Awesome Tips Bucket List Worthy
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 this winter getaway.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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