Best Ski Resort (2016)


As ski season approaches, we're once again out to find North America's best ski resorts. We recruited a panel of skiing and snowboarding experts to nominate their 20 favorite resorts on the continent – mountains that offer serious snowfall, varied terrain, lots of lift access and all the desirable amenities in town. But which is the best?

  • Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

    Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
    Olympic Valley, Calif.

    Situated between Truckee and Tahoe City, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics and has only gotten better since then. Skiers and riders enjoy more than 6,000 acres of terrain, including 16 bowls, more than 270 trails and 42 lifts ferrying visitors to the top of the dual resorts, accessible on the same lift ticket.
    Photo courtesy of Matt Palmer / Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

  • Sugarbush Resort

    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 Albert Lew / Flickr

  • 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. Lift lines are notoriously short or non-existent. 
    Photo courtesy of Michel Tallichet / Big Sky Resort

  • Alta

    Alta, Utah

    With 2,200 acres of skiable terrain and 551 inches of annual snowfall, Alta is famous for its challenging, deep powder slopes. The mountain 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

  • Crested Butte Mountain Resort

    Crested Butte Mountain Resort
    Crested Butte, Colo.

    Great for beginner and intermediate skiers, Crested Butte's terrain is designated 27 percent green and 57 percent blue. The mountain's 1,547 acres of terrain features enough variety – bowls, chutes, cliffs and glades – to keep the experts happy as well. Fifteen lifts service 121 named runs, while two progressive terrain parks for freestylers.
    Photo courtesy of Tom Stillo / Crested Butte Mountain 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

  • Revelstoke Mountain Resort

    Revelstoke Mountain Resort
    Revelstoke, British Columbia

    With North America's greatest vertical – 5,620 feet – Revelstoke Mountain Resort offers 3,121 skiable acres, in addition to cat skiing and heli skiing, making it one of Canada's best. Combine that with the area's big powder dumps, and you have a giant playground worthy of any powder hound's bucket list. With 93 percent of the terrain rated for intermediate and advanced skiers and riders, this is certainly a resort for adrenaline junkies.
    Photo courtesy of Eric Berger

  • Killington Resort

    Killington Resort
    Killington, Vt.

    Nicknamed "The Beast of the East," Killington Resort boasts plenty of superlatives: highest skiable terrain in Vermont (4,241 feet), largest skiable area and longest ski season in the Eastern U.S. (1,509 acres and late October through mid-May respectively) and the region's biggest vertical drop (3,050 feet). The 155 trails are balanced fairly evenly between beginner, intermediate and expert terrain.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Steamboat Resort

    Steamboat Resort
    Steamboat Springs, Colo.

    Consistently ranked among the friendliest ski resorts in North America, Steamboat is both convenient – nonstop air service from 11 major airports – and appealing. Skiers and boarders have their pick of 165 trails across nearly 3,000 skiable acres, plus four terrain parks. It's no wonder Steamboat has produced more winter Olympians than any other town in North America – 88 to date.
    Photo courtesy of Matt Inden/Miles

  • Whistler Blackcomb

    Whistler Blackcomb
    Whistler, British Columbia

    Massive and diverse, Whistler boasts the most skiable terrain in North America with a staggering 8,171 acres. 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 Paul Morrison / Whistler Blackcomb


For the past four weeks, our readers have been voting daily for their favorites, and now the results are in.

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

  1. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows - Olympic Valley, Calif.
  2. Sugarbush Resort - Warren, Vt.
  3. Big Sky Resort - Big Sky, Mont.
  4. Alta - Alta, Utah
  5. Crested Butte Mountain Resort - Crested Butte, Colo.
  6. Deer Valley Resort - Park City, Utah
  7. Revelstoke Mountain Resort - Revelstoke, British Columbia
  8. Killington Resort - Killington, Vt.
  9. Steamboat Resort - Steamboat Springs, Colo.
  10. Whistler Blackcomb - Whistler, British Columbia

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Wendy Clinch (TheSkiDiva), Lyndell Keating (Powderhounds), Kristen Lummis (The Brave Ski Mom), Nate Musson (The Not Snowboarding Podcast) and Mark Warner (Low Pressure Podcast: The Podcast for Skiers) were chosen based on their skiing and snowboarding expertise.

Other nominated resorts included Aspen Snowmass, Beaver Creek, Copper Mountain Resort, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Mt. Baker Ski Area, Powder Mountain, Telluride Ski Resort, Vail and Whitewater Ski Resort.

Congratulations to all our winning resorts!

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AlertThe Experts

Wendy Clinch

Wendy Clinch

Wendy Clinch

Lyndell Keating

Lyndell Keating

Lyndell Keating

Kristen Lummis

Kristen Lummis

Kristen Lummis

Nate Musson

Nate Musson

Nate Musson

Mark Warner

Mark Warner

Mark Warner