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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

  1. Booking A Ski Trip Early Can Save More Than $2,000

  2. Best Ski Resorts For Beginners - Top 10

  3. Best Ski Resorts For Early Season, Christmas & New Year's Snow - Top 15

  4. The Best Ski Resorts For Snow in February

Best Ski Resorts In North America

  Resort Network
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     Acreage Vertical
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1 Jackson Hole

WY
366 in 2,500 acres 4,139 ft 10,450 ft 12 99.0
Jackson Hole built its reputation on its expert terrain and abundant snowfall, but the ski resort has grown up into a versatile mountain that is welcoming to all kinds of ski trips. Intermediate terrain has been consisentely been expanded, most recently with the new Teton lift. Jackson offers skiers the ability to mix in other activities that make it unique: day trips to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, the National Elk Refuge, and copious terrain for snowmobiling. The lodging base, thanks to the region's busy summers, is deep and varied.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
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2 Snowbird

UT
448 in 2,500 acres 3,240 ft 11,000 ft 11 96.8
Without Snowbird, there would be no tram in Utah's Little Cottonwood Canyon, which would, by our inexact and cursory calculation, constitute a crime against humanity. At least a crime against ski trips. Snowbird's slopes soar majesitcally up, its steep fall lines in full sight from the floor of Little Cottonwood, the best snow trap in the world. Snowbird, by our accounts, has the best terrain in Utah. And only Alta, which borders it to the east, gets more high quality snow (it actually does). But Snowbird has the best ski hotel on the west side of the Wasatch in the Cliff Lodge, a place where ski trip nirvana happens regularly.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
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3 Alta Ski Area

UT
519 in 2,200 acres 2,020 ft 10,550 ft 11 92.1
Alta features some of North America's very best terrain and scenery along with what is, without a doubt, the best snow not in Alaska. This combination is then packaged up in a setting that still evokes how skiing was 50 years ago while still providing enough creature comforts to be recognized as a modern ski resort. For skiers, Alta is holy ground, a necessary pilgrimage that deserves one visit from every enterprising two-planker who ever thought of skiing powder on a bluebird day. Alta can make an ordinary ski vacation a lifetime memory.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
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4 Telluride Ski Resort

CO
277 in 2,000 acres 3,845 ft 12,570 ft 18 91.9
Visually, Telluride is the most striking ski town in North America. The richness of scenery created by 14,000-foot peaks and an old mining town that backs into a box canyon can't be overstated. The town is one of the best in skiing, with venerable buildings that have been carefully restored making up the majority of the main drag (Colorado Ave.). Town is connected to the main base of the resort, Mountain Village, where much of the newer lodging is, via a gondola that is free for all to ride from 7am to 12am. The dining scene is among the best in skiing.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
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5 Whistler

BC
415 in 8,171 acres 5,354 ft 7,494 ft 37 91.7
Whistler-Blackcomb looms large over the entire North American ski scene from its perch in the coastal range of British Columbia. It's the largest, and almost the tallest (continuous vertical) ski resort on the continent. It also receives a great deal of snow—our True Snow stat has it at 415". But what keeps so many people coming back to this Colossus is the village. It has more variety at the top-end of the lodging spectrum, at the bottom, and in the middle than anywhere. This is the destination resort that all others seek to emulate.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
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6 Vail Ski Resort

CO
359 in 5,289 acres 3,450 ft 11,570 ft 31 91.6
No name has become more synonymous with ski trips than that of Vail. It is the quintessential ski resort in the quintessential mountain state. As the crown jewel of the largest company in the industry, Vail Resorts, Vail does not disappoint. In central Colorado there is no better combination of terrain, snow, and on-mountain lodging and facilities. Vail is one of the few ski resorts that can be everything to everybody. It plays the role well of a high-end destination—there is a Ritz-Carlton here—and it is also a comfortable place for terrain-obsessed powder hounds who sleep in a van. Vail Village puts everything at skiers' fingertips.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
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7 Aspen Snowmass

CO
296 in 3,132 acres 4,030 ft 12,510 ft 20 90.0
Snowmass gives familes and skiers looking for a tight one-stop destination resort one of the best options in the industry. It's vast, it receives the most snow of the four Aspen resorts, and its lodging options can fit just about any kind of ski trip or group. The on-mountain dining options are among the best in skiing and the terrain can please all skiers, especially those interested in rolling groomers that go on for miles.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
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True Snow*
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8 Revelstoke

BC
357 in 3,031 acres 5,620 ft 7,300 ft 4 87.5
Revelstoke, with its perch west of Banff, far into the Canadian Rockies, is a ski trip that doubles as an exploration of inner British Columbia. The views here are nearly unmatched, with commanding vistas of the serrated Selkirks, and the mighty Columbia River flowing down below. Town, once a railroad and logging outpost, has grown into a destination itself, with a number of great restaurants. The resort is never crowded and the vertical drop—the largest in North America—is worth the trip. Hit the squat rack before you go.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
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True Snow*
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9 Park City Mountain Resort

UT
286 in 7,300 acres 3,100 ft 10,000 ft 41 86.7
One of the elite ski towns in all of the world, Park City commands respect for the strengths of its Main Street and the wide range of high-end dining available to skiers. This is a place upon which Hollywood descends once a year for the Sundance Film Festival (a great time to ski, tough time to find lodging). Along with its old town ambience and amenities, Park City is also eminently easy to get to, being only a 35-minute drive away from a major hub airport in Salt Lake. The skiing here offers something for everybody. Experts will find stashes on Ninety-Nine-Ninety and Jupiter, and only Whistler has more intermediate terrain than this place. The ski school is top notch and makes dropping off the kids easy.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
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10 Beaver Creek Resort

CO
329 in 1,815 acres 3,340 ft 11,440 ft 25 85.9
A ski trip to Beaver Creek comes replete with all the niceties that make Beaver Creek, along with Deer Valley, an alpha dog on the luxury ski trip circuit. But the Beav also brings an A-game to the skiing part of the ski trip; this is a mountain with good fall lines etched all over it. For those who happened to catch Beaver Creek with a good spell of powder on their ski trip, an epic day is in the offing. Beaver Creek skis off more slowly, especially during the week, compared with other large destination resorts. Some of the long pitches coming off Birds of Prey Express are the best stretches of fall line in central Colorado. Whatever you do, ensure you finish up in time to get a cookie.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
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11 Grand Targhee

WY
464 in 3,000 acres 2,592 ft 10,000 ft 5 85.8
Grand Targhee's corner of the Tetons offers one of the best situations for powder skiing in all of the world. For those seeking a ski trip that delivers a higher probability of a large snowfall, Grand Targhee should be near the top of the list. The village at the base of the ski resort has seen major investment during the last 15 years, making top-end lodging a reality. The nearby town of Driggs, Idaho, has undergone its own boom during the last 10 years, and offers skiers more dining options. Jackson Hole is an easy day-trip from here.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
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True Snow*
     Acres Vert Summit Lifts Score
12 Big Sky Resort

MT
282 in 5,809 acres 3,666 ft 11,166 ft 21 85.6
One of the iconic names in the ski resort world, Big Sky offers an experience befitting of its large state and its moniker. With 5,800 acres, only Whistler and Park City are bigger. But when there are crowds at these other resorts at times, Big Sky is almost always wide open. The terrain runs from legitmately steep and scary to gentle and rolling. The ski resort's strength is its intermediate terrain, which unfurls in all directions down below Lone Peak. Lodging options for ski trips are top-notch and plentiful.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
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13 Winter Park Ski Resort

CO
349 in 3,081 acres 3,060 ft 10,700 ft 25 85.1
Winter Park ski trips offers skiers several notable advantages: a shorter commute from the Denver airport, compared with other I-70 resorts; cheaper lodging and lift ticket prices; and one of the best mountains for snow in the state of Colorado. The mountain has two distinct sides that offer all kinds of stashes and hideouts for skiers, as well as terrain aplenty for intermediates seeking some challenging blues. A great choice for Christmas and New Year's trips—good snow coverage, cheaper—and also for spring break.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
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14 Solitude Mountain Resort

UT
398 in 1,200 acres 2,047 ft 10,035 ft 8 85.0
A hidden gem on the Salt Lake side of the Wasatch, Solitude gives Utah ski trips an escape valve when things at Snowbird, Alta and Park City grow too busy. The mountain is aptly named. With its location in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Solitude offers one of the best snow profiles in North America, where it gets pounded by systems amped up on lake effect moisture that get trapped against the west face of the Wasatch. The village has been greatly upgraded, and offers an opportunity for a truly quiet retreat against some of the best skiing on the continent.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
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15 Alyeska Resort

AK
500 in 1,500 acres 2,500 ft 2,750 ft 9 84.8
If you're taking a ski trip to Alaska and you're not getting into a helicopter, then you're skiing at Alyeska. This is the big dog ski resort in the biggest state of them all. The place gets snow like few other spots on earth. Ten-foot storms happen. Traveling to Alyeska can be easier than many expect. The drive from the Anchorage Airport, which sports direct flights into most of the major hubs in the U.S., is only 45 minutes and features spectacular views of the ocean and mountains. Alyeska's base is basically at sea level, so altitude is not a factor for visitors. Hotel Alyeska is a keystone property and a destination in and of itself.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
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16 Squaw Valley

CA
363 in 3,600 acres 2,850 ft 9,050 ft 30 83.8
As the host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw is a formidable mountain with big vertical terrain that challenges the best skiers in the world. But it's also a superior destination for ski trips, as it has great amounts of intermediate cruisers and varied terrain that can keep a big group skiers with disparate skill sets entertained. The village has been built up and is one of the two best in the Tahoe region.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
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17 Steamboat Ski Resort

CO
372 in 2,965 acres 3,668 ft 10,568 ft 18 83.8
Steamboat ski trips have long been a staple for the experienced destination skier. Steamboat has a reputation for snow and powder that's well deserved, as the mountain sets up especially well for ski trips around New Year's and Christmas, when the mountain is 93% open on average, among the best such numbers in skiing. The low elevation makes Steamboat warmer than other Colorado resorts in the spring, which can lead to freeze-thaw cycles overnight. The lodging base is big, with a large amount of on-mountain accommodations. The town of Steamboat Springs is among the best in Colorado.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
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True Snow*
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18 Aspen Mountain - Ajax

CO
253 in 675 acres 3,267 ft 11,212 ft 8 83.1
The name Aspen has been synonynous with ski trips for decades—with good reason. Aspen defined the paradigm for ski towns everywhere else in North America. And it still remains one of the continent's best destinations, with one of the most tightly integrated relationships between ski resort and town. Skiers here can go as upmarket as they want in lodging and fare, but there are bargains to be had by those who book early. The skiing here will please anybody: tons of legitimate expert runs, great intermediate cruisers and very few crowds.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
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19 Aspen Highlands

CO
251 in 1,028 acres 3,635 ft 11,675 ft 5 82.7
Aspen Highlands gives ski trips to the Aspen area an added dimension. This is a skier's mountain, where fall lines are pure and runs tend to be void of people. The bootpack up Highlands Bowl is one of the premier in-bounds hiking tracks in all of skiing. And for those who make its summit (it's not that bad; you can make it), the rewards are real: long, steep lines with powder stashes throughout the trees. Highlands offers a little nip of Alta-style rough edges in the what is the most exclusive alpine valley in North America.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
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20 Breckenridge Ski Resort

CO
283 in 2,358 acres 3,240 ft 12,840 ft 31 82.5
Expansive terrain and high altitudes keep all kinds of skiers happy and the snow cold and plentiful. For ski trips to the I-70 corridor, Breckridge offers the most genuine ski town experience of the bunch, with a bustling main street featuring a mix of old and new structures. The lodging pool is deep here, and the lift system is large and fast, moving skiers around multiple peaks with ease.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
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21 Taos Ski Resort

NM
259 in 1,294 acres 3,243 ft 12,450 ft 13 81.9
For those who haven't been, taking a ski trip to Taos requires a leap of faith. As the only major destination ski resort in the state of New Mexico, the routine of getting to Taos is outside the norm. But those skiers who do make the trip are rewarded with one of the most unique experiences in skiing, where the Southwest mixes with high altitude, deep green forests and wide open slopes.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
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True Snow*
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22 Fernie Alpine Resort

BC
371 in 2,504 acres 3,550 ft 7,050 ft 10 81.0
A stalwart of the inner British Columbia sanctum, Fernie gives skiers elite snowfall and lots of terrain that skis beautifully with a foot of powder. Ski trips here are further butressed by a high quality town in Fernie that has embraced the outdoor industry. Restaurants and boutique lodging outlets have sprouted up around town as well. Fernie is often a good addition to a Powder Highway trip than can include Red Mountain and Whitewater (Nelson).
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
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23 Whitewater

BC
390 in 1,184 acres 2,044 ft 6,567 ft 4 80.9
The pride of the Canadian Powder Highway in inner British Columbia, Whitewater is a place that regularly lands splashy shots in Powder, Freeskier and other magazines. With good reason. This place is deep, and it has high-octane terrain. The close-by town of Nelson is one of the best spots in the Canadian Rockies to hang out, with a burgeoning food scene and a good collection of bars and diversions.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
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24 Loveland Ski Area

CO
346 in 1,800 acres 1,900 ft 12,700 ft 10 80.5
This place is gem hidden in plain view. It sits on south side of I-70, stradding the east entrance to the Eisenhower tunnel. Even by Colorado standards, Loveland is high, with a base of around 11,000 feet. That means lots of snow and great snow preservation. Add in the fact that 40% of Loveland's terrain faces north and you have a veritable deep freezer keeping things cold and soft. Loveland makes for a great day trip for any ski trips staging out of Vail or Summit County ski areas.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
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25 Mammoth

CA
350 in 3,500 acres 3,100 ft 11,053 ft 28 79.9
Mammoth occupies an advantageous position in the Sierra that puts its base 2,000 feet higher than other ski resorts in the greater region. This makes for more dependable snowpacks, which, of course, is great to know when planning a ski trip. In addition to its altitude, the resort shelters much of its snow on north-facing terrain, keeping it cold and fresh. On-mountain lodging options are amongst the deepest in the industry, although can book quickly thanks to a hungry L.A. skiing market.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
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26 Whitefish Mountain Resort

MT
324 in 3,000 acres 2,353 ft 6,817 ft 14 79.9
Whitefish has developed something of a cult following. People who take one ski trip to this Montana outpost are highly likely to go back again and again. The mountain is big, at 3,000 acres, never crowded and it gets better than 300" of snow a year. The tree skiing here is excellent and the place is truly away from the bustle and chatter than can dominate other resorts.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
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27 Keystone Resort

CO
232 in 3,148 acres 2,718 ft 11,998 ft 20 78.7
Keystone is a unique ski trip destination that has a special knack for making things easy on families. The parking is free, and gear wagons, used to shuttle kids and stuff from the car to the slopes, are free and abundant. The ski runs here are long, with good extended fall lines coming off of several peaks. There's nothing super steep at Keystone, but experts can stay sated by hiking or riding the cats ($10 a ride) to some back bowls and snow that don't see many skiers.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
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28 Kirkwood

CA
459 in 2,300 acres 2,000 ft 9,800 ft 14 77.8
The best spot for snow in the Tahoe region of the Sierra, Kirkwood gets lots of snow and tends to preserve it well. This gives those planning ski trips good piece of mind. It also beckons to the keener powderhounds in Northern California who try to dodge the crowds at Squaw and Heavenly. Kirkwood offers skiers a unique, snow-filled option in one of America's prime stretches of ski resorts.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
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29 Deer Valley Resort

UT
275 in 2,026 acres 3,000 ft 9,570 ft 22 77.7
The king of on-mountain ski food, Deer Valley brings quality to its on-mountain cafeterias that set a standard 30 years ago and remains the bar at which all other ski areas are judged. Our advice: double chocolate cookie and the turkey chili, in that order. The on-mountain lodging pool is among the deepest and most luxurious in the industry. The level of service at Deer Valley is unmatched anywhere else. The skiing offers something for everybody, with world class groomers and steep chutes off of the Empire Canyon Chair.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Multipass?
True Snow*
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30 Copper Mountain

CO
280 in 2,465 acres 2,601 ft 12,313 ft 22 77.5
Copper Mountain is one of the first ski resorts that travelers hit driving west on I-70 from Colorado, and it's worthy of a stop. For being relatively close to Denver, the resort is rarely over-crowded. The mountain possesses elite snow preservation characteristics, which make it ideal for spring break, and the on-mountain lodging pool in the village is deep and well-developed.
Lodging and Package Deals Best Time For Snow Full Report
Best Ski Resorts: West Best Ski Resorts: East
ZRANKINGS STORIES
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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!