Top 10 North American ski escapes

By | Category: Travel destinations

Chase champagne powder, ignite the night with high-octane après-ski parties, and live life on the vertical edge with North America’s best ski adventures

Aspen, Colorado
Iconic, outrageously posh and overwhelmingly beautiful, Aspen has it all. America’s best powder run can be found at 12,000ft in Highlands Bowl. Buttermilk has perfect groomers for families, while Aspen Mountain (Ajax) goes right into town.
Nov-Apr (plus summer lift service); lift tickets from $169; 4hr from Denver by car, bus or shuttle.

Copper, Colorado
Copper isn’t as glitzy as some other Colorado resorts, but offers up amazing terrain, a few super steep bowls and fun hike-to runs. Located in Summit County, the resort and little village gives easy access to Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin.
Nov-Apr (plus summer lift service); lift tickets from $150; 2hr from Denver by car, bus or shuttle.

Crested Butte, Colorado
This is the stuff of legend: steep terrain, historic town centre, down-to-earth locals and some of the best extreme skiing on the planet. While best suited to a long weekend trip, the awesome terrain and laid-back air make this one of Colorado’s top ski destinations.
Nov-Apr (plus summer lift service); lift tickets from $111; 4hr from Denver by car, bus or shuttle.

Taos, New Mexico 
With over 300in of the fresh stuff, limited crowds and easy access to sophisticated Santa Fe, Taos is a small-but-mighty 1200-acre resort, cut from the independent spirit of the American Southwest. 
Nov-Apr (plus summer lift service); lift tickets from $105; 2hr from Santa Fe by car, bus or shuttle.

Road through trees during autumn on the Million Dollar Highway. Credit: ©Craig Zerbe/Getty Images

Snowbird, Utah
As you ride the Snowbird Aerial Tram to the 11,000ft summit of Hidden Peak, the grandeur and immensity of this powder-keg resort reveals itself. Spend a week finding new lines in the 2500 acres of world-class terrain, heading out to other nearby resorts, and just enjoying the village’s fun restaurants and activities. 
Nov-May (plus summer lift service); lift tickets from $119; 40min from Salt Lake City by car, bus or shuttle.

Alta, Utah
With transcendent champagne powder, impossibly cool lines and a hard-charging attitude, this is Utah’s premier ski resort. From the Wildcat Base, at 8530ft, you get access to over 2200 acres, with a whopping average snowfall of 543in.
Nov-May (plus summer lift service); lift tickets from $139; 40min from Salt Lake City by car, bus or shuttle.

Kirkwood, California 
This mighty resort has the gnarliest lines imaginable, from steep chutes to sweet natural halfpipes and a cornice drop that sends you flying 20ft down. The best part of Kirkwood is its small size – it still feels like a mom-and-pop operation. 
Nov-May (plus summer lift service); lift tickets from $86; 1hr 30min from Reno by car, bus or shuttle.

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
There’s nothing small about Canada’s twin mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb: this resort has over 8000 acres of skiable terrain (the most in North America) topped with a cool village, plenty of deep snow and beautiful mountain views. 
Nov-May (plus summer lift service); lift tickets from $149; 2hr from Vancouver by car, bus or shuttle.

Crystal, Washington
Crystal Mountain has arguably the best gate-accessed, side-country skiing in North America. With just a 10-minute hike, you’ll be skiing fresh tracks all day. While the Washington snow can get a little heavy, there’s plenty of it, with around 500in each year. 
Nov-May (plus summer lift service); lift tickets from $74; 2hr from Seattle by car, bus or shuttle.

Stowe, Vermont
Skiing on the US East Coast may pale in comparison to the action out west, but Vermont’s Stowe Mountain Resort offers some great riding, with 2360ft of vertical drop, and a luxury New England vibe. 
Nov-May (plus summer lift service); lift tickets from $99; 1hr from Burlington by car, bus or shuttle.

Extract taken from Three Hours From : 894 microtrips from your favourite cities (Lonely Planet; out now)

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