Best Ski Resort (2016)


It's ski season, and USA TODAY 10Best set out to find North America's top skiing and snowboarding resorts. We recruited a panel of pro skiers and snowboarders (including several Olympians) to nominate their 20 favorite North American resorts, and our readers have been voting daily for their favorites for the past four weeks. The results are in, and we have a winner!

  • Squaw Valley Resort

    Squaw Valley Resort
    Olympic Valley, Calif.

    Located between Truckee and Tahoe City, Squaw Valley Resort hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics and has only gotten better since then. Skiers and riders enjoy 3,600 acres of terrain, including 16 bowls, more than 170 trails and 29 lifts ferrying visitors up the mountain. While extreme skiers and riders love Squaw Valley,a quarter of the terrain is suitable for beginners and another 45 perfect for intermediates.
    Photo courtesy of Squaw Valley Resort

  • Deer Valley Resort

    Deer Valley Resort
    Park City, Utah

    Deer Valley Resort, a ski-only mountain near Park City, offers 2,026 skiable 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 Deer Valley Resort

  • Big Sky Resort

    Big Sky Resort
    Big Sky, Mont.

    Big Sky Resort in Montana offers the self-proclaimed 'Biggest Skiing in America' – a claim that's not difficult to believe. The resort comprises 5,800 acres of skiable terrain with 300 named runs across four connected mountains, all serviced by a staggering 23 chair lifts and 11 surface lifts. Freestylers can choose between seven terrain parks.
    Photo courtesy of Michel Tallichet/Big Sky Resort

  • Taos Ski Valley

    Taos Ski Valley
    Taos, N.M.

    Ski-only until 2008, Taos Ski Valley now attracts both skiers and riders to its 1,294 acres of challenging terrain. The resort receives more than 300 inches annually of dry snowfall, paired with 300-plus days of Southwest sunshine, makes Taos a paradise of powder and blue bird days. The ski school ranks among the best in the nation, so beginners and lower-intermediate skiers are in good hands.
    Photo courtesy of Taos Ski Valley

  • Stowe Mountain Resort

    Stowe Mountain Resort
    Stowe, Vt.

    Divided over two mountains, Stowe Mountain Resort offers East Coast residents and visitors 116 named trails spread out over 485 acres of terrain, much of it geared toward intermediate and advanced skiers. Six terrain parks keep freestylers happy, while four interconnected Nordic areas attract cross country skiers from around the globe.
    Photo courtesy of Stowe Mountain Resort

  • Whistler Blackcomb

    Whistler Blackcomb
    Whistler, B.C.

    Massive and diverse, Whistler is the largest ski resort in North America with a staggering 8,171 acres of skiable terrain. The resort's famous PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola connects Whistler and Blackcomb peaks on a single lift ticket, giving skiers and riders access to 200-plus runs, 16 alpine bowls and five terrain parks. Off-piste opportunities abound.
    Photo courtesy of Mitch Winton / Coast Mountain Photography

  • Grand Targhee Ski Resort

    Grand Targhee Ski Resort
    Alta, Wyo.

    Situated on the western slopes of Wyoming's Tetons, Grand Targhee SKi Resort prides itself on its 500 inches of annual snowfall and lack of lift lines, making it a powder hound's paradise. Skiers and riders enjoy 2,602 acres of skiable terrain serviced by five lifts. Two ever changing terrain parks give freestylers a challenge, no matter their ability level.
    Photo courtesy of Kevin Cass, Getty Images/iStockphoto

  • Aspen Snowmass

    Aspen Snowmass
    Aspen, Colo.

    Glitzy and glamorous, Aspen Snowmass boasts four ski areas in one. Aspen Mountain, with no green terrain, is a playground for intermediate and expert skiers, while Snowmass and Buttermilk appeal 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 Harrison Buck / Aspen Snowmass

  • Alta Ski Resort

    Alta Ski Resort
    Alta, Utah

    With 2,200 acres of skiable terrain and 551 inches of annual snowfall, Alta Ski Resort is famous for its challenging, deep powder slopes. The mountain, located just 40 minutes from Salt Lake City, also caters to beginner and intermediate skiers, with 25 and 40 percent of runs geared at each. Alta's 116-plus runs are serviced by seven lifts, including two quads. If you want to enjoy Alta's offerings, you'll have to do so on skis.
    Photo courtesy of Alta Ski Resort

  • Mt. Bachelor

    Mt. Bachelor
    Bend, Ore.

    Located in Oregon's Central Cascades, Mt. Bachelor enjoys some of the highest elevation skiable terrain in the Pacific Northwest – 3,700 acres of it! Mt. Bachelor's average 462 inches of annual snowfall gives it some of the most reliable conditions in the nation and a long season. From the summit, skiers and riders have 360 degrees of options, including 88 named runs.
    Photo courtesy of Mount Bachelor


The top 10 winners in the category Best Ski Resort are as follows:

  1. Squaw Valley Resort - Olympic Valley, Calif.
  2. Deer Valley Resort - Park City, Utah
  3. Big Sky Resort - Big Sky, Mont.
  4. Taos Ski Valley - Taos, N.M.
  5. Stowe Mountain Resort - Stowe, Vt.
  6. Whistler Blackcomb - Whistler, B.C.
  7. Grand Targhee Ski Resort - Alta, Wyo.
  8. Aspen Snowmass - Aspen, Colo.
  9. Alta Ski Resort - Alta, Utah
  10. Mt. Bachelor - Bend, Ore.

SLIDESHOW: 10 Things You Can Only Do at Squaw Valley Resort

A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Abby Ghent, Caroline Gleich, Elena Hight and Megan McJames were chosen based on their extensive ski and snowboard experience.

Other nominees for Best Ski Resort included Alyeska Resort, Bridger Bowl, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Mt. Baker, Park City Mountain Resort, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort, Sun Valley Resort and Telluride Ski Resort.

10Best and USA TODAY extend their congratulations to all the winners.

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Abby Ghent

Abby Ghent

Abby Ghent

Caroline Gleich

Caroline Gleich

Caroline Gleich

Elena Hight

Elena Hight

Elena Hight

Megan McJames

Megan McJames

Megan McJames