Winter is the best. The weather is pleasantly chilly, peppermint mocha is back on the menu (no offense, pumpkin spice) and I finally get to listen to Yo La Tengo while staring out the window like I’m the lead in an A24 film. Then there’s all that snow; powdery white, perfectly soft snow begging to be enjoyed as if it were a blank canvas. Winter sports are essentially an adult’s excuse to play in the snow, so what better way to experience plummeting temperatures than by hitting the slopes?
And luckily for us, America has visit-worthy ski resorts all over. They offer more than just picturesque ski runs too. Think snowshoeing across vast landscapes, ice skating under twinkling starlight or indulging in Raclette après-ski. If you haven’t booked a ski trip yet for this winter, here’s us strongly, strongly urging you to do so. Our regional guide to the best ski resorts will help you plan.
Crystal Mountain – Enumclaw, Wash.
Situated in the Cascade mountains on the northeastern side of Mt. Rainier National Park, Crystal Mountain is Washington state’s most expansive ski area. Seattlelites hoping to trade in their rain jackets for snow parkas need only drive two hours from Seattle to hit the scenic slopes. Crystal Mountain is a welcoming resort with trails ranging from easy to expert. After a day of sun and snow, take the Mt. Rainier gondola ride 2,400 vertical feet to the Summit House restaurant and enjoy some of western Washington’s homegrown oysters.
Estimated Season Dates: November 19, 2021 – April 17, 2022.
Crystal Mountain, 33914 Crystal Mountain Blvd., Enumclaw, Wash.
Timberline Lodge – Government Camp, Ore.
This is something you’ve probably never heard: The Timberline Lodge is the exterior of the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining.” Okay, you’ve probably heard that a bunch of times, but push room 237 and all the creepy stuff aside, since the Timberline’s primo skiing will help you forget about its cinematic past. Located on the Palmer Glacier on Mt. Hood, the resort provides skiers with the longest vertical drop in the Pacific Northwest. It offers 41 different ski runs, and the U.S. ski and snowboard teams are known to train here. After a long day of weaving through moguls, relax in the state-of-the-art sauna before taking a dip in the heated swimming pool.
Estimated Season Dates: November 28, 2021 – May 30, 2022.
Timberline Lodge, 27500 E. Timberline Road, Government Camp, Ore.
Summit at Snoqualmie – Snoqualmie Pass, Wash.
The Summit at Snoqualmie is located 60 miles southeast of Seattle and situated on Snoqualmie Pass in the thick of the Cascades. It comprises four unique ski areas; Summit Central, Summit East, Summit West and Alpental. Summit Central acts as the main hub for winter sports, Summit East offers Nordic skiing, Alpental boasts expert ski terrain and Summit West has the most night skiing in the United States. Beyond skiing, Summit offers cross-country skiing, snowboarding and the most winter tubing options west of the Mississippi.
Estimated Season Dates: December 4, 2021 – April 24, 2022.
Summit at Snoqualmie, 1001 WA-906, Snoqualmie Pass, Wash.
Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort – Bend, Ore.
Nestled in the Deschutes National Forest, Mt. Bachelor is just 163 miles from Portland, making it a perfect destination for Portlanders looking to escape their flannel-clad neighbors and Penny-farthing bicycles for the weekend. The icy retreat boasts Oregon’s highest annual volume of snowfall on average and is the state’s largest resort with over 4,300 skiable acres of variable terrain. After you’ve finished gliding on the powdery slopes, warm up over a bowl of tableside hot pot at Sen Thai Noodles & Hot Pot in Bend.
Estimated Season Dates: December 3, 2021 – June 1, 2022.
Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, 13000 SW Century Drive, Bend, OR 97702
Park City Mountain Resort – Park City, Utah
Formerly a silver mining town, Park City has garnered a reputation as one of the premier skiing destinations in America over the past half-century. Unsurprisingly, with over 7,000 massive acres and 341 ski runs to choose from, the sleek mountain resort was the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics. In the evening, visitors can ski away from the slopes and explore the lively Main Street before cozying up with a signature latte at Atticus Coffee, Books & Teahouse.
Estimated Season Dates: November 19, 2021 – April 12, 2022.
Park City Mountain Resort, 1345 Lowell Ave., Park City, Utah
Crested Butte Mountain Resort – Crested Butte, Colo.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort, which is celebrating its 60th year, is less a place for beginners and more of a favorite of exceptional skiers and snowboarders, with more than half of the trails recommended for advanced or expert athletes. Stay at the Lodge at Mountaineer Square, a top-tier chalet conveniently located next to ski lifts. When you’re not skiing, stroll down Elk Avenue and explore the colorful Creative Arts District.
Estimated Season Dates: November 24, 2021 – April 6, 2022.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort, 12 Snowmass Road, Crested Butte, Colo.
Taos Ski Valley – Taos, N.M.
Drive two hours north from Santa Fe and discover the treasure of Taos Ski Valley. Far from New Mexico’s Hatch chile country, Taos Ski Valley is located at the base of Kachina Peak and receives roughly 300 inches of snowfall per year. The resort is well-loved by expert skiers; however, novice adults can hone their skills at the Ernie Blake Snowsports School. Visitors love to stay at The Blake, a luxury ski-in/ski-out Alpine lodge with a spa that offers an Arnica massage.
Estimated Season Dates: November 25, 2021 – April 3, 2022.
Taos Ski Valley, 116 Sutton Place, P.O. Box 90, Taos Ski Valley, N.M.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort – Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Situated near Grand Teton, Bridger Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has garnered international recognition as one of America’s leading ski resorts. Accommodations in the village are superb, with many tourists opting to stay at the exclusive Four Seasons Resort. The resort attracts over two million visitors per year with its impressive all-mountain terrain and more than 130 trails. If snow sports aren’t your cup of tea, ride the Big Red aerial tram up 10,450 feet to the top of Rendezvous Peak and dine on Nutella waffles at Corbet’s Cabin.
Estimated Season Dates: November 25, 2021 – April 10, 2022.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, 7652 Granite Ridge Loop Road, Teton Village, Wyo.
Heavenly Mountain Resort – South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
Rated the best après-ski in California, South Lake Tahoe’s Heavenly Mountain Resort is a popular destination for avid skiers and those who would rather enjoy the snow while sitting fireside. Located on the California-Nevada border, the resort is the largest ski area in Tahoe and gets a stately 360 inches of snowfall annually. Beginners can sharpen their skills at Boulder Lodge, while snow bunnies who prefer to stay off the slopes can take a gondola ride and gaze at the Sierra Nevada mountains. At the end of a snow-filled day, stop by Folks Brewery to test drive the local beer.
Estimated Season Dates: November 19, 2021 – April 29, 2022.
Heavenly Mountain Resort, 3860 Saddle Road, South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
Cascade Mountain Ski Resort – Portage, Wis.
When folks think of the Midwest, the first things that usually come to mind are lakes, beer and cheese curds, but that shouldn’t exclude the friendliest people in the country from partaking in winter sports. Behold, the Cascade Mountain Ski Resort! Just two hours from Milwaukee, Cascade Mountain offers skiers and snowboarders the longest ski runs in the Midwest and ample opportunities to night ski. With over 30 ski trails and several high-speed lifts, the ski resort has become a favorite of families looking to escape their crazy aunt’s tater-tot hot dish for the weekend.
Estimated Season Dates: November 27, 2021 – March 20, 2022.
Cascade Mountain Ski Resort, W10441 Cascade Mountain Rd, Portage, Wis.
Ski Brule – Iron River, Mich.
Nestled in Michigan’s picturesque Upper Peninsula near the Wisconsin border, Ski Brule is a welcoming ski resort that sounds like it was inspired by John C. Reilly a la “Tim and Eric.” Ardent snowboarders flock to the resort known for having the longest ski season in the Midwest, while families love it for its secluded and remote location and first-class snowshoeing. Make sure to visit Riverside Pizzeria and try one of their sausage and mushroom pies.
Estimated Season Dates: November 19, 2021 – April 24, 2022.
Ski Brule, 397 Brule Mountain Road, Iron River, Mich.
Blue Mountain Resort – Palmerton, Penn.
Blue Mountain Resort has become a popular destination for urbanites looking to reconnect with nature. Located just an hour and a half outside of Philadelphia in the Poconos, the resort boasts modern ski lifts and five different terrain parks, making it an accommodating destination for skiers of all skills. Advanced skiers and snowboarders can test-drive new tricks on the resort’s BigAirBAG before performing them on ski runs.
Estimated Season Dates: November 26, 2021 – March 29, 2022.
Blue Mountain Resort, 1660 Blue Mountain Drive, Palmerton, Penn.
Wisp Resort – McHenry, Md.
Wisp Resort may be Maryland’s only ski resort, but that doesn’t mean it’s not also Maryland’s most fantastic ski resort. The resort offers ski runs ranging from beginner to expert, making it a top East Coast destination for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Visitors can reach trails via seven high-speed chairlifts after tucking into savory crepes at the Brunch Café. Cross-country skiers can also find friendly trails while adventurers can explore the region via a ziplining canopy tour. Like Old Bay and Animal Collective, Wisp Resort may not be what Maryland is most famous for, but it’s beloved by an elite class of tastemakers.
Estimated Season Dates: December 14, 2021 – March 25, 2022.
Wisp Resort, 296 March Hill Road, McHenry, Md.
Whiteface Mountain – Wilmington, N.Y.
Located in the Adirondack mountains on the banks of Lake Placid and Lake Champlain, Whiteface Mountain has a long-standing reputation as being the preeminent winter sports location of New York. After hosting the Winter Olympics in 1932, Whiteface Mountain played host less than 50 years later, in 1980. While the resort is best suited for intermediate and advanced skiers, novice athletes can try bobsledding on the original Olympic track. Visitors should make time to take in the breathtaking views from the Little Whiteface Mountain observation deck.
Estimated Season Dates: November 26, 2021 – April 19, 2022.
Whiteface Mountain, 5021 Route 86, Wilmington, N.Y.
Stowe Mountain Resort – Stowe, Ver.
In the thicket of the Vermont wilderness, tucked away next to Spruce Peak and Mt. Mansfield — the state’s highest peak — Stowe Mountain Resort offers travelers a charming reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Burlington. The resort believes that no one should be left out and offers 116 ski trails for skiers of all levels. Après lovers can find solace at the Spruce Peak Village, where they can glide across the ice-skating rink before tucking into Raclette at the WhistlePig Pavilion. Stay at the Lodge at Spruce Peak, where you can ski-in/ski-out before indulging in the heated outdoor pool.
Estimated Season Dates: November 24, 2021 – April 17, 2022.
Stowe Mountain Resort, 5781 Mountain Road, Stowe, Ver.
Sugarloaf Mountain – Carrabassett Valley, Maine
Sugarloaf Mountain has proven itself to be the crown jewel of Maine’s slopes, offering some of the most challenging trails for skiers in Maine. Situated in Maine’s western mountain region, the resort boasts an extra-long ski season in the Carrabassett Valley and over 160 trails and glades. Advanced skiers and snowboarders can brag about visiting the resort’s expert-only park, while their non-skier friends can brag about soaking in the hot tub at the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel.
Estimated Season Dates: November 22, 2021 – May 2, 2022.
Sugarloaf Mountain, 5092 Sugarloaf Access Road, Carrabassett Valley, Maine
Loon Mountain Resort – Lincoln, N.H.
A family-friendly port of call, Loon Mountain Resort has a little of something for everyone. A hop, skip and two-hour jump from Boston, the resort is nestled in the White Mountain National Forest and offers ski runs for all levels along with brand-new chairlifts with heated seats. Those looking to stay off the mountain can try their hand at snowshoeing, ice skating or bravely ziplining over a frozen river.
Estimated Season Dates: November 23, 2021 – April 16, 2022.
Loon Mountain Resort, 60 Loon Mountain Road, Lincoln, N.H.
Smuggler’s Notch Resort – Jacksonville, Ver.
Affectionately nicknamed “Smuggs” to locals and devotees, Smuggler’s Notch Resort is Northern Vermont’s premier winter destination for snow bunnies in search of a family-oriented experience. Chiefly located in Mount Mansfield State Forest, the impressive resort offers a variety of activities for children like snow tubing, massive indoor playgrounds, and award-winning ski and snowboard lessons. Smuggler’s Notch also provides daycare for parents hoping to tackle some of the resort’s more challenging slopes. Check-in by December 21st for the Winter Solstice Celebration, complete with bonfires, drum performances, and fireworks.
Estimated Season Dates: December 10, 2021 – April 10, 2022.
Smuggler’s Notch Resort, 4323 VT-108, Jefferson, VT 05464