Whether you prefer skiing or snowboarding, there’s always a new slope out there to discover. While there are a ton of skiing resorts and areas, few can provide the full experience as the resorts below. While there are plenty of other contenders, these are the ones you can’t miss out on before you kick the bucket. Without further ado, here are 13 American Ski Resorts to add to your bucket list…
Oh, you thought ski resorts could only be worthwhile if they’re out west? That’s cute. A mountain that goes by the name of Whiteface may have something that says otherwise, and it holds the reputation as the most badass mountain in all of New York. Not only are the trails long and challenging, but it’s also the home of the highest vertical drop east of the Rockies.
With over 87 trails that encompass over 22 miles of land that stretch over 3 different mountains, Whiteface Resort will give you more than enough thrills. Going from the top of the mountain can be quite the expedition in itself, and it may take you some time to get to the bottom. With a fair number of black diamond runs and five different double black diamond runs, there’s enough for both the adventurous and thrill-seekers as well. Make sure to take at least one ride in the Cloudsplitter Gondola while you’re there!
Lift Ticket Price: $89
For anyone with an appetite for everything larger in life: Big Sky is for you. With right around 9 miles of areas to ski and snowboard, Big Sky holds the crown of the largest ski resort in all of America. Not only does it sound epic, but the mountain is standalone, and it looks even higher than any picture can justify. The crazy thing is that it only gets bigger and bigger as time goes on, and it’s swallowed a bunch of neighboring mountains and resorts to prove it.
Assuming that Big Sky will only keep getting bigger and bigger, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take the trip out. At an elevation of 11,166 ft. Lone Mountain is one of the most impressive mountains in North America, and you’ll actually get the chance to ride down it if you’re willing to take the risk. This one definitely isn’t for the faint at heart, but it’s too epic to pass up.
Lift Ticket Price: $103/Adult
Sun Valley earns a spot on our list because the resort has a whole lot of history, and that’s saying something considering ski resorts don’t exactly have the longest history. What’s truly interesting is the fact that the first chairlift in the world was used here in the fall of 1936. We would say the rest is history, but that couldn’t be any farther from the truth. Since then, Sun Valley has grown exponentially.
Oddly enough, Ernest Hemingway also completed his novel For Whom The Bell Tolls in the lodge of the resort. Just as things were getting accomplished inside the lodge, the ski area itself was expanding as well, and the surrounding towns only became more and more beautiful. Today, Sun Valley has 92 trails, which should provide more than a few days of fun for anyone looking to adventure. With so much history and so much to love it’s no wonder why avid skiers and boarders come back year after year.
Lift Ticket Price: Varies
If you like to mix things up quite a bit, then Copper Mountain is for you. With 126 different trails, you’re going to have a hard time finding anywhere else in the country with so many options. Not only that, but with such an immense area, the views of the surrounding valleys and other mountains are pristine. The best part is that the resort is almost evenly split between beginner and more advanced slopes, giving you plenty of time to relax and take in the view when you want.
The resort is so epic, in fact, that the skiing area featured in Dumb and Dumber was actually filmed at Copper Mountain. Hey, if Hollywood caught some interest you know it has to be legit. While they don’t have night skiing, you won’t even be bummed about it after a full day at these slopes. Wake up early and you’ll be ready for bed after a day here. This is one of those spots you definitely have to spend at least three days at, or you might miss something. With lift tickets with these prices, Copper Mountain is easily among the best values in the country.
Lift Ticket Price: $89/Adult
It’s hard to choose what we love most. Maybe it’s the fact that there are close to 200 unique runs or maybe it’s the fact that they receive over 350 inches of natural snow every year, but we’re in love with Canyons Ski Resort. Not only are there a ton of slopes, but they cover 4,000 acres as well. The sheer immensity of this resort is what’s truly impressive though, it seems like peak after peak is just dominated by it.
The craziest part is that they’re always adding something new. In 2015, the entire area is planning a $50 million dollar renovation, which will only add to the experience. While it’s hard to choose a favorite among all the trails here, we definitely have an inclination to tell you to give “Massacre” a try. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds. It’s definitely challenging, but who doesn’t love a challenge?
Lift Ticket Price: $90/Adult
First off, let’s just talk about how beautiful Leavenworth is. The town below Stevens Pass isn’t like any other resort town on this list, and it really makes the experience provided by Stevens Pass complete; especially when they have all of their holiday lights set up. Don’t worry, though, the town is only the beginning for what is one of the most impressive ski resorts in the entire country. While it doesn’t have the area nor the vertical drop of some of its competitors, it has a lot of personality in its runs.
Whether you’re wanting to take on the rugged terrain at the top of Cowboy Mountain or take it easy by rolling down one of the trails off of Hogsback Express, the mountain provides a little bit of everything. What’s even better is the fact that there’s night skiing until 10:00 P.M. most nights, which gives you a gorgeous view of Leavenworth below. Sometimes big things come in small packages.
Lift Ticket Price: $64-69/Adult
When it comes to skiing and boarding east of the Rockies, no one even comes close to what Snowshoe is doing. At an elevation of 4,848 it’s definitely the tallest of any of the resorts in the east, and it has plenty of trails to show for it. While you won’t find a ton of double-black diamonds at this spot, you won’t really be craving one. The trails are relatively long and provide a panoramic view of the valley below.
While some will argue that the snow just isn’t the same in the east, many find the snow to actually be more of a challenge than the powder out west. Due to the fact that it has its own unique feel, Snowshoe should be on your list because it’s just different. With 57 different trails, including an epic double-black diamond in Shay’s Revenge, this is the perfect spot for anyone who doesn’t want to fly all the way out west for some solid slopes.
Lift Ticket Price: $59-89/Adult
Some say this is the most heavenly experience you’ll have when you’re out on the slopes, and with a view like that, we can’t say that we disagree. Located in the beautiful area surrounding Lake Tahoe, Heavenly Mountain gives you a view that can encompass well over twenty miles on a clear day. Not only are the views epic, but you can also say that you were able to ride across the border of a state. Sure, it may not be impressive to anyone who knows about the place, but it’s a nice party story.
That’s not all you’ll be able to brag about if you do this resort the right way. With a run that’s over 5.5 miles, you can say that you actually went down an Olympic run after you’re finished. Even after you’ve done that, there are still 4,800 acres of area to ski over a 3,812 vertical. It’s a combination of all these things that makes this resort a must-visit in America.
Winter Park is easily one of the most recognizable of all the Ski Resorts in America, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its own hidden gems that you never hear about. One of the older ski resorts in the country, Winter Park opened in 1939. With a history as extensive as that, this resort has seen its fair share of famous skiers and boarders come and pass. Riding through the trails, it’s not hard to notice that many of the trails have names next to them of contributors to the area’s expansive history.
With 143 trails and an average annual snowfall of over 350 inches, Winter Park is the true definition of a winter wonderland. While the statistics are great and all, nothing can express the sheer beauty of the panoramic view from the top of Parsenn Bowl. A slight majority of the trails rank from advanced to expert, so it’s the perfect place for anyone looking to take things up a notch. Even if you fall a few times, there will be plenty of powder to catch you.
Lift Ticket Price: Varies
When it comes to going vertical, there’s no better spot than Breckenridge. With five amazing peaks, all ready to be ridden, there’s plenty of valleys to be reached below. Although it’s known for being family friendly, and for good reason, there are too many glades and rugged trails to simply be known for that. When it comes to being well-rounded, Breckenridge knows how to get it done.
If you’ve ever wanted to give the Superpipe a try, this will be your opportunity. Breck is well-known for hosting several professional events, and you probably shouldn’t be too surprised to see some of the more accomplished skiers and boarders from around America filming some pretty epic videos while you’re there. This all goes without mentioning the fact that it’s above one of the most beautiful small towns in America, which provides some of the most impressive views in the world.
Lift Ticket Price: Varies
Spread over 8 different mountain peaks, Park City Mountain Resort has captured the attention and imagination of everyone to visit. Not only did it host Olympic events back in 2002, but it’s been featured in everything from video games to several documentaries. This is why it should come as no surprise as to why it’s the one of the most popular resorts in America. With so much space, though, it won’t be as crowded as it seems at first.
With 114 runs, it will be easy to escape the crowds in one way or another. With a majority of the trails around the area falling into the “intermediate” range, there’s enough of a challenge for everyone, but it’s certainly not out of the question to bring some first-time riders along as well. If you’re looking for a challenge, go for the Gloryhole trail. Get your mind out of the gutter, it’s just a slope, and it’s definitely one for the ages.
Lift Ticket Price: Varies
Jackson Hole is definitely off the beaten path when it comes to ski resorts, but that just means it’s a better escape from the distractions. That probably has something to do with why Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has some of the best back country skiing. Instead of giving you a lavish experience nestled in a cute little town, this resort gives you the essentials. So if you’re looking for an experience that gets you back to the basics, then this spot is for you.
That’s not to say that there aren’t amenities aplenty, but it just doesn’t have that same tourist-driven vibe that many resort towns do. The most interesting fact about this resort is that there’s actually more area for back country skiing than there is for an inbound run. With an impressive vertical drop of 4,139, there’s plenty of area to explore here. It’s nice to get back to the basics to help you appreciate the sport even more.
Lift Ticket Price: $104-115/Adult
What does it take to earn the reputation for being the most memorable resort on this list? Well, a little bit of everything. Sure, we could ramble on forever about the epic views of the surrounding mountains, some of the most ridiculous chutes in the country, and the history of this spot, but words can’t really give the full credit to Mammoth Mountain that it truly deserves.
If you liked that view above, there’s plenty more where that came from. Mammoth Mountain has seen its share of history, but there’s no better place to live in the present when you’re looking for a taste of winter. While there are 150 named trails, there’s way more to explore around the area, and the season is one of the longest, which means that there’s still plenty of time to get out there before the snow goes away. Don’t worry, though. After one time you’ll be wanting to come back for years to come.
Lift Ticket Price: $95/Adult
Want to share other resorts you think others need to experience before they kick the bucket? Let everyone know in the comment box below!