Best in the West 2018: Challenge

The results of our reader-ranked survey of the top 10 challenging resorts in Western North America.

The steep and deep out West is internationally (in)famous, and these resorts are almost always on every expert skier’s bucket list. See where your favorite pucker spot ended up in the Resort Guide for 2018.


No 1: Taos, New Mexico

“Pound for pound, Taos is the most technical ski mountain there is. Period. The steepness never lets up – ever.”

Courtesy of Taos Ski Valley.


No 2: Jackson Hole, Wyoming

“Jackson has some serious steeps, and the most of it. And I mean STEEP!”

Courtesy of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.


No 3: Whistler/Blackcomb, British Columbia

“Incredible steep and deep terrain, some of the most challenging stuff I’ve ever skied. And there’s so much of it!”

Courtesy of Eric Berger, Whistler Blackcomb.


No 4: Aspen Highlands, Colorado

“Aspen Highlands has something few other resorts can offer: loads of accessible, lift-served, extreme terrain.”

Courtesy of Scott Markewitz.


No 5: Big Sky, Montana

“Off the tram you can find steeps that will make even the best skiers sweat.”

Courtesy of Jeff Engerbretson.


No 6: Snowbird, Utah

“Varied and steep terrain unlike anywhere else. If you want steep and endless challenge on top quality snow, this is the mountain.”

Courtesy of Matt Crawley, Snowbird Ski Resort.


No 7: Telluride, Colorado

“Bring your A-game or you’ll be going home in a cast.”

Courtesy of Brett Schreckengost.


No 8: Alta, Utah

“If you’re a hardcore skier, this is Nirvana. Although there are some beautiful greens for beginners, it’s really an upper-level skier’s kind of place.”

Courtesy of Colton Rice, Alta Ski Area.


No 9: Crested Butte, Colorado

“Crested Butte is known for its double-diamond extreme inbound terrain – and it delivers! The terrain can humble even the most expert skier.”

Courtesy of Nathan Bilow, Crested Butte Mountain Resort.


No 10: Kirkwood, California

“This place is notorious for having some of the most difficult terrain in California, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!”

Courtesy of Kirkwood Mountain Resort.

Wondering where your favorite steep ski area ended up in the overall results? You can find spots 16-30 here and the top 15 spots for 2018 here.