The sound of skis gliding across the snow as you side-step your way down the mountain is an experience skiers look forward to every year. Ski season arrives every winter, and it’s time to make your plans for ski destinations.
Ski resorts are ready to welcome back skiers from around the world in 2022 after a year of experimenting and recovery. Fresh ski slopes, upgraded guest amenities, and a calendar of events await skiers returning to the slopes of their favorite resorts.
But where should you go skiing this year? If you’re looking for the best ski resorts in the USA, these are ten of the many resorts recommended to Marchay members, where you’ll have a blast!
#1. Editor’s Pick: Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort, Colorado
With four world-class mountains to choose from, Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort is one of the best ski resorts in the US. The mountains have over 90 trails, giving plenty of fun for a ski trip.
Located in Colorado, Aspen Snowmass is one of the premier resorts for skiers. Visitors have access to Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk. The advanced lifts quickly take you upwards of 4,000-ft to the summit, where you’ll find runs designated for beginners to experts. Bellissimo, Blazing Star, and Longshot, the longest run extending 5.3-miles, are a few of the popular ski runs to check out on the mountain.
Visitors enjoy skiing in Aspen because of the visitor-friendly environment it creates. Snowmass, the largest of the mountains, has over 3,300 skiable acres. The trails are well marked, and you can experience the different terrains, such as the groomed trails or tree skiing.
Aspen Snowmass is fun for the entire family. Even if it’s your first time skiing, it provides ski lessons to get you started on the slopes. There are several resorts for multi-day stays. Also, the ski village has lots to keep entertained with ice skating, shopping, dining, and more.
#2. Vail Ski Resort, Colorado
If you’re looking for a destination for pure skiing, Vail Ski Resort is the top choice. While it has everything from luxury cabins to ski-out condos to a Swiss-inspired ski village, the quality skiing for all experience levels is what keeps this destination high on the list of all ski-enthusiasts.
Vail Ski Resort covers more than 5,300-acres making it the largest resort in Colorado and the third-largest in the US. There are plenty of runs for beginners and first-timers, or attempt some of the Black runs to test your expert skills.
Vail is known for its different ski terrains, giving visitors plenty of variety during their time on the slopes. There are seven back bowls or experience the favored Blue Sky Basin terrain for intermediate skiers. Enjoy views of the snowy mountain landscape from the scenic gondola ride while ascending to the top of Vail Mountain before skiing down groomed corduroy trails.
In addition to having a vast skiing area, the mountaintop conditions are perfect for skiing. There’s always a fresh layer of snow to keep the runs maintained. Also, there is lots of sunshine so that you’ll have plenty of time to spend on the slopes.
#3. Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado
Just a short ride from Denver Airport, you can touchdown and be on the slopes of Breckenridge Ski Resort in no time! With a convenient location and top-rated skiing, it’s one of the most popular ski resorts in the US.
Breckenridge is a bucket list destination for skiers anticipating the ski experience. Over 180 ski trails extend down the five prominent mountain peaks providing nearly 3,000 acres of skiable area. Skiers have four different ski terrains and runs that stretch a few miles long. And for those more skilled, the three half-pipes are perfect for testing out new flips and spin moves.
Alpine skiing adventure awaits high in the Breckenridge Mountains. And luckily, a ride on North America’s highest lift takes you up the more than 13,000-ft elevation to the summit to shred the trails.
All you have to bring is yourself and your skiing excitement to Breckenridge. This resort has lots of ski gear rentals and a ski school with lessons for beginners.
When you’re finished with the slopes, head into Breckenridge ski village. Explore the shops and dining on Main Street or hit the mine trails to discover a bit of Breckenridge’s history.
#4. Park City Mountain Resort
As soon as the ski season starts, ski-lovers flock to the biggest ski resort in the US: Park City. Park City Mountain Resort is a mining town-turned-ski resort and has become a go-to destination for hitting the slopes in the winter.
Park City Mountain Resort is a top-tier resort nestled high in the Wasatch Mountains. Consider staying for a few days because it will be hard to explore its six terrain parks across 7,300-acres in just one day.
The ski trails at Park City Mountain Resort support everyone from first-time skiers to professional athletes. Choose from more than 330 trails. Two of the most popular to ride are the Home Run, an easy route stretching 3.5-miles long, or Claim Jumper. Leisure skiers can have plenty of fun on the blue and green trails, while experts will have plenty of challenges on the black runs or official courses designated for US Ski Team training. There are also superpipes, mini pipes, and slalom runs.
Be sure to arrive early because even with over 40 lifts, there can be lines in the peak ski season at this popular location. The family-friendly environment is perfect for a US ski getaway destination.
#5. Steamboat Ski Resort, Colorado
A fresh coat of ‘Champagne Powder’ on Mount Werner means that it will be an excellent day for skiing at Steamboat Ski Resort. It’s an accurate way to describe the ideal snow that covers the mountain for one of the best ski resorts in the US.
Steamboat Ski Resort gets over 400-inches of snow every year. Its ski area is less than 3,000-acres, but it makes excellent use of the space with four terrain parks and lots of lifts to reach the runs. The light, powdery snow provides the surface for pristine alpine glades for all ski levels.
An all-day pass is the recommended lift ticket visiting Steamboat Ski Resort to take advantage of the 169 trails winding down the mountain. Whether you’re riding on the beginner trails or shredding down the three-mile-long ‘Why Not’ run, you’ll have plenty of excitement on a day of skiing. But the fun doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down because it’s also a popular location for night skiing.
Steamboat Ski Resort is a long-running ski resort that knows how to give skiers the best experience. Visitors will have friendly hospitality, from getting checked into the resort lodging to navigating the trails to find your favorite runs.
#6. Telluride Ski Resort, Colorado
The snowy slopes of Telluride Ski Resort are a popular destination for ski-lovers in the US. With more than 300 inches of snowfall every year and mountain peaks reaching over 13,000-feet, it’s the perfect conditions for an epic ski adventure.
Ski from the top of Gold Hill as you glide into Telluride Town. Or catch the gondola from Telluride to the neighboring Mountain Village. Or warm up in a luxury cabin with alpine views. Telluride Ski Resort gives lots of activities to keep visitors entertained on and off the slopes during their stay.
There’s never a wait to drop in on the next run, with a dozen ski lifts to support the traffic. In no time at all, you’ll be looking over the San Juan Mountains as you ski nearly 150 trails and three terrain parks. The runs are designed for all experience levels, so it’s great for group ski trips.
When it’s time for your après-ski, the town of Telluride is one of the top ski towns. Enjoy the spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains while browsing the strip for boutique shops and restaurants.
#7. Snowbird Ski Resort, Utah
Scenic aerial trams whisk skiers above peaks emerging from the Wasatch National Forest as one of the pleasures of skiing in Snowbird Ski Resort. Founded in 1971, this ski resort continues to be one of the top in the US for its ski conditions and amenities.
Snowbird Ski Resort is a quaint ski community in Little Cottonwood Canyon. This haven for alpine skiing puts you in the heart of nature, where the untouched peaks provide the backdrop to exhilarating runs. And with its ski season lasting from November to May, it has one of the longest ski seasons in Utah.
Every season, 500 inches of snow falls on Snowbird Ski Resort, giving it excellent conditions for skiing. Its 85 trails are designated for beginners, intermediate, and expert skiers. And with a single terrain park, once you get used to it, you can attempt any run in the park.
Skiing in Snowbird means enjoying verticals up to 3,240-ft high. It also means enjoying nighttime skiing, where the ski runs are illuminated for a fun run beneath the starry sky. With 2,500-acres of skiable terrain, there’s plenty of room on the slope for everyone.
#8. Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort, California
The legendary Squaw Valley changed its name to Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort, but its iconic peaks will forever remain. This top US ski resort is famous for hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics and is still a top ski destination.
Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Lake Tahoe resorts such as Mammoth Mountain and Heavenly Ski Resort, where it maintains world-class runs across eight mountain peaks. It’s the perfect landscape for skiing, where you’ll find beginner trails and trails built for Olympic-caliber athletes. There are also half-pipes and other features that keep each run exciting.
There are 6,000 acres of skiable area at Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort. And thanks to its popularity, it needs all of this space to accommodate the numerous skiers that visit every season.
Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort is a paradise for ski vacations. The resort provides skiers with luxury amenities like a spa to relax and fine dining for a meal after a full day of skiing. For the best views, take a ride on the scenic aerial tram. You’ll ride high in the mountain peaks providing sweeping views of the entire valley. So, whether you’re skiing or not, everyone should be taking in the beautiful views.
#9. Big Sky Resort, Montana
Discover why Big Sky Resort is considered the ‘biggest ski resort in America.’ And with 5,800 ski acres, it was once the largest ski resort in the US — it still holds the number two position. With so much acreage, there is something for everyone to enjoy during their ski trip.
Big Sky Resort is one of the best ski resorts in the US. It receives over 400 inches of snow, so the trails are more than snowy for hours of skiing over. And the resort takes care to keep them groomed so that even beginners can have a good time on the slopes.
Go for exciting ski runs with a 4,350-ft vertical drop atop Lone Peak, dropping in the bowl, or skiing the chutes. The top-notch ski runs give each trail unique features that it’s worth experiencing them all.
Big Sky Resort accommodates skiers with a five-star resort experience. Its hotel is updated with luxury rooms that keep you cozy after being outdoors all day. It has over 150 rooms that are just steps away from the lifts.
Skiing at Big Sky resort is an overall excellent experience, from premier skiing to resort accommodations.
#10. Deer Valley Resort, Utah
Deer Valley Resort is reserved for skiers only, so you won’t see any snowboarders crowding the slopes. This ski haven is a popular destination near Park City, where world-class ski slopes of the Wasatch Range await.
Located just a short drive from Salt Lake City, Deer Valley Resort is easily accessible for anyone. So if it’s your first time skiing and you don’t want a long trip to reach the mountain, Deer Valley is an ideal location.
As the ideal destination for beginner skiers, Deer Valley Resort has several dedicated trails where you’ll quickly learn the basics of skiing. And when you feel like you’ve mastered those, you can give yourself a challenge on the Daly Chutes.
The ski season at Deer Valley Resort runs from December to April. That’s a long time to enjoy the snowy months, which keep the trails perfect for shredding. The alpine skiing across the six mountain peaks gives lots of options for the type of trail. The tree-covered slopes or open runs, drops reaching 3,000-ft vertical, and more.
Deer Valley Resort is a family-friendly ski resort that consistently ranks high for best ski resorts in the US.
The Bottom Line
The US has some of the best ski resorts in the world. You can find ski resorts around the entire country, but mountainous regions like Utah, Colorado, and Montana have some of the top resorts.
Ski season is the perfect time to visit the best ski resorts for excellent skiing, charming ski towns, and cozy accommodations. Each resort creates a different atmosphere for enjoying skiing in the mountains. If there’s time, visit each of these top US ski resorts to see what makes them so unique.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the #1 Ski Resort in the US?
There are over 450 ski resorts in the US. But which is the best ski resort? The best resort can vary depending on who you ask. You must consider a few features to decide if it’s the best resort—ski trails, resort amenities, snow conditions, events, trail upkeep by groomers, etc.
The biggest ski resort is Park City in Utah. After a recent expansion project, it surpassed Big Sky Resort to become the largest with 7,300 total acres of skiable area.
The Colorado Rockies are home to Vail Mountain and Breckenridge ski resorts. These are the two most visited ski resorts in the US, with about 1.6-million visitors every year.
One of the most famous ski resorts is Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort. However, most people are familiar with its original name, Squaw Valley, after it hosted the Winter Olympics.
Which state has the best ski resorts?
The US has several popular destinations where you can visit multiple ski resorts within one trip. Therefore, ski-enthusiasts seek out these states to give them several different experiences to fit into one ski season. Each state offers a different skiing experience, so you may prefer the resorts in one state over another.
Wyoming is a destination that has easily accessible ski resorts. You can visit the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort or go backcountry skiing in the peaks of Teton National Park. Travel to Idaho to ski the slopes of Sun Valley Ski Resort. Or stand atop the peaks at Crested Butte, which feel like solitude before dropping into the run. New England is a popular East Coast ski destination with places like Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont or upstate New York. As for the west coast, even deserts like New Mexico have ski destinations such as Taos Ski Valley. Others may enjoy unique, bucket-list skiing experiences like skiing glaciers in Alaska or the Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii.
Choose the best state based on your skiing preference. So, whether you prefer drop hill skiing in the alpine meadows or cross country skiing, you’ll find top resorts in either destination and excellent runs for avid skiers.
What is the best time of year to visit ski resorts in the US?
Most of the ski resorts in the US are seasonal. This means they open only for a few months of the year and close down for the remainder. The winter months are the best time to visit ski resorts in the US.
Most of the ski resort seasons in the US last from winter to early spring, Some resorts open as early as November, while others may close as late as April.
The best time to visit ski resorts in the US is in the middle of winter, either January or February. This is because the mountain landscape turns into a winter park covered with snow, creating the ideal conditions for skiing.
Which ski resorts are the best for beginners?
Beginner skiers include first-timers and people who are still learning or perfecting their technique. Of course, we all see people zipping down the slopes, but those are likely experienced skiers who frequent the slopes every year. Travelers who join Marchay can get personalized recommendations based on their skiing level.
Ski resorts in the US are great for beginners. Even many top ski resorts have runs designated for people just learning. The best way to find a ski resort for beginners is by looking for green and blue trails. These universally-recognized color designations mean that a route requires the lowest skill level to ride it.
In addition to having easy trails accessible to beginner skiers, the best ski resorts feature ski schools offering everything from beginner lessons to professional training.