Squaw Valley – Alpine Meadows
Squaw Valley has some of the best terrain on the West Coast. While the snow volume and quality varies, when it snows, you can’t beat these slopes. Enjoy expert skiing in powder snow that blankets six peaks and over four thousand acres while catching a stunning view of Lake Tahoe.
If that alone won’t keep you busy, ski nearby Alpine Meadows with the same ticket and explore two thousand additional acres. With an efficient shuttle and lift system, you can go back and forth all day. There’s even a gondola linking the two parks.
Squaw Valley is accessible because it sits right on Interstate 80, and it’s an easy drive from Reno, San Francisco, and Sacramento. This can also mean it’s busy and you might deal with a lot of crowds if the snowfall is favorable.
Snowfall in the Sierras is unpredictable sometimes, but when it’s good, the terrain is well-covered, and you can ski into the night hours, which is free with a day or afternoon ticket. The north-facing ski areas preserve snow, so the season often runs into late May.
Possibly the best location in the United States is Jackson Hole, known for its immense snowfall, world-class terrain, and the best lift network in the country. You’ll find cliffs, groomers, trees, bowls, couloirs, and chutes throughout this wonderland of front, side, and backcountry skiing.
Half of Jackson Hole’s slopes are rated for experts, while 40% is for intermediates and 10% is for beginners. Jackson Hole is famous for the extreme terrain and continuous verticals at 4,139 feet. While it’s known for being an expert’s paradise, improvements such as the Teton lift have made the intermediate courses easier to access.
A near-term plan to add a mid-mountain lodge and ski school will make Jackson Hole a more attractive destination for families. Lines are rare in comparison with other resorts, and its proximity to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park means that it doesn’t lack ambiance or adventure.
You may enjoy the throwback to fixed double chairlifts and the strict, no snowboarding policy that Alta offers. Alta is irresistible to skiers because its powder dumps leave you buried in snow. It sees about 550 inches of snowfall a year, which is more than any other resort in America.
The extreme terrain in Alta includes tree runs, chutes, and steeps with a little over two thousand acres of skiable area. You can also purchase a ticket for the nearby Snowbird slopes as well. With Salt Lake City so close, Alta is accessible via public bus, so you can ski during the day and enjoy shopping or nightclubs at night.
Steamboat Springs is home to the oldest skiing hill in Colorado. It is also home to more Winter Olympians than any other city in the United States. Skiing meets cowboy country in this almost three thousand acre park, including some of the best glade skiing in Colorado.
Tree runs are available to skiers of all abilities, and the light, fluffy powder makes it easy to glide blissfully through. The low elevation compared to other peaks in Colorado means the snow melts more quickly, but the town and its rustic charm means that you can enjoy more than just skiing.
Far from airports, Steamboat Springs is not easily accessible, so there aren’t a lot of crowds. However, it can be more pricey because of the limited options for dining and lodging, so if you want to brave the cost and the travel, and you hit the jackpot in snowfall, Steamboat Springs is the best.
If you’re looking for the best place to ski this fall and winter, look no further than these US-based resorts for steep slopes, powdery snow, and acres upon acres of the best terrain around. Don’t forget your jackets, ski pants, helmets, and other gear.