Ski, snowboard, and explore stunning mountains in Canada and the USA. These resorts offer piste and views comparable to those of the Best 5 Ski Resorts in Europe. Whether you’re looking for freestyle terrain, rare winter sports, or miles of bunny slopes and a sweet spa, our five favorite North American destinations have you covered.

Lexi duPont skiing in the desert of southern Utah

Nearby Salt Lake City in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon, the twin resorts Alta and Snowbird are made up of nearly 5,000 miles of slopes, including Alf’s High Rustler and Castle Apron. Both resorts are accessible to pedestrians, as free shuttles connect the slopes, lodges, and dining options. Visitors can easily travel among beginner, intermediate, and challenging slopes. There’s an option for every traveler. While Alta is off-limits to snowboarders, Snowboard offers 85 trails for skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. After a day exploring Utah’s winter wonderland, there’s ample opportunity to unwind. Stay at the Alta Peruvian, a rustic lodge with its focus on the mountain. The hotel keeps guests warm with hot tubs, a sauna, and a heated outdoor pool as well as a ski shop and no-fuss bar. All meals, coffee, and cookies are included, so you don’t have to take time out of your day wondering where to eat.


Looking farther North? Head to Canada’s Whistler and Blackcomb, made famous by the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Whistler Village stands out among North American destinations because of its European style and strong international scene. Challenging, accessible, and luxurious, the 8,000-acre resort attracts serious skiers and tourists alike. The world-class slopes offer miles of pristine piste, which can be enjoyed on foot, skis, or a snowboard or from above on a cross-mountain gondola or helicopter ride. In the evening, live it up and enjoy the best of the Village’s fine dining and nightlife. When it’s finally time to sleep, go for a boutique room at the Nita Lake Lodge, a conveniently located hotel with an Ayurveda Ashram spa to wake you up in the morning.


Vail is a lush 5,289-acre resort just a couple hours’ drive from Denver. The varied landscape offers cruise, powder, and backcountry skiing opportunities at all levels. For visitors craving a break from the slopes, there are many shops in the bustling town center and low-key activities like golf and sleigh rides. Spend your spare time at the Euro-chic Austria Haus Hotel to relax in one of their 25 unique rooms and try more outdoor sports, including biking, hiking, rafting, and tubing. After a long, exciting day, warm up and slow down at the eco-friendly spa, complete with a whirlpool, a sauna, and a fireside tub.

Known as “The Big One,” Jackson Hole boasts 2,500 acres of inbound slopes and 3,000 of backcountry. The steep, challenging terrain is a draw for advanced skiers from around the world, and, though there is plenty of space for everyone, only 10% of the slopes are meant for beginners. As the resort is located nearby Grand Teton National Park, there are many alternate outdoor activities, including hiking and biking mountainside paths. Camp out at the Fireside Resort for an independent and stylish retreat in a cabin or tent.


Snowbasin is a local gem with 104 runs and no crowds. This resort has piste for skiers of all levels, though most cater to the advanced set. Many of the slopes are for everyday skiing, and there are three terrain parks and a superpipe for doing tricks. No matter what your style, getting around is relatively simple, as Snowbasin is outfitted with an extensive, contemporary infrastructure including a tram, two gondolas, and an express quad. This resort stays classy yet quiet because, although there are many comforting day lodges, there are no accommodations on the mountain. Spend the night at any of the standard-issue hotels in nearby Ogden or Eden and focus your energies on the slopes.

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Holly is a poet from Kentucky. She grew up first in a Sears house, then on a farm. She studied English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and moved to Manhattan for love. As an occasional jewelry-maker and museum patron, Holly favors wearable and functional design but is eager to see work that challenges her aesthetics. Read more and connect by visiting her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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