The 10 best ski resorts in the US

Liftopia just released their annual best in snow awards, which ranks the best ski resorts in North America based on both skier feedback and Liftopia data.

A skier in Alta, Utah.
Courtesy of Alta

By Sarah Schmalbruch, INSIDER

  • Every year, Liftopia releases their best in snow awards.
  • The awards use skier feedback and Liftopia data to identify the best ski resorts in North America.
  • This year, resorts in Utah and Vermont dominated the list.
  • The winner was Magic Mountain in Vermont.

There's plenty of reasons to love winter— one of the most obvious being the fact that it's prime ski season. 

And while there are plenty of mountains around the world that should be on every skier and snowboarder's bucket list, some of the best are right here in the US. 

Liftopia just released their picks for this year's "best in snow awards." The list combines feedback from skiers and snowboarders with Liftopia's dataset to find the best ski resorts in all of North America. 

[post_ads]If you're wondering about the lack of certain big name resorts on this list, know that Liftopia surveyed over 12,000 skiers and snowboarders on criteria such as resorts' family friendliness, terrain, crowds, and snow quality, and then combined that information with its own data on resorts (visits annually, acreage, average true cost of skiing, and uphill capacity), collected over the past decade. This leveled the playing field between big resorts and smaller, lesser known ones, ensuring that all North American resorts were recognized equally. 

This year, resorts in both Utah and Vermont dominated the list. 

Keep scrolling to see the resorts that every skier should be visiting this winter. 


Bald Mountain, Idaho

Bald Mountain.
Courtesy of Bald Mountain
Bald Mountain refers to itself as "the best little ski hill in Idaho." Part of Idaho's Smoky Mountains, Bald sees around 100 feet of annual snowfall and includes 140 acres of terrain geared towards every level of skier. Forty percent is for intermediate skiers, 25% is for beginners, 20% is for advanced, and 15% for is experts. 


Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole.
Courtesy of Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole spans two mountains — Apres Vous and Rendez Vous — and boasts 2,5000 acres of terrain. The resort is ideal for more advanced skiers. Half of its 133 named trails are for experts, 40% are for intermediate skiers, and only 10% are for beginners.


Mount Bohemia, Michigan

Mount Bohemia.
Courtesy of Mount Bohemia
Located on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Mount Bohemia claims to have some of the longest runs with the highest vertical and deepest powder in the Midwest, making it a favorite among backcountry skiers. The peninsula sees an average of 273 inches of snow per year, all of which Bohemia leaves completely ungroomed. 



Jay Peak, Vermont

Jay Peak.
Courtesy of Jay Peak
Jay Peak sits near the Canadian border and boasts much more than just ski runs. The four season resort has an indoor waterpark, ice arena, golf course, and recreation center. If you're just going for the skiing though, you'll be more than satisfied. The mountain features 385 acres of terrain and 78 trails, the longest of which stretches on for three miles.


Powder Mountain, Utah

Powder Mountain.
Courtesy of Powder Mountain
Powder Mountain is all about the powder — hence its name and slogan (preserve the powder). The mountain only offers 1,500 lift tickets per day in order to ensure that skiers get to enjoy the mountain's full snowy benefits. With an impressive 8,464 acres of terrain, you'll feel like you have the resort to yourself.


Arapahoe Basin, Colorado

Arapahoe Basin.
Courtesy of Liftopia
A little over an hour from Denver, Arapahoe Basin offers 1,331 acres of terrain and 132 trials. The majority of the mountain's runs are fairly challenging: only 7% of trails fall into the "easiest" category, 22% fall into "more difficult," 45% are "most difficult," and 26% are extreme. The average annual snowfall is 350 inches. 


Snowbird, Utah

Courtesy of Snowbird
Just under an hour's drive from Salt Lake City, Snowbird sits in the Rocky Mountains. The resort, which includes 189 trails, is family-friendly and known for its Mountain School.


Mad River Glen, Vermont

Mad River Glen.
Mad River Glen/Facebook
Mad River's claim to fame is that it's the only remaining skier-owned mountain in the US, something that the resort says allows it to preserve "a brand of skiing that exists nowhere else." The Vermont resort is also one of only a handful of mountains that allows only skiers and no snowboarders.


Alta, Utah

Courtesy of Alta
With an average annual snowfall of 551 inches, Alta offers skiers plenty of powder, as well as over 116 runs. Snowboarders aren't allowed on the mountain, which is likely why skiers say that even on busy days, you'll never end up waiting in line for more than five minutes. Twenty-five percent of the resort's terrain is for beginners, 40% is intermediate, and 35% is advanced.

Alta took the number one spot in Liftopia's snow consistency and quality category.



Magic Mountain, Vermont

Magic Mountain.
Magic Mountain Ski Area/Facebook
Magic Mountain's main draw is its legendary terrain. The resort boasts some of the best tree-skiing in the east. It was established in the 60s and is known to have maintained "an old school vibe."

Skiers say that Magic is a "hidden treasure" with a "massive variety of trails," and "terrain you can grow with." The resort also took home the number one spot in the most challenging in the Northeast and North America categories.



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Travel Magazine: The 10 best ski resorts in the US
The 10 best ski resorts in the US
Liftopia just released their annual best in snow awards, which ranks the best ski resorts in North America based on both skier feedback and Liftopia data.
Travel Magazine
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