Are you ready for winter thrills and adventure? Now’s the time to hit the ski slopes by day and party, dine out, or curl up with hot chocolate and loved ones by the fire at night. Whether you’re ready to go the distance to the best skiing destinations in the U.S. or just want the nearest option, we’ve got you covered as we searched through all the ski resorts in the country to find the top ones nationwide and in every region of the country.
In this up-to-the-minute report, you’ll find the top 10 ski destinations in the U.S. plus the top 5 for each region where skiing is the preferred pastime activity come winter time. We based our ranking on the value you’ll get from an all-day weekend lift pass for the number of trails and the amount of snow they get on an annual basis (more on that later). But since everyone has their own criteria when choosing what’s best for them, we’ve also included the distance from airports and bus stations, as well as nearby dining and accommodation options.
Check it out! You’re going to have a great winter ski break with Wanderu and the best ski destinations in the whole U S of A.
Top 10 Skiing Destinations in the U.S.
Nothing but the best will do for you! Our U.S. top ten winner is Montana’s Big Sky Resort. It offers a good balance in terms of price, number of trails, and other activities. However, if you’re looking for a great deal price-wise with a good selection of trails and a quieter environment where you make your own off-slope entertainment, you’re going to love Bridger Bowl Ski Area. Each of these top ten ski resorts has its own pluses, so take it from here and pick your personal favorite.
Top 5 Skiing Destinations by Region
Big Squaw Mountain Resort tops the list with max snowfall and low prices. However, although there are enough ski trail options for the average Joe, Killington Ski Resort and Sugarloaf offer a greater variety of trails while Smuggler’s Notch offers the greatest number of dining options. This said, take your pick. Any of these five destinations will be a pleasure to visit.
For the closest access to Big Squaw Mountain Resort, take a bus to Waterville, ME and rent a car to take you to the resort. As you can see in the infographic, the Killington Ski Resort is only a mile away from the nearest bus station, so hopping on a bus to Killington, VT would be enough to get you to the second best ski resort in New England. For both Jay Peak Resort and Smugglers’ Notch, your best bet is to take a bus or train to Burlington, VT and then drive.
Gore Mountain offers gorgeous vistas and even better ski slopes, so it grabs first place. But if you want the most reliable snowfall, low prices, and a wider range of dining options, McCauley Mountain Ski Center could be your winning choice. Holimont Ski Area, on the other hand, offers a good balance between ski options and amenities with the advantage of quick access from the nearest bus terminal and airport.
If you wanna hit Gore Mountain, jump on a bus or train to Lake George, NY and then rent a car to get to the resort. For Whiteface Mountain, a bus or train to Lake Placid, NY will take you right in the middle of the action, but if you have your own car you could also drive up Whiteface Mountain. For Holiday Valley and Holimont Ski Area, a bus to Ellicottville, NY will bring right to entrances of both resorts.
Get your share of the winter wilderness and oodles of snow with the added advantage of fantastic amenities at Canaan Valley Resort, the top ski resort in the Southeast For the sheer number of restaurant and accommodation options, Sugar Mountain Resort takes the crown, whereas Snowshoe Mountain comes out on top in terms of ski trail options if not price. Meanwhile, Winterplace Ski Resort is just a hop and a skip from the bus station or airport – a good choice for those who are in a hurry to hit the slopes.
As Canaan Valley Resort is quite remote from any public transportation hubs, taking a bus or train to Cumberland, MD and then driving is the best way to get there by ground. The same applies to Timberline Four Seasons Resort. To reach Snowshoe Mountain and Winterplace Ski Resort, hop on a bus or train to Alderson, WV.
If skiing’s your thing, Mount Bohemia has what you want: lots of snow, and low-priced weekend passes. For more variety of accommodation and entertainment options, Deer Mountain takes the cake with Marquette Mountain jostling for the top position with more restaurants but fewer lodging choices.
To get the closest to Mount Bohemia, take a train to Marquette, MI and then drive up north to Lac La Belle, MI. Same applies to Marquette Mountain but without the additional driving because, as the name suggests, the resort is very close-by.
Who can resist the magic of the Rocky Mountains? It’s even better when you’re skiing in them! These five resort areas all deserve their special mention, but Big Sky Resort lives up to its name, offering you not only sky but snow and a variety of ski trails second only to Park City Mountain Resort.
For the resorts in Utah, your best bet would be traveling by bus or train to Salt Lake City, UT and then relying on local transportation or a rental car to get to the resort toward which you’re headed. For Aspen / Snowmass, hop on a bus or train to Fairplay, CO and then drive up to Aspen, CO.
Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows may not be the cheapest, but you will get your money’s worth in terms of a wide variety of beautiful ski trails. However, make sure to consider your options. Mount Hood Ski Bowl costs more than half as much for a day pass. That said, your hotel and restaurant options, though more than adequate, aren’t nearly as extensive.
If you’re looking to get to Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows, take a train to Truckee, CA, which is a short drive south to Olympic Valley, CA. For the Summit at Snoqualmie, a bus to Skykomish, WA is your best bet of getting as close as possible. To reach Mount Hood Ski Bowl, take a train to Bingen, WA, and for Mount Bachelor Ski Area, hope on a train to Bend, OR.
Time to Hit the Slopes
Getting to all the hottest ski resorts in America is easy when you have services like Wanderu helping you find the best travel deals. If you travel by bus or train, you can save a ton of money and spend the winter season slope hopping without making it tough on your wallet. Plan your trips ahead of time to get the lowest price and save enough to have the time of your life!
How We Did It
To determine the best ski destinations in the U.S., we began by dividing the states in six different territories based on their location on the map. After that, we looked up all the ski resorts available to the public in each territory. Using data available on onthesnow.com, we gathered the average annual snowfall for each resort, and we looked up each resort to find the number of ski trails they have, as well as the cost of an all-day weekend pass for adults (18-64 y.o.). In the next step, we calculated the value that each resort has to offer its visitors by the amount of money they’d have to pay per number of available slopes and average amount of snow available on those slopes.
Finally, we used the Yelp API to figure out how many accommodation and dining options were available within 10 miles of each resort, and we relied on data from Google and the Wanderu backend system to determine the distance from each resort to the nearest airport and bus or train station.
Although skiing in Switzerland is a great adventure and most probably on the bucket list of every winter sports enthusiast, the U.S. offers plenty of high-quality ski destinations that can compete with the best ones in the world. Whether you’re traveling on a budget or holidaying in style, you’re sure to find the perfect ski destination in the selection above.
You are welcome to use the information and graphics on this page, crediting Wanderu. If you do so, please link back to this page, so that skiing enthusiasts around the country can check out all the available results and find out how we came up with them.