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Resort Guide 2022

These Resorts Have the Best Party Scenes in the West

If you're going to choose a resort based on its after-dark activity, these ski areas are a great place to start.

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There’s no shame in choosing a ski vacation based on what goes on after dark. Just ask the throngs of spring breakers. So if a world-class bar scene is high on your list of must-haves, you’d be well-served to consider one of these resorts, which landed in the Top 10 in our 2022 Reader Resort Survey.

Top 10 Resorts in the West for Nightlife

10. Park City, Utah

Score: 7.40
Other Strengths: Access (#4), Lodging (#7)

Value (#30), Service (#27)

Park City Nightlife
Vail Resorts, Park City Mountain Winter 2017, Park City, Utah Young Photo: © Dan Campbell Photography 435-901-8830 (Photo: Vail Resorts/Dan Campbell)

What Readers Say

“Easy access from SLC Airport. Huge mountain terrain. Steeps, groomed, they have it all. Great town with fun nightlife.”

“The resort is huge and even on busy days you can find short lines, if you know where to go. People are friendly and the town is a great ski town. The snow is almost always great.”

“Terrific ski area, although vast, and a really fun town.”

“Vail Resorts is expensive AF, but man if it isn’t the best snow and terrain! Not to mention killer nightlife (looking at you, No Name!).”

9. Steamboat Resort, Colo.

Score: 7.65
Other Strengths: Family (#3), Dining (#6)

Weaknesses: Challenge (#28), Value (#26)

Steamboat Nightlife
Glowing Downtown Steamboat Springs Colorado. (Photo: Noah Wetzel)

What Readers Say

“The base area is awesome with several choices of restaurants and bars. Gondola line, even when long, has awesome music and people keeping things fun.”

“Best big mountain with a small-town appeal.”

“Gorgeous old Western town. Great powder. Friendly staff and local people. White, steep, and deep!”

“I’ve skied Steamboat almost every year since 1979 and just love the town, the trees, and the ambience.”

8. Vail Mountain, Colo.

Score: 7.87
Other Strengths: Dining (#7), Après (#8)

Weaknesses: Value (#34), Local Flavor (#30)

107424 (Photo: Chris McLennan)

What Readers Say

“Tons of easy expert terrain right in the sweet spot of most destination skiers. Upscale urban core for dining and nightlife.”

“So much terrain and so many options, want Bowls, they got ’em. Want steeps, they got ’em, want groomers, they got ’em, bumps, you get the idea. Want something different? Ever heard of the Minturn Mile? Check it out. So many places to eat, drink, and be merry in the village.”

“Vail is amazing. The Back Bowls are just incredible. The village is large enough for plenty to do but still small enough to be charming.”

7. Deer Valley Resort, Utah

Score: 7.93
Other Strengths: Grooming (#2), Access (#2)

Weaknesses: Challenge (#31), Variety (#30)

What Readers Say

“I love skiing at Deer Valley! Park City (where Deer Valley is located, maybe technically adjacent to) is a great resort town, picturesque, lots of great dining, and nice shops.”

“Deer Valley has great service and the wonderful town of Park City with great restaurants and shopping. We’ve even tied trips there with the [Sundance] film festival so we could ski during the day and watch films at night. I’d recommend it for other people like me–people who like straight up quality skiing with excellent snow and service.”

“It’s a beautiful mountain with a great staff, easy to get to and for the most part plenty of free parking. I like that it’s a ski-only (no snowboard) resort as well. The chocolate cookies are amazing, and the restaurants go above & beyond to provide wonderful food and drink options.”

6. Telluride Ski Resort, Colo.

Score: 7.98
Other Strengths: Variety (#3), Overall Satisfaction (#3)

Weaknesses: Access (#33), Family (#21)

Telluride Nightlife
(Photo: Telluride Ski Resort)

What Readers Say

“Telluride is Alta with less snow, much more nightlife, and much more beginner and intermediate terrain. Food, après, and nightlife are outstanding here, on-mountain and in the village, and in town. The free gondola links town and the Village, which vastly expands evening dining and nightlife options, from cheap eats up to Allred’s at the top of the gondola, which is expensive but excellent and highly recommended.”

“Amazing beauty. Best in North America, it’s like being in the Alps. Caught a perfect snow week. Cool outdoor restaurants (Alpino Vino and Bon Vivant). Town is very cute and gondola really helps.”

“This is easily the best ski hill/town in the United States. It’s got great terrain, excellent snow, amazingly varied and interesting terrain, plenty of lodging and dining options, and a town that just absolutely rocks. Where else does the mountain literally spill right into an absolutely rollicking town?”

5. Sun Valley, Idaho

Score: 8.21
Other Strengths: Overall Satisfaction (#1), Family (#1)

Weaknesses: Snow (#22), Access (#24)

Sun Valley Nightlife
Date: January 2018 Photo Credit: Courtesy Sun Valley Resort Photographer: © Hillary Maybery Photo Caption: Drinks in the newly-remodeled Ram Bar. (Photo: Sun Valley Resort)

What Readers Say

“A great destination resort. Not a lot of powder but a big mountain with great groomers. Good après and nightlife.”

“Restaurants and town charm are top-notch. The food/mountain restaurants and resort service are some of the best I’ve experienced. There is no slopeside accommodations however the “walkable” nature of the town is fantastic and bodes well for the nightlife.”

“Sun Valley is not the most challenging mountain nor does it have the best snow but it is a world-class resort and when it does snow significantly the mountain becomes exponentially larger and that much more fun. Ketchum is the best ski town with incredible dining and vibe.”

4. Breckenridge Resort, Colo.

Score: 8.24
Other Strengths: Nightlife (#4), Après (#5)
Weaknesses: Value (#31), Service (#29)

Breckenridge Apres
(Photo: Liam Doran)

What Readers Say

“Best ski town. Altitude without attitude. Great late season. A zillion dining, après, and nightlife options. Reliable snow. Accessible.”

“Breck offers the ambiance of a small town with big-mountain skiing right outside your door. The variety of terrain, excellent grooming, outstanding local housing/dining/entertainment options and easy access from Denver make it my top pick for Colorado skiing..”

“This has been my home mountain resort for 10 years. Love Breckenridge. Great local vibe, along with acceptance of tourists. So close to other major resorts. Well off of I-70, so it has a real town vibe. Great restaurants and bars (affordable to expensive).”

3. Heavenly Mountain Resort, Calif.

Score: 8.49
Other Strengths: Lodging (#9), Après (#10)

Weaknesses: Overall Satisfaction (#34), Service (#34)

What Readers Say

“Best views of any ski resort. Beautiful Lake Tahoe on one side and beautiful Carson Valley on the other side. Varied terrain. Good groomers. Great nightlife with four major casinos next door.”

“Close to the casinos and south Tahoe nightspots. Also challenging terrain when they open Motts and Killibrew canyons. I like the tree-skiing and during the week it can be excellent.”

“Nevada side provides reasonable lodging close to lifts and casino gaming. California and Nevada both have reasonably priced restaurants.”

2. Aspen Snowmass, Colo.

Score: 8.81
Other Strengths: Lifts (#3), Variety (#4)

Weaknesses: Access (#19), Value (#22)

Aspen Nightlife
(Photo: Aspen Snowmass)

What Readers Say

“Aspen is all about après, dining, and the nightlife. There are so many great choices in all those categories. The food, even on-mountain, is amazing. So many great après and dinner choices. Then the nightlife and bars—also amazing. There is no better place for anyone 30-something-plus with a fat wallet and the desire to eat, drink and party in style.”

“I’ve vacationed at Aspen Snowmass at least 10 times.. We usually stay at Snowmass and visit the other areas. Great slopes, few crowds—even on weekends—means short lift lines, good eating choices all around and the town of Aspen has plenty going on for nightlife.”

“Even though it’s expensive and not easy to get to, it has great après, food, and nightlife.”

1. Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.

Score: 8.86
Other Strengths: Variety (#1), Après (#1)

Weaknesses: Snow (#28), Value (#24)

"Whistler Top 10 Nightlife"

What Readers Say

“The parties at Longhorn saloon are legendary. The nightlife is the best. Very expensive for Canadians who don’t have the exchange rate advantage.”

“Whistler has everything I need: backcountry, park, a great lifestyle, year-round entertainment—it’s great. Probably the best place to live and ski in Canada.”

“Terrain, terrain, and the terrain. Massive dueling mountains. Ditch the car, don’t need it. Lower elevations can get rain so watch the weather. Watering holes everywhere.”

“Whistler is the total package. You’re surrounded by beautiful mountains and there is a village at the base of the mountain that you can walk to, and includes nightlife and very good restaurants. Everything is right there. You never have to travel again once you get to your destination. And the snow is typically awesome!”