Vacation on the Snow: 12 Best Ski Resorts in the US and Canada

Vacation on the Snow: 12 Best Ski Resorts in the US and Canada

Daydreaming at the office about carving up some glistening white pistes? It's time to wax 'em up!

"A bad day on the slopes beats a good day at work." That's the mantra your ski buddy always cites after a spectacular wipeout.

The real problem is that you're spoiled for choice. Together, the USA and Canada offer more ski resorts than any other countries in the world.

We've done the hard work for you. Here's our selection of the best ski resorts in North America.

1. Breckenridge, Colorado

Breck, as it's become known, was first settled in the mid-nineteenth century, and it's kept much of its old Victorian-era charm. It's a really popular resort and renowned for its nightlife.

It boasts the Imperial Express, which is the highest lift in North America. This will drop you off at twelve and a half thousand feet. The ski area is spread out over a vast terrain, which takes in five peaks.

There's plenty to challenge ski experts, from steep chutes to moguls. The high altitude means there's usually lots of snow until late in the season. The resort is a short drive from other popular Colorado destinations, including Vail.   

2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Many would argue this is the best ski resort in the U.S. It offers one of the most sophisticated lift networks in the country. It has beautiful terrain full of cliffs and trees. It's a great all-rounder for experts, intermediates, and beginners.

The resort has made the most of its mountain base by creating new runs in areas that weren't available in the past. More remote areas are also now better served by lifts, and that means a lot more choice than there used to be.

Solitude Station has just been completed. It's all geared up for families with children. It's located at a mid-station of the Sweetwater Gondola. The proximity to the gondola has given the mountain a fresh ambiance and practicality.

3.  Mont Tremblant, Quebec

This is a top choice if you're looking for a resort further toward the East Coast. The summit of this Canadian resort is almost three thousand feet high. It boasts breathtaking views across the Laurentian mountains.

It's an ideal destination for snowboarders to shred it on the vast array of slopes. There are around a hundred trails and enough pistes to challenge the best skiers. Mont Tremblant prides itself on its snow-making and grooming abilities.

The friendly resort is full of charm and sits in a sea of maple trees. It's more affordable than some of its American rivals. It's a great place for families and is easily accessible from Montreal.

4. Whistler-Blackcomb, British Columbia

Back on the West coast, this is Canada's best-known resort. It's a firm favorite with the three million visitors who go there each year to take in the breathtaking scenery.

With more than eight thousand acres of terrain, there is nowhere in North America that can offer more. There are long stretches of well-pitched pistes that seem to go on forever. For many skiers, this resort is pure Nirvana.

It's just a two-hour drive from Vancouver. There really is something for everyone in the resort's vast terrain. Experts will love it but so will beginners. It has a superb lift infrastructure and is a great resort for off-piste adventurers.

The nightlife is also excellent. However, skiing at the resort doesn't come cheap. What you're paying for is what you get: easy access, a great variety of runs and an extraordinarily well-run resort.

5. Lutsen, Minnesota

This ski area offers something many others can't. That's because you can combine a skiing vacation here with a stay on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Check out cascadevacationrentals.com to get inspired for your next trip back to nature.

Lutsen is the pride of Midwestern ski resorts and offers an impressive ninety runs spread across four mountains. This resort is ideal for a family ski vacation or a romantic getaway.

The ski area is one of the farthest north in the U.S. outside of Alaska, Montana and Washington State. It's set in the Sawtooth Mountains.

The town itself is very quaint, and the nearby Superior National Golf Course makes this resort a firm favorite all year round. It's the perfect place for anyone who wants to combine sport with a love of nature. 

6. Telluride, Colorado

Telluride has superb views over the San Juan Mountains. It normally gets great annual snowfall and offers almost one hundred and fifty trails. It's a great resort for learning to ski with plenty of green runs. It's also superb for off-piste adventurers.

Telluride offers a unique experience for those starting out because it has a five-mile-long green run at very high altitude. This starts at the top of Prospect Express at almost twelve thousand feet.

The resort is a historic town that is fairly small and around six hours drive from Denver. It's a great place to get geared up for some serious hiking either in the winter or once the skiing season's over.

7. Vail, Colorado

This is the largest ski area in Colorado. The village has a charming European feel about it. It boasts plenty of long, wide runs. A popular resort, it can feel a bit crowded at times. It has one of the most expensive walk-up lift tickets in the U.S.

There is extensive snowmaking in the early season. Ten new huge snow guns have been installed to get lower-altitude slopes open earlier.

The resort has a wide variety of terrain. Some of the shortest lines are found at Game Creek. Here there are lots of steep bump runs that are challenging and throw up vast amounts of white powder when there's heavy snowfall.

The town is great for walking around and even has heated sidewalks. It's easily accessible with a regional airport nearby.

8. Aspen, Colorado

This world-class resort has four different ski areas, which are all accessible with one lift-pass. There's a very efficient system of lifts connecting the well-groomed slopes. The resort also offers great night-life.

This destination has become the ski playground for the rich and famous with superb restaurants for that special occasion.

There's a lot to this resort. It offers great skiing for experts with the Highland Bowl boasting more than a thousand acres of top-level skiing.

9. Snowbird, Utah

This resort gets full marks for the consistency of snow conditions. Known by many as the Bird, this ski area has a faithful band of followers who enjoy the steep and often vertical terrain.

Snowbird is not for the fainthearted, and it would be true to say that most people come here for one purpose only: to ski.

It's very close to Salt Lake airport with its great connections. That means you can cram in an extra day's skiing with an early morning or evening flight.

10. Beaver Creek, Colorado

Fancy something new? This is Colorado's latest resort. It's already renowned for immaculate grooming, superb snow conditions, and an excellent lift system.

This resort oozes luxury both on and off the slopes. Lines for lifts tend to be short. It's only ten minutes away from its big brother Vail, but it's a lot smaller. Most trails are for beginners and intermediates and offer scenic views.

There's enough to keep advanced skiers happy too. The Birds of Prey course is used for world-class downhill races.

11. Northstar, California

This is a top choice for families with kids. It's an affordable resort full of long blue and green runs, which are ideal for beginners learning to ski. It has built up a great reputation for keeping the slopes well-groomed.

The resort is hidden away in the trees and is set in the Martis Valley in North Lake Tahoe. It has a unique, and laid-back feel about it. Northstar boasts upscale shops and dining in a magical environment.

12. Squaw Valley, California

This resort is located on Tahoe’s western shore. It offers some of the best slopes in the area. Popular with expert skiers, there are stunning views of Lake Tahoe while you pound the pistes.

There's an efficient lift system that covers six peaks and more than four thousand acres of terrain. Your ticket can also be used in the nearby Alpine Meadows ski area. That increases the ground you can cover by a further two thousand acres.

Half of the ski area is north-facing. That helps keep the snow from melting; in some years it's still possible to ski right up until the end of May.

Squaw Valley is easy to get to from Sacramento, Reno, and the San Francisco Bay Area. That makes it popular at weekends for those looking for a short break with plenty of skiing as part of their work-life balance.

Our Choice of the Best Ski Resorts

Whether you're an expert or beginner, there's something for everyone in our selection of the best ski resorts in North America. It's time to get your skis on and enjoy the thrill of the slopes.

Get planning and check out more great travel ideas here that'll get you inspired for your next vacation.

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