Turns are sweeter when you earn them. While lift-accessed skiing is winding down for the season, the backcountry is just ramping up. Here are a smattering of our favorite ski tours around the U.S., ranging from mellow tree runs for novice backcountry skiers to high alpine ascents for the highly experienced. No matter the level, proper safety equipment and knowledge about how to use it is required.
Tumalo Mountain, Ore.
• Level: Novice
• Vertical Gain: 1,900 feet
The friendly west-facing slopes of Tumalo Mountain make for a straightforward and easily digestible backcountry adventure. The west side of the mountain, accessed from the Dutchman Flat Sno Park across from Mt. Bachelor Ski Area, provides consistently low-angle slopes, great for newer backcountry skiers or those looking for a mellower tour with lots of options. On a sunny day, enjoy breathtaking views of some of Central Oregon’s giants, including the Three Sisters and Broken Top Mountain.
Related: Improve Your Ski-Touring Technique With These Tips
Jake’s Peak, Calif.
Lake views and corn snow on Jake’s Peak—a Tahoe rite of passage. Photo: Ryan Salm
• Level: Novice to intermediate
• Vertical Gain: 2,200 feet