Northern Rockies

Best in the West 2018: Lifts

The results of our reader-ranked survey of the top 10 resort chairlift systems in Western North America.

Best in the West: Lifts


No. 1: Sun Valley, Idaho

“The lifts are easy to access, and there are seldom any lines, talk about all-around awesome.”

Photo courtesy of Sun Valley Ski Area.


No. 2: Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

“Having the option of two huge mountains with the ease of the Peak 2 Peak gondola linking them? Amazing. There’s so much terrain at your fingertips because of this feat of engineering.”

Photo courtesy of Whistler Blackcomb Holdings.


No. 3: Deer Valley, Utah

“Best designed lift system anywhere, you can move from one side of Deer Valley to the other in fifteen minutes.” 

Photo courtesy of Deer Valley Resort.


No. 4: Snowbasin, Utah

“Best lift system in Utah by far, it handles peak crowds with ease, meaning lift lines are rare.”

Photo courtesy of Snowbasin Resort.


No. 5: Snowmass, Colorado

“The lifties are always so courteous, especially with little kids. And with tons of lifts, it’s so nice that almost all of them are high-speed.”

Photo courtesy of Aspen Skiing Company.


No. 6: Vail, Colorado

“There’s been a ton of great improvements to the lifts over the past few years, meaning more time on snow and less time in line.”

Photo courtesy of Vail Resorts.


No. 7: Mammoth Mountain, California

“The lift system is the best! So well thought out and makes navigating the mountain really simple.”

Photo courtesy of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.


No. 8: Jackson Hole, Wyoming

“The tram gets you up 4,130 vertical feet in 9 minutes. If that doesn’t impress you, hopefully after you get in multiple runs of 4,000 vertical feet, it will!” 

Photo courtesy of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.


No. 9: Snowbird, Utah

“The lifts are great, I’ve never really had to wait in a long line! And the tram is super fast with some breathtaking views.” 

Photo courtesy of Snowbird Ski Resort.


No. 10: Big Sky, Montana

“Big doesn’t even begin to describe the amount of terrain at Big Sky, but the lifts are fast and well-placed, and do a great job of helping you reach it all.”

Photo courtesy of Cody Whitmer, Big Sky Resort.

Want to know how these western ski areas and more ended up in other rankings? Check out: