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Resort Guide 2022

These Are The Best Resorts in the West for a Weekend Getaway

These are the resorts to choose when you've got no time to lose, according to SKI's Reader Resort Survey. Check them out here.

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Slogging through a blizzard on windy, icy roads isn’t the kindest way to kick off a vacation. After all, sometimes you don’t want the journey to be more important than the destination, and especially when getting there is not half the fun. These ski areas ranked highest in Access in the Reader Resort Survey, meaning they’re pretty easy to get to. Consider one of these for quick weekend jaunts, or anytime when you want to maximize your time on the slopes.

Top 10 Resorts in the West for Access

No. 10. Snowbird Resort, Utah

Score: 8.56
Other Strengths:
Snow (#3), Challenge (#3)
Family (#33), Local Flavor (#33)

Snowbird Access
(Photo: Kelsey Johnson)

What Readers Say

“Nonstop flight to Salt Lake is key. Staying at one of the four base accommodations works perfectly. I’m not looking for nightlife, but the dining options there are fine.”

“Phenomenal snow and a great variety of challenging terrain make Snowbird a “must” resort for expert skiers. It also helps that Alta, another great resort, is right next door!”

“Way too crowded and the access up Little Cottonwood Canyon and the parking is a joke due the myriad of passes sold in mass quantities to the public.”

9. Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah

Score: 8.77
Other Strengths:
Value (#8), Snow (#6)
Dining (#30), Local Flavor (#30)

Solitude Access
(Photo: Solitude Mountain Resort)

What Readers Say

“It’s a resort built around the mountain, so no real village vibe other than the artificial village built right there. That said, there is variety in lodging and restaurants. You go to ski, so super-late nights aren’t required. Fabulous snow and super easy to get to! Fly from the East Coast in the morning and hop a chair by 1:00p. What could be better?”

“My favorite resort in the Cottonwoods. I would recommend Solitude to anyone for the best backcountry access for the Cottonwood Resorts.”

“Solitude has a great lodging area and it is nice that you can ski here on the Ikon Pass. Honeycomb Canyon is a really fun advanced/expert ski area when the snow is good. Great variety but I would like to see their lifts be improved to carry more people. The parking is very limited and lift lines are way too long on the weekends.”

8. Keystone Resort, Colo.

Score: 8.63
Other Strengths:
Grooming (#11), Family (#4)
Local Flavor (#30), Challenge (#30)

Keystone Access
A family walks to the chairlift in Mountain House Village at Keystone, CO. (Photo: Andrew Maguire)

What Readers Say

“I’ve spent the last 10 years skiing in Colorado, and out of all the resorts, I keep coming back to Keystone. It has the right mix of steep and deep tree runs, groomers, and fast access to all of it.”

“Great for families. Close to Denver. Weekdays are not too crowded. Lots of terrain for any level skier. Things to do for non-skiers, too.”

“If you are there on a busy day, you can usually escape the crowds by going to the Outback.”

7. Banff Sunshine, Alb.

Score: 8.70
Other Strengths:
Grooming (#4), Snow (#5)
Nightlife (#18), Challenge (#18)

Banff Sunshine Access
(Photo: Reuben Krabbe)

What Readers Say

“It’s a great resort, proximity to Banff is great & the free buses are helpful for tourists who don’t want to hire their own car.”

“Sunshine has nearly 100 percent natural snow, much superior to ski on then manmade snow. With the multiple mountain faces available they have runs suitable for nearly everybody from beginner to super-experts. Easily accessible from the world-class resort town of Banff, Sunshine easily has the best of everything for skiing and après-skiing.

“This resort is high elevation, keeping the snow well preserved all season. The resort is easy access from Banff where you can enjoy the Banff nightlife. The downside is the resort is in Banff National Park, which requires purchasing a park pass (about $10 per adult) just to park in the resort parking lot.”

6. Winter Park Resort, Colo.

Score: 8.79
Other Strengths:
Family (#6), Variety (#8)
Après (#25), Dining (#24)

What Readers Say

“I love Winter Park/Mary Jane mostly because I love to ski moguls, and the Jane has some of the best around. It is relatively close to Denver and the parking lot is close to the lifts.”

“Great proximity to the Front Range. Having a world-class resort so close is awesome!”

On the plus side, Winter Park gets good snow. On the negative side, there are too many sections of their trails that are almost flat. The best powder terrain is overused and gets skied off quickly.”

5. Copper Mountain, Colo.

Score: 8.88
Other Strengths:
Lifts (#5), Variety (#7)
Dining (#23), Nightlife (#24)

Copper Mountain grooming
(Photo: Courtesy of Copper Mountain)

What Readers Say

“I have been skiing Copper for more than 25 years and feel very familiar with all of it. I love the snow and the variety of trails and bowls. The villages are not so large as to feel overwhelming but more like a small-town feel. Safety, familiarity, friendly staff, ease of getting there, and parking, as well as easy options for a quick bite or warm up are all important to me. The newish lifts make the lift lines sometimes non-existent!”

“Copper has a huge variety of terrain spread across this large resort, so there are plenty of options for every level. Great long groomers in both lower-intermediate and upper-intermediate ranges. Limited truly extreme terrain, but even some pockets of deserving double-diamonds in several locations. And much more and better tree skiing than most people know. Gets bad crowds from Denver on the weekends.”

4. Park City Resort, Utah

Score: 9.07
Other Strengths: Dining (#9), Lodging (#7)
Weaknesses: Value (#30), Service (#27)

Park City Access
(Photo: Park City Resort)

What Readers Say

“Amazing and virtually endless variety of terrain. Great restaurants, bars, and night life. Authentic mountain town with history and a fun vibe. Easiest access from virtually anywhere to world class skiing.”

“Easy to get to (usually one flight plus a short drive). I usually don’t have a lot of time to ski out West, so losing a couple of days traveling is a downer. Salt Lake and Park City are fairly easy to travel to and provides a lot of real estate to ski.”

“Park City is packed every time we go! Maybe it’s too easy to get to… I’ve never spent as much time in lift lines anywhere else in my life.”

3. Snowbasin Resort, Utah

Score: 9.26
Other Strengths:
Lifts (#2), Grooming (#3)
Nightlife (#29), Lodging (#30)

What Readers Say

“Best all-around family-friendly resort. No on-mountain lodging which keeps the crowds down, but an amazing resort with amazing skiing for all skill levels! Just 40-45 min from Salt Lake City airport.”

“Snowbasin is the best all-around resort in Utah. It has terrain that can compete with any resort in the West, but is incredibly easy to access. Just 45 minutes from Salt Lake City and an easy, traffic-free drive.”

“Great resort, great terrain, great access but getting too crowded. Epic affiliation is nothing but a big negative to their loyal customers.”

2. Deer Valley Resort, Utah

Score: 9.35
Other Strengths:
Family (#2), Grooming  (#2)
Challenge (#31), Variety (#30)

Deer Valley Access
(Photo: Deer Valley Resort)

What Readers Say

“Deer Valley is the whole package. Overall, it’s a wonderful resort for families, friends, and powderhounds alike. With a variety of terrain options spread over all six peaks, there’s something for everyone. Luckily, they can make so much snow that even on a low snow year, you’re guaranteed to have plenty of options —and with the best grooming at that. To top it all off, the staff is helpful and kind, the food is better than any other resort, and the access is incredible.”

“Skied all over Colorado, Montana and Utah, but always come back to Deer Valley. Ease of airport access, mid-mountain lodging, on-mountain food, five minutes from Park City restaurants, best grooming anywhere, steep groomers hard to find anywhere else cannot be beat. Added plus is no boarders. Only downside is no après-ski other than a beer on the “beach”. Would like to see some après-ski options at and outside the lodges.”

1. Loveland Ski Area, Colo.

Loveland Access
TJ David. Loveland Pass (Photo: Loveland Ski Area)

Score: 9.40
Other Strengths:
Value (#1), Local Flavor (#6)
Lodging (#33), Nightlife (#33)

What Readers Say

“A skier’s ski area—definitely not a canned Vail or Alterra experience. Easy access to the slopes, variety of terrain, huge area, cat skiing (in non-pandemic years). Oh, and free parking. Best value for the money in skiing.”

“Great snow, great steeps, free snowcat to divide, minimal crowds, free parking, cheap passes. Close to Denver. Great ski area and unknown compared to big hype areas.”

“We enjoy Loveland for the location and cost. The lift tickets are possibly the lowest around and the mountain is huge! The location is right off I-70, so it makes it super convenient for people to travel from out of town. I will say it is more of a local mountain that is not as welcoming as some of the other resorts.”