As the first snowflakes touch the ground, powder hounds from around the world race to the United States to tackle some of the globe’s most renowned slopes. Whether you’re hitting the trails for the very first time or you live for fresh powder, the possibilities for a memorable ski or snowboard vacation in the USA are endless.
Listing every skiable slope in the U.S. is a nearly impossible task, so we’ve highlighted some of the nation’s most popular skiing and snowboarding regions to serve as a starting point for planning your next snowy vacation.
Prefer surf boards to snowboards? Plan a winter getaway to Hawaii's North Shore.
Park City, Utah
Only 52 kilometers southeast of downtown Salt Lake City, Park City is among Utah’s most popular skiing locations. The site of numerous events during the 2002 Winter Olympics — and the headquarters of the U.S. Ski Team — Park City boasts three major sets of slopes: Canyons Resort, Deer Valley Resort (a skiing-only resort) and Park City Mountain Resort. Factor in the other renowned ski and snowboard areas around the city, like Snowbird and Alta (another skiers-only area), and you’ll end up with a total of 426 runs and bowls across more than 3,600 hectares of snow-dusted terrain.
One of the most famous winter sports hubs in the northeastern United States, Stowe has been challenging even the most advanced skiers and snowboarders since the 1930s. The tiny mountain town about 60 kilometers east of Burlington, Vermont, caters to advanced powder hounds with its double-black-diamond “Front Four” trails: National, Liftline, Goat and Starr. But don’t worry: There are plenty of runs designed for beginners, too, not to mention plenty of space for snowboarding. To tackle one of America’s most storied powder locales, head over to Stowe Mountain Resort.
Aspen & Snowmass, Colorado
Nestled neatly within the Rocky Mountains’ Sawatch Range, about 320 kilometers southwest of Denver, Aspen-Snowmass is synonymous with superb skiing. That is largely due to the four unique ski resorts, Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. (You can find information about all four on the Aspen Snowmass website.) Because Colorado sees so much snowfall, all of the slopes open in late November and welcome skiers and snowboarders until as late as mid-April. If you’re looking for a short break from the slopes without sacrificing a day in the snow, you can try your hand at cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the nearby White River National Forest.
Whether you’re an expert or a beginner, looking to splurge or on a budget, Bozeman has something for you. Southern Montana is most famous for the Big Sky Resort, which sits 81 kilometers southwest of Bozeman and boasts roughly 2,350 hectares of slopes, making it the largest ski and snowboard resort in the entire country. Open from late November to mid-April, Big Sky’s biggest attraction is Lone Peak, a 3,403-meter-high summit that has areas for novices and experts alike.
Craving even more powder? You find plenty of excellent ski and snowboard areas in Idaho's Sun Valley.