10 Best Ski Resorts in the U.S.

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The U.S. is filled with excellent skiing opportunities for all ages and skill levels, from the snowy peaks of Vermont and Virginia to the famous slopes of Colorado and Utah.

Here’s our selection of the top 10 best ski resorts in the U.S. based on specific criteria, like the most trails, most snowfall and most diverse slopes. We also focus on the best ski resorts with other activities — because you’ll definitely need a break from the slopes every now and then!

Our Top Picks for the Best Ski Resorts In the U.S.›

  • Stowe Mountain – Best for more trails

  • Killington Ski Resort – Best for long-term stays

  • Wintergreen Resort – Best for practice trails

  • Timberline Four Seasons – Best for intermediate skiers

  • Granite Peak – Best for adventurous skiers

  • Boyne Mountain – Best for families

  • Crystal Mountain – Best for most snowfall

  • Breckenridge Ski Resort – Best for amenities

  • Aspen Snowmass – Best for award-winning slopes

  • Park City Mountain Resort – Best for diverse slopes

10 Best Ski Resorts in the U.S. Reviews

Our list focuses on the best all-inclusive ski resorts in the U.S. as well as the best ski resorts for families. We picked these resorts because they’re not only excellent for skiing — they also provide plenty of activities off the slopes.

Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont – Best for more trails

Pros

  • Total of 116 trails

  • 30% of the trails are for beginners

  • Lots of amenities

  • Multi-seasonal activities

Cons

  • Limited parking

  • Day passes during holidays are expensive

  • Resort can get crowded, meaning long waits

Best known for its large number of runs and upscale services, Stowe Mountain Resort is located on Mount Mansfield, the highest mountain in Vermont. The resort at Stowe Mountain is much more than a typical skiing lodge — it’s a village (named Spruce Peak) with shops, restaurants, entertainment, multi-seasonal activities, a multi-use theater and much more.

The skiable area is 485 acres and has a total of 116 runs. More than half of these are designed for intermediate-level skiers, with less than one-third for advanced skiers and the rest for beginners. There are 12 lifts on the mountain and four terrain parks for those who enjoy practicing their tricks.

The resort offers several packages — from one-day to seven-day passes— that allow you to access the slopes any day of the season.

You can also purchase a season pass, called the Epic Pass, which allows unlimited access all season long. Buddy Tickets give your friends a discount on lift tickets when purchased with season passes.

Killington Ski Resort, Vermont: Best for long-term stays

Pros

  • 1,600 acres and 155 runs

  • Lots of off-slope multi-seasonal activities

  • Wait times can be generally short for lifts

Cons

  • Area can feel overwhelming for newcomers, with the number of lifts and runs

  • Lack of signs to help customers get around

  • Some reports of unprofessional staff members

Best known for its local lodging and activities, Killington Ski Resort is located on Killington Peak, the second-highest mountain in Vermont. The largest ski area in the eastern U.S., Killington is one of the best all-inclusive ski resorts and caters to skiers of all levels.

Accommodation choices in the area are extensive. There are many hotels, condominiums, rentals and lodges within a 16-mile radius of the resort. You could even move into a rental for the season and enjoy the slopes as often as you’d like.

Killington offers several activities for skiers. You can hire a Mountain Host, who will take you on a guided mountain tour, rent a snowmobile, ride a tube in the tubing park or relax in the spa. The mountain is also home to the Killington Cup and other skiing competitions, such as the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Tour.

The slopes are distributed nearly evenly between skill levels, with one-third of the slopes designated as beginner level, one-third intermediate and one-third advanced. There are 21 lifts on the mountain that can carry more than 37,000 skiers per hour.

Killington offers day lift tickets and season passes. All passes and tickets must be purchased online, even for same-day skiing. Season passes provide more than 200 days of skiing (weather permitting), while the Beast 365 Pass gives you year-round access, including to the Bike Park and the Gold & Adventure Center during the summer.

Wintergreen Resort, Virginia: Best for practice trails

Pros

  • 100% snowmaking

  • Large variety of lodging choices

  • Lots of off-slope multi-seasonal activities

  • Six on-site restaurants and three gof courses

Cons

  • No refunds for passes or tickets

  • Smaller than other resorts

  • Small number of lifts can lead to long waits

Known for its beginner-friendly slopes, Wintergreen Resort is located near the town of Nellysford, Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. One of the smaller ski resorts on our list, Wintergreen rests on 11,000 acres (129 of them skiable) and has 26 runs. Its location is unique as it sits on the top of the mountain rather than serving as a base, delivering unique views for everyone — whether they’re skiing or not.

Similar to other resorts, lodging in the area is plentiful, with rentable units that can house up to 18 guests. Small two-person rooms are available at the Mountain Inn or the Timbers. For bigger groups, condos, townhomes and large private homes are also available.

Wintergreen is a bit low-key compared to larger upscale ski resorts, but that doesn’t mean it skimps on activities and amenities. The resort boasts the largest tubing hill in the state, food options that range from unique chef specialties to hamburgers and pizza and a terrain park for those that want to work on their freestyle skills.

While the resort is known for its beginner-friendly runs, it has plenty of room for intermediate and advanced skiers, too. More than one-third of its slopes are intermediate level and just under half are advanced. The mountain has five lifts with a lift capacity of about 11,000 skiers per hour.

Wintergreen has four season pass tiers, which include a select number of discounted tickets for friends. Skiers can also purchase one-day passes and additional season passes that grant access to the golf course, lake and scenic chair rides during the spring, summer and fall.

Timberline Mountain, West Virginia: Best for intermediate skiers

Pros

  • Smaller resort

  • Runs evenly distributed by skill level

  • Credit back for shorter days

  • Credits can be used for equipment, food, drinks or future tickets

Cons

  • Limited number of runs

  • No tubing park

  • 75% snowmaking

  • Limited lodging and activities

Best known for its intermediate-level runs, Timberline Mountain Ski Resort is located in the mountains near Davis, West Virginia. Timberline is one of the smaller resorts in our top 10 picks, with about 91 acres of skiable area, 36 runs and two terrain parks. It has two lifts with a capacity of roughly 6,000 skiers per hour. While noted for its intermediate runs, Timberline has plenty of room for beginners and advanced skiers. Each level has close to one-third (about 12) of the runs on the mountain.

The resort features a hotel with 20 rooms that can sleep four to eight people. If the lodge hotel is booked for the days you want to visit, you can still find lodging in the local area, including various bed and breakfasts, motels, lodges, inns and rental cabins.

As a smaller resort, Timberline is more of a traditional ski resort in that it attracts snow-seekers who enjoy smaller crowds. This isn’t to say the resort doesn’t get busy — it simply attracts fewer people than the larger resorts. Activities at Timberline are limited to those on the slopes and terrain parks. The lodge also hosts various events, such as World Telemark Day, celebrating the telemark skiing technique.

Timberline offers three levels of season passes that range from everyday access to the slopes to one day per week. You can also purchase one-day or multi-day tickets. If you purchase a one-day ticket and ski for four hours or less, Timberline will give you a short-day $10 credit.

Granite Peak, Wisconsin: Best for adventurous skiers

Pros

  • Large selection of runs

  • Runs are evenly distributed by skill level

  • Local lodging and conveniences

  • Progressive terrain parks

Cons

  • The layout can be confusing for new skiers

  • Low-speed skiing areas can reach halfway up the mountain

  • A wrong turn can place a beginner skier on an advanced slope

  • Ski patrol is centrally located, putting it a long way from the furthest slopes

Best known for its adventurous slopes, Granite Peak on Rib Mountain in Wisconsin sprawls across the side of the mountain. The resort features 55 trails on 225 acres and has seven lifts that can take you to separate locations across the horizontally oriented resort.

The lifts have a capacity of about 11,200 skiers per hour, and there are four terrain parks that progress through skill levels. Granite Peak’s slopes are evenly distributed across skill levels, with roughly one-third dedicated to beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers.

Local lodging is minutes from Granite Peak, with hotels located between one and 10 miles away. There are also private cabins available to rent, some of which can sleep up to 13 people.

We’ve chosen Granite Peak as the most adventurous because of its layout. The slopes are situated on the sprawling face of a long mountain ridgeline. Many of the slopes are connected, so you can start on one run, take any turn you like and end up traversing a variety of runs on your way to the bottom.

Granite Peak has five season pass levels with the Legendary pass offering full unlimited access to all resorts. The resort also offers a Mini Me season pass for your adventurous youngsters and three different family pass levels.

Boyne Mountain, Michigan: Best for family visits

Pros

  • Large selection of runs

  • Runs are evenly distributed by skill level

  • Lodging and conveniences close to the slopes

  • Lots of family activities

Cons

  • Size and number of runs can be confusing for newcomers

  • Popularity causes large crowds and long waits

  • Limited slope grooming

One of the best resorts for family winter vacations, Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls, Michigan, sits on 415 acres and has 60 trails to explore. It has a vertical drop of only 500 feet, making it easier for your family to learn how to navigate the slopes.

The mountain has 12 lifts with a lift capacity of around 22,600 skiers per hour, ensuring that wait times will typically be shorter than at other resorts. Nearly one-third of the slopes are dedicated to beginner skiers and less than one-third to experts, leaving more than 40% for intermediate-level skiers.

The resort features several lodging facilities at the base of the mountain, making it convenient for families to go between the slopes and their accommodation. Chalet Edelweiss features rooms that can sleep between two and six people, while the Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa has 220 rooms that can sleep up to 10 people. Other options include the Clock Tower Lodge and the Boynehof Lodge. Of all options, the Mountain Villas and Mountain Cabins are best for families and within walking distance of skiing, tubing and ziplining.

We’ve chosen Boyne Mountain as the best for families because of the availability and proximity of lodging and the resort’s activities. You can rent fat-tire bikes for snow riding, take the family cross-country skiing, ride on horseback, go tubing, ice skate, snowshoe and zipline all in the same vacation.

Boyne Mountain has seven different passes available for various access to the resort.

Crystal Mountain, Michigan: Best for most snowfall

Pros

  • Lots of runs to choose from

  • Lower costs compared to many other resorts

  • Lots of local lodging and conveniences

  • Many family activities available

Cons

  • The number of runs and large layout may be confusing to new skiers

  • Some intermediate runs may be too difficult for intermediate skiers

  • Crowding leads to long wait times

  • Runs are not evenly distributed by skill level

Located close to Lake Michigan, Crystal Mountain ski resort in Thompsonville, Michigan, has 102 acres of skiable terrain and 56 runs. The seven lifts can carry roughly 12,000 skiers per hour.

Nearly half of the runs are intermediate level, with the remaining 54% split between expert and beginner slopes. The Inn at Crystal Mountain has over 250 rooms with various sleeping arrangements, but each room only accommodates up to four people. If your party is too large for the inn, you can book a nearby home, cottage or condominium (all owned by the resort) that can fit up to 14 skiers.

Similar to other resorts, Crystal Mountain offers several activities. You can rent fat-tire bikes or take a 25-minute ride on a horse-drawn surrey, a doorless carriage from the late 19th century. Ice skating, cross-country skiing, archery and outdoor laser tag are also available. If you’re a club member or guest at the resort lodge, you can even enjoy a dip in the hot tub.

Crystal Mountain hosts NASTAR (National Standard Race), which provides skiers of all ages and abilities a chance to race the slalom. It also offers a Thursday night adult racing league that includes snowboarding, telemark and alpine.

We’ve chosen Crystal Mountain in Michigan as the best for the most snowfall. On average, Crystal Mountain’s base depth between November and March is 41.5 inches. However, the resort can also cover 100% of its slopes using snowmakers, making it one of the snowiest ski areas in the Midwest.

The resort offers six season passes, including discounts for students, veterans and more.

Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado: Best for amenities

Pros

  • Large selection of runs

  • Many intermediate and expert slopes

  • Local lodging and conveniences

  • Luxurious amenities and accommodations

Cons

  • Size and number of runs can be confusing for newcomers

  • Popularity causes large crowds and long waits

  • Runs are not evenly distributed by skill level

The Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado boasts 2,908 acres and 187 runs. One of the most popular ski areas in the U.S., the mountain features an impressive vertical drop of nearly 4,000 feet and has a summit of 12,998 feet. Breckenridge has 35 lifts that can carry nearly 58,000 skiers per hour.

While Breckenridge is limited in its percentage of beginner slopes, it still offers 21 beginner runs. About one-third are for intermediate skiers, one-fifth for advanced skiers and the remaining third devoted to expert-level skiers.

Breckenridge’s One Ski Hill resort includes 240 rooms and condominiums. You can choose from a studio up to a four-bedroom condo. Other lodgings include The Village Condos, The River Mountain Lodge and The Thunder Mountain Lodge. All facilities are within walking distance of restaurants and boutiques, making Breckenridge one of the more luxurious ski resorts in the U.S. A large range of other amenities are available as well, including bowling, spas, event spaces, outdoor pools, exercise facilities and shuttle services.

We’ve chosen Breckenridge as our favorite for amenities because of the plush accommodations, excellent customer service and proximity to restaurants and shopping.

Breckenridge offers several passes from one-day to multi-day passes. The Epic Pass is the season pass that allows unlimited access all season long and includes discounted Buddy Tickets for your friends.

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado: Best for award-winning slopes

Pros

  • Huge selection of runs

  • Great selection of slopes for all levels

  • Local lodging and conveniences

  • Luxurious amenities and accommodations

Cons

  • New skiers might become confused due to the size and number of runs

  • Popularity causes large crowds and medium to long waits

  • Runs are not evenly distributed by skill level

Aspen Snowmass is a four-area ski resort made up of Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands and Snowmass. With 5,527 skiable acres and 362 trails, it’s no wonder this Colorado resort is so popular. Between the four mountains, there are 40 lifts capable of carrying tens of thousands of skiers per hour. Snowmass is the largest of the four, boasting more acres than the other three ski areas combined — it also has the largest vertical drop, measuring 4,406 feet.

Each ski area has a large variety of slopes with different levels, but Aspen Mountain and Snowmass have the most intermediate runs. Aspen Highlands boasts the most expert-level slopes, while Buttermilk offers the most beginner runs.

There’s no shortage of lodging in the area. You can rent ski-in and ski-out condos, private homes and downtown hotel rooms that can sleep any number of skiers.

Aspen Snowmass is home to the X Games Aspen — one of the biggest winter sports events — Gay Ski Week and the Audi FIS Ski World Cup.

We’ve chosen Aspen Snowmass as the best for award-winning slopes because of its size, number of runs, events held and the quality of its slopes. It’s also one of the highest-ranking ski resorts in terms of customer service.

Apart from daily lift ticket purchases, Aspen Snowmass offers three different season passes, the best being the Premier, which offers unlimited ski days and premium benefits.

Park City Mountain Resort, Utah: Best for diverse slopes

Pros

  • Huge selection of runs

  • Great selection of slopes for all levels

  • Local lodging and conveniences

  • Machine learning is used to forecast lift line waits

Cons

  • Size and number of runs can be confusing for newcomers

  • Popularity causes large crowds and medium to long waits

  • High parking fees at peak times

Park City Mountain Resort, best known for hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics, is located just outside of Park City, Utah. It has a skiable area of 7,300 acres, 324 trails and 41 lifts that can carry close to 31,000 skiers per hour.

Park City Mountain Resort has fewer than 10% beginner runs (but still 32 trails to choose from), and nearly half of its runs are intermediate level. The remainder of the runs are advanced-level.

Park City has a wide array of lodging options, from properties owned by the resort to hotels, condos and private homes for rent. Many are within walking distance of the resort and the town of Park City itself. There is also a free city shuttle that can take you to most places around the city.

Because of its vast number of runs and excellent customer service, we have chosen Park City Mountain Resort as the best resort for diverse slopes.

In addition to daily lift tickets, you can purchase an Epic Pass, which allows for unlimited access. There’s also an Epic Local Pass and Park City Youth pass for kids 5 to 12 years old.

Other ski resorts we considered

Crystal Mountain Resort

Pros

  • Low percentage of snowmaking but high natural amounts of snow

  • Vertical drop of 3,100 feet

  • Large average early snowfall allows for early openings

  • Good selection of advanced runs

Cons

  • Large skiable area, but too few lifts

  • Few amenities

  • Fewer lodging options than other resorts

  • Few beginner trails

Crystal Mountain Resort is located near Mt. Rainier in Washington. It has 85 runs, 11 lifts, 2,600 acres of skiable terrain and a roughly even distribution of runs for intermediate to expert skiers. This makes Crystal Mountain Ski Resort an excellent choice for experienced skiers. Beginners will also be able to learn on a few dedicated slopes before honing their skills on more challenging runs.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Pros

  • Large number of trails

  • Large average early snowfall allows for early openings

  • Vertical drop of 4,139 feet

  • Has one of the longest runs at 4.5 miles

Cons

  • Large skiable area, but too few lifts

  • Few beginner trails

  • Fewer lodging options than other resorts

  • Few amenities

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. It has 131 runs, 16 lifts and 2,500 acres of skiable area. Jackson Hole is another excellent resort for experienced skiers, but there are fewer amenities and lodging options compared to our top 10 picks above.

Best Ski Resorts in the U.S. Guide

There are hundreds of ski resorts around the U.S., making it challenging to choose which one to visit for your winter fun. If you’re looking for the best U.S. ski resorts, start with our list above. We chose these as the top ski resorts in the U.S. because they ensure that skiers of all levels can get to a mountain, learn to ski and enjoy the experience.

What amenities does a ski resort offer?

Amenities vary by resort, but for the most part, they tend to offer:

  • Restaurants

  • Bars

  • Fire pits

  • Ski and board schools

  • Rentals

  • Equipment maintenance

Some upscale resorts offer many more amenities, such as spas, luxury accommodations, gondola rides, evening activities, exercise areas and even climbing walls.

When do ski resorts open?

Many ski resorts open in late October to early November. When they open depends on weather conditions and how much snow has accumulated. Ski resorts need ample amounts of snow to build up a base, and they need the right weather conditions for their snowmakers.

What is skiing like in different parts of the U.S?

Northeast

Skiing in the Northeast is characterized by lower heights than in the middle of the country and western regions. Snow tends to melt and refreeze because of this, so resorts often use snowmakers to supplement their snowfall. Many of the ski areas are below the tree line, so you’ll find lots of twists and turns through avenues of trees.

South

The southern Appalachians can get plenty of snow, but similarly to the Northeast and Midwest, the ski season might be shorter due to lower elevations.

Midwest

The hills of the Midwest can be fantastic for skiing, but, due to lower elevations, the seasons may be a bit shorter than in the Rockies or the Northwest.

West

Many of the peaks in the western region are above the tree line at higher altitudes, which makes them hold snow better than in the Northeast. The snow can be dry and powdery on top of a packed base, which makes skiing feel very smooth.

Northwest

The Northwest offers snow that is a bit wetter and more packed than places like the Rockies or Grand Tetons in Wyoming. However, there are plenty of fresh powder bluebird days when the skiing is fast and smooth.

Best Ski Resorts in the U.S. FAQ

When do ski resorts close?

Ski resorts stay open as long as they have enough snow. Some resorts can stay open until July, but most seasons tend to end in late March or early April.

Which state has the most ski resorts?

Surprisingly, New York has 52 ski resorts, the most of any state in the U.S.

What elevation are most ski resorts at?

Ski resorts vary in elevation around the country. For example, the highest is Colorado's Silverton Mountain with a peak elevation of 13,488 feet. The lowest is Rhode Island's Yawgoo Valley with a summit of 315 feet.

What ski resorts get the most snow?

Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico is one of the snowiest resorts, but keep in mind that many resorts have snowmaking machines that supplement snowfall. It's best to look at a resort's snowmaking share -- some make 100% of their snow while others don't make any.

How We Chose the Best Ski Resorts in the U.S.

Tours and Trails

We chose our best ski resorts based on the number and quality of trails and the tours they offer, in addition to the effort the resort puts into making experiences as enjoyable as possible. Many of the resorts we chose offer much more than skiing — amenities, close lodging and non-skiing activities make a visit to a ski resort much more memorable for everyone.

Customer Service

A skiing trip can be ruined by poor service. We chose resorts with the best customer service ratings based on reports from several online review sites.

Diverse Array of Amenities

A ski trip can be fun, but it can be costly. The more amenities you get, the more it feels worth your money. We chose the resorts with the most — or at least the best — amenities.

Summary of Best Ski Resorts in the U.S.

  • Stowe Mountain – Best for more trails

  • Killington Ski Resort – Best for long-term stays

  • Wintergreen Resort – Best for practice trails

  • Timberline Four Seasons – Best for intermediate skiers

  • Granite Peak – Best for adventurous skiers

  • Boyne Mountain – Best for families

  • Crystal Mountain – Best for most snowfall

  • Breckenridge Ski Resort – Best for amenities

  • Aspen Snowmass – Best for award-winning slopes

  • Park City Mountain Resort – Best for diverse slopes

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