Whether you are a beginner or seasoned skier, snowboarder or just enjoy the spectacular sight of masses of snow while sipping a hot beverage, North America has numerous spectacular ski resorts to satisfy your interests. Ski season runs from December to the beginning of April. Below are a few hand-picked destinations in North America that are sure to be a spectacular winter wonderland during this time:
Seven miles of legendary champagne powder, over 5,200 acres of dazzling terrain, world-famous trails, back bowls and tempting terrain parks makes Vail the ultimate playground for skiers and riders. The Town of Vail is a Home Rule Municipality in Eagle County, Colorado, United States. The town was established and built as the base village to Vail Ski Resort, with which it was originally conceived. Vail’s average elevation is 8,150 feet (2484 m) above sea level. The town has a total area of 4.5 square miles (12 km2), with no lakes (there is, however, at least one pond). Gore Creek flows from east to west through the center of town. The town is surrounded by the White River National Forest and the Vail Ski Resort is leased from the United States Forest Service. Mount of the Holy Cross is visible from Vail Mountain. Vail Mountain rises from 8,120 feet (2,476 m) to 11,570 feet (3,527 m), giving a vertical height of 3,450 feet (1,052 m). It has a 5,289 acres (21 km2) skiable area, 31 chairlifts, 16 high-speed quads and two gondolas, 193 marked skiing trails on three faces: the front side, the back bowls, and Blue Sky Basin. The seven back bowls are Sun Down Bowl, Sun Up Bowl, Teacup Bowl, China Bowl, Siberia Bowl, Inner Mongolia Bowl, and Outer Mongolia Bowl. Blue Sky Basin includes Pete’s Bowl and Earl’s Bowl—to commemorate Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton.
Vail Mountain’s trail classification is 53% expert/advanced, 29% intermediate, 18% beginner and averages 350 inches of snow every year. When the snow melts, championship golf courses, hiking and biking trails, horseback tours, fishing and festivals make Destination Resorts Vail a true four-season resort. Featuring over 100 shops on pedestrian-friendly, cobblestone streets, Vail offers the premier selection of clothing for skiing, hiking, biking or the perfect night on the town. Discover the ideal souvenir or explore the numerous galleries featuring an exciting mix of contemporary to classic collections of fine art and furnishings.
Vail is served by Eagle County Airport near Gypsum, 30 miles to the west. Native Americans used to call the area near the airport the “hole in the sky” because storms seemed to avoid it. Vail is modeled on European ski towns, many of which are car-free, and the town is partially pedestrianized. The town operates the largest free shuttle bus system in the United States and has one hybrid-electric bus. At each bus stop, a sign reports when the next two buses will arrive. Vail is located 100 miles West of Denver International Airport. Accessed by 3 exits off of Interstate 70, the main Vail exit is #176, go back under the highway from the roundabout, and head around the second roundabout. Going right (West) will take you towards the Lionshead Parking Structure. Follow the roundabout to the East to access the Vail Village Structure. Vail is serviced by both Eagle Airport and Denver International Airport. Eagle airport offers non stop service to major cities and is a short 20 minute drive from Vail, while Denver International is only 2 hours East of Vail.
ASPEN, COLORADONestled in the heart of the White River National Forest and surrounded by the peaks of the Elk Mountains, Aspen is well known as a ski destination, but the town’s history and offerings go much deeper. Aspen, in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, is a ski resort town and a year-round destination for outdoor recreation. It’s known for its high-end restaurants, boutiques, and landmarks like the 1889 Wheeler Opera House, built during the area’s silver mining boom. Its Wheeler-Stallard House is a local history museum set in a 19th-century, Queen Anne–style home, while the Aspen Art Museum displays works from contemporary artists. The City of Aspen is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Pitkin County, Colorado, United States. Aspen is situated in a remote area of the Rocky Mountains’ Sawatch Range and Elk Mountains, along the Roaring Fork River at an elevation just below 8,000 feet (2,400 m) above sea level on the Western Slope, 11 miles (18 km) west of the Continental Divide.
Founded as a mining camp during the Colorado Silver Boom and later named “Aspen” because of the abundance of aspen trees in the area, the city boomed during the 1880s, its first decade of existence. That early era ended when the Panic of 1893 led to a collapse in the silver market, and the city began a half-century known as “the quiet years” during which its population steadily declined, reaching a nadir of less than a thousand by 1930. Aspen’s fortunes reversed in the mid-20th century when neighboring Aspen Mountain was developed into a ski resort, and industrialist Walter Paepcke bought many properties in the city and redeveloped them. Today it is home to three renowned institutions, two of which Paepcke helped found, that have international importance: the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Aspen Institute, and the Aspen Center for Physics.
In the late 20th century, the city became a popular retreat for celebrities. Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson worked out of a downtown hotel and ran unsuccessfully for county sheriff. Singer John Denver wrote two songs about Aspen after settling there. Both of them popularized Aspen among the countercultural youth of the 1970s as an ideal place to live, and the city continued to grow even as it gained notoriety for some of the era’s hedonistic excesses as well, particularly its drug culture. Today the musicians and movie stars have been joined by corporate executives. As a result of this influx of wealth, Aspen boasts the most expensive real estate prices in the United States and most middle-class residents can no longer afford to live there. It remains a popular tourist destination, with outdoor recreation in the surrounding White River National Forest serving as a summertime complement to the four ski areas in the vicinity.
Aspen lives up to its winter reputation. Four ski mountains make up the terrain for the world-renowned Aspen Snowmass resort. Aspen Mountain, locally referred to as Ajax, rises up directly from downtown, bringing a whole new meaning to ski-in/ski-out. Buttermilk Mountain, home of the Aspen X Games, is a kids’ and beginners’ paradise. Aspen Highlands boasts the legendary Highland Bowl, and Snowmass offers the largest acreage and diversity by having something for everyone. Aspen’s beautiful scenery and open space also lends itself well to other types of winter recreation, such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, fly-fishing and even hot-air ballooning. After a hard day of play enjoy Aspen’s legendary après ski scene, or head out for dinner at one of our world-class restaurants. Top off the night by enjoying a show at Belly Up, Aspen’s 500-person live music venue featuring renowned artists. Aspen’s big-city cultural institutions, well known for their summer programming, have plenty of events throughout the winter months as well, leaving you inspired.
PARK CITY, UTAH
Park City, Utah is far more than a ski resort town. Here, you’ll find a scenic mountain community that is filled with winter activities and an action-packed calendar of events that extend far beyond skiing and snowboarding. Whether visiting Park City for outdoor adventure or mountain relaxation, the city offers year-round access to a wide range of outdoor and cultural activities surrounded by the picturesque Rocky Mountains. Park City is home to three world-class ski resorts: Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain Resort and The Canyons Resort. Both Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort were venues during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. During the winter months when guests are not on the slopes they enjoy the following activities in Park City, Utah. Snowmobiling, Snow Tubing, Hot Air Balloon Rides, Nordic Skiing and Snow Shoeing.
The Summer season is bursting at the seams with activities from leisurely activities such as gallery strolls, festivals and outdoors concerts to golf and fly-fishing to more adventurous sports including mountain biking, hiking, white water rafting and paddle boarding. The town of Park City has several zip lines, alpine coasters, scenic chair lift rides and adventure camps for participants of all ages. Additional family activities include bowling, indoor kid’s gym, and movie theaters. Year-round favorites include shopping on Main Street or at the Tanger Outlets, viewing movies from the Sundance Film Institute, or attending one of the yearly festivals and events in town.
Park City Mountain combined with neighboring Canyons Resort in July of 2015. The new Quicksilver eight-passenger, high-speed two-way gondola will transport guests from the base of the existing Silverlode Lift to the Flatiron Lift creating the largest ski area in the United States. With over 7,300 acres, 300+ trails, 38 lifts, seven terrain parks, 14 bowls, six natural half pipes, one super pipe and one mini pipe, plus many diverse ski-in/ski-out and village adjacent lodging properties, Park City is an easily accessible, world-class mountain destination located in an authentic & historic western town.
Located in the heart of Park City, Utah, only a 35-minute drive from Salt Lake City International Airport, Park City is home to over 7,300 skiable acres with a good mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain. During Summer 2015, the Resort undertook the largest resort improvement project in the history of American skiing, one that linked it with neighbor Canyons Resort to create the United States’ largest ski area. Park City bustles with activities year-round with two distinct base areas, nine hotels, thrilling family adventures, and more than two dozen restaurants. With non-stop flights from over 70 U.S. cities into Salt Lake City International airport, it’s easy to get to Park City from just about anywhere. Once you land, you can go from concourse to the slopes in 40 easy minutes by bus, taxi or car. So after your flight touches down, you can be boarding the lifts the very same day.
WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIAWhistler is a Canadian resort town in the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains in the province of British Columbia, Canada, approximately 125 km (78 mi) north of Vancouver and 36 km (22 mi) south of the town of Pemberton. The Whistler resort area, north of Vancouver in British Columbia, exists because of skiing. With more than 8,000 acres over 2 mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, it’s the largest skiable area in North America. That distinction – and its roughly 12m of yearly snowfall – helped it earn co-hosting duties at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Its hub is a compact, chalet-style pedestrian village.Over two million people visit Whistler annually, primarily for alpine skiing and snowboarding and, in summer, mountain biking at Whistler Blackcomb. Its pedestrian village has won numerous design awards and Whistler has been voted among the top destinations in North America by major ski magazines since the mid-1990s. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler hosted most of the alpine, Nordic, luge, skeleton, and bobsled events, though freestyle skiing and all snowboarding events were hosted at Cypress Mountain near Vancouver.
Whistler Mountain is a mountain in the Fitzsimmons Range of the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains, located on the northwestern edge of Garibaldi Provincial Park. It is the location of the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort and the town of Whistler, British Columbia. The original name of the mountain was London Mountain, named after a mining claim in the area. The locality was called Alta Lake before the creation of the Resort Municipality of Whistler in the 1970s, but the mountain’s name had already been changed in 1965 as the associations with London’s bad weather were deemed to be bad for advertising purposes. With the advent of the ski resort in the late 1960s the name was changed to “Whistler” to represent the whistling calls of the marmots, which are also known as “whistlers”, that live in the alpine areas of the mountain.
Because of the mountain’s proximity to Garibaldi Provincial Park, ski lifts are regularly used to quickly access the alpine, and ski tour into the park. The summit is home to the Whistler Peak chair, and this makes it one of the most traveled summits in BC. The mountain forms part of a major ski and snowboard resort. Located in the spectacular Coast Mountains of British Columbia just two hours north of Vancouver, Whistler is Canada’s favourite year-round destination. There’s two majestic mountains with a vibrant base Village, epic skiing and snowboarding, four championship golf courses, unbeatable shopping, restaurants and bars, accommodation to suit every budget, hiking trails, spas and arguably the best mountain bike park in the world. Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains are a skier’s dream destination, the ultimate in big mountain experiences Over 8,100 acres of snow-covered slopes, 16 alpine bowls, 3 glaciers, world-class terrain parks and 200+ marked trails.