Whether you are searching for sunny bluebird days, scenery that stops you mid-run, or powder up to your chest, ski resorts of the west have you covered. From large family destinations to old-school local mountain vibes, these are readers' top-ranked resorts and why they keep coming back for more. 

See how east coast resorts ranked in 2021

Click on photos to learn more about each resort.

No. 1:  Sun Valley, Idaho.

2021 Resort Guide Sun Valley Idaho

Idaho has more than just potatoes. 

"Sun Valley is a resort of its own making. It doesn't try to keep up, it sets the standards and continues to find that rare balance of resort and western ski town."

Read what makes Sun Valley SKI readers' favorite resort

No. 2: Deer Valley, Utah. 

Robin Barnes at Deer Valley

A skiers-only mountain with famous grooming.

"Deer Valley delivers first class in every aspect but with a first-class price tag. My favorite in Utah for cruising groomers all day."

See why readers ranked Deer Valley number 2

No. 3: Whitefish Mountain Resort, Mont. 

2021 Resort Guide Whitefish Mont.

No friends on a bluebird Whitefish pow day. 

"Whitefish has a wonderful mix of an authentic western town very close to the resort, excellent, varied terrain, good snow, and a really friendly, fun vibe. Plus you can't beat the value. The downsize is frequent fog—but when it is clear on top of the mountain, the view of Glacier National Park is amazing!"

Read why Whitefish ranked in the top 3

No. 4: Taos Ski Valley, N.M.

2021 Resort Guide Taos Ski Valley

Experience the enchanting vibes that keep skiers coming back for New Mexico skiing. 

"I love Taos Ski Valley! The mountain is majestic and spiritual with amazing terrain. 98% of the time, there are no lines and you seem to have the mountain to yourself. The staff is very friendly and accommodating, going above and beyond. The ski school is the best. The vibe is like no other resort."

See why readers love Taos Ski Valley

No. 5: Aspen Snowmass, Colo.

2021 Resort Guide Aspen Snowmass

Exquisite colors to ring in the Aspen nightlife. 

"The "Power of Four" mountains at Aspen/Snowmass provides incredible options for all ski levels. Combine this with the amazing dining, entertainment, and apres-ski venues for the best of ski and winter vacations. And the natural beauty of surrounding panorama makes Aspen/Snowmass a Crown Jewel of the world!"

See what makes Aspen Snowmass a favorite

No. 6: Telluride Ski Resort, Colo.

Resort Guide 2021 Telluride, Colo.

Take the gondola up from Town. 

"An amazing place - everything you want in a resort. Amazing scenery, charming town, phenomenal restaurants, and a wide variety of terrain."

See why readers love Telluride

No. 7: Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.

Resort Guide 2021 Whistler Blackcomb

8,171 acres to find your favorite line. 

"Probably the best all-around ski resort in North America. On-mountain and in-town food is superb, terrain is as good as it gets, plenty of great lodging options, and the drive to Whistler is unforgettable."

Read what makes Whistler Blackcomb special

No. 8: Steamboat, Colo. 

Horses on Main street in Steamboat, CO

Experience Steamboats true cowboy town. 

"Great family-friendly resort. Something for everyone on and off the ski hill. Western small-town atmosphere."

Learn more about Steamboat

No. 9: Beaver Creek, Colo.

Resort Guide 2021 Beaver Creek

Don't let the perfect groomers distract you from all Beaver Creek has to offer.   

"No lift lines, cliff drops, free cookies, and a side-country to get lost in. What's not to like?"

See what readers love about Beaver Creek

No. 10: Crested Butte, Colo.

Crested Butte at night

Views all day and night.

"There's nowhere like Crested Butte. The extreme terrain is ridiculous. Spellbound and Third bowls feel like another planet. The banana chute and others off the peak are sublime 2,000 ft vertical lines through perfect trees, chutes, and ridges. The views into the West elks and toward Aspen will drop your jaw. The town is quirky and fun with amazing pizza at Secret Stash and a special rum distillery."

Read what makes Crested Butte special

No. 11: Park City Mountain Resort, Ut. 

This young grom is stoked to hit the Canis Lupis at Park City Mountain.

Family fun for everyone. 

"Park City is easy to get to, has great snow and quality terrain for all abilities and a charming town." 

Learn what readers are saying about the upcoming season at Park City

No. 12: Breckenridge, Colo. 

Breckenridge's Lake Chutes and more High Alpine Terrain

There's more to Breck than family-friendly terrain and a cute main street.

"Breckenridge combines its natural beauty and great skiing perfectly! There are tons of trails, with a great variety of skill-level. The town is sleek and fun! Breck was a wonderful place to take our family skiing. Downside is the distance from Denver Airport. It takes a long shuttle ride to and from to get there, especially on a holiday or a playoff game weekend!"

Read why readers keep coming back to Breckenridge

No. 13: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyo.

Jackson Hole Tram

The famous Jackson tram serving iconic chutes and couloirs.

"Although Jackson Hole has certainly seen its share of development over the years it remains my favorite in North America. Most appropriate for advanced skiers."

See why readers love Jackson Hole

No. 14: Vail, Colo. 

2021 Resort Guide Vail Colo.

Avoiding the weekend crowds in Game Creek Bowl. 

"The mountain and the village are what bring us to Vail. Vail feels like 3 different mountains—front, back bowls, and Blue Sky. Each has a different feel and each has a tremendous amount of terrain. We love Vail village—being able to walk everywhere is a plus."

Learn more about Vail's reader ranking

No. 15: Lake Louise, Alberta

Lake Louise gondola

Lake Louise scores #1 for views.

"The best scenery of any resort in North America! No on-mountain lodging or after skiing restaurants or bars, but great skiing with runs for everyone, including great steep on the backside. And did I mention the scenery of the Canadian Rockies!"

Learn more about the upcoming season at Lake Louise

No. 16: Banff Sunshine, Alberta

Banff Sunshine

Everyone loves a bluebird day in Banff.

"Consistently good snow and spectacular scenery. The nearby town of Banff is a great place to stay, dine, and shop."

Learn more about Banff Sunshine

No. 17: Winter Park, Colo. 

Resort guide 2021 Winter Park colorado

Family fun cruisers for everyone. 

"Everything seems to be just right at this resort. The right details are prioritized, without anything seeming over the top or stuffy. The terrain is great with variety, express lifts serving all skill levels of terrain."

Find out why readers ranked Winter Park 17 for 2021

No. 18: Arapahoe Basin, Colo.

Resort Guide 2021 Arapahoe Basin Colo.

Steep and deep. 

"Best Culture and vibe. Incredibly diverse terrain. Consistently great snow. No other place like it."

Learn why readers say Arapahoe Basin is a homegrown Colorado favorite

No. 19: Keystone, Colo. 

Keystone Resort benefits from historic October snowfalls at the start of the 2019-2020 season.

Finding the goods. 

"Keystone is a hidden gem. Family-friendly yet with steep terrain, outback, trees, bumps & an amazing terrain park. When I take people skiing to Keystone by the end of the day they are in love with the resort."

See more about what readers love about Keystone

No. 20: Mammoth Mountain, Calif.

Three people stand on skis at Mammoth Mountain and laugh. All wearing different combinations of black, orange, and light teal. Rolling hills covered in snow are foggy in the background with scattered trees and shrubs.

Big mountain, big smiles. 

"Our home away from home! I've been coming to Mammoth just about every year since 3 years old. Can't say enough good things, from the incredible ski terrain to the town and dining options. We love spending family vacation time in the beautiful mountains of Mammoth Mountain!"

Learn what to expect for the upcoming season at Mammoth

No. 21: Heavenly Mountain Resort, Calif. 

Heavenly Lake Tahoe

A resort that lives up to its name- heavenly. 

"Heavenly is a great intermediate mountain with the nicest runs on top of the mountain. Great views of Lake Tahoe on one side and Carson Valley on the other side. Resort straddles Nevada and California and you can ski back and forth to the two states. Good tree skiing. Excellent nightlife with four major casinos a stone's throw from the California base lodge."

Learn why readers find Heavenly special

No. 22: Big Sky Resort, Mont. 

Lone Peak Big Sky

Ski the biggest vertical drop in the United States from the summit of Lone Peak. 

"Big Sky was above and beyond what I expected. After skiing 100 days per year for 31 years in Vail and thinking that was skiing, I felt born again. The soul of skiing was once again instilled in me."

Read more about what readers have to say about Big Sky

No. 23: Alta Ski Resort, Utah 

2021 Resort Guide Alta Ski Area Thumb

There's nothing like a pow day in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

"Alta magic. Snow, challenge, and the overall vibe is some of the best anywhere, and it really is hard to beat it. Its neighbor, Snowbird, rivals it, but both of them being so close means that they are more friends than anything else. The hike-to terrain at the resort is next level, with some of the most fun and steepest areas I have skied anywhere, and it always seems like there is another big storm on the horizon, even if it is in the middle of one, which I have been part of multiple times! If you need tons of extra activities in the area and a fancy village to go to, look elsewhere, but if you love powder, challenging steeps, and just a great time on the mountain, look no further than Little Cottonwood Canyon!"

See what readers have to say about Alta

No. 24: Copper Mountain, Colo. 

Banner Peak on Copper Mountain with avalanche crown

Where old meets the new.

"Copper has a down to earth vibe, plus great and varied skiing. Enough challenging slopes on different pitches that you can always find some great snow and a good run."

Learn why Copper is a local favorite

No. 25: Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows, Calif.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Calif.

Experience the lively village of Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows. 

"All skiers should try to ski Squaw/Alpine at least one time in their life...it's a good old fashion, friendly resort. It has everything for all abilities."

Learn about Squaw and it's name change in 2021.

No. 26: Revelstoke Mountain Resort, B.C.

Revelstoke Chairlift

As good as it gets in Interior BC.

"Awesome place in the middle of nowhere. Super fun for skiers looking for advanced terrain and vertical feet. Also an amazing starting point for backcountry touring. Can't beat the views on a sunny day."

Learn more about Revelstoke's upcoming season

No. 27: Snowbird, Utah.

2021 Snowbird Resort Guide

Faceshots for days. 

"The Bird is Awesome for Pow and Steep and Deep. It makes your ski dreams come true." 

See why readers love Snowbird

No. 28: Grand Targhee, Wyo.

Powder day at Grand Targhee Resort

No overpriced fluff, but plenty of the white stuff. 

"A classic old school resort. Amazing snow, no crowds. Worth the effort to get there."

Learn whats new for the upcoming season at Targhee

No. 29: Solitude Mountain Resort

Solitude Mountain Resort 2021 Resort Guide

Find your solitude at the Cottonwoods hidden gem. 

"Great snow, it's Utah! No crowds compared to other Utah resorts. Deceivingly challenging terrain if you know where to explore! Good value with a major city at the doorstep."

Learn what readers love about Solitude

No. 30: Loveland Ski Area, Colo. 

Loveland Ski Area powder day Resort Guide rank 30

"Great local mountain with big mountain skiing."

"Loveland is an old-style ski area, not a resort. Go, have a great day on the slopes, then go home. Easy to get to, and the terrain makes it worth riding old, slow double-chairs."

See more about what readers have to say about the Loveland vibes

Related

Whistler Blackcomb Resort Guide 2020 Opener

SKI Magazine's Top Ski Resorts in the West 2020

The results of SKI's reader-ranked survey for the top resorts in Western North America.

2021 Resort Guide Mad River Glen Vermont

SKI Magazine's Top 20 Ski Resorts in the East for 2021

The results of SKI's reader-ranked survey for the top resorts in eastern North America for 2021.

There’s not a bad view to be found across Lake Louise’s 4,200 acres. This shot was taken on the mountain’s frontside, off the Summit lift.

Resort Guide 2021: Best Scenery in the West

Top 10 resorts in the West for Scenery, according to SKI's Reader Resort Survey.

Deer Valley Top 10 Dining

Resort Guide 2021: Best Dining in the West

Top 10 resorts in the West for Dining, according to SKI's Reader Resort Survey.

SKI0119-Tra5-Loveland-S-v3

Resort Guide 2021: Best Value in the West

Top 10 resorts in the West for Value, according to SKI's Reader Resort Survey.

Jackson Hole Top 10 Challenge

Resort Guide 2021: Best Challenge in the West

Top 10 resorts in the West for Challenge, according to SKI's Reader Resort Survey.

Heavenly nightlife

Resort Guide 2021: Best Nightlife in the West

Top 10 resorts in the West for Nightlife, according to SKI's Reader Resort Survey.

Lodging

Best in the West 2018: Ski Resort Lodging

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