Skiing under a canopy of stars, jaw-dropping free falls and post-ski hot springs: we’ll ski ya later at some of the USA’s best ski resorts and mountains.
Icy thrills, mountain chills and snowy hills are calling from the USA’s most epic ski resorts and mountains. Whether you’re a ripper on the skis or a beginner starting on the bunny slopes, these world-famous destinations offer a run suited for every skill level. With added luxuries like world-class après ski scenes, natural hot springs and charming 19th-century mining towns, it’s no wonder these are the piste de résistance of ski resorts.
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For the king of après ski: Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort, Colorado
Strung together by four mountains, this monumental ski resort has long been the wintry playground for the rich and famous, yet still offers something for everyone and anyone of all skill levels. After carving up the hills, Aspen offers plenty in the way of entertainment. The ski resort has been coined the king of après ski (with recognition by Condé Nast Traveler as North America’s best après ski scene), so dust off your boots and warm up with a negroni spritz at Sam’s, or eat truffle fries with a locally brewed draft beer at Ajax Tavern.
Plan your visit and stay at Viceroy Snowmass.
For epic night skiing: Big Sky, Montana
If you’re an intermediate or hard-core skier or snowboarder, Montana’s Big Sky should top your list. This is Montana’s largest ski area, with more than 5,800 acres of ski space, and vertical drops of up to 4,350 feet. If that’s not enough of a challenge, sign up for guided night skiing sessions. Pop on a headlight, strap on your skis and follow your guide down the fresh piste of Andesite Mountain, the only sounds you’ll hear are your skis slicing through immaculate snow while stars twinkle overhead.
Plan your visit and stay at Montage Big Sky.
For an acclaimed Rockies’ whiskey distillery: Park City, Utah
Utah’s pride and joy is made up of two separate ski resorts, Park City Mountain and Deer Valley. The latter is reserved for skiers only, but if you’re an avid snowboarder you can skirt over to Park City Mountain to tackle the 7,300-acre resort’s 330 trails. Between riding the chair lifts and zipping down the mountain side, stroll Park City’s town, which still retains the charms of a 19th-century mining town. Make a pit stop at High West Saloon, one of the best whisky distilleries in the American Rockies.
Plan your visit and stay at Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley.
For adrenaline-fuelled terrain: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming
Wyoming’s famous mountain resort is not for the faint of heart. Considered one of the toughest terrains in North America, even expert skiers consider Jackson Hole’s terrain a fair challenge. Extreme free falls, snow tubing and mountain coasting will get the pulse racing, but never fear – you can also find beginner runs, thermal hot springs and boutique shopping for novice ski bunnies. The iconic Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is a must-visit during your stay: catch live music and order comfort food washed down with your favourite drink.
For famous ‘Champagne Powder’ snow: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Steamboat Springs has long been a frontrunner in Colorado’s ski scene and – with a US$200 million upgrade currently underway – this won’t be changing anytime soon. You can expand a brand-spanking new gondola, an ice rink and an improved food and drink hall. Scoot through 170 trails traversing 2,965 acres of trademarked ‘Champagne Powder’ and work your way through varying levels of difficulty. Afterwards, soak tired muscles in the two natural hot springs: Strawberry Park Natural Springs and Old Town Hot Springs.
For surprisingly snowy slopes: Mauna Kea, Hawaii
No, this was not a typo, you can ski in Hawaii. Mauna Kea (‘white mountain’ in Hawaiian) soars over 13,000 feet above sea level and enjoys a hearty dusting of snow most winters. However, the ski window is small, so it’s best to keep a close eye on snow conditions before making the trek (best time to visit is late January to March). The amenities here are basic, so it’s BYO ski gear and access to the summit is only accessible via four-wheel-drive. While you’re here, enjoy incredible star gazing opportunities: it’s one of the clearest places on Earth for night sky viewing.
For beginner-friendly runs: Alyeska Resort, Alaska
Live like there’s snow tomorrow at Alaska’s celebrated ski resort. Boasting North America’s longest continuous double-black-diamond ski run and Alaska’s only superpipe, Alyeska been drawing out-of-state skiers with varying levels of expertise for years. If you’re just starting your ski journey, a certified team of Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) are on hand to provide lessons. While you’re here, cap off a day skiing at the Alyeska Nordic Spa.