The best ski resorts in the US for your next trip to the slopes

The 2023-24 ski season was forecasted to be a banner year, thanks to persistent El Nino weather patterns. However, as we head into peak season, the conditions at U.S. resorts have been below average. Warm, dry weather has resulted in base depths well below the norm at resorts across the country. California and East Coast resorts have had an especially late start, while the Rockies are faring the best so far. Big-name resorts like Jackson Hole, Breckenridge, and Park City are operating with less than 70% of terrain open, with many lifts not yet running.

While no one can truly predict snowfall months or even weeks out, it’s important to stay updated on the latest snow conditions and opt for flexible hotel and flight bookings. This ensures that you can satisfy your powder cravings and make the most of your ski trip.

When selecting the best U.S. resort for your ski trip, it’s important to consider various factors. “Best” means something different to everyone, depending on their priorities and preferences. Some skiers prioritize extreme runs and bragging rights, while others prioritize luxurious accommodations and white-glove service. Some are drawn to resorts with wild scenery or an exciting après-ski scene.

Geography also plays a role, as most of America’s world-class ski resorts are located in the West, where the highest mountains are. However, the East Coast also has some classic resorts worth considering.

One of America’s top ski resorts is Aspen Snowmass Resort in Colorado. It encompasses four skiing and snowboarding areas, each with its own personality. Aspen Mountain is known for its challenging terrain and easy access to town and nightlife. Aspen Highlands is famed for its expert runs. Buttermilk offers gentle slopes for families and beginners, while Snowmass has a 4,400-foot rise and easy access. The resort also offers unique experiences like tubing, snow biking, and ice-karting.

When it comes to dining, Aspen has plenty of options. Aspen Public House is a great spot for burgers and truffle potatoes, while Spring Cafe offers soups, salads, and creative breakfast scrambles. For something more celebratory, Betula offers French bistro cuisine, and Catch Steak serves prime rib.

As for accommodations, there are plenty of choices in Aspen. The recently opened Mollie Aspen is a quieter, boutique hotel in the center of town. The St. Regis Aspen Resort is ideal for Marriott Bonvoy loyalists looking for luxury and proximity to town. The W Aspen is steps from the lift at Aspen Mountain and offers a mountain vibe with W’s signature touches. The Little Nell is a top-notch luxury hotel steps from the slopes and in the heart of town.

Another top ski destination is Park City, Utah, home to Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort. With the addition of the Canyons ski resort in 2014, Park City became one of the largest ski resorts in America. Deer Valley Resort provides a premium experience with high-touch service, but it is restricted to skiers only. Alterra Mountain Company recently announced an expansion that will more than double the skiable terrain at Deer Valley.

Park City offers a wide range of dining options, with chef-driven culinary haunts along Main Street, including Riverhorse on Main, Grappa, and Chimayo. The town attracts a younger, lively crowd, making it a popular après-ski destination.

In conclusion, while the 2023-24 ski season hasn’t lived up to the initial forecasts, there are still plenty of top ski resorts in the U.S. to consider for your next ski trip. When selecting a resort, consider your priorities and preferences, as well as factors like snow conditions, accommodations, dining options, and après-ski activities. And remember, flexibility is key when it comes to booking your trip to ensure you can make the most of the powder and enjoy your ski experience to the fullest.

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