30 Popular Ski Resorts In The West

Whether your idea of an outstanding ski holiday is all about what happens on the slopes or at the after-party, there's no denying that some of the most breathtaking ski spots can be found in the Western United States. Unlike the icy East Coast, the West is known for its thick, powdery snow. And then there are the soaring mountains that dwarf their eastern counterparts and the sprawling landscape of wild, western wilderness. With literally dozens of world-class ski resorts to choose from, the only hard part is picking where to go.

What differentiates a good ski resort from a great one depends on who you're asking. For some folks, the formula is as simple as finding the nearest spot with the most snow cover for as long as nature allows. For other skiers, the best ski resorts will boast a diverse array of terrain to ski on, from winding, wooded paths to fast runs to test their limits. 

Finally, beyond the slopes, there are a range of other resort factors to consider, such as the efficiency of the ski lift system, the local nightlife, and the add-on features that make the park special for family members. To make sense of it all, we consulted Reddit's ski communities to see which resort names would keep popping up, and to help you plan your next ski trip, here's our list of the 30 best ski resorts in the West, which we compiled with input from winter sports enthusiasts.

Keystone Resort in Keystone, Colorado

According to the skiers of Reddit, Keystone Resort has something of a reputation as a beginner's resort, and that's partly because of the resort's teaching programs and Green Run Guarantee — a guarantee that students will be able to ski or snowboard a qualifying green run within three lessons. If not, they'll get their fourth lesson free. The bunny hill also features a magic carpet lift to make things easier. There are plenty of other reasons it's a family-friendly destination, like the world's largest mountaintop snow fort atop Dercum Mountain or the chance to go skiing with a U.S. Forest Service Ranger for a free nature tour. The resort is also known for its excellent bus system. But it's not all bunny hills and baby steps. Many of the resort's slopes are perfect for intermediate skiers, and Keystone is known for its hidden gems. The resort is a popular one, so be prepared for crowds when you go. 

Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Crested Butte, Colorado

Colorado is known for its beauty, particularly during ski season. But there are plenty of folks who think there's no lovelier spot to hit the slopes than Crested Butte. On Reddit, u/Beerquarium called it "the most beautiful spot I've ever skied." In a world full of outsized ski resorts, Crested Butte Mountain Resort is also something of a smaller destination. The community also boasts an outstanding nightlife — everything from dive bars to pizza-and-beer joints to spendier cocktail lounges. 

And it also offers some pretty challenging trails. One Redditor noted the steep terrain, while another observed that, according to Crested Butte's trail map, a high percentage of their trails are rated Double Black Diamond. While the resort offers plenty of intermediate terrain, some Crested Butte trails are considerably more advanced — even for expert-level skiers. Another skier on Reddit cautioned anyone planning a more advanced ski trip to "consider skiing with people who know the mountain well" and "be ready for these extreme doubles, because they are hard."

Steamboat Resort in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

If you're looking for a ski resort that's fun for the whole family, you can't do much better than Steamboat Resort in Steamboat Springs. One of Colorado's largest ski resorts, Steamboat Resort is more of a winter wonderland than a mere ski spot. Steamboat Square, the resort's centerpiece, features a concert venue, ice skating rink, and food hall. The resort is also home to North America's fastest and longest 10-person gondola.

While Steamboat is somewhat remote and some skiers noted that it's better for intermediate or advanced skiers on Reddit, plenty of folks can't get enough of this place, with one user calling it an "intermediate paradise." Another pointed out that it's a great spot for family to enjoy if skiing doesn't work out, citing the "lovely little town" nearby and noting that the lower altitude can be easier for some folks to adjust to at bedtime.

Telluride Ski Resort in Mountain Village, Colorado

Telluride is one of those famed ski spots that most folks have heard of for good reason. Fans of this ski resort say it's an alternative to more crowded and touristy spots with an overall chill vibe and a great community to boot. On Reddit, u/Scheerhorn462 summed it up, "Steeper. Gnarlier. Prettier. Cooler town. Not as much of a tourist party scene (but a pretty rocking local scene)." The tree runs at Telluride are also a favorite. 

Notably, Telluride is a remote resort, but fans say that's a feature and not a bug. To get here, you'll need to drive for a few hours or fly into the nearby general aviation airport in Montrose. There's also a lot of love on Reddit for the nearby town, with fans giving special praise to local bars and food joints. As u/Scrappykop noted, Telluride "isn't one of those 'fake' mountain towns." There's a spot called Brown Dog Pizza that's apparently legendary, so be sure to check it out after you're done on the slopes.

Beaver Creek in Beaver Creek, Colorado

Beaver Creek Resort is another spot veteran skiers love for its lower crowd density and enjoyable trails and slopes. Whereas some ski resorts tend to lean into either gentler or more advanced skiing, Beaver Creek seems to have a little something for everyone. Fans especially love the Aspen Glades, a trail that runs skiers through an enchanted old-growth Aspen forest. It's also one of the few ski resorts that feature lots of green runs at a high elevation. Beaver Creek also offers plenty of trials for the more daring among your party — notably Peregrine, Golden Eagle, and Grouse, which those familiar warn should be approached with caution. According to Beaver Creek vets, the only drawbacks are that the community doesn't have much of a nightlife and the price tag can be a bit steep.

Copper Mountain Resort in Summit County, Colorado

For those who appreciate Copper Mountain, there's a sense of gratitude that it's not one of the most popular ski destinations — particularly since many Redditors cite this locale as an ideal spot for learning to ski and improving on one's existing skills. Known for its large ski areas, Copper Mountain offers a distinct advantage to learners by geographically separating its trails according to skill level. On Reddit, one Redditor observed, "the green trails are on the right, the blues are in the middle and the blacks on the left. Beginners and intermediates can enjoy the green & blue trails without the stress of expert-skiers bombing all around."

Granby Ranch in Granby, Colorado

Granby Ranch is another one of those ski spots that won't be for everyone. But for many skiers, it's one of the top spots to kick up some powder thanks to its reasonable crowd density, speedy express lift, and fun trails. It's not a destination for speed demons, as the resort's twin mountains are at a comparably low elevation to many other popular ski destinations. But as one person put it on Reddit, "as a solid blue terrain rider I had a blast," adding that both the blues and greens were worth their time. The general consensus on Reddit is that while Granby is hardly a hot spot for advanced skiers, it's a good place to check out if you're still learning or traveling with family.

Vail Ski Resort in Vail, Colorado

Over the past few decades, Vail Ski Resort has developed something of a reputation for being overpriced and overly corporate. On Reddit, one person described the resort as a "Disneyfied version of a European ski town" trying to "squeeze another dollar out of you." But if you can put that aside and just let yourself enjoy it, plenty of folks say Vail still has plenty to offer. Ascending Vail yields some of the finest mountain scenery you can experience on the slopes. Vail also offers a pretty varied terrain, making it a great spot for many different skill levels. And, on the flip side of Vail's status as one of the most popular ski resorts in America is all the extras you can find here — like the resort's spa, scenic gondola ride, mountain tours, and extensive range of dining and shopping options.

Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort in Olympic Valley, California

Originally called Squaw Valley, Palisades Tahoe changed its name in 2021 to better reflect 21st-century values. But fans of this popular ski spot say it's the same great place that hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics — and it keeps getting better with time. An expansive resort with 3600 acres of skiable terrain, Palisades Tahoe has a reputation as a go-to spot for every level of skier, from beginner to expert. Fans of this resort say it's less pretentious than some, and there are plenty of good views to be had (even from beginning-level slopes). Be sure to check out the base-to-base gondola runs between Alpine and Palisades while you're here.

Sugar Bowl Resort in Norden, California

Sugar Bowl isn't the biggest ski resort in the West by any stretch. But it does work hard to earn its sweet name with its 500 acres of grooming and 375 acres of snowmaking. Nearly half of the resort's trails are rated intermediate (45%), with 38% advanced trails and 17% for beginners. Although the terrain is pretty standard, proponents say it's a quality ski spot with plenty of good snow, generally reasonable crowds, and a friendly staff. Fans of this resort also say Sugar Bowl is a little less spendy than some of its more corporate counterparts.

Northstar California in Truckee, California

With 20 lifts, 3,170 acres of skiable terrain, and a top elevation of 8,610 feet, Northstar California is a fairly sizable ski resort in a warm-weather region. It's not a great spot for advanced or expert skiers, but this resort has a solid reputation for snowmaking, and it's considered by many to be a good spot for anyone in search of easygoing blue trails. "It's a good mountain to progress," one Reddit user observed, with others agreeing that even the black runs at Northstar are much easier than blues seem to be at many other ski resorts.

Heavenly Lake Tahoe Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe, California

With a name like Heavenly Lake Tahoe Ski Resort, this California resort starts off setting some pretty high expectations. And that's certainly true for advanced and expert-level skiers in search of a challenge — think uneven terrain, large moguls, and steep runs. But that's not to say there isn't plenty of powder available for blue skiers. You'll just want to check the map out carefully and plan your day ahead of time, as one of the chief complaints about Heavenly is all the trekking required to get around. Heavenly is not a great spot for green skiers, though. One Reddit, one person added, "it's a waste for a beginner who cannot enjoy 90% of the mountain."

Silver Mountain in Kellogg, Idaho

Silver Mountain Resort is another one of those "off-the-beaten-path" spots that in-the-know folks just can't seem to get enough of thanks to its reasonable pricing, low crowds, varied terrain, and small overall size. The resort's indoor water park makes it a good spot to take the family. And unlike many ski resorts in the West, it's easy to get here thanks to its convenient location, just a quarter mile off of I-90. And, as u/deuclide put it on Reddit, "Silver is endless powder." The only potential downside is that the wind can create problems with the gondola from time to time.

Bogus Basin Ski Resort in Boise City, Idaho

Finding a good ski resort that's not too far from a city can prove something of a challenge. But with Bogus Basin, skiers get the best of both worlds since this popular resort is located just 45 minutes from Boise City. In addition to their day skiing, Bogus offers a fairly popular night skiing option thanks to their RFID system and well-lit terrain, which includes beginner trails. You're not going to find a ton of varied terrain here, but it's a quality spot to ski if you're interested in a more laid-back experience. On Reddit, u/dregan noted, "It's a pretty decent hill, plenty of skiable terrain and it can be really nice when the snow's good."

Schweitzer Mountain in Sandpoint, Idaho

One resort name that seems to warrant serious praise every time it pops up is Schweitzer Mountain, a stunning spot in the Selkirk area of the Idaho Panhandle, located just 90 miles outside of Spokane. On this expansive private resort, you'll find 2900 acres of skiable snow including wide-open bowl skiing and 92 trails. As u/EverestMaher put it on Reddit, "Schweitzer is just world class to me, and more closely resembles powder highway resorts in Canada." Another user added, "Schweitzer is in a whole other class. So much bigger and a great variety of terrain." And about that view — from its summit, Schweitzer also offers a 360-degree view of nearby mountain ranges in Canada, Montana, and Washington.

Mt. Baker Ski Area in Deming, Washington

Nestled in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, the Mt. Baker ski area is one of the Pacific Northwest's more budget-friendly spots to learn skiing. For a reasonable price of $110, guests ages 7 and up can pick up a beginner lift ticket, a two-hour lesson, and an all-day equipment rental. While the Mt. Baker ski area itself is not a full-service resort with overnight accommodations, there are plenty of great places to stay in the area. But there's a real upside to this for skiers burnt out on the corporate scene. On Reddit, one skier noted Baker's "locals only" vibe while adding, "Not everyone who comes here gets it, but those who do never want to leave."

Crystal Mountain in Enumclaw, Washington

Crystal Mountain Resort is a higher-priced ski resort that has its share of followers thanks, in large part, to its beauty and varied terrain, which can be quite steep in some areas. On Reddit, u/EskimoJoe94 mused, "The silver basin is truly beautiful, it almost always has untouched lines and ungodly amounts of terrain and powder." Another noted Crystal is "just stuffed with expert terrain, especially if you're willing to hike a bit." Fans of this resort also praised the overall maintenance and infrastructure of Crystal's inbound runs. One of this resort's highlights is its Summit House Restaurant, accessible via the Mount Rainier Gondola. Here, guests can enjoy locally sourced food at an elevation of 6,872 feet.

Mission Ridge Ski Resort in Wenatchee, Washington

Mission Ridge is one of those hidden gem ski spots that those in the know really do not want the rest of the world to find out about. "Mission is more of a Mom and Pop vibe," said user u/Thedingoaj on Reddit, while noting that Mission skiers are rarely forced to endure anything beyond a five or six-minute wait. While Mission Ridge doesn't get as much snow as neighboring Stevens Pass, Redditors say the snow it does get is dryer, cooler, and overall better quality. Mission is light on lifts when compared to many other resorts, but some say it's a worthwhile trade-off for the small resort vibe.

Big Sky Resort in Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky is one of the best places to ski in the world. Although its prices increased during the pandemic and is known for serving up a slightly more corporate experience than some of its counterparts, this resort offers outstanding terrain — for many skiers, it's worth coughing up the extra cheese just to take in Big Sky's mind-blowingly gorgeous mountain vistas. The conditions at Big Sky are consistently good, with some skiers reporting an average of three to five inches of new pristine powder every day. "Conditions were some of the best I have ever skied," said u/ogbobbyj33 on Reddit. "Simply unbelievable."

Bridger Bowl Ski Area in Bozeman, Montana

Bridger Bowl is one of Montana's most buzzed-about ski resorts — at least, on Reddit. Lift tickets are some of the most affordable you'll find at any ski resort in the U.S. While it's easy to get stuck on the numbers when comparing Bridger (2000 acres) to Big Sky (5850 acres), fans of the former say the math doesn't give the whole picture. On Reddit threads, skiers tend to praise the good terrain that Bridger packs into a smaller area, pointing out that skiers can spend much of their time at bigger resorts navigating the landscape.

Mt. Bachelor, Oregon

When it comes to unique ski destinations, Mt. Bachelor is the go-to for some folks. And it makes sense, since "the Bach" is the largest ski resort in the Pacific Northwest. A dormant stratovolcano with a peak at 9.048 feet elevation, Bachelor features 101 runs and 4323 acres of skiable terrain. The fact that this mountain is a retired volcano has gifted Bachelor with some fascinating features. On Reddit, snowboarder u/quad_up gushed, "When the snow is great, there's almost nowhere I'd rather be," citing Bachelor's "super fun gullies" and the pure magic of dropping into the caldera. It's also one of the only places on the planet with 360° skiing from the summit. And when you're done skiing, you can sign up to ride on an Iditarod dog sled.

Mt. Hood Meadows in Mount Hood, Oregon

Mt. Hood Meadows has a pretty sizable following on Reddit. The south side of Meadows is better for beginners, while the north side is set up for more advanced skiers. There's a lot of terrain overall, but Mt. Hood fans say it's all about the quality of that terrain across every skill level. One Reddit user called Meadow's runs "beautifully crafted," while others praised the terrain for its varied terrain. Meadows also hosts live après music almost daily at their lodge. Just be prepared to stand in some pretty long lines, which seem to be par for the course at Mt. Hood Meadows.

Willamette Pass Ski Resort in Crescent Lake Junction, Oregon

One of Willamette Pass's claims to fame is their affordable pricing — folks who pick up their lift tickets early can grab them for as little as $19, which means more money left over for other things like après-ski. This smallish resort located near Eugene, Oregon, is some of the state's most beautiful countryside. Here, guests will find 29 trails, five lifts, a conveyor, and a ski school. The area overlooks Odell Lake and features some lovely runs with a few steep ones to boot. And, as it has recently come under new ownership, the future could prove promising for this friendly ski spot. 

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe in Tahoe, Nevada

Tahoe has its share of ski resorts. But Mt. Rose is considered by many to be the least touristy option among them — and it has the cool local bars to prove it. With a base elevation of 8260 feet, there's plenty of quality snow on this peak. Reddit user u/-ScorpionWitch raved, "The chutes are pretty gnarly and what makes Mt. Rose so famous and cherished," noting that this ski spot gets a ton of snow. At the same time, that elevation can lead to strong winds and avalanches, so it's important to stay on the beaten path. 

Ski Apache! in Alto, New Mexico

With only 750 acres of skiable terrain to play on, Ski Apache is on the smaller — and more affordable — side. And, according to Reddit, the locals are pretty friendly here, too. Despite its size, this Sierra Blanca resort still boasts plenty of trails — not to mention a 12,000-foot elevation and a 1900-foot vertical drop. Apache is also home to New Mexico's only eight-passenger gondola. The drive to the resort can be a bit on the scary side, though, so use caution on your way in. But according to those in the know, the Apache Bowl's south side boasts some excellent runs that make that drive more than worthwhile.

Taos Ski Valley Resort in Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

For skiers in search of some of the steepest and most challenging terrain around, it doesn't get much better than Taos Ski Valley Resort, but it's not for the faint of heart. As one Reddit user summed it up, "Taos Ski Valley is a skier's mountain and with 79 of the 112 runs being expert terrain, doesn't leave a beginner many places to explore." And even though Taos isn't really the best destination for beginners, it is a good spot to pick up some new skills, as reviewers claim the resort offers some of the best ski instructors in the country. Accommodations here are on the expensive side, so expect to shell out if you're headed to Taos.

Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort in Flagstaff, Arizona

Unlike some of the Pacific Northwest and Colorado resorts, the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort tends to have fewer perfect ski days. But Reddit fans say there's nothing quite like heading up here on a good powder day only to come back down from the high country to enjoy spring weather. The fact that some of the snow may be manufactured doesn't seem to dampen skiers' spirits. And as u/Alpacalypse on Reddit observed, "Really after it gets groomed out once or twice, it's indistinguishable from groomed out fresh snow." The biggest potential downside to Snowbowl is that those snowmaking operations have led to concerns and criticism from environmental groups as well as the region's Indigenous population.

Snowbasin Resort in Weber County, Utah

Snowbasin is a more remote Utah ski resort, but many fans of this spot say it's also one of the more underrated resorts in the region. One of the resort's biggest perks is its set of two high-speed gondolas, which Reddit user u/Rustic313 calls "an awesome luxury" on cold days. And unlike many other resorts, Snowbasin's lift lines tend to move pretty efficiently — think 20 minutes at the outside. And, according to u/ask2908, "Snowbasin has every type of terrain you can imagine, fast lifts, great facilities and no crowds." There's also something for every skill level here, even if it's not the most challenging ski resort around.

Park City Mountain Resort in Park City, Utah

One of the cool things about Park City Mountain Resort is that it's a great spot for anyone in your party who skis while still managing to serve up plenty of adventure for the rest of your crew. If you take the gondola ride to the top, you'll find plenty to do that doesn't involve a set of skis. There's also a thrilling mountain coaster that speeds down the side of the mountain at as fast as 25 mph. Skiers will find 7300 acres to ski on, and with plenty of blue and green runs to practice on, it's one of the most family-friendly ski resorts in the West.

Grand Targhee Resort in Alta, Wyoming

With its ample creamy and powdery snow and varied alpine terrain of Grand Teton's west side, skiing the 'Ghee is a rite of passage for many skiers. It's also a great place to work on improving those turns thanks to its wide open, steep, and long groomer faces. Reddit user u/raisintree called Targhee "basically one giant blue run," adding, "Makes for some hero laps." While there's not as much to do at Grand Targhee Resort off the slopes as you'll find around some of the bigger resorts, some Redditors note that Targhee's smaller size means a friendlier, more approachable staff. The Trap Bar is also a favorite among resort regulars, and Targhee's relatively lower price point is the icing on this buttery cake.


With so many stunning vistas and slopes to choose from, Reddit has a good deal to say about the best ski destinations in the West, and every seasoned skier seems to have his or her own perspective. However, some resort names tend to pop up in every corner of Reddit populated by skiers and snowboarders. Fortunately, for us, fans of winter sports love to break down which resorts are the best for different types of ski vacationers, from beginners to thrill-seekers looking for their next double-diamond adrenaline rush. We selected some of the most popular resorts on Reddit, making sure to include a little something for every level of skier, type of vacationer, and state in the Western U.S.