There are a whopping 481 ski areas in the United States, and every one of them has at least one person who believes that respective ski area is the best on Earth. Maybe they feel this way because they had the most epic powder day of their life there, or perhaps they met their wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, or fiancé their. Or perhaps it is just where they’ve been going all of their life. Regardless the reason, there are numerous reasons why a ski resort is considered the best. The real question however, is what qualities does a mountain/resort have to have to top the charts?
If you define “best” as most luxurious, than you’d be looking for a mountain resort like Utah, Beaver Creek, Colorado, or Sun Valley, Idaho. The lodging and the cuisine at places like these are topped by few, if any. But, if cruising down groomers, sipping down hot chocolate and wearing slippers by the fireplace during a long lunch isn’t your ideal ski day, perhaps you’re looking for something with a little less cache, and a lot more deep powder.
The search for deep powder will lead you to a series of other questions about what makes a mountain the tops in the world. One such question is, do you want consistent powder? If the answer is yes, head out to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This area offers more than enough snow and some extreme terrain to fulfill skier’s desires.
Looking for big powder dumps? Check out California’s Squaw Valley, where they get some of the strongest snow storms and snowfalls anywhere. Another area of interest might be Mount Baker in Washington State. This area set the record for most snowfall in a single season at an astounding 1,140 inches…that’s 95 feet! Just be ready for some wet, heavy snow if you head out to this area.
Perhaps your favorite ski area is one where you had your best day. This can happen anywhere at anytime, meaning your favorite ski area could change depending on how the day went. For me, my favorite place is Grand Targhee in Wyoming. This area gets more snow than Jackson Hole, and it also has the local feel that is hard to resist. The food at the base lodge isn’t overly fancy, but it will be exactly what you’re looking for to break up a long day of powder skiing. This is what counts in my book. Your’s is likely to be different, but the real question is why?
I would love for you to share some of your favorite places and what makes them your favorite places. Please feel free to comment to this blog with your experiences and favorite ski areas.