Sup, you gnar-shredding fiends!
We recently gave a rundown of some of our favorite international ski/snowboard destinations, but that was mostly an aspirational list—for many of you, that’s a big trip you gotta save up for. With that in mind, today we’re taking a look at a few of the best the United States has to offer in the hopes you’ll still have time to make moves onto these slopes this season.
Let’s get it!
1. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Our Blenders athlete and brand rep, Cam FitzPatrick, has been boarding here since age six, and it isn’t difficult to understand why he has such a love affair with the place. Although the addition of Solitude Station has made the resort more accessible to athletes of all stripes and skill levels, Jackson Hole has always been for those that are decidedly not weak of heart—and that’s a good thing.
HALF of the mountain at Jackson Hole is rated for experts, with 40% allocated to intermediates. Its terrain is so extreme and steep that it has the most continuous vertical in the U.S. at 4,139 ft, gifting the resort the nickname “The Big One.” And with tons of backcountry, crazy ample snowfall, and one of the nation’s best lift networks, you shouldn’t hesitate to slay its slopes.
2. Vail, Colorado
It’s one of the best-known names in the game, and while its inclusion may seem almost too obvious, you can’t blame us—the place continues to improve at a staggering rate.
At 5,289 acres, Vail is the largest resort in Colorado and averages approximately 355 inches of snow a year. Its legendary seven Back Bowls offer some fantastically tricky ungroomed skiing areas, and the Forever Trail, in particular, delights with a vertical of 1,850 feet.
The downsides to Vail? The crowds and the more corporate-y feel, but with perks such as heated sidewalks, will you care? Possibly not.
3. Steamboat, Colorado
Not feeling Vail’s more corporate feel? You don’t have to go far for rustic excellence.
Beyond its more pastoral vibe and legendary “Champagne” powder snow, it’s a unique spot for its usually magnificent tree skiing, offering experienced and even less advanced skiers and boarders a different feel. Plus, with 2,965 acres of varying terrain, smaller crowds than others on this list, and the claim to more Winter Olympians than any other resort in America, Steamboat is a spot that should definitely be on your short list.
Bonus: The new gondola gets skiers up the slopes in only eight minutes!
4. Breckenridge, Colorado
One of the most visited resorts in the U.S. is calling your name, and despite its crowds, Breckenridge really delivers the goods.
Breck is home to 3,000 acres of skiable area, 11 bowls, five peaks, and the Imperial Express Super Lift, the highest lift on the continent (12,480 ft). The nightlife is notoriously dope, too, and the terrain provides for a snow season that can last through Memorial Day.
Oh, and if ya dig creature comforts, consider checking out the new, 60-room Gravity Haus. You’ll benefit from crazy perks that include a hyperbaric chamber, NormaTec compression sleeves, and an onsen (Japanese bath).
5. Squaw Valley, California
It’s not all about Colorado. Some of the finest skiable area on the entire West Coast belongs to Squaw Valley in Blenders’ home state of California.
With greater than 4,000 acres of skiable terrain, six peaks, and an uber-efficient lift system, there’s plenty to like right off the bat with Squaw Valley. However, the fact that you can carve up the mountain at nearby Alpine Meadows using the same ticket is a huge boon—you’re granted access to an additional 2,000 acres.
While Squaw Valley sometimes suffers from inconsistent snow, when it does drop, it covers the north-facing terrain so nicely that the resort has become known as the Spring Skiing Capital of the U.S.