The Top 35 Best-Kept Secret Ski Resorts for 2017

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Awesome Tips   Bucket List Worthy  

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The ski season is in full swing, and it’s already a historic one with snow depths of up to 1318 centimetres (and counting) at some North American ski resorts. Ski and snowboard industry experts know Mother Nature is always in charge when it comes to ski conditions, and for that reason, ski resort rankings rarely remain the same from year to year.

Our Flight Network travel experts have spent the last three months researching, interviewing, and ranking the best ski resorts across the continent, in terms of snowfall, elevation, kilometres of trails, and competitive pricing, to create the most comprehensive list for the 2017 season. We analyzed the most recent data, updated statistics, and expert reviews to take the stress away from ski trip planning and make it easier than ever for skiers and snowboarders to choose where to spend their winter getaways.

Use this carefully-researched list of the top 35 under-the-radar ski resorts to plan your 2017 ski trip, and you’re bound to experience some of the best skiing or snowboarding of your life.

British Columbia

Revelstoke | Panorama | Fernie | Golden | Sun Peaks | Big White Ski Resort | Silver Star Mountain | Kimberley | Nelson | Vancouver | Penticton | Fraser-Fort George | Terrace

Alberta

Banff | Jasper | Pincher Creek

Quebec

Beaupré | Stoneham-et-Tekesbury

Colorado

Telluride

Oregon

Mount Hood | Timberline Lodge

Montana

Big Sky Big Sky Yellowstone | Whitefish

Washington

Crystal Mountain | Chewelah

Utah

Ivins | Eden

Idaho

Sandpoint

Wyoming

Jackson

New Mexico

Taos

Vermont

Jay | Waitsfield

Alaska

Girdwood

1. Revelstoke Mountain Resort — Revelstoke, British Columbia

Drew Tabke skiing at Revelstoke

Revelstoke Mountain Resort has the most vertical in North America at 1,713 metres, or 5,620 feet. The resort offers lift, cat, heli and guided backcountry skiing, all from the resort base. On average, Revelstoke Mountain Resort receives 9-14 metres, 30-45 feet, of snowfall per year. While they’re known for steep and deep terrain and champagne, low-density powder, the resort offers a number of intermediate runs and a family-friendly kids zone to accommodate all levels of skiers and riders.

The Details:

Revelstoke Mountain Resort is located approximately 4.5 hours from Calgary, 2.5 hours from Kelowna, and this year, the resort is offering direct flights from Vancouver to the town of Revelstoke, allowing guests to travel from city to slope in just one hour.

2. Big Sky Resort — Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky is consistently ranked one of the top ski and snowboard resorts in North America, and for good reasons too. The resort’s elevation of 3,403, means champagne powder can be found even if it hasn’t snowed in the village for days. Currently, the resort is boasting nearly 200 centimetres of fresh powder at the upper levels of the mountain, and those numbers are only expected to rise throughout the season. The resort offers a stunning 5,800 skiable acres of terrain, offering access to more skiing than any other resort in the U.S.

The Details

Big Sky’s terrain is 15-percent beginner, 25-percent intermediate, 42-percent advanced, and 18-percent expert-level. There’s something for every type of skier and rider, whether you’re into flying high in one of seven terrain parks, honing your skills on groomers, or floating through chest-deep powder. Thirty-four lifts access 306 runs, allowing crowds to spread disperse and for fresh powder to be left untouched for days. You can find more information about Big Sky Montana here.

3. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort — Jackson, Wyoming

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Jackson Hole continues to famously deliver legendary powder snow, 2,500 acres of the best beginner, intermediate and expert skiing and a genuine “Last of the Old West” atmosphere.

Jackson Hole’s famed aerial tram offers 4,139 vertical feet of skiing all in one shot. Add in the 450 inches of annual snowfall and you have one of the best destinations in the world for terrain and snow conditions. Advanced skiers come from around the globe to test their mettle in the famous Corbet’s Couloir. However, what people often miss is that 50 percent of the mountain is rated for intermediate and beginner skiers and riders, and there is a great deal of terrain for everybody. Beyond the skiing, Jackson Hole offers access to two national parks, incredible opportunities for experiencing wildlife and one of the best food scenes of anywhere in the American West. Jackson Hole also offers easy access by air with 12 U.S. cities flying non-stop into the Jackson Hole Airport, which is only 15 minutes from the Town of Jackson and 35 minutes from the slopes.

The Details:

Jackson Hole sees 450 inches of annual snowfall and is home to 50-percent advanced/expert terrain, 40-percent intermediate, and 10-percent beginner terrain. The resort is open from late November to early April with great conditions throughout.

4. Telluride Ski Resort — Telluride, Colorado

Telluride doesn’t have the same glamorous appeal as Vail and Aspen, but that’s what makes it so special. Telluride is home to some of the steepest and deepest terrain in North America, but you don’t have to be an absolute thrill-seeker to visit. Sixteen lifts access more than 150 runs on 2,000 acres of terrain, which means it will take you minutes, not seconds to complete full trails. The mountain’s summit sits at 4,008 metres, and the vertical drop is 1,348 metres, making this one of Colorado’s top resorts for avoiding crowds and still getting those big-mountain adrenaline rushes.

The Details

Telluride’s terrain is 13-percent beginner level, 31-percent intermediate and 56-percent advanced. Four terrain parks are carefully designed for jump and rail lovers each season, and the resort’s longest run is a stunning 8 kilometres long. This off-the-beaten-path resort in southwest Colorado, roughly 100 miles from any stoplight, continues to wow adventurous skiers and snowboarders year after year.

5. Panorama Mountain Village — Panorama, British Columbia

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Panorama Mountain Village seeks to share the extraordinary experience of pure Canadian mountain life with visitors from around the world. The Village is compact, so dining, shopping, and a long list of activities are usually just a few steps from the door of your hotel room, condo or town home. All of the lodging is slope-side and is either ski-in/ski-out or accessible with a short gondola ride. Visitors can enjoy Canada’s largest slope-side hot pool, Panorama Springs, or numerous hot tubs dotted throughout the Village, so pure relaxation is never far away.

The Details:

Panorama is a resort for skiers of all levels in the picture-perfect B.C. Kootenay Rockies. Seventy-five percent of the runs are suitable for beginners or intermediates. Wide open groomers wind down the fall line from the summit to the village base or to the door of your condo. For black-diamond runs, head to Taynton Bowl. Formerly a skiing area, Taynton Bowl is now within bounds, so the slopes are patrolled, avalanche controlled, and no backcountry gear is needed.

6. Fernie Apline Resort — Fernie, British Columbia

Nestled in southeastern British Columbia’s Canadian Rockies, Fernie Alpine Resort sees an astonishing 1,127 centimetres of snowfall each year. It’s home to roughly 2,500 acres of skiable terrain and 142 named trails that are accessed by 10 lifts. Visitors can test their skills in the trees, alpine bowls, glades or chutes, or practice turns on the long list of beginner and intermediate-level groomers. Fernie is an often overlooked resort that offers all of the fresh powder and off-mountain activities your family of skiers and riders are seeking this winter.

The Details

Fernie’s 142 trails are divided into 30-percent beginner terrain, 40-percent intermediate terrain, 25-percent advanced terrain, and 5-percent expert-level runs. Located just a few kilometres from the small town of Fernie, the resort and its surrounding area offer all of the on and off site activities you need to create an unforgettable winter ski vacation.

7. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort — Golden, British Columbia

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The Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is known as the “Champagne Powder Capital of Canada.” A single visit to this ski and snowboard paradise is never enough. At Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, you can indulge in 2,800 skiable acres, 4,133 vertical feet, four alpine bowls, 128 runs and 85 inbound chutes. Also home to family-friendly cruisers, an eight-passenger gondola, five lifts and Canada’s highest restaurant, Kicking Horse focuses on providing the best big mountain resort vacation you can experience time and time again.

The Details:

The average snowfall at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is 750 centimetres per year. The best time to go is between the months of December and April.

8. Sunshine Village — Banff, Alberta

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Sunshine Village is home to Canada’s Best Snow, the only heated lift in the country, and the longest non-glacial ski season in Canada. Visitors can stay at the renowned Sunshine Mountain Lodge, Banff’s only ski-in, ski-out hotel, which can only be accessed by gondola. It’s a truly unique Canadian winter experience.

The Details:

Sunshine Village is located just 20 minutes from the mountain town of Banff and averages more than 30 feet of snow each season. Sunshine offers a variety of terrain from rolling beginner runs to some of the best double black and off-piste runs in the world. Visit Sunshine in the spring for excellent skiing and riding conditions, warm weather and patio pints.

9. Timberline Lodge — Timberline Lodge, Oregon

Timberline Lodge’s unique location near the peak of the Mt. Hood volcano gives the resort the longest ski season in the United States. The season typically begins in mid-November and continues through Labor Day, offering visitors more time to take to the steeps. A large amount of beginner and intermediate-level terrain makes this lesser-known resort one of the best for family-friendly escapes that can include powder days and steeps too. Of the resort’s 1,415 skiable acres, roughly 300 acres are open for night-skiing, which means even less crowded terrain after the sun falls.

The Details

Timberline Lodge’s terrain is 25-percent beginner level, 50-percent intermediate, and 25-percent advanced. The longest run of the resort’s 41 trails is roughly 3.2-kilometres long, which means you spend more time on the slopes and less time on the chair. Timberline’s unique passenger snowcat is also available to take advanced skiers and riders to more challenging terrain that’s almost always loaded with fresh powder.

10. Taos Ski Valley — Taos, New Mexico

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Taos Ski Valley is a place infused with culture, art and unique cuisine; it’s a place where visitors feel a soulful, spiritual connection to the mountain that is steeped in a lore of the cultures that are woven together in the region, while also experiencing the revival of our legendary resort without losing the intimacy and family traditions that the ski pioneers brought to the valley back in the 1950’s.

Taos is world famous for our diverse and exciting terrain off Kachina Peak, the Highline Ridge and West Basin, but we are also world famous for the legend of the martini trees. The story goes that back in the early 1970’s, a women found herself halfway down a steep run, too frozen with fear to continue skiing. Her instructor, Taos Ski Valley founder Ernie Blake, brought out a glass container called a ‘pouron’ filled with a dry gin martini and advised her to drink. Filled with a new-found confidence, she finished skiing the run like a champion. Ernie began hiding pourons of martinis under trees around the mountain to help all visitors swallow their fears of the steeps, one drink at a time. Still today you may come across a martini tree, confirming that the originality of this tradition lends a one-of-a-kind spirit to the slopes of Taos Ski Valley.

The Details: 

Average annual snowfall at Taos Ski Valley is 300 inches, or 762 centimetres. The terrain is 24-percent beginner, 25-percent intermediate, and 51-percent expert. Located in the “Land of Enchantment,” you can find Taos Ski Valley in Northern New Mexico, 17 miles north of the town of Taos and the ancient Taos Pueblo. The resort is enjoyable in all seasons, with summer hiking and rafting, the annual Oktoberfest in fall, pueblo Indian celebrations during the holidays, a torchlight parade and fireworks on New Year’s Eve, and the national Freeride championships in March. For more information about Taos visit here.

11. Mt. Hood Meadows — Mount Hood, Oregon

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Mt. Hood Meadows offers some of the most spectacular skiing and snowboarding in the Northwest delivering a big mountain experience that sprawls across Mt. Hood’s southeast flank. Meadows’ playful terrain welcomes and challenges all levels of skiers and snowboarders. It is a huge mountain with terrain for everyone, magnificent views and snowfall beyond belief. From the steeps of the front side bowls to the gentle slopes of our beginner runs, Mt. Hood Meadows terrain is known for its diversity and playfulness.

Voted by Oregonians for having the best cruising intermediate terrain in the state, Meadows offers more than 2,150 acres of pure enjoyment. Rising to its highest lift-served elevation of 2,225 metres, you’ll feel like you’re on the top of the world as you take in a panoramic view to the east and south.

Legendary Heather Canyon is like its own separate ski area – endlessly steep pitches of powder into the spectacular Canyon. There’s an additional 518 vertical metres for hikers who want to drop into the double blacks of Super Bowl above Heather, bringing the total vertical available in just one run to almost 1,371 metres.

The Details

Mt. Hood receives 1,092 centimetres of snow annually. While it is known as a largely advanced to expert-level mountain, it caters to all ability levels, with 15-percent beginner terrain and 50-percent intermediate terrain.

12. Marmot Basin — Jasper, Alberta

Jasper National Park is one of the most scenic national parks in the world, and many skiers and snowboarders don’t know they could be shredding in the heart of it all. Marmot is praised for its 1,675 acres of picture-perfect terrain and 86 diverse runs that include everything from easy-rolling groomers to tree lines loaded with powder. With the highest base elevation in the Canadian Rockies, Jasper is a must-visit resort for all ski and snowboard enthusiasts.

The Details

Of Jasper’s 86 trails accessed by seven lifts, 30-percent of them are easy, 30-percent are intermediate, 20-percent are advanced, and 20-percent are expert-level. The nearly evenly divided terrain makes this one of the best resorts for families or groups of skiers of multiple ability levels. Located inside Jasper National Park, Marmot Basin boasts some of the most scenic skiing in all of North America.

13. Castle Mountain — Pincher Creek, Alberta

Pincher Creek’s Castle Mountain is one most skiers miss when creating their bucket lists. However, this southwest Alberta resort has been known to provide unforgettable ski and snowboard experiences with minimal crowds on 94 trails and 3,592 acres of skiable terrain. With everything from glades, chutes, and steeps to groomers and cruisers, Castle Mountain is an ideal, uncrowded resort for a family winter ski vacation. The on-site Castle Mountain Ski Lodge and Hotel also lets visitors stay in the heart of the on and off-mountain action.

The Details

Castle Mountain boasts a peak elevation of 2,272 metres and more than 3,500 acres of terrain, which means visitors can cover a ton of ground in a single stay. Ten-percent of the terrain is beginner level, 21-percent is intermediate, 55-percent is advanced, and 14-percent is expert level, which means the thrill-seekers in your group will be just as pleased as the beginners. Located just 2.5 hours from Calgary, Castle Mountain provides an authentic big mountain experienced that’s loaded with thrills on and off the slopes.

14. Sun Peaks — Sun Peaks, British Columbia

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Sun Peaks is the second largest ski area in Canada. The in-bounds, “Gil’s Backcountry,” terrain is home to some of the finest powder skiing in the country, and all three peaks offer beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails running from the top to bottom. The ski-through village also offers unique shopping and dining experiences for those off-mountain days.

The Details:

Sun Peaks offers 135 runs spread across three mountains that receive more than 2,000 hours of sunshine each year. The average annual snowfall is 6 meters (237″) of fresh powder, and the terrain is 10-percent novice, 58-percent intermediate, and 32-percent advanced/expert. Our snow is consistent in all seasons, which means any time, even late in the season, is a good time to come.

15. Big White — Kelowna, British Columbia

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At Big White, “It’s the Snow,” is the motto, with over 750cm of light, dry, fluffy powder falling annually. Ski or ride in the world-famous ‘snow ghosts’ – the resort’s frosty, snow-caked trees. Big White is Canada’s largest totally ski-in, ski-out resort village. Whether you choose economy or luxury – you can ski right from your door.

Big White also offers family friendly activities and events for all ages, just steps away from your accommodations. Enjoy live entertainment, go skating, play hockey, try tubing, or gather around the bonfire to watch the fireworks.

The Details: 

Unfolding the mountain trail map, you’ll discover 118 runs, five alpine bowls, and the TELUS Terrain Park. Visitors can challenge all 2,765 acres of terrain just 56 kilometres outside of Kelowna, British Columbia.

16. Whitefish Mountain Resort — Whitefish, Montana

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Since 1947, Whitefish Mountain Resort has offered good times, great people and deep snow– a time-tested formula that keeps people heading back again and again.

Whitefish Mountain Resort offers views of Glacier National Park, the Canadian Rockies and Flathead Valley stretched out below from the town of Whitefish to the head of Flathead Lake. Snow falls consistently throughout the winter, 300 inches annually on average, so conditions remain reliably good throughout the season. With few crowds, 360-degrees of skiing on every aspect and all varieties of terrain from bowls to glades, long cruisers to steep chutes on 3,000 acres it’s easy to find good snow on any given day.

The Details:

Whitefish Mountain Resort is home to 3,000 acres of terrain, 105 marked runs — 12-percent beginner, 40-percent intermediate, 42-percent advanced, and 6-percent expert, located in northwestern Montana on the western side of the Divide in the Northern Rockies where the snow falls consistently from early December to mid-April. The snow is good all season, but December and January typically produce the most.

17. Alyeska Resort — Girdwood, Alaska

As Alaska’s only true destination ski resort, Alyeska’s skiers and riders enjoy an average of 661 inches of snowfall a year. The resort offers seven different dining options on the property and features live music from local and nationally touring acts every weekend along with signature events and races throughout the winter. They work closely with different heli-ski operations to get guests out into the Alaskan backcountry for incredible skiing experiences. Alyeska Resort is located just 40 miles from Ted Steven’s International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska, so getting there is easy. Just head south on the amazingly scenic Seward Highway along the Turnagain Arm. Lodging is available in the 300 room Hotel Alyeska with ski in/ski out access to the mountain and an aerial tramway that brings guests to 2,500 feet above sea level for incredible views, mountain top dining options, and of course, access to the ski terrain.

The Details

Most of Alyeska’s domestic and international guests visit from late February to April when the snow is deepest and the days are longer. The mountain offers terrain for all skiers, whether they’re looking for steep and deep rides, groomer laps, or are just getting out for the first time. Alyeska Resort’s North Face and Headwall outer areas are some of the steepest inbounds terrain zones, and a bluebird “pow day” is not to be missed in these areas.

18. Yellowstone Club — Big Sky Yellowstone, Montana

Yellowstone Club is the world’s only private ski, golf, and adventure community, bringing together a singular combination of pristine skiing terrain and luxurious amenities.

Yellowstone Club’s thousands of acres of Private Powder™ are accessible only to the 580 members who currently belong to the club and their guests, which results in powder weeks rather than days. On-mountain amenities include the Outdoor Pursuits program, multiple fine dining outlets, a kids-specific recreational area, and fully-stocked sugar shacks, ensuring that members and their guests always have an unparalleled experience.

The Details:

Yellowstone Club receives an average of 400 inches of snow per year. With 2,200 acres of skiable terrain and more than 60 runs, skiers of all abilities will find enjoyment on this private mountain, accessible only to members and their guests.

19. SilverStar Mountain Resort — Silver Star Mountain, British Columbia

British Columbia is home to some of the top ski resorts in the world, and many of them go unnoticed. The SilverStar Mountain Resort is one of those resorts that provides a world-class on-mountain experience without the overwhelming crowds. Generally warm daytime temperatures, around -3 degrees Celsius, make skiing at this Okanagan Valley resort a pleasure, even in the heart of winter. The slightly warmer temperatures also mean icy snow is rarely an issue, and all-natural, lightweight powder is the norm. Roughly 3,000 acres of terrain keeps skiers and riders of all skill levels entertained, whether they’re gliding past powder-covered trees or carving deep into the groomers. The resort’s village reminds visitors of a 19th-century mining town, offering unique architecture and plenty of places to warm up with a hot meal, cool drink, or spur-of-the-moment shopping spree.

The Details

SilverStar Mountain Resort sees more than 700 centimetres of snow annually and offers 132 runs accessed by 12 lifts. Fifteen-percent of the terrain is beginner, 40-percent is intermediate, 35-percent is advanced, and 10-percent is expert level. Of the 3,282 acres of skiable terrain, 204 acres is open to night skiers and snowboarders in search of even smaller crowds and a one-of-a-kind after dark skiing experience.

20. Kimberley Mountain Resort — Kimberley, British Columbia

Another one of British Columbia’s hidden gems, Kimberley Alpine Resort offers one of the top family-friendly skiing atmospheres in the country. Much of the terrain is for intermediate-level skiers and riders, which means more diverse terrain for those who are somewhere between the Bunny Hill and death-defying steeps. However, the resort does offer steep moguls, powder tree skiing, and glades for the expert-level enthusiasts. Sixty eight runs span the resort’s 1,800 skiable acres, and the longest run is a leg-burning 6.4-kilometres long.

Details: 

Of Kimberley Alpine Resort’s 68 runs, 20-percent of them are beginner-level, 42-percent are intermediate, and 38-percent are advanced. However, the 751-metre vertical drop means there are plenty of steeps for the expert-level skiers and snowboarders in your group. A long list of lodging and entertainment options, including a bowling alley, movie theater, cross-country ski trails, ice skating rinks, numerous shops, eateries, and a vibrant nightlife scene make Kimberley an all-around winter vacation destination.

21. RED Mountain Resort — Rossland, British Columbia

If you are looking for an antidote to the stale, predictable mega resort experience, you just found it – RED offers a combination of rich history, deep, dry snow, accessible location and thousands of acres of varied terrain on five mountain peaks to explore.

RED is the last great, unspoiled resort. As the first stop on the famous Powder Highway, RED is blessed with a unique topography that allows 360-degree descents off Granite Mountain and roughly 270-degree access off the top of Red and Grey Mountain. Being able to descend so many different facets off the top means considerably more skiable acres per lift. RED has endless natural tree stashes, bottomless bowls, squirrel shortcuts and powder pillows. This kind of natural terrain compares to what you might experience heli-skiing.

Here, the slopes are un-crowded, people are unpretentious and the staff loves to share their unique mountain environment with new folks.

The Details:

RED Mountain Resort is renowned for light, abundant powder snow, which the resort receives roughly 300 inches (7.6m) of annually. Situated in interior British Columbia, RED conveniently avoids the heavy coastal snow and specializes in “snorkel pow” — the light, fluffy kind.

Delivering 2,877 lift-serviced acres (4,200 acres in total) of pristine skiing unfettered by over-development, RED has something for everybody with epic vertical (2,919 feett/89 metres), in-bounds cat-skiing, wide-open groomers, cruiser runs, a rich tradition and the BEST gladed tree runs in North America. Even on the busiest weeks, there is room to spread out and make your own tracks.

The resort’s winter season runs from mid-December to early April, with January and February usually ideal conditions for that perfect powder, and if spring riding is up your alley, March will provide the goods for sunshine and cruisy spring conditions.

22. Jay Peak — Jay, Vermont

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Vermont’s Jay Peak sees the most natural snowfall in northeastern United States. This resort is home to the only Tram in Vermont, and if you know your way around the ridge or Jay Peak’s many glades, you can find fresh powder several days after any storm.

The Details: 

Jay Peak’s annual snowfall average is 377 inches. The trails are rated 20-percent novice, 40-percent intermediate, and 40-percent advanced.One of the Jay Peak’s most popular advanced trails, The Face Chutes, drops directly underneath the Sky Haus and Aerial Tramway. The resort is located right near the Canada-United States border in Jay, Vt.

23. Crystal Mountain — Crystal Mountain, Washington

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Crystal Mountain Resort is a Pacific Northwest gem with 2,600 acres encompassing steep, technical and family-friendly terrain. Crystal Mountain offers terrain for every ability level from beginner runs to gnarly Alaska-styled terrain. Located just two hours from Seattle, Crystal is in the shadows of Mt. Rainier, providing picture-perfect views.

However, what many people don’t know about Crystal is that it is the largest ski area in Washington, with 2,600 acres of terrain. That means that even on busy weekends, there’s enough room for everyone, and it’s possible to make fresh tracks at any time of day. Crystal is also home to the state’s only eight-passenger gondola, providing a dry ride up to the summit on stormy days. Visitors can even dine at the highest restaurant in the state, The Summit House, sitting at 6,782 feet, when spending a winter getaway at beautiful Crystal Mountain.

The Details: 

Crystal Mountain averages 486 inches of snow every year. With so much snow, the best time to ski or ride is between January and April when the resort has the most snow pack and coverage. A long list of events take place during the month of March, creating fun and exciting experiences on and off the slopes with live music, competitions and parties. Crystal Mountain offers terrain for every ability level, but definitely caters to intermediate and advanced skiers and riders with its steep and technical terrain. For more information about Crystal Mountain and the surrounding area you can visit the Enumclaw official city website or the Enumclaw Expo Center.

24. Schweitzer Mountain Resort — Sandpoint, Idaho

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Schweitzer Mountain Resort is the best ski area you haven’t found yet. It is a year-round, family friendly destination located in the Idaho Panhandle, 85 miles from Spokane, Wash.,  and 66 miles south of the Canadian border.

The Details:

The resort boasts 2,900 acres of varied terrain for skiing and snowboarding as well as 32 kilometers of Nordic trails for cross-country, snowshoeing and snow-biking during the winter season. Other activities for non-skiers, like an on-site spa, dining, and shopping, are all located in the intimate village.

25. 49 Degrees North Ski and Snowboard Resort — Chewelah, Washington

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49 Degrees North is a family-friendly mountain catering to all skill levels and abilities.  Whether you are looking for some easy groomed runs or challenging tree filled powder stashes, 49 Degrees North has both and everything in between. The family-friendly atmosphere, accommodating staff, and delicious food add greatly to this resort’s charm. Whatever your ability level or choice of activity, you’re sure to feel at home at 49-Degrees North.

Details: 

With 2,325 patrolled acres of skiable terrain, 49 Degrees North offers 82 marked trails, the longest of which is 4.4 kilometres long. The resort also has 16 kilometres of Nordic trails for cross country and snowshoe enthusiasts and sees an average of 301 inches of annual snowfall. The elevation at the summit is 5,774 feet, or 1759.9 metres, with a vertical drop of 1,851 feet, or 564.2 metres. The terrain at 49 Degrees North is 30-percent beginner, 40-percent intermediate, 25-percent advanced and 5-percent expert, including some of the best tree runs in the state of Washington. The best time of year to visit is during spring (March and April) due to the fortunate amount of snow received in those months.

26. Blue Mountain Resort — Blue Mountains, Ontario

Nestled on the shores of Ontario’s Georgian Bay, Blue Mountain Resort is the province’s largest mountain village resort. The resort is home to 42 trails spread across 364 acres of skiable terrain, offering that grand “out west” feel without the high ticket prices and long lift lines. Visitors can enjoy the snow, shopping, tubing, and other village activities from morning well into the evening hours.

The Details

The Blue Mountain Resort features a top elevation of 450 metres, and its 364 skiable acres are divided into 27-percent beginner terrain, 27-percent intermediate terrain, and 46-percent advanced level terrain. Fourteen lifts keep the crowds dispersed throughout the day, so you can enjoy a stress-free, family-friendly ski or snowboard vacation, even when visiting on weekends and holidays.

27. Whitewater Ski Resort — Nelson, British Columbia

Pure, simple and really deep — Whitewater Ski Resort is renowned for receiving over 12 metres/40 feet of light, dry powder snow every season. The best thing about the big snowfall is you don’t have to make room for the big crowds common at other BC ski resorts.

With its legendary deep powder and endless terrain, Whitewater Ski Resort is attracting attention from across Canada and around the world from those searching for an epic BC winter ski vacation. Over 623 metres/2044 feet of steeps, deeps, chutes, bowls, and glades are all there, beneath the ski resort’s majestic Ymir Peak.

Aside from the incredible powder, Whitewater Ski Resort’s other hidden gem is the food. With an eclectic menu and fresh homemade ingredients, it’s no wonder that Ski Magazine rated them No. 2, in a 2011 list of the “Top 10 Best Ski Resort Cafeterias.”

The Details: 

Ten-percent beginner terrain, 32-percent intermediate, and 58-percent advanced, Whitewater Ski Resort is ideal for all levels of skiers and riders. You can find it just outside of Nelson, British Columbia, on B.C.’s famous Powder Highway.

28. Powder Mountain Resort — Eden, Utah

Powder Mountain Resort is the largest ski resort in North America with the lowest skier density. The resort boasts all-natural Utah snow, with plenty of adventurous terrain for all levels of skiers and riders.

The Details

Powder Mountain Resort receives roughly 500 inches of snow every year. The terrain is 35-percent green (novice), 25-percent blue (intermediate), and 40-percent black (advanced/expert). You can find this lesser-known Utah gem just 55 miles north of Salt Lake City International Airport.

29. Mad River Glen — Waitsfield, Vermont

When North Americans look to the U.S., for a ski escape, they typically search out west. But steep and snow-covered Vermont is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Mad River Glen, located in the Green Mountain Range, sees more than 630 centimetres of snowfall every season and boasts a summit elevation of 1,108 metres. There’s no better place in the northeast to escape the crowds and make fresh tracks through waist-deep powder long after the snow has stopped falling.

The Details

Of Mad River Glen’s 45 trails, 20-percent are beginner-level, 35-percent are intermediate, and 45-percent are advanced. The 115 acres of terrain include all types of runs from smooth groomers to expert tree skiing. Mad River Glen is one of the few resorts remaining in America that is only open to skiers, so you may need to leave your snowboarding friends and family behind.

30. Cypress Mountain Resort — Vancouver, British Columbia

Cypress Mountain Resort is where Canada won its first Olympic Gold Medal on home snow. This resort offers the most vertical drop, most terrain, most lifts and best snow conditions on the highest skiing and riding peak of Vancouver’s legendary North Shore Mountains. With the best winter skiing and riding in Vancouver, Canada’s most popular cross country ski area, a huge snow-tubing park and unique snowshoe tours, Cypress truly offers something for everyone.

The Details: 

Cypress Mountain has six chairlifts accessing 600 acres of skiable terrain. They are located in West Vancouver, British Columbia. The Mountain is typically open from late-November to mid-April and sees the best snow in January and February.

31. Apex Mountain Resort — Penticton, British Columbia

Apex Mountain Resort is an Okanagan Valley ski area that remains one of the most underrated in the Great White North. The resort sees an average of 600 centimetres of fresh powder each season, creating some of the most exciting bowls, glades, and tree lines in the country. Four terrain parks and an action-packed boarder/skiercross run make this one of the most exciting resorts for skiers and riders of all ages and skill levels.

The Details

Apex is home to 77 runs spanning 1,112 acres. Sixteen-percent of the runs are beginner-level, 48-percent are intermediate, 18-percent are advanced, and 18-percent are expert-level runs. The resort is open from December to April, with January and February offering some of the best conditions and most uncrowded days.

32. Mont-Sainte-Anne — Beaupré, Quebec

Mont-Sainte-Anne is a one-of-a-kind resort that combines all levels of terrain in addition to incomparable and breathtaking views of the St-Lawrence river.

Mont-Sainte-Anne is renowned for its high average snowfall, long ski season, variety of terrain and on-site activities. Alpine touring, fat biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, dog sledding, ice canyoning, paragliding and a long list of other adventures can be experienced on site and just a short drive away from Québec City, the capital of the province of Québec.

The Details: 

Mont-Sainte-Anne is a gorgeous mountain with runs more than 5-kilometres long (3.5 miles) and an average snowfall of 480 centimetres (190 in). The expert terrain is so varied that advanced skiers and snowboarders can spend multiple days at the resort without having to make the same tracks twice.

33. Powder King Mountain Resort — Fraser-Fort George, British Columbia

Powder King Mountain Resort receives 41 feet of light, fluffy, champagne powder annually. It’s known for powder days that leave visitors with a goofy grin for days. The best-kept secret about Powder King is that the resort itself is so unknown, locals call it “The Whisper of the North.” Powder King has amazing heli-skiing conditions, but with few skiers and snowboards familiar with the place, even those visiting on Saturdays and Sundays fine little to know lift lines. However, word could get out fast, because those who visit will find it difficult not to brag about their first tracks in feet of untouched powder.

The Details: 

Powder King Mountain Resort offers three lifts and receives 41 feet of snowfall annually. Powder King is and ideal ski area for beginner to advanced skiers with an even mix of green, blue, and black runs. Thirty-seven percent of the runs are beginner-level, 38 percent of runs are intermediate, and 25 percent of the trails are advanced-level runs, and that doesn’t include the hours of fun off the marked trails. The best time to visit Powder King is between the middle and end of January, when visitation is low and snow levels are on the rise.

34. Shames Mountain — Terrace, British Columbia

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Shames Mountain is Canada’s first non-profit cooperatively owned and operated ski area with the some of the best slack-country access in the world. Shames reminds us all of the place where we learned to ski. It has small rustic lodge, simple double chair and is a place where staff members and patrons are always on a first-name basis. Its beauty and luster is its snowfall, because Shames is best known for the roughly 12 meters of snow it receives every winter. If you have spent any length of time at Shames, you’ve experienced skiing 100 centimetres of fresh in-bounds powder. If you are a backcountry skier, Shames is a place of dreams. Imagine more terrain than Whistler without any lifts and crowds.

The Details: 

Shames is a family friendly mountain with terrain for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. It can be found 33 kilometres from Terrace, British Columbia, where destination traffic can easily arrive through the Terrace/Kitimat Regional Airport. Visit in December, and you can chase powder lines in the morning and catch world class steel head in the afternoon.

As described in Powder Magazine, “Shames receives 475 inches of annual snowfall, laying claim to one of the deepest, most consistent snow packs in North America and its backcountry access is unrivaled.”

35. Stoneham Mountain Resort — Stoneham-et-Tewkesbury, Quebec

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Stoneham is a destination renowned for its vibrant atmosphere on the slopes and indoors too. Just 20 minutes from Quebec, Stoneham Mountain Resort is known as an exceptional site for downhill sports. The resort offers 42 trails spread over three mountains and many installations for snowboarders. Come 4 p.m., Stoneham becomes one of the best places for night skiing terrain in Canada with 19 lighted trails, including all snow parks and the Olympic halfpipe.

And you won’t want to forget to pay a visit to the legendary bar Le Quatre Foyers and its Artic Spa Zone – outdoor hot tubs on the bar’s terrace. From fantastic snow conditions and to a friendly après-ski atmosphere, Stoneham has everything you need for an unforgettable experience.

The Details: 

Stoneham sees 380 centimetres of fresh snowfall every season in addition to hundreds of hours spent snowmaking. Nestled in the heart of a valley, the resort’s unique location keeps it sheltered from strong winds. When temperatures drop and the wind rises, it is the place to head to for comfortable skiing.

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About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a freelance writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, learning new cultures and surfing new waves.

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