Ski Areas

Ski areas can be found across the United States, and you'll also do well to keep Canadian and European ski areas in mind when planning your ski vacations. Many of the top ski mountains in North America are found in the western US and western Canada, and almost all offer ski lessons and good deals on ski equipment rentals and purchases. This doesn't mean that the East or even the Midwest should be overlooked. Vermont offers up plenty of great ski spots as does New York. As for the Midwest, you can find good places to make some turns in most of the states.

Colorado is home to many of the top ski areas in the world, and this has to do with the fact that it has lots of big mountains. Among the top ski areas in Colorado are Powderhorn Mountain, the upscale Vail, the beloved Copper Mountain, and the lofty Arapahoe Basin. These are just some of the standouts, however, and you can always venture over to some of the state's smaller, lesser known resorts if you want to switch things up. A few days or more at the Durango Mountain Resort is always worth considering, for example. The laid-back appeal of smaller Colorado ski resorts like Durango is something that many skiers find to be alluring, particularly if you're looking for great ski runs without large crowds.

When looking for top ski areas in the western US, Colorado's neighbor to the east is a good place to start. Utah claims to have The Greatest Snow on Earth, and it's hard to dispute that on powder days at Deer Valley. An upscale resort that prides itself on uncompromising service, Deer Valley has little trouble making the top 10 ski resorts list on an annual basis. When you're not hitting the exclusive slopes of Deer Valley during your Utah winter vacation, you can consider visiting some of the other excellent resorts near Salt Lake City, such as Park City. Alta and Deer Valley ski resorts, it is worth noting, are ski-only resorts, so you won't have to share the lifts or the runs with those on snowboarding vacations.

Other states that offer excellent ski areas in the West include Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and California. You can also head to the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon and Washington if you don't mind less-predictable conditions. Heading up the West Coast, you might continue your northerly route and cross into Canada. The king of the Canada ski areas can be found in the western province of British Columbia. This ski area is none other than Whistler Blackcomb, which is widely hailed as the top ski resort in the world. If you enjoy stunning mountain vistas, the Banff area can also make a great ski vacation destination. Found in the Alberta province, this Rocky Mountain area offers Mt. Norquay, Sunshine Village, and the Lake Louise Ski Area, all of which are among the best Canada ski areas.

The ski mountains in eastern Canada aren't as lofty as they are in the western part of the country. The same can be said about the United States. That being said, there are some fantastic ski areas in eastern North America. The eastern Canada ski areas include Mont Tremblant and Le Massif, both of which are found in Quebec. Crossing the border into the US, New England ski mountains such as Maine's Sugarloaf and Vermont's Killington rank among the very best in the country, and they are some other excellent resorts in these states. Nearby New York State also has some of the best ski mountains out East, and the Pennsylvania ski scene is known for offering some good options.

Rounding out the options for ski areas in North America are a number of Midwest ski resorts. These resorts don't offer the biggest vertical drops or always perfect snow, but that doesn't mean that they can't be fun places to play during the winter season. Michigan skiing is some of the best skiing in the Midwest, so you might start there when looking to plan a Midwest ski vacation, particularly if you're interested in family ski resorts, as the slopes here are generally less challenging than in the Western US.

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