Best Trees: Steamboat, Colorado

The champagne is so crisp you won’t even care about the pain the morning after.
Best Trees: Steamboat, CO Resort Awards

Take a couple tree laps during a Steamboat storm, and you’ll quickly understand why the term “champagne powder” was coined there. Start off your tasting tour on the gentle pitches of the Twilight Glades. It’s sort of like a swig from a bottle of Krug Clos du Mesnil—the experience is soft yet intensely flavored and only mildly desperate. Wipe your face on your sleeve and make your way over to the Pony Express lift to build up your tolerance. The tighter pines will force your turns to be short and sweet, like the taste of blanc de noir sucked through a Slurpee straw. After a few more runs, the champagne-pow buzz kicks in. You might fall on your ass more than 20 times trying to get down Morningside’s hairy chutes, but the champagne is so crisp you won’t even care about the pain the morning after.

When You Go…
Only a short walk from the gondola, your first après stop should be the Gondola Pub & Grill for cheap beers and delicious ribs. [2305 Mount Werner Circle #1]

Nurse your leg burn at one of the 150-plus natural springs in the area. But watch out for the ones hot enough to poach an egg. [steamboat]

Hire an experienced guide and bomb through untouched backcountry terrain—and live to tell about it. [Steamboat Powdercats;]

Sam Elliott would be proud. Head to F.M. Light & Sons to buy the ultimate cowboy hat in the area’s oldest retail store. [830 Lincoln Ave.]

Best of the Rest

2. Vail, CO

3. Heavenly, CA

4. Jay Peak, VT

5. The Canyons, UT

6. Jackson Hole, WY

7. Whistler Blackcomb, BC

8. Alta/Snowbird, UT

9. Deer Valley, UT

10. Winter Park, CO