We covered the best ski locations in Europe, but skiing in the US also affords you plenty of options. You can climb the immense Rocky Mountains or bring the family to smaller ranges in New England. There are ski lifts on active volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest and world-class skiing within a few hours of major metropolitan centers of San Francisco and California. In total, there are nearly 500 different ski resorts in the US.
The sheer number of resorts where you can ski might seem staggering but here we are going to take a look at a few of the best places to ski in the US to help you narrow it down. I would always suggest visiting multiple resorts so you can see which one is your favorite, but all of the options listed here provide some of the best skiing you’ll find anywhere in the country and even the world.
1. Aspen, Colorado
Aspen holds a certain status for a ski town that attracts fame and fortune from around the globe. Don’t let the glitz and glamour of the area distract you from the fact that there are some seriously phenomenal skiing a few steps away from downtown. Aspen is a mining town turned ski town turned world-class destination resort and the biggest allure (aside from gold in the hills and celebrities on the streets) is the snow.
The town of Aspen sits at the head of the Roaring Fork Valley and there are actually four different resorts to ski within a few miles of one another that make this a favorite skiing destination. From the lively streets of the town, you can catch the gondola and head up to the top of Aspen Mountain. This in-town resort is known as Ajax by the locals and has some great skiing overlooking the valley below.
Advanced skiers will love Aspen Highlands which sits across the river from town and provides technical and challenging ski runs with hike-to access to the famous Highlands Bowl. For beginners and family-friendly options, you’ll want to take the short trip to Snowmass where there are runs for skiers of every ability. Buttermilk Mountain has an amazing terrain park that hosts the X-games every winter.
2. Park City/Alta, Utah
Another amazing skiing location is the Park City area in Utah. This world-class skiing destination sits under an hour away from Salt Lake City and that means it’s easily accessible to anyone with an international airport nearby. In addition to the great skiing found here, the town also hosts great events such as the Sundance Film Festival.
Park City Mountain Resort has over 7,000 skiable acres, making it one of the largest ski resorts in the country. The nightlife and excellent accommodations scattered across town add to the ambiance and make Park City one of the best places to ski in the US.
For more technical and advanced skiing, you’ll want to check out Alta Ski Area. This resort is about an hour away from the town of Park City but if you’re an avid skier who likes deep snow and challenging terrain, the area is not to be missed. Alta is known for both the quality and quantity of snow the mountain receives with an average of almost 600 inches a year.
3. Vail, Colorado
Vail is another skiing destination in Colorado that makes this list for good reason. This resort has over 5,000 acres of skiable terrain that is varied and expansive, making it a great destination for any family or serious skier. Vail sits right off of a major interstate under two hours from Denver International Airport which makes it another easy to access, high-end skiing location.
At the base of the ski slopes, you will find Vail Village for many of your lodging and dining needs. With its cobblestone streets and quaint yet classy vibe, the village is a great spot to enjoy an Après ski snack or catch some nightly entertainment. A favorite spot to ski is in Blue Sky Basin and also be sure to catch a chair to the top of one of the resort’s legendary back bowls. Vail provides great skiing to skiers of any ability at an easy to access location in the Rocky Mountains.
This is a short list of some of the best places to ski in the US. Aspen, Park City, and Vail all have some of the best skiing and winter atmosphere you’ll find anywhere in the world. But there are also plenty of other places worth visiting if you love to ski. Every resort is a little different and will have elements that appeal to each individual skier. Be sure to visit one of these resorts at some point but more importantly, get out there and go ski!
Christine Wang is the founder of TheSkiGirl.com, a blog where she and her team share their passion and excitement for skiing with others who feel the same way. You can find the latest ski equipment and in-depth knowledge on a wide variety of topics related to this amazing snowsport.