04 Dec 10 Surprising Must Do American Ski Mountains
We don’t need to mention the hills with all the publicity. But, if you are less about “brand name” ski towns, here’s a list that could change your approach to ski trips. We call it 7 Lesser Known Must Do American Ski Mountains. Oh, and remember U.S. residents, Canada and South America are also considered ‘America’ – because, yes, there are some really cool options in this Must Do list.
1. Bridger Bowl – Bozeman, Montana
$52 – Single Adult Lift Ticket
There’s plenty of space in Montana. In fact, they could probably open 1,000 more great ski towns – if they had the population to support them. But big spaces and fewer people mean that gems like Bridger Bowl can be had for big fun at lower cost. Consider 2,000 acres of ski terrain with around 350 inches of snowfall per season. And yes, sometimes you feel like the slopes are all yours.
Just twenty minutes where Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, taught classes at Montana State University – you will find Montana Ski Heaven (at least one version of it). And as you might imagine, the nearby ski/college town is about as quaint and charming as one could deserve in this lifetime.
Try some local beer too. After all, having a beer in Montana isn’t really even considered drinking.
2. Mad River Glen, Vermont
$62 – Single Adult Lift Ticket
No snow blowing, un-groomed trails and no snowboarders allowed. This is the mountain for ski traditionalists who like to spend first sun to sundown on the slopes. An annual snowfall just north of 250 inches and a 2,000 foot vertical drop with lean lift lines, and even if you didn’t show up in great shape, you will leave in it.
No offense to Killington or Stratton, the area’s big draws – but we’ll take Mad River Glen ten out of ten times. The overall experience is just that much superior. You will have to live without a high-speed chairlift, but with shorter lift line and more runs, you’ll appreciate the breather – and the scenery.
3. Arapahoe Basin, Colorado
$59 – Single Adult Lift Ticket
This is one place that you will virtually always find snow. In fact, Arapahoe boasts the longest season in Colorado – October to June (and sometimes, even July). Come for the reasons the locals love it so much – a lack of glitz, glam and pretense. And in their stead, really great skiing. Just 68 miles from Denver, Arapahoe is a true Colorado gem.
4. Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, Bend, Oregon
$76 – Single Adult Lift Ticket
Here’s a tasty treat to start things off with – a vertical drop nearly 3,500 feet. Need another? Okay. How does more than 3,700 acres of skiable terrain sound? Need something to wash that down? Fine. 400 inches of annual snowfall should do it.
This is the quintessential resort town – just easier going and less glitzy – with ALL the mountain you’d find at most of the “bigs.” This place is chill and under-the-radar, world-class at the same time.
5. Taos Ski Valley, Taos, New Mexico
$75 – Single Adult Lift Ticket
If you aren’t from New Mexico, it is hard to imagine skiing here. If you are a skier, it is STILL hard to imagine these natural conditions. In Taos, locals are treated to over 305 inches of snowfall and about the same number of sunny days throughout the year. Go figure? Not to mention, Taos is a big hill with close to 3,000 vertical feet to explore. We know, yippe-kai-yay.
And if you like the blend of a magical hill with a town to match – this one will snatch your heart away. Swiss-style chalets, cafes, unique eateries and another amazing bar every few steps makes the one-time ancient pueblo town absolutely magnificent. If this isn’t on your Must Do list, your Must Do list is incomplete. This place is worth visiting even if you’re not a skier.
6. Boyne Highlands, Michigan
$59 – Single Adult Lift Ticket
At the tippy top at America’s Midwest, is a place you’ve never heard of. A place that if you knew what the locals do, you’d wish you had. A place that we are about to put on your map for good. Okay, okay enough with the hyperbole. That said, Boyne is simple, cozy, inviting and really fun – a veritable cornucopia of tubing, showshoeing, ice-skating, skiing, snowboarding and even winter zipline “ziplining.” In other words, Boyne is perfect for active, high-energy folks and families. Yes, there is even an ultra-cool 13’ halfpipe for freestylers.
If you are a Midwesterner, and you could appreciate some freshies. And you think you’d also like short lines and unspoiled views of the Great Lakes. Well, then check out Boyne.
7. Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Sandpoint, Idaho
$59 – Single Adult Lift Ticket
Schweitzer, like another town not too far away in Montana, is just so fantastic that we were scared to tell anyone, for fear of ruining it. Schweitzer is as good as it gets. They get tons upon tons of snow. The mountain is high. There are endless trails and lifts. Open bowl skiiling This is purist Nordic snow excursion at its finest. Oh yeah, there is a gorgeous lake town at its base, making this a year-round destination for all things outdoors.
Go anytime you like for the experience of a lifetime. If you take our advice, we’ll assume that you’ll be so engrossed with joy, you’ll forget about the little guy. So, you’re welcome in advance.
8. Grand Targhee Resort, Alta, Wyoming
$63 – Single Adult Lift Ticket
This is one of those places that when you see it, you wonder, “How on Earth did I not know this place existed?” And like Schweitzer, Grand Targhee gets more than its share of velvety powder with 500+ inches of annual snowfall. This Wyoming gem has it all with ultra-long runs, few people and tons of open terrain.
Nestled just fifty miles from International destination Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee has everything its sister resort does, without the tourists. If you want to enjoy incomparable mountainscapes with other like-minded enthusiasts, you will be enamored with this Wyoming snow paradise.
9. Revelstoke Mountain Resort – British Columbia
$62 (USD) – Single Adult Lift Ticket
Revelstoke is magnificent if not slightly difficult to get to.
Perched perfectly in British Columbia’s Selkirk Mountain range – it is a five-hour drive from Calgary. It also happens to be no less than two hours from the nearest international airport (but we hear that’s about to change.)
Revelstoke is too good. The mountain sees sixty feet of annual snowfall at the top. Yep, sixty feet. And with almost 6,000 feet of vertical elevation, you experience the longest decent of any resort – yes, any resort – in North America. Go to Revelstoke … It invokes the spirit of Greystoke, The Legend of Tarzan. By the Power of Grayskull. The Great One, Wayne Gretsky. All that stuff. This is some of the best skiing on earth. Period.
10. Valley Nevado, Chile
$49 (USD) – Single Adult Lift Ticket
So you didn’t book in time. Then, why not experience the best of downhill skiing in America – in the summer? Really. It’s a thing, south of the Equator. More specifically, at Valle Nevado – just thirty-five miles northeast of Santiago.
It is powder heaven with all the amenities. Yes, it even has a high-speed quad lift. What’s more, heli skiing, at about $250 a shot is actually somewhat affordable here. In short, this is the South American equivalent of big resort, Rocky Mountain skiing. It’s a Must Do, for sure.
So, you are sold on one of these top ski spots? We don’t blame you – but – we CAN HELP YOU!!! Visit our club site for the largest wholesale travel portfolio in existence. Must Do is truly here for you at club.mustdotravels.com!