If you’re planning a winter trip to the United States, no matter what region you’re visiting, chances are you’ll be within easy reach of some of the country’s best ski resorts. Whether you’re having fun in the snow on the East Coast, in the snow sports paradise of the Rocky Mountains, or on the West Coast, we’ve got different options for you. In addition to the location of the best ski resorts in the United States, in this article you will find the best times to visit them and the approximate cost of the ski pass, so you can better calculate your travel budget.
Aspen is home to several world-class ski resorts, making it a great destination if you want to hit the slopes in Colorado. Many skiers choose Aspen because of the wide variety of snow sports available in the area, including alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, etc. Located in the Rocky Mountains, the city is just under a 4-hour drive from Denver. You can also fly directly into the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport.
- Top ski resorts: Viceroy Snowmass, Aspen Snowmass, Buttermilk Ski Resort, Aspen Highlands.
- Ski season: Late November to mid-April.
- Cost: Ski pass prices at Aspen ski resorts are not cheap. Depending on when you go, a one-day Aspen Snowmass ski pass costs between approximately $164 and $204. However, this gives you access to 4 Aspen mountains, and you can get discounts if you buy in advance.
There are a variety of ski resorts within a two-hour drive of Denver, including Arapahoe Basin, one of the highest altitude ski areas in North America. Using Denver as a base for skiing or snowboarding in Colorado is also ideal, since, thanks to Denver’s airport, you can fly in and hit the slopes on the same day.
- Best ski resorts: Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, Winter Park, Keystone, Echo Mountain, Copper Mountain, Eldora Mountain.
- Ski season: October through early June at Arapahoe Basin; other areas are open November through April.
- Cost: $69 to $219 for one-day adults. The price depends on the resort, the month, and how the pass is purchased (buying online in advance is usually cheaper).
LAKE TAHOE, CALIFORNIA
The image of crystal blue water surrounded by mountains is reason enough to visit Lake Tahoe. But you can also find some of the best ski resorts in the United States, whether you’re looking for something luxurious or a family-friendly place to hit the slopes with ease. If you want to ski in Lake Tahoe and stay nearby, you can fly directly to Reno-Tahoe International Airport from many international airports.
- Best ski resorts: Squaw Valley, Diamond Peak, Heavenly Mountain, Northstar, Kirkwood, Sugar Bowl, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Mount Rose.
- Ski season: Most resorts around Lake Tahoe are open from mid-November through April.
- Cost: Ski passes are $115 to $209 for adults at the best ski resorts. You can find passes to more basic ski areas for as little as $40.
It may not seem obvious, but there are several places for skiing and other winter sports within an hour’s drive of Minneapolis. With annual snowfall between 90 and 180 cm, you’re sure to find slopes with high-quality snow close to your lodging. While the resorts are easily accessible for those in the Midwest region, you can also fly into Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and be on the slopes in no time.
- Best ski resorts: Wild Mountain, Lutsen Mountains, Como Park, Hyland, Buck Hill.
- Ski season: Generally late November through March, depending on snowfall.
- Cost: $31 to $97 for a day pass depending on the resort and month. Most resorts offer online discounts for advance purchases.
With its proximity to fantastic ski areas like the Cascade Mountains, Seattle is a worthy destination for snow sports. There are several ski resorts within a few hours of the city, so you can hit the slopes for a day, a weekend, or longer. And all ski resorts are also easily accessible by flying into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and renting a car from our office.
- Top Ski Resorts: Snoqualmie Pass, Crystal Mountain, White Pass, Stevens Pass, Mount Baker
- Ski season: November to April, depending on snowfall and temperatures.
- Cost: The cost of one day for adults ranges from $75 to $89, depending on the resort, the month, and how you buy it. Most resorts offer discounts for online ski pass purchases.
Although there are only 2 ski resorts in the state of Indiana, there are many nearby in neighboring states. You can find alpine experiences and affordable family ski areas just an hour or two away from Indianapolis.
- Top ski resorts: Perfect North Slopes, Paoli Peaks Resort, Swiss Valley Ski Area, Mad River Mountain.
- Ski season: Due to the lower elevation, the ski season in the Midwest is generally December through March. This can vary depending on temperatures and snowfall.
- Cost: The cost of a one-day adult ski pass ranges from $37 to $65 depending on the resort and month. Generally, you can get a discount by purchasing your ski pass online before you go.
Did you know that you can find a ski resort within hours of Philadelphia? There are several options, including the highest skiable mountain in Pennsylvania, which can be reached in less than 4 hours from Philadelphia. If you find yourself in Philadelphia, you can get a group of friends or family together and plan a long weekend of skiing. Otherwise, you can fly into Philadelphia International Airport and enjoy a ski vacation.
- Best ski resorts: Blue Knob, Bear Creek, Jack Frost, Big Boulder, Camelback.
- Ski season: Generally you can ski from late November or early December to the end of March.
- Cost: $40 and $80 for one day, depending on the day of the week and month.
Citizens of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area can get rid of the stress of the U.S. capital by driving as little as 1.5 hours to the nearest ski resort. In the region, you can hit the slopes at a large alpine-style resort or visit a smaller resort with activities and amenities for the whole family. If you fly into Washington Dulles International Airport and plan to spend a few days in the capital, take advantage of your stay to ski the area.
- Top ski resorts: Massanutten Resort, Bryce Resort, Liberty Mountain, Roundtop Mountain.
- Ski season: Resorts near D.C. are generally open from early December to late March.
- Cost: $75 to $90 for a one-day adult ski pass at the resorts near D.C. These prices are for online passes and you may find discounts for advance purchase.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
If you’re willing to drive a few hours from Las Vegas, you’ll have plenty of options for top-notch ski resorts to choose from. Drive just an hour northwest to Lee Canyon, a couple more hours to Utah, or even farther to California for skiing. You can fly into McCarran International Airport, enjoy the winter wonderland and then return to the desert scenery and glitz and glamour of Las Vegas.
- Top ski resorts: Lee Canyon, Eagle Point Resort, Brian Head Resort, Mammoth Mountain, Park City Mountain Resort.
- Ski season: While some of the resorts on our list at higher altitudes are open longer, all are open December through March.
- Cost: The price of a 1-day adult ski pass purchased online ranges from $29 to $164. It depends on the resort, the month, and the day of the week. Remember that some resorts give discounts if you buy several days in advance.
While Colorado gets all the glory, neighboring Utah is also a destination with some of the best ski resorts in the U.S. The 2002 Winter Olympics were even held here! With well-known destinations like Park City and Brian Head more accessible, there are a variety of ski resorts for every skill level. Most of Utah’s most popular ski resorts can be reached by car, as they are only 30 minutes from Salt Lake City. If you are traveling to Utah from out of town, you can fly directly into Salt Lake City International Airport.
- Best ski resorts: Park City, Alta Ski Area, Solitude Mountain Resort, Snowbasin Resort, Deer Valley Resort.
- Ski season: Available from mid-November through April, depending on snow conditions.
- Cost: Adult day passes vary in price and can range from $115 to $249, depending on the resort, day of the week, and month.