17 Ski Destinations to Visit this Winter

                           by Erin Pagel





         Fall is coming upon us.  The kids are headed back to school and soon the heat, the long days at the pool and the carefree days of summer will be just a memory.  The beginning of fall means only one thing; it's time, once again, to start planning your winter skiing vacation.

         Forget about hitting the same old slopes this year.  No matter if it’s with the kids, with your friends or with your spouse, this is your chance to fall in love with the sport for the first time or to fall in love all over again.  This mix of 17 popular and lesser-known skiing destinations across North America should give you a chance to find a completely new experience. Discover different types of snow to widely varying slopes to a myriad of new winter adventures.

Western United States

           Long heralded as the destination for skiers, millions of travelers flock to the Western U.S. each winter, spending cool days on the slopes and hot evenings in the lodge.  Colorado, Utah, Idaho and California all boast top of the line slopes, snow and accommodations yet each is vastly different and worth a visit.

         Colorado is the iconic destination for North American skiing. A little more than an hour west of Denver,  Winter Park offers several high quality resorts and some of the best snow and slopes around. It is clear why Winter Park is one of the big names in North American skiing.

         Utah touts the cluster of Salt Lake City, Snowbird and Park City, making it a haven for die-hard skiers. Salt Lake City  is at the heart of the Utah skiing region.  With 4 resorts within 35 miles and several others in the outlying area, it is easy to see why Salt Lake City was selected to host the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.  With options like the Ski Salt Lake Super Pass, Salt Lake is a perfect destination for those who want to pack a lot of skiing into their trip.   Less than 30 miles south of Salt Lake, Snowbird is ranked the number 1 skiing destination in America with all the best winter activities like luging, night skiing, snowboarding, snowcat skiing and guided snowmobile tours.  About 45 minutes west of Snowbird lies Park City.  Park City has three ski areas: Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain Resort and the Canyons Resort.  Each area has hundreds of trails with the Canyons being the largest ski and snowboard resort in Utah and host of several skiing events in the Winter Olympics of 2002. Regardless of where you make your destination, it is easy to visit the other two areas as they are an easy 40-minute drive from one another.  

         Since opening in 2004, Tamarack Ski Resort in Idaho has become a top destination in the West for skiing holidays. Averaging over 300 inches of snowfall per year, Tamarack is an easy destination for beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers.  This Idaho destination also offers several 3-5 star resort hotels to round out the luxury offerings at Tamarack.

         California features two top skiing destinations within driving distance of one another: Mammoth Mountain and Lake Tahoe.  Mammoth Lakes is home to the Mammoth Mountain ski resort which has 3,500 acres of skiable terrain.  With 20 different lifts, however, its never hard to get from trail to trail.  As somewhat of a bonus, Mammoth Mountain is only about a five hour drive from Las Vegas, for those who really want to live it up this winter.  Three hours north of Mammoth Lakes is Lake Tahoe, the premiere romantic skiing destination.  With seven different resorts surrounding the lake and a number of romantic lake cruises, you'll never run out of things to do with your significant other. 

Eastern United States

When we think of skiing in the U.S. we immediately think of the Rockies Mountains of Colorado and Utah but the upper Northeast has its own skiing destinations perfect for those East-Coasters looking for a weekend or week-long getaway. 

         Vermont is blessed with a mountainous topography and high average snowfall making it perfect for winter sports.  Killington is ideal for thrill-seekers with the longest run in the Eastern United States--the Juggernaut at 6.6 miles--as well as the steepest and most challenging bump runs, steeps and cruisers.  Thirty minutes due south of Killington is the popular Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow.  Home to Vermont's steepest vertical drop (2,200 ft.), Okemo boasts 117 different slopes, 2 pipes and six parks. 

         Upstate New York is home to the beautiful scenery of the Catskill Mountains.  Only about two hours from New York City, Windham Mountain Resort offers excellent skiing at competitive prices.  Night skiing, snowboarding and snowtubing are popular activities that will give everyone in your group a fun experience.


         Visit the Great White North this winter for the best powder and the longest season—some resorts are open upwards of 10 months.   Canada has a number of destinations including Banff, Fernie, Golden, Kimberley, Rossland, Whistler and Quebec City.  After skiing one of these locations, you'll want to do them all. 

         Banff, Alberta is known for its stunning scenery, brisk air and amazing skiing. Banff offers three world-class skiing areas: Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise.  These skiing opportunities, combined with superior lodging and magnificent views make Banff the premier destination in Alberta for ski vacations.  A number of Banff ski packages are available to purchase on-line that gives one the option to reserve everything from Tri-Area lift tickets to lodging to non-skiing activities and tours. 

         British Columbia is the mecca for Canadian snow sport enthusiasts.  Nestled among the Canadian Rockies, British Columbia has a number of first-rate skiing destinations including Fernie, Golden, Kimberley, Rossland and Whistler.  Each of these resort destinations features perfect powder and hundreds of acres of skiiable terrian.  Aside from the ski slopes, the Kicking Horse resort in Golden offers Sightseeing and Bear Tours, Kimberley is home to Canada's top resort golf course and Whistler is the winter destination for adventure sports such as snowmobiling and snowcat excursions. 

         Just as with the United States, Western Canada seems to be the main destination for skiers but Eastern Canada offers excellent skiing as well.  Quebec City, like Banff, offers multiple ski areas.  Mont-Sainte-Anne and Stoneham are both world-class skiing destinations with Mont-Sainte-Anne boasting its position as the number one North American destination for expert skiing. 

         For a stress-free planning, visit Vacations Made Easy's special ski vacation planner.  There you can book everything from lodging to lift tickets in a few easy clicks on-line or by dialing a toll-free number to speak with a customer service representative.  You work hard so vacation easy.


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Vacations Made Easy is an Internet-based travel company whose goal is to provide all of the tools, resources, and information necessary to assist travelers in creating memorable vacation experiences. Our goal is simplified by a mission to treat every customer like family. By applying that mission to our entire operation, we work to always keep our customers at the forefront of everything that we do.