While most people start moaning about the approaching winter with its cold temperatures and heavy snow, you are thrilled because the coming winter can only mean one thing: ski season! Time to strap on the boots and hit the mountain. And with this list of the best ski resorts in North America for powder skiing this winter, you’re sure to have the best season ever.
Located just outside Salt Lake City, UT, Alta Ski Area is easily accessible, and gets an average of 560 inches of snow per year, Alta is a great ski resort for skiers of all ability levels. 25% of the terrain is for beginner, 40% intermediate, and 35% is for expert skiers. While there are runs available for all ability levels, skiers agree Alta is home to some of the most challenging terrain in North America. One of the larger ski resorts, Alta boasts a whopping 2,200 square acres of skiable terrain and a summit of 10,550 feet. Less than a mile away from Alta is Snowbird Ski Resort, another popular resort for powder skiing. These linked resorts all over Utah can make for a whole week of powdery fun.
You wouldn’t think of New Mexico as a skiing destination, but Taos is home to one of the best ski schools in the country. As part of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, Taos receives about 300 inches per year of light, dry powder snow. The resort has a unique mix of a traditional European ski resort with Native American and Mexican influence. Skiers enjoy a variety of terrain with about 25% of both beginner and intermediate terrain, and 51% expert terrain. The summit is 12,481 feet with 1,294 skiable acres filled with big bumps, tree glades, and steep chutes.
Ideally positioned on the west facing side of the Teton mountain range, Grand Targhee ski resort regularly is hit by pacific snow storms, which give this resort its renowned deep powder. Part of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, this resort has 70% of its trails dedicated to intermediate skiers. There are 2,000 skiable acres here with the summit reaching 9,920 feet. The average snow fall is about 500 inches of snow per year.
The wildcard of powder ski resorts is Silverton, located in southwest Colorado. Open only to expert skiers, this resort is not for the faint of heart. All skiers are required to carry an avalanche beacon, probe pole, and shovel with them at all times. The resort is limited to only 475 skiers or less per day to lessen the human impact on the environment. With 22,000 acres of untouched powder, the majority of skiing is available by back country hiking or helicopter. This ski resort is 100% expert terrain, but gives experts a true back country skiing experience.
Depending on your skill level, you are sure to find some great powder skiing this winter. Dust off your skis and hit the slopes with the acres of groomed trails available, or capture your side of adventure and tackle the untouched deep powder at Silverton. Use a ski rental service like Ski Butlers to find the best gear for your terrain, and also get help picking up equipment at each resort.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan..