Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows wins Best Ski Resort three years in a row
Montana's Big Sky Resort takes second place
Temperatures are cooling and ski areas all across the continent are gearing up for their winter season. 10Best wanted to know which North American ski resorts are the crème de la crème, so we asked our readers to vote for their favorites from a pool of 20 nominated resorts–mountains that offer serious snowfall, varied terrain, lots of lift access and all the desirable amenities in town.
Killington Resort (Killington, Vt.)
The Beast of the East is no stranger to superlatives–it's got Vermont's highest skiable terrain at 4,241 feet, the largest skiable area in the East (1,509 acres) and the longest ski season in the East, running from late October through mid-May. An even balance between beginner, intermediate and expert terrain, with 155 named trails, means there's something for everyone. Photo courtesy of iStock / giorgio_g74
Sugarbush Resort (Warren, Vt.)
Sugarbush Resort, a hidden treasure in Vermont, encompasses a total of 4,000 acres across two mountain areas, including 2,000 acres of backcountry in Slide Brook Basin. Guests can choose from 111 trails and three terrain parks, including a half pipe. Varied terrain suits skiers of all ability levels, and 16 lifts mean guests spend more time on the slopes and less time in lift lines. Photo courtesy of Ski Vermont
Steamboat Resort (Steamboat Springs, Colo.)
Friendly Steamboat encompasses 2,965 acres of terrain across an entire range of mountains. Sixteen lifts service 165 named trails, while four terrain parks, each designed for a different skill level, appeal to freestyle skiers and riders. And Steamboat has produced more winter Olympians than any other town in North America! Photo courtesy of iStock / Venerala
Deer Valley Resort (Park City, Utah)
Deer Valley Resort features 2,026 ski-only acres spread across six different areas. With 101 named runs serviced by 21 lifts, Deer Valley appeals to laid-back skiers who like a hassle-free experience with plenty of groomers to choose from. More than two thirds of Deer Valley's terrain is rated for beginner or intermediate skiers, making it a great choice for families and newbies. Photo courtesy of Ski Utah
Park City Mountain Resort (Park City, Utah)
Thanks to its 2015 merger with Canyons Resort, Park City Mountain Resort is now the largest ski resort in the U.S., with more than 7,300 skiable acres, 38 lifts, seven terrain parks and 300-plus trails. The resort offers loads of terrain for beginners and intermediates, with sufficient steeps for more advanced skiers and riders. The dry Utah snow is an added bonus. Photo courtesy of Rob Bossi/Canyons Resort
Beaver Creek Resort (Beaver Creek, Colo.)
Beaver Creek offers a wide variety of terrain in its 1,832 skiable acres. Skiers and riders can choose from 150 trails and three terrain parks served by 25 lifts. Adrenaline junkies will find some of North America's best black and double black bump skiing. With more than 275 days of sunshine annually, there's also a higher-than-average chance for a blue bird day on the slopes. Photo courtesy of Cody Downard, Beaver Creek Resort
Aspen Snowmass (Aspen, Colo.)
Arguably Colorado's most glamorous winter resort, Aspen Snowmass offers winter sports enthusiasts their choice of four ski areas in one. Aspen Mountain, with no green terrain, attracts intermediate and expert skiers in search of an adrenaline rush, while Snowmass and Buttermilk cater to freestyle riders with a plethora of terrain parks and pipes. Uncrowded Aspen Highlands is a local favorite. Lift tickets are good for all four mountains, each connected by a free shuttle. Photo courtesy of Aspen Snowmass
Keystone Resort (Keystone, Colo.)
Some 128 named trails wind across several areas within Keystone Resort, including 11,640-foot Dercum Mountain with its long green and blue runs, ideal for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. The resort is also home to one of the nation's top terrain parks, packed with features for all levels. The park's Kidtopia program features free family friendly activities both on and off the mountain. Photo courtesy of Daniel Milchev, Keystone Resort
Big Sky Resort (Big Sky, Mont.)
Big Sky Resort calls itself the Biggest Skiing in America for good reason. The Montana resort boasts a whopping 5,800 acres of skiable terrain, 300 named runs and seven terrain parks across four mountains. Other perks? 400-plus inches of annual snowfall and near non-existent lift lines. Photo courtesy of Big Sky Resort
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (Olympic Valley, Calif.)
Last year's winner of the Readers' Choice award for Best Ski Resort sits between Truckee and Tahoe City, where skiers and riders enjoy some 6,000 acres of terrain, including 16 bowls, 270 trails and 42 lifts ferrying visitors to the top of the dual resorts, accessible on the same lift ticket. Photo courtesy of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
The top 10 winners in the category Best Ski Resort are as follows:
- Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows - Olympic Valley, Calif.
- Big Sky Resort - Big Sky, Mont.
- Keystone Resort - Keystone, Colo.
- Aspen Snowmass - Aspen, Colo.
- Beaver Creek Resort - Beaver Creek, Colo.
- Park City Mountain Resort - Park City, Utah
- Deer Valley Resort - Park City, Utah
- Steamboat Resort - Steamboat Springs, Colo.
- Sugarbush Resort - Warren, Vt.
- Killington Resort - Killington, Vt.
A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Wendy Clinch (TheSkiDiva.com) and Kristen Lummis (The Brave Ski Mom) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of the North American ski scene.
Congratulations to all these winning resorts!