While winter sport enthusiasts in Europe still have to wait for snow falls, ski areas in North America are covered in white. Yet, it is hard to decide where to ski. But here is a little help: At skiresorts-test.com, around 3,000 users from all over Europe have chosen their favorite ski resorts in North America. We are more than happy to present the ten most favored skiing areas:
Canada: A dream for winter sports enthusiasts
According to our users, the best ski resort in North America is Lake Louise in Canada. Covering a surface of 1,700ha, it is also one of the largest ski areas of North America. There are 145 slopes awaiting skiers and snowboarders in Alberta, where Lake Louise is located. We recommend the gentle slopes in the Larch Arena for all beginners. But generally, beginners can stroll around and discover the entire area as well. An easy slope starts at almost every lift. More advanced skiers won´t be bored, either. At Lake Louise, you will find the most difficult parts of the Rocky Mountains to ski on if you´re up for this extra bit of challenge. A third of all pistes are powder bowls. It means these slopes are not prepared. Martin Bauer, an experienced ski resort tester, understands the users´ voting totally: “From all mountain stations above 2,840yd altitude at Lake Louise, one enjoys a spectacular view on the national park Banff, which is also a listed UNESCO world heritage site. Especially the view on Lake Louise is just breath-taking.”
Second comes Aspen, Colorado. Actually, Aspen has four ski resorts to offer. Skiers can choose between slopes in Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. In total, there are 2,239ha offering 336 slopes, making Aspen a dream come true for any winter sports lovers. “Beginners are recommended to explore the slopes in Buttermilk. All passionate skiers will feel at home in Snowmass, whereas Aspen Highlands are most suitable for professional skiers because of the 110° steep slopes”, states the professional ski resort tester Florian Weis. Aspen has an abundance of snow to offer. 300 days of sunshine and up to 11 yd of powdery snowfall a year make the area a top notch ski resort. In addition, guests are welcomed at the slopes with free coffee every morning. Celebrities can also be seen on the slopes of Colorado. You might bump into Kate Hudson, Michael Douglas or Heidi Klum next time you´re here.
The largest Canadian skiing region finalizes the top three: Whistler Blackcomb is about 3,300ha large and offers a range of 200 slopes. The area is also only 78mi away from Vancouver. Actually, there are two ski areas here: Whistler and Blackcomb. Both are connected with each other in the valley as well as on the slopes by the famous PEAK 2 PEAK gondola. The free ride area is also very popular among visitors. The numerous unprepared slopes are a paradise for professionals and free riders alike. Martin Bauer recommends this resort particularly if you´re looking for a special experience. “Take at least one day to discover Heli Skiing in Whistler”, he says. It´s good to know that 60 per cent of our users have stated that it´s the extraordinary ski experiences that are most attracting about North America.
Rocky Mountains: Popular among winter sports athletes
The ski area Vail is ranked fourth. The largest US-American skiing region, which is located in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, covers an area of 2,141ha offering almost 200 slopes. With its seven Back Bowls, the region offers a vast area off the ski-runs. A height of up to 3,860yd altitude and perfect weather conditions offering the best powder snow in the world. After skiing in Vail, you might as well be ready for the Winter Olympics one day, as is Lindsey Vonn who trains here regularly.
Park City comes fifth in our ranking. This season, the Utah-based ski resort celebrates its 50th anniversary. It´s the perfect chance to get to know the countless bars and clubs Park City has to offer on Main Street. Regarding Après-Ski, Park City is the best of what North American ski resorts can offer in this respect. The slopes of Park City are as exciting as its nightlife. The ski area is 1,335ha large, offers 114 ski-runs and contains 3 terrain parks that will make any lover of winter sports happy.
Heavenly is our number six. It is directly located on the border between Nevada and California. Being the largest ski resort in California, our users at skiresorts-test.com are amazed by its 100 slopes widely spread on an area covering 1,900ha. The area is known for offering its guests a breath-taking view. “From almost any angle of the slopes, skiers can enjoy a magnificent view on the sapphire blue water of Lake Tahoe. Even the desert of Nevada is visible from here. It´s just a dream”, says admirably Andrea Berger, a fully-fledged ski resort tester herself.
Jackson Hole in Wyoming, ranked 7th, is also located in the Rocky Mountains as are its peer ski resorts Vail and Park City. Friends of nature will come to see elks from the windows of their hotel rooms. With a bit of luck, one will catch a glimpse of eagles circling high above the mountains. Jackson Hole serves all skiers well who seek an extra portion of thrill. If you like to experience the famous Corbet´s Couloir slope, you´ll first have to tackle a 4yd high and vertical rocky passage.
Wild West and pure luxury
Breckenridge, placed 8th among our users, used to be a town in Colorado having attracted, above all, miners and gold diggers. It has remained reminiscent of an old Western city.It has remained reminiscent of an old Western city. In the town of Breckenridge, one can still find many buildings originating in the 19th century. When you're here, you won't only explore the wild west, but also combine this with skiing fun, taking you up to some heights you might not have been before. The “Imperial Express Superchair” will take you up to a height of 4280yd altitude and is thus the highest ski lift in North America.
Ski resort no. 9 on the list is Keystone. It is particularly famous for its night skiing. There are nine slopes opened during the night, as many as in no other ski area in Colorado. If you're looking for this extra portion of fun skiing at night, this is the perfect place for you. At Snowcat-Skiing, you will be taken up to a height of more than 3,940yd difference in altitude by a snow groomer to explore untraveled terrain and enjoy the magic of powder snow.
Last but not least, Deer Valley has made it on spot number 10. The ski resort is located in Utah and lives up to its very own slogan “Ski the Difference”. Guests are truly kings here. Anywhere you look, you will encounter personnel that will help out with, for instance, carrying your skis. The ski tickets are daily limited to a number of 7,500. This way it's guaranteed, the 100 slopes are not overcrowded and visitors will thoroughly enjoy their time here. Unfortunately, no snowboards are allowed on the slopes of Deer Valley.
The Top 10
|Rank||Ski Resort||Ski Area||Day Ticket|
|1.||Lake Louise||1700 ha||84,95 CAD|
|2.||Aspen||2239 ha||218,00 $ / 2 days|
|3.||Whistler Blackcomb||3300 ha||104,00 CAD|
|4.||Vail||2141 ha||119,00 $|
|5.||Park City||1336 ha||85,00 $|
|6.||Heavenly||1942 ha||95,00 $|
|7.||Jackson Hole||1011 ha||117,00 $|
|8.||Breckenridge||1177 ha||105,00 $|
|9.||Keystone||1273 ha||99,00 $|
|10.||Deer Valley||820 ha||108 $|