Ski Resort Life

4 Resorts With Great Backcountry Access

For those looking to push the boundaries.

Think Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has rad terrain? The resort’s backcountry accessible right from the ski area will blow your mind. And it’s not just Jackson Hole—resorts across the country are opening the boundaries of their ski areas to give powder-hungry skiers access to a playground beyond the ropes. The growing trend is great news for experienced skiers wanting to challenge themselves and find untracked lines in lift-serviced backcountry terrain, but it bears remembering: there’s no ski patrol or avalanche control beyond the gates, so know before you go

1. Jackson Hole, Wyo. 

Backcountry skiing at Jackson Hole
 A guide charges in the backcountry of Jackson Hole.Courtesy of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

One of the first resorts to swing open its gates, Jackson Hole led the charge on resort-accessed backcountry terrain and is still the Holy Grail today. Don’t venture into the classic zones of No Name Peak of Cody Peak (nor anywhere else on this list) without the skills, equipment, or, if needed, a guide. 

2. Powder Mountain, Utah

Ease into the out-of-bounds on a guided backcountry experience into Pow Mow’s challenging Wolf Creek terrain. Full-day tours provide up to six 3,000-vertical-foot runs into this zone known for its steep pitches and abundant snow. 

3. Stevens Pass, Wash.

Stevens Pass Washington
Courtesy of Stevens Pass

Walks from the peaks of Big Chief and Cowboy mountains reward skiers with a sampling of Stevens Pass‘ abundant and varied backcountry offerings. Be prepared to hike back along Route 2. 

4. Stowe, Vt.

Powder day at Stowe
Powder day at StoweCourtesy of Stowe/ Kaitlin Grove

There are many options but we’re partial to the Teardrop Trail, a Mt. Mansfield classic chock-full of natural obstacles, glades, and cut-backs, ending in a double fall line that will challenge the most confident of skiers.