While winter is a great time to get cozy and try to stay warm, it’s also the happiest time of year for skiers and snowboarders in the U.S. and Canada. With so many great slopes dotting the mountain ranges of North America, it can be hard to decide which are the absolute best. To find out the best ski resorts for this year, we consulted our most trusted experts: you, the TravelAwaits readers. Below is a brief guide to our readers’ picks for the best ski resorts on the continent.
1. Killington Resort (Winner)
Killington Resort tops the list — likely because of the huge variety of amenities and activities it has to offer guests. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Killington also offers mountain biking, golf, ATV tours, concerts, a spa, and a smattering of dining and shopping options. Busy parents and grandparents always appreciate the onsite childcare.
Occasionally referred to as the “Beast of the East,” this resort has a dedicated following because of the excellent slopes and comfortable resort setting. Though it isn’t the largest resort on the list, it makes up for what it lacks in size with a wide variety of terrains. Whether you are a seasoned pro or new to winter sports, Killington will have plenty for you to do. To fully immerse yourself before your first visit, explore the Killington podcast.
2. Palisades Tahoe
Olympic Valley, California
On the other side of the country, the place to be (and ski) is Palisades Tahoe. This is the kind of resort that guests never want to leave – there are just too many fun things to do. On top of that, online reviews frequently cite the friendly and helpful staff who make every visit a joy. Finally, the quality of lodging at Palisades Tahoe may be the largest standout factor.
The host of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games, Palisades Tahoe is known for its appeal to experts, but there are plenty of friendly instructors and accessible zones for beginners. The Village at Palisades Tahoe is the starting and ending point for a day on the slopes. You’ll find gear, coffee, drinks, food, and accommodations.
3. Breckenridge Ski Resort
Resorts in Colorado make up nearly half of the list of our readers’ favorite places to ski and that’s no surprise. The state is an outdoor wonderland, but Breckenridge is a cut above the rest. With over 2,908 skiable acres between 9,600 and 12,998 feet in elevation, this is a place for people who are serious about their sport.
What the numbers don’t show, however, is the atmosphere that the resort and its accommodations provide. Since it began operating in 1961, generations of experienced enthusiasts and jumpy newcomers have enjoyed the resort and the town. Whether it’s the full event calendar or the Five Peaks that brings you to Breckenridge, you’re sure to return again and again.
4. Sugarloaf Outdoor Center
Carrabassett Valley, Maine
Maine’s Sugerload Outdoor Center offers a slightly different experience from some of the other resorts on the list. With over 30 miles of Nordic skiing trails, Sugarloaf offers a change of pace and scenery for winter athletes.
For other changes of pace, Sugarloaf is home to an NHL-sized skating rink, fat bike and snowshoe rentals, and all of the other amenities that you would expect from a top-10 resort. Guests who prefer to experience the beauty of Maine during the summer will find an 18-hole golf course with stunning mountain views.
5. Aspen Snowmass
Snowmass Village, Colorado
Aspen is a name that draws attention from around the world for its famous four mountains: Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass. Extensive lifts and gondolas make moving around the resort a breeze and careful grooming keeps the guest experience safe and pleasant. Covering an area of 5,527 acres, and with 41 lifts, there is plenty to keep even the most energetic skier occupied.
The fun at Aspen doesn’t end when the sun goes down; watering holes like The Sterling Aspen, Escobar, Belly Up Aspen, and The Snow Lodge provide different vibes for different guests. Aspen is even home to its very own art museum, where you can explore ideas and aesthetics as you relax and recuperate from a day on the slopes.
6. Whistler Blackcomb
Whistler, British Columbia
By SKI magazine’s numbers, Whistler Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America. It also boasts a vertical drop of 5,280 feet with 200+ marked trails. With numbers like these, it’d be hard to visit such a vast area without having a little bit of outdoor fun. For even more excitement, guests can book helicopter tours or heliskiing experiences. Heliskiing allows dedicated skiers access to powder that hasn’t been touched by others.
7. Telluride Ski Resort
Telluride is unquestionably beautiful, but this resort isn’t just another pretty face; there’s plenty of substance to the mountain. PeakRankings estimates that 41 percent of the mountain is rated as Advanced/Expert, meaning there are great challenges to be found across the resort’s 3,650-foot total footprint.
Whether you choose to stay in Telluride itself or in the mountain village, guests appreciate the world-class apres-ski experiences available. Telluride itself recommends a margarita at Gorrono Ranch, champagne at Bon Vivant, or any of its other excellent food and drink options.
8. Beaver Creek Resort
Beaver Creek, Colorado
Yet another option in the great state of Colorado, Beaver Creek Resort is a perfect choice for beginner- and intermediate-level skiers who are looking for a balanced terrain variety and modern infrastructure. The resort manages crowds well, which can make or break a mountain experience. With a slightly more family-friendly vibe, Beaver Creek still offers plenty of luxury accommodations, good dining, and entertainment without as much of the wild reputation that other resorts may lean into.
9. Mont Tremblant Ski Resort
Mont Tremblant offers a taste of the European skiing experience in Canada. The appealing Quebecois-style village is a sight to see and it offers a nice variety of drinking and dining options. The skiing and snowboarding themselves offer good variety as well, meaning that everyone can have a good time at Tremblant.
10. Banff Sunshine Village Ski Resort
One major appeal of Banff Sunshine Village Ski Resort is the length of its seasons; by some reports, they can run from November to late May. With incredible views and solid value, it’s hard to say “no” to a balanced, accessible resort like Banff Sunshine Village. While the only option in the mountain village is the lovely Sunshine Mountain Lodge, visitors can also stay in Banff and explore the town for a change of scenery.
Read more from our 2023 Best Of Travel Awards, including: