Skiing is a wonderful pastime; it allows you to take in the splendor of nature while enjoying plenty of thrills – and a whole lot of exercise. Really, the combination of benefits that skiing brings to the table simply can’t be overemphasized. It’s not surprising that ski resort areas have enjoyed so much popularity for so many years; ski vacations really are great opportunities for people of all ages and preferences to have a fantastic and memorable time. Whether you choose to hit the slopes in Breckenridge or Jackson Hole – or if you choose to try out the premier cross country skiing in places like Michigan’s Upper Peninsula or in Big Sky, Montana – you can bet that you’ll have a blast.
Choosing the ski destination that is right for you is going to depend on a couple of different variables. The overall skill level of those who will be skiing is one very important consideration. Also, the ages of the people in your traveling group matters a lot; you’re going to want to choose a ski resort that caters to the appropriate ages. Overall, though, planning a ski vacation really isn’t terribly difficult – and there are dozens of exceptional options spread out all across the United States.
Best Ski Destinations
Even if you’ve never strapped on a pair of skis, you probably have a basic idea about what the most popular ski areas in the country are. Several places in Colorado spring to mind, including Vail and Aspen. Utah and Wyoming have several prime spots, as do Montana and Idaho. The East Coast shouldn’t be overlooked either; there are several great ski destinations east of the Mississippi as well. If you’d like to plan a ski vacation but aren’t sure where to begin, consider one of these options:
Blackjack Ski Resort – Upper Peninsula, Michigan
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula receives a couple of hundred inches of snow per year, making it a skier’s dream come true. In the western portion of the Upper Peninsula, or UP, Blackjack Ski Resort is one of the most interesting places to test your mettle when it comes to skiing. This family-friendly resort is small enough to feel intimate and cozy – but large enough to handle decent numbers of people. You’ll never feel like conditions are too crowded when you ski here, which is a definite plus no matter what your skills are.
Breckenridge Ski Resort – Breckenridge, Colorado
Instead of trying to beat the crowds over in Vail or Aspen, many savvy skiers turn to Breckenridge to get their skiing fix. Breckenridge Ski Resort may be large, but it is also wonderfully simple compared with some of the even larger places in Vail and Aspen. The mountains and slopes here are phenomenal, and there are options available for every conceivable level of skier. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert – and whether you’re traveling as a couple or as an entire family – Breckenridge Ski Resort is always a topnotch choice.
Mount Rose – Lake Tahoe, Nevada
There are many different ski resorts to choose from in and around the Lake Tahoe region; the vast majority of them are huge and tend to overwhelm newbies and young travelers. If you are looking for a smaller, more reasonably sized ski resort to spend time at when in Tahoe, you should consider Mount Rose. Mount Rose has a handful of lifts and plenty of options for beginners. Better yet, parents won’t have to worry as much about kids straying far afield, since the region is relatively compact. Despite its more moderate size, Mount Rose offers all of the very best amenities and the scenery is truly astounding. All around, you won’t find a more laid back ski resort in Lake Tahoe than Mount Rose.
Snow King Resort – Jackson Hole, Wyoming
The Jackson Hole Ski Resort generally dominates the skiing scene in this part of Wyoming, but if you’re happy with less extravagant accommodations then you’re sure to find the Snow King Resort to more than meet your expectations. Located just a few blocks from Jackson’s town square, the Snow King Resort is exceptionally family friendly and generally just a breath of fresh air when compared with some of the more monstrous sized resorts in the region. Beginners and experts will both have plenty to keep themselves busy, and the usual amenities like lessons and dining are all available.
Moonlight Basin – Big Sky, Montana
There is plenty of fun to be had over in Big Sky, Montana – especially if you are a fan of skiing. The Moonlight Basin Ski Resort should be at the top of your list if you are looking for a full-fledged ski resort to spend the majority of your time at when in Big Sky. A large terrain park offers a little bit of something for everyone, while the cozy lodge will keep skiers happy and satiated with plenty of refreshments and roaring fires. Lessons are given in small groups, making it a lot easier for novices to get off to a great start on the slopes.
Rock Creek Lodge – Mammoth Lakes, California
Find out why so many Los Angeles area residents flock to Mammoth Lakes to ski to their hearts’ content by checking in at the Rock Creek Lodge. While there are larger, snazzier ski resorts in the region, Rock Creek Lodge tends to cater to more serious skiers and is more friendly and intimate overall. Families will especially appreciate the quieter, more secluded nature of the terrain at Rock Creek Lodge; many return again and again after experiencing everything that the place has to offer.
Things to Consider
Planning the perfect ski vacation takes a bit of time and consideration. It is important to ensure that travelers of every skill level will be able to have a fun and exciting time; you don’t want to plan a trip to a place that’s geared toward experts, for instance, when you have a lot of beginners in your group. Amenities at the lodge also matter, so look for places that feature options that will suit your specific tastes and preferences. Finally, try to select a place that has unbeatable scenery so that your ski vacation is that much more memorable.