With ski resorts about to open their doors here on the Rockies, it’s likely some of you are prepping for the incoming season. As nice as it is to have slopes hours away, there are more mountains ready to be tested all around the country. Today, ParkDIA wants to talk about some of the ski areas in other states that you should put on your list this season.
Still in the Rockies, Jackson Hole is located in Jackson, Wyoming. Sitting on the southern range of the Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole is home to a wonderful Rocky Mountain experience. Receiving a 99 Pure Awesomeness Factor (PAF score) Zrankings, Jackson Hole has more snowfall and steeper slopes than most Colorado resorts, making this a must-visit for any skiing experts looking for a new adventure.
With Jackson ten minutes away and Teton Village at the base of the slopes, there is plenty of village life to enjoy while you’re not on the mountains. Whether you need to rent new ski gear, want to enjoy the nightlife, or are just interested in walking around on a sunny day, these cozy towns make for a welcoming environment and a welcome stay at the end of a long day on the mountains.
Just a short trip away from Salt Lake City, Utah, Snowbird is first and foremost a family resort. With a tram through Little Cottonwood Canyon, Snowbird provides a beautiful vista for visiting families and some of the best skiing terrain in Utah for pros. Don’t let the family-friendly label mislead you, the slopes in the canyon make for some of the highest collections of true snow in the Rockies.
Snowbird does have some of the best village atmosphere you can find at a ski resort. With five different lodges, each with their own unique amenities, you’re sure to find one that is the right fit for you. Whether you want ski-in/ski-out rooms or a more traditional hotel with attached facilities in which to unwind at the end of the day, almost all of the lodges have immediate access back to the mountain once you’re ready to head back for another day on the slopes.
On the other side of the range from Snowbird, Alta is a must go for any skiing veteran. With snowfall levels around the average of Alaska, you won’t find a fresher slope than this. Alta captures the classics of skiing without falling too far into comfort over exploration. While it may be a pass for first-time skiers, it’s definitely a must-ski for anyone who considers themselves a skiing enthusiast.
This resort doesn’t boast a village, but it can say that it truly captures what it means to be a ski resort. The resort itself is the bare minimum, leaving the focus on what matters most; the mountain itself. While still comfortable, there are not many side attractions at Alta. The point is to be skiing, so unless you’re eating or sleeping, that’s all you’re going to find.
Located out of Big Sky Mountain, Big Sky Resort is one of the largest ski resorts on the continent, with a wide selection of trails. Big Sky uses this space to its advantage, finding a balance between an array of slopes and comfortable lodging to provide a welcoming and open mountain village. This resort really shines through on its slopes that take advantage of its space, providing long, intermediate trailers for skiers to enjoy.
A prime destination for families who have already been skiing, Big Sky is guaranteed to have something new for you to try. There of course are selections for more skilled or new skiers, but the big sky of Montana’s mountains are best enjoyed by those who already know how to handle themselves on a snowy slope.
Park City Mountain Resort
East of Salt Lake City, Park City is the second largest ski resort from the number of acres. Not only that, it’s not just a ski village, it’s a full town. While you may not be interested in visiting during the Sundance Film Festival which hosts itself out of Park City, there’s no doubt that this is one of the more accessible ski resorts in the country, only a half hour drive from a major airport.
Whether you stay the mountain village or in the town proper, you can be sure to experience a warm city life well connected with the resort around it on your visit. Park City uses its space to highlight its mountains. There’s not as much to do outside of the realm of skiing and snowboarding, but those two activities are incorporated into Park City to make it a real destination trip.
Mammoth Resorts – Mammoth Mountain
Mammoth Resorts has two locations, but for the real ski experience, you need to try Mammoth Mountain in particular. This resort has its base 2000 feet higher than other resorts in the area, giving it access to fresher packs of snow. This resort has access to some of the best slopes on the Sierra range.
In high competition with the LA skiing market, you can guarantee two things; that you need to book early, and that the amenities will be top notch. Mammoth has a commitment to challenging courses and new innovative design on their slopes, as well as unique snowboarding experiences. That doesn’t mean the family can’t get involved, with a quarter of the resort dedicated to helping new skiers, both on their slopes or in a professional ski school.
With as many heavy hitters as the Salt Lake City area has, you might not see Solitude Mountain Resort immediately, but that doesn’t mean you should skip it! Solitude is a smaller resort with snowfall levels to rival Snowbird and Alta easily. Its small size means it won’t be as crowded at the bigger resorts, but that doesn’t mean you’re missing out on quality slopes. The moisture off of Salt Lake helps trap snow on the mountain, providing one of the best snow profiles in the States.
Between its small size and over half of its slopes being advanced or higher, Solitude is a great destination for any seasoned skiers looking for somewhere quieter to ski during the season over competing at one of the larger resorts for space. In return, there are a couple thousand vertical miles to cover on Solitude’s slopes in, well, peaceful solitude. This makes this a relaxing stop for anyone who wants to focus on the sport and not navigating crowds for the ski lifts.
Not to be confused with Alta Resort, Grand Targhee is located out of Alta, Wyoming. Backed up to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks, this beautiful lodge has plenty of views before you even arrive. Once you do, you can take to their open trails, or join the guided Grand Targhee Cat Skiing for a private section of the mountain with especially stunning vistas.
Wherever you choose to ski, Grand Targhee is a prime resort for any skier looking for large amounts of snowfall, one of the top options for the mainland United States on average. This resort is a great stop for experienced skiers, with plenty of nearby parks to visit for newer skiers who have finished with the smaller selection of beginner trails.
Brighton Ski Resort
Headed back to Salt Lake City, Brighton Ski Resort is another quality resort on the lakeside of the city. This is another great small resort to visit if you want to beat the crowds around the larger resorts without missing out on the high snowfall levels caught on Brighton’s slopes. What this resort lacks in size, it makes up for it with sheer true snow volume, average over 500 inches each year.
Where Solitude was the perfect small resort for experienced skiers, Brighton is on the easier side for the majority, most of its trails either beginners or intermediate. This makes it a great place to teach any new skiers with less of a crowd, will still having some adventurous black diamonds to try for the experienced teacher.
Deer Valley set the bar 40 years ago when they put cafeterias at the top of its mountains. Not to be outshined by its immediate neighbors at Park City, Deer Valley offers a unique experience for everyone, not to mention a hot meal at the top of a mountain. Ranked as the United States’ best ski resort by the World Ski Awards for six years now, it’s no surprise that Deer Valley will offer a ski experience you won’t soon forget.
This resort is fairly evenly split for difficulty, but it doesn’t average as deep in snow. This means you may not have as many powder-filled days on the slopes, but Deer Valley has a wide number of trails. With trails on each face of the mountains, one of them is bound to have a cache of powder at some time during your trip.
Wherever you plan to visit, one thing remains the same; ski season means a lot of snow, and you don’t want to leave your car parked underneath that at DIA’s airport parking options. ParkDIA offers secured, covered parking options so you can head out for the snow and come back to a car without it to head home. Reserve your spot today and get back to preparing for the ski season.