If you’re anything like us, the hot sand and the soothing beach sun helps to recover, relax, and get ready for the next ski season. Even for the ocean lovers and city-goers out there, there is a pull to the mountains that is hidden deep in all of us. Let us provide a spark for those who prefer a pillowy layer of white power on the ground, ready for the taking — that beats the beach any day... And if you're wondering what to expect this season, check out Will Ski Resorts Be Open This Winter?
If you’re in desperate need of ski inspiration, or you're planning an epic ski vacation in the coming year, we here at Renoun have researched the “best in the west” ski resorts in North America. From beginners looking for the ease of a family-friendly resort to intermediates and experts looking to take their ski skills to the next level, this list will be sure to satisfy your growing mountain itch.
For each of the resorts listed below, we have included a link to the Zrankings statistics, where interested readers can examine the more technical details of each of the resorts. Our summary covers the basics to ensure we provide a useful overview for those looking to plan their next adventure.
If only the best ski resorts in the West will do, you should consider the best skis to match. Renoun is the first ski manufacturer to bring non-newtonian materials to stabilize skis and reduce chatter. Renoun makes it’s world-class skis based on HDTTM which adapt instantly to snow conditions and ski style. Check out Renouns's line-up of award winning skis.
Snowmass Village, Colorado, United States
The first of our Colorado ski resorts, Aspen Snowmass is the largest of the four mountains in the Aspen / Snowmass area. It is widely known for its family-friendly atmosphere and the plethora of facilities that accompany this vision. With some of the best ski-in/ski-out offerings in the area and a Snowmass Base Village home to an ice-skating rink, climbing wall, and world-class restaurants, the mountain prides itself with the perfect balance of convenience and adventure.
While much of resorts marketing focuses on beginner skiers and family fun, don’t be fooled. The Burnt Mountain Glades provides freeriders the perfect tree and powder hideaway, while the terrain parks offer a park rat buffet of 100+ features.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado, United States
For those wanting the true mountain town experience, Steamboat Colorado provides world-class ski trails with a proper small-town “wild west” vibe. As it has been said before, it’s a cowboy town with a ski problem. While the town takes great pride in the ranching heritage that has been the historical soul of the area, it is quick to dismiss any idea of a “rustic” experience. Five-star western hospitality provides luxurious comforts, mixed with genuine midwestern geniality.
On-mountain, it is champagne powder and pristine terrain. While Steamboat has plenty of family-friendly acreage to satisfy the beginners, the true magic comes for the intermediate to advanced powder hounds, dreaming of the next perfect bowl run.
As a testament to the quality of skiing, Steamboat has produced more Olympians than any other American town. There must be something in the water.
Breckenridge, Colorado, United States
Home to some of the highest and most consistent snowfall numbers in Colorado, as well as the highest operating chairlift in North America, Breckenridge Ski Resort welcomes skiers to enjoy their formidable (and overwhelmingly scenic) five Rocky Mountain peaks. The Colorado competition is fierce, but Breckenridge boasts some expansive terrain for families and skiers of all levels.
With five peaks all oozing with individual personality, Breckenridge sets itself apart by managing a vast amount of terrain and still providing a warm and friendly greeting to everyone and anyone who comes along for the ride.
Vail, Colorado, United States
We know, Colorado again. Vail Ski Resort does sit in a class of its own, however. The biggest single mountain ski resort in Colorado, and third-biggest in the United States, Vail provides a whopping 5,289 acres of terrain. This resort is on the bucket list of most skiers and snowboarders who have not yet had the pleasure of gracing its slopes.
Vail sets itself apart not only with its incredible vacation offerings aimed at families, but also a steady and persistent mission towards self-improvement. With a loyal and ambitious following, this resort continues to stay ahead of the curve and provide skiers with new challenges and diverse opportunities for growth.
With advanced and expert terrain comprising 53% of its total trails, Vail certainly caters to its loyal and talented base.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, United States
Finally, we move out of Colorado and head to Wyoming to introduce the ever famed Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. For anyone with a passion for skiing, the very name of this ski mountain should make your hair stand up on the back of your neck. It carries with it a reputation for steep drops, menacing peaks, and intensely rewarding off-piste magic.
Despite the incredulous idea that this reputation welcomes beginners, we can assure you that there is now plenty of ski terrain to be enjoyed by all levels. Jackson Hole has done a terrific job of maintaining world-class expert level skiing, while also investing in families and beginner levels to balance the community.
Mountain Village, Colorado, United States
A seemingly saturated home of the top ski resorts in North America. Yet one resort quietly climbs the best-of rankings every year and seems to do so for all the right reasons. Telluride is quite possibly (and subjectively) the most charming and scenic resort on this list. While it consistently holds high favor, it often gets overlooked, bathing in the marketing shadows of the more prominent Colorado ski resorts.
The best part of it? It seems to be just fine in the shade. Telluride is a charming generalist; it has amazing snow conditions, incredible terrain, delicious food, and overwhelmingly hospitable people. It’s not too big, it’s not too small, it’s just right. Keep an eye on this resort.
Avon, Colorado, United States
Beaver Creek Resort is renowned for its white-glove luxury and its attention to detail. With less available terrain than some of its Colorado counterparts, Beaver Creek plays to its strengths and hosts upscale family-oriented facilities designed to bring quality, not quantity.
Don’t let this apparent lack of terrain breed any assumptions. Beaver Creek has arguably some of the best-maintained slopes in North America. High-quality service is the name of the game, from luxurious accommodation and world-class food to impeccable grooming and family-friendly facilities.
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Arguably the biggest and most well-known resort in North America, Whistler Blackcomb bolsters a reputation sure to intrigue even the most seasoned of skiers. Located just two hours north of the city of Vancouver, Canada, Whistler also carries the reputation of one of the busiest resorts in the west.
With two peaks on offer, there is terrain for every level. Whistler Village is a city unto itself, providing everything from five-star hotels to backpacker dormitories. For many international travelers, Whistler is the iconic ski destination depicted in the movies.
While Whistler’s reputation may precede itself internationally, recent years have brought a notable rise in guests, often leading to long wait times and short powder days. Despite this, the coastal mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb provide unrivaled beauty and true to form Canadian hospitality that is sure to impress.
Hope you've enjoyed our round-up of the best ski resorts in the West. Here at Renoun Skis, we’re dedicated to delivering a world-class experience based on our HDTTM ski dampening technology. Pair the world’s best skis with the greatest resorts in Western North America and you’ve got a formula for a winning ski adventure.
Other articles you may be interested in...
- Will ski resorts be open this winter?
- Best Ski Resorts in the Southern Hemisphere
- Best Après Ski Bars in Sun Valley
- Best Après Ski Bars in Aspen
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|Cam Hookey grew up in the mountains of Canada and is an avid skier, snowboarder, and adventure sport enthusiast. He’s a ski instructor, SCUBA instructor, freediving instructor, and certified outdoor guide. When he is not enjoying the crisp mountain air or the salty ocean breeze, he is writing about it.|