7 Best Places to Ski in the US for Winter 2020
Check out my round-up of the best places to ski in the US, if you’re planning a ski trip for the coming winter.
Instead of just focusing on the top ski resorts in the country, I went straight to the best ski towns in America (so those family members who aren’t too happy with skiing can still find something to do and love the trip as much as you do).
7 Best Places to Ski in The US this Year
It’s impossible to definitively say where the best place to ski in the US is, so the list below is in no specific order.
Have a read through them all and choose which town sounds the most appealing to you!
1. North Conway, New Hampshire
- Best Ski Resorts in town: Wildcat or Attitash
- Reason to visit: Wildcat is home to the longest beginner ski run in the state, while Attitash is the largest ski resort in the area. Plus, North Conway itself is known as the birthplace of skiing in North America.
- Other attractions: Be in awe at some of the most spectacular views from White Mountains, Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center, The Kancamagus Highway, Sabbaday Falls and Rocky Gorge.
Throughout New Hampshire’s White Mountains, you’ll find 34 different ski resorts.
But there’s no comparing the Wildcat with its 2,100 feet of vertical terrain.
The resort boasts of having the longest ski season in New Hampshire. Maximize your trip and visit Wildcat’s sister resort, Attitash, since lift tickets are valid for both resorts.
Do you have a brewery tour checklist?
2. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
- Best Ski Resorts in town: Steamboat ski resort
- Reasons to Visit: Steamboat Ski Resort dubs itself “Ski Town USA” and rightfully so. It is home to Ski Haus, the largest ski shop in America, and has 165 named trails, over 20 lifts, 6 terrain parks, and a vertical drop of more than 3,500 feet.
- Other attractions: While you’re here, check out the Old Town Hot Springs, Fish Creek Falls, Yampa River Botanic Park, and Steamboat Art Museum. You can also experience the town’s Strings Music Festival (held in late March), or get a little cheeky with the adults-only Strawberry Hot Springs Park.
Nestled in the northwest corner of Colorado, Steamboat Springs is an off-the-beaten path type of winter destination.
It’s an authentic mountain town with western hospitality.
Although Colorado has numerous other ski resorts, Steamboat receives more snow that any other ski destination in Colorado.
How cool is that?
So if you’re after the trademark “Champagne powder” only found in Colorado, there’s no place better to visit than Steamboat which gets about 350 inches of this “powder” each year.
3. Stowe, Vermont
- Best Ski Resort in town: Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa
- Reasons to Visit: If you want to know luxury skiing feels like, this East Coast resort hosts all skiing levels for families. Stoweflake Mountain’s lift system is super impressive, with a gondola that shuttle guests between Vermont’s highest peak (at Mount Mansfield) and its sister mountain Spruce Peak.
- Other attractions:
- Hike the Sunset Rock Trail, Smugglers’ Notch State Park and Underhill State Park, or go horseback riding at the Equestrian Center. If you’d like to chill instead, go on a brewery tour starting with the most popular The Alchemist, Doc Ponds, Von Trapp Bierhall, or just visit them all with 4 Points brewery tour.
As the ski capital of the East, this quaint town boasts of 485 ski-able acres that gets covered with 314 inches of snow each year.
Its most popular ski resort, the Stowe Mountain Resort, is a four-season favorite winter destination that also serves as a spot for rock climbing and ziplining throughout the rest of the year.
4. Park City, Utah
- Best Ski Resort in town: Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort
- Reasons to Visit: Park City Mountain resort has over 7,300 acres of spectacular land, making it the largest ski area in the US. Go with Deer Valley Resort if you want to learn how to ski (this resort is the largest ski school in the US with over 500 ski instructors).
- Other attractions: For history buffs interested in western mining history, don’t miss The Main Historic District. Families will love different parks and museums at the Utah Olympic Park and the renowned Mexican-inspired El Chubasco.
If you’re looking for a ski town that’s easy to fly to, Park City, Utah has frequent flights daily from all over the West Coast.
It’s the home of Sundance Film Festival and just an hour away from Salt Lake City airport.
Park City Mountain resort has over 300 trails, 41 lifts, 8 terrain parks, 14 bowls, one super pipe and six half-pipes.
It suits all levels from beginners to experts, and is highly recommended for group trips.
And if you choose to go here, see if the Alpine Coaster and Slide is open – as both kids and adults go crazy for it.
Those who want to stay off-site could go to Canyons Village, where the heated chairlift Orange Bubble Express is easily accessible.
An awesome little side trip to the Gorgoza Park is a must for young kids who will love the park’s mini-snowmobiles and a small hill for little tubers.
5. Truckee, California
- Best Ski Resort in town: Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
- Reasons to Visit: The Squaw Valley, a ski capitol in California known as Squallywood, was the host of the 1960 Winter Olympics and as a destination for extreme skiing. Its average snowfall is a massive 450 inches annually.
- Other attractions: On your downtime, visit KidZone Museum, Tahoe Donner Equestrian Center and the Tahoe National Forest. For some grub, don’t miss out on local favorite burritos and burger joint Squeeze In and Coffeebar.
Squaw Valley isn’t the only popular ski destination here.
Truckee also has 12 other downhill resorts within a 10-mile radius, including Mammoth Mountain and Northstar. It is blessed with 275 days of sunshine and over 400 inches of snow each year.
Plus, Truckee, CA is just 13 miles from Lake Tahoe, a well-deserved stopover during your wintertime destination vacation.
6. Bend, Oregon
- Best Ski Resort in town: Mt. Bachelor
- Reasons to Visit: Located in the Deschutes National Forest, Mount Bachelor boasts of 4,000+ acres of spectacular runs with 3,000-foot vertical drop.
- Other attractions: Cross more entries off your National Parks bucket lists with Smith Rock State Park and Crater Lake National Park. If you want to breathe in the local culture, visit either the historic Downtown Bend or the Old Mill District.
Bend is a true blue definition of ski town – it has everything from the ski lodges to excellent wineries and breweries, majestic backdrops, a quaint town vibe, and high desert goodness. You’ll never run out of things to do from golfing to rockclimbing or just chilling downtown.
Go on a beer tour – Bend isn’t just a popular ski town.
It’s also “Beer City USA” thanks to famous breweries like Deschutes Brewery and Crux Fermentation Project.
7. Jackson, Wyoming
- Best Ski Resort in town: Jackson Hole
- Reasons to Visit: Known as an extreme skiing resort for many years, Jackson Hole also welcomes skiers of all types thanks to additional terrain like Teton lift and a kid-friendly ski center named Solitude Station.
- Other attractions: Come visit amazing animals at the National Elk Refuge and chill your muscles after skiing at the Granite Hot Springs.
The mountain boasts of 2,500+ ski-able acres that ascend over 4,100 vertical feet.
And if you want to explore some more, Jackson, Wyoming is near Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
The Best Places to Ski in the US for kids, pros, beginners, families, and thrill-seekers
If you’re looking for skill- or age-specific resorts, here are my recommendations:
Best for Kids and Families (all levels):
- Aspen Snowmass – Snowmass Village, Colorado
- Winter Park Resort – Winter Park, Colorado
- The Inn at Lost Creek Telluride – Mountain Village, Colorado
- The Mount Washington Resort – Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
- Big Sky Resort – Big Sky, Montana
Best for Pros and Extreme Skiing
- Jackson Hole Mountain Resort – Teton Village, Wyoming
- Taos Ski Valley – Taos, New Mexico
- Snowbird – Snowbird, Utah
- Mammoth Mountain – Mammoth Lakes, California
- Silverton Mountain – Silverton, Colorado
That said, please don’t take my best of the best list too seriously.
As I mentioned earlier, the best places to ski in the US is a highly debatable topic. What’s important is you have fun on your chosen winter destination, enjoy all the snow to your heart’s content and hit the slopes.
Have you gone through some of the best ski resorts in the country?
If you only had one ski resort to pick, which one would it be?