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From the towering Alps to the mountains of Patagonia to the sought-after Japanese peaks, the world is your skiing oyster. With all the luxurious destination ski trips on the market, it’s easy to forget that some of the best skiing is here in America. This winter, explore the best U.S. ski spots—plan an alpine trek out west or road trip to the slopes of New Mexico. You’ll find charming snow-covered villages that could rival the ones tucked into the French Alps, and the spas of your après-ski dreams. These are the 11 best ski destinations in America.
Snowmass Village, Colorado
Snowmass—essentially an extension of Aspen—and is a charming Colorado village central to four well-groomed mountains. The Snowmass base village opened in 2018 as a luxury hub for skiers of all skill levels. The beauty of the varied terrain across four mountains is there really are trails for everyone “from the choice expert terrain of Burnt Mountain Glades, High Alpine, and the Cirque, to the long blue groomers and impressive beginner facilities for newcomers,” says the Aspen Snowmass site. Check into the Viceroy Snowmass, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, situated right at the base of Burnt Mountain.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Olympic Valley, California
Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
Park City, Utah
Park City is an iconic ski destination—partially because of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Park City Mountain Resort is home to 7,300 skiable acres and neighboring Deer Valley Resort offers another 2,026 acres of powdery terrain. The Park City community welcomes a combination of transplants and winter sports lovers—skiers and snowboarders feel instantly at home in this snowy Utah enclave. For luxe accommodations—and exceptionally cozy après-ski offerings—check into Montage Deer Valley, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property in the heart of Park City.
Spending the weekend in Stowe has all the très charmante aesthetics of spending a weekend in the French Alps. The skiing in Vermont is renowned for good reason—Mount Mansfield is the highest peak in the area—and the main street is lined with darling boutiques for the less skiing-inclined visitors. For a luxurious spa to retreat to after a day on the slopes, stay at Top Notch Resort—in addition to their luxe rooms and suites, they now offer Resort Homes at Top Notch for rent.
Powder chasers fawn over Mt. Bachelor and its enviable conditions. In fact, the most extreme powder advocates plan meticulously to show up at Mt. Bachelor right before a 20-inch snow fall. In true Oregon fashion, Bend boasts great food, beer, and coffee—the town is home to no fewer than 30 22 craft breweries. The craft food and drink satiates skiers from across the country who spend the week at Mt. Bachelor Village Resort tucked into the Cascade Mountains, just east of Deschutes National Forest.
Big Sky, Montana
Not far from Yellowstone National Park, Big Sky is a stretch of Rockies in Montana primed for winter sports. From rustic lodges to summit accommodations, they have something for every palette at Big Sky. Big Sky Resort offers a whopping 5,850 skiable acres, with 38 lifts, all on one peak. Big Sky has become the “it” winter destination in the last 10 years with a number of celebrities moving in—Bill Gates, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, and Tom Brady all own property here. The best approach for luxe accommodations is to rent a luxury ski house with Natural Retreats.
This quintessential Rockies ski town used to be a Victorian mining hub. Telluride’s central Mountain Village—at 9,500 feet elevation—offers haute cuisine to impress the foodies who want to tuck into a great après-ski meal, and a vibrant arts and “high country culture” scene for the non-skiers. The snowy expanse makes for not-too-crowded runs, and you can snowboard, snowshoe, downhill, or cross-country ski here in the San Juan Mountains. While in Telluride, stay in mountainous luxury at Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property with ski-in/ski-out access and an outdoor hot tub and pool deck in view of the mountains.
Sun Valley, Idaho
Sun Valley is really coming up on the luxury skiing scene—an Auberge Resorts Collection is forthcoming in 2022, that’s how you know. The central Idaho Rocky mountain ski area has Bald Mountain, known for its black diamonds, and Dollar Mountain, which has easier trails perfect for neophyte skiers. Beyond well-kept terrain, the aptly named sun-drenched valley is home to a Nordic-feeling ski village, equally welcoming to skiers and those less keen on winter sports. And Sun Valley Lodge offers standalone cottages perfect for a multi-generation family ski vacation.
Carrabassett Valley, Maine
Maine is home to some of the northeast’s most famous peaks, including Mount Katahdin, the Appalachian Trail’s terminus. After Katahdin’s two peaks, Sugarloaf is the third highest mountain in Maine, and one of the only opportunities for alpine skiing (i.e., skiing above the treeline) in the eastern United States. At Sugarloaf, the whole family can take ski lessons or split up between the downhill trails and cross-country skiing terrain. Stay in Sugarloaf Village at Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel whose design was inspired by rustic New England farmhouses and atmosphere “evokes the warmth of a rustic mountain lodge, with the convenience of a modern world-class resort.”