It almost seems impossible that 3,240 feet of vertical and an average of 500 inches of snow blanketing giant powder fields, craggy chutes, and open glades (No. 2 in Terrain Challenge and No. 4 for Snow) are so easily accessible (No. 5). “You can be at the top of the tram within an hour of leaving the Salt Lake airport,” notes one reader. Of course, once you’re there you may not want to leave: The road to Snowbird, through Little Cottonwood Canyon, is known to close during big storms, meaning you’ll probably want to settle in for the night. We suggest The Cliff Lodge and Spa, which exceeds Snowbird’s middling rank for Lodging (No. 24), and features the awesome Aerie restaurant (order the sushi).
What’s New >> The creaky Little Cloud double gets replaced this season with a quad that’s twice as fast.
Off-Hill Restaurant >> Try the fish tacos at Lone Star Taqueria, a small Mexican joint 30 minutes away.
Après Spot >> The Lodge Bistro, especially on Sundays, when you can enjoy all-you-can-eat steamed mussels.
Mandatory Run >> Tiger Tail, a long, steep pitch that usually opens late on powder days. (Keep bugging ski patrol to see when they’ll drop the ropes.)