earns a couple of bucks, which helps us keep our servers running (costing you nothing). And, as just mentioned, you can save thousands on your trip when booking this way. All you have to do is compare those prices to booking each item—lodging, lift tickets, lessons—individually and you can see the enormous difference in prices.

Finding the right ski resort for your ski trip

Any reader who has followed us for a couple of years knows that we try to place as much emphasis on data as we can when we profile ski resorts. Data are facts that can be quantified, indexed and sorted. We prefer to couch things in terms of vertical drops, true average snowfalls, and the observations of experts with proven judgement and wit. We try to avoid mushy feelings that say Crested Butte is just the best and that's that. (Crested Butte is a fine place, we like it.)

With the right data, you give your ski trip higher odds of being epic. And there is no trip better than an epic ski trip. That's not a subjective declaration, it just is. Ski trips are the best trips. So ski the best ski resorts at the best times are then, the best trips of any kind. It's physics.

Do the rankings change?

They do. We make major revisions and updates to our ski resort rankings every year. Why? Because we can always make them better. We're always gathering more intel, taking more in-person visits, and gathering more data from more sources every single season. We aim to visit the alpha resorts of the world on a regular cycle, so we can stay current on new lifts, new terrain, and what's coming in the future. Just as the rankings for top colleges change each year, so to do the rankings for ski resorts. Note: One bumper season for snow will not change the rankings whatsoever. Nor will one year of drought. These are outlier events that should have no affect on how you plan a ski trip, hence they don't affect our rankings.

What will change our rankings, among other things: Things like a new gondola, or new terrain—like last year's opening of the Teton lift at Jackson Hole. Or when two resorts such as Park City and Canyons are combined into one mega resort—those things matter and do affect scores. We also adjust seasonally according to additional in-person visits at a ski resort from ZRankings team members.

I've never been on a ski trip out West - what places should I consider?

You can't go wrong by simply consulting our top rankings of North American ski resorts. Even the resorts that may have a fearsome reputation for steeps and expert terrain—like Jackson Hole, Telluride or Crested Butte—have lots of intermediate terrain that can be accessed by all levels of skiers.

Beyond that, the best tool in the entire ski travel industry is our Perfect Ski Resort tool. Simply dial in your preferences and see what ski resorts come back. It's wise to not overweight more than two categories. So if you're not interested in expert terrain, or just mildly interested, you're best off not putting any weight on that category. If you want to challenge yourself on your ski trip, there are a few runs at every ski resort that will have you planting your turns a little tighter than normal.

But our general advice for people taking their first big ski trip is simply: Go To Utah. Getting from Salt Lake to the resorts of Park City, Deer Valley, Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude is a far shorter and straight-forward process than going from Denver to any of the central Colorado resorts. Utah is also more likely to bestow you with a big dump of powder, especially the resorts on the Salt Lake side of the Wasatch. First timers will love Park City's Main Street and its miner town feel. And there's only a couple of other places where the ski runs tumble right into town in such a natural setting.

This isn't to say that people shouldn't travel to Colorado, Montana, Wyoming or anywhere else, it's just that Utah has a unique set of properties, travel-wise, weather-wise and on the slopes, that make it ideal for somebody's first ski trip out west. Head to Colorado on year two—and if you can swing it, try and fly somewhere other than Denver. For Vail and other central Colorado ski resorts, that means Eagle-Vail airport; Aspen has perhaps the best small ski town airport in North America; Steamboat Springs has a good facility; and Telluride and Crested Butte skiers can travel through Montrose.


Boom. Every ski trip should bring just one moment like this. Courtesy: Breckenridge.

Why should I listen to you?

Because we've been to every place we write about here. Because this isn't a one-off article of 500 words listing "the best ski resorts." Would you rather take advice and guidance on this subject from this website, that is 100% dedicated to parsing and analyzing ski resorts, ski trips, snow and how to find the best match for you. Alternatively you could take "tips" from a random magazine **cough, cough, Outside Mag** that weighs in on the subject once a year with a cursory article written by a harried writer looking to make $900 and put it behind him. We, on the other hand are here, every day, all the time, out of passion and love for everything ZRankings is all about.

What's the best ingredient for a great ski trip?

On the mountain, there's nothing more important than snow. If you get a big dump on your trip, it will make for a magical couple of days. It's such a big deal, in our opinion that even a trip to a lesser resort, with shorter terrain and lesser lodging digs, is preferable to a dry trip at a superior mountain. There's simply no replacement for great snow.

When is the best time to take a ski trip?

We wrote an entire piece on this. We got some remarks from people like: "Duh, when it snows." Well, yes - of course. But when is it going to snow? Some resorts are better in the early season than in the late season. Some places peak late, like Telluride. So take a look at our individual ski resort pages and check out the graphs under the heading "Best Time For Snow At (resort name)" On there, you can see that every resort has a distinctly different profile. Aspen peaks at a different time than Vail, and a different time than Big Sky. This is real. This is science, math, geography. Wield it to your advantage!

The other side of the story is, if you don't have to plan your ski trip way ahead of time (but most people do, which is understandable), then you can be a free agent. This is truly the best way to ski—to storm watch, see where the powder is coming and get there before it dumps. We're building something around this very thing right now. So watch for it this coming winter of 2016-2017: Powderfares.


Use Data. Ski. Profit like this guy. Courtesy: Breckenridge.

The bottom line:

You need to dominate winter. Dominating winter requires attacking it, and planning the perfect ski trip at the perfect time, all things that we dominate here at ZRankings. Picking the perfect ski resort starts with great data. Pairing the perfect ski resort with the perfect time for traveling to that resort produces the perfect ski trip—the one that you should take. Find it here. If you need help, or personalized assistance on finding just the right resort, you can always email us at PAF@zrankings.com

Our booking line is open all day: 800-778-8575. Or just check out your options on the web here. Get after it - and may the powder find you!