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Resort Guide 2022

These 10 Resorts in the West Know How to Treat a Skier Right

Find out which Western resorts were ranked highest by SKI readers for guest service in the 2022 Resort Guide.

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A ski vacation is about many things—from great snow and terrain to lively après and nightlife—but at the heart of it all, it’s a vacation. Meaning we want to feel like we’re on vacation—where resort employees go the extra mile to make us feel welcome. These are the resorts that champion the guest experience. Book a trip to these ski areas and rest assured that they’ve got your back … and your skis, boots, lunch trays, and more.

Top 10 Resorts in the West for Service

10. Steamboat Resort, Colo.

Steamboat ski resort Taco Beast
(Photo: Larry Pierce)

Score: 8.76
Other Strengths:
Family (#3), Dining (#6)
Weaknesses:
Challenge (#28), Value (#26)

What Readers Say

“A great family resort. Lots of terrain on the mountain and lots of things to do off the slopes. The area around the resort and the town have lots to offer. Great restaurants, bars, and a few breweries make Steamboat a great destination. Spring skiing in fun and the outdoor après is a fun time. They even have live music daily outside.”

“Has the friendliest and coolest hang out vibe! The base area is awesome with several choices of restaurants and bars. The gondola line, even when long, has awesome music and people keeping things fun. Love the on-mountain lodges and places to sit and enjoy the amazing views!”

9. Loveland Ski Area, Colo.

Loveland Ski Area
TJ David. Loveland Pass (Photo: Courtesy of Loveland Ski Area)

Score: 8.77
Other Strengths:
Value (#1), Access (#1)
Weaknesses:
Nightlife (#33), Lodging (#33)

What Readers Say

“It’s so warm and convivial as well as affordable. Must be one of the least expensive day tickets in the state if not the nation. Very friendly, uncrowded, old school vibe. And the local crowd is just that. Unpretentious, generally older folks for whom the vibe and congeniality is as it more important than anything else.”

“It is the way skiing used to be. No added glitz, just great skiing. It is high, it is windy, it is cold, it is steep, you wouldn’t like it, you would LOVEland it.”

8. Banff Sunshine, Alb.

Banff Sunshine
(Photo: Reuben Krabbe)

Score: 8.79
Other Strengths:
Grooming (#4), Snow (#5)
Weaknesses:
Nightlife (#18), Challenge (#19)

What Readers Say

“Excellent ski conditions, the staff is doing everything to make sure our experience is great, the ski season is long, and there are many different levels of abilities since there are so many slopes at the resort.”

“I work here and the atmosphere is amazing. Great group of people who love what they’re doing, as well as provide an amazing experience for others.”

7. Beaver Creek, Colo.

Beaver Creek Colo.
(Photo: Courtesy of Vail Resorts)

Score: 8.87
Other Strengths:
Grooming (#6), Family (#10)
Weaknesses:
Variety (#27), Value (#32)

What Readers Say

“I really enjoy Beaver Creek for the limited crowds compared to other large Vail-owned resorts. I can always seem to find lifts and runs that are fairly empty. Atmosphere is great.”

“What’s not to like Beaver Creek—ample parking, bus to the base, fresh cookies, escalators to the slopes, plenty of long black and blue runs for the whole family.”

6. Aspen Snowmass, Colo.

Aspen free skier shuttle
(Photo: Matt Power)

Score: 8.87
Other Strengths:
Lifts (#3), Après (#3)
Weaknesses:
Value (#22), Access (#19)

What Readers Say

“Aspen Snowmass is the friendliest and most accessible high-end resort from my experiences. While it’s as fancy as any place in the country, it feels much more local and welcoming than other places. The snow is always great and even thought it’s more expensive than most anywhere else I ski, I never feel like I’m being ripped off. The staff is always friendly.”

“I visited Snowmass for the first time this year. I thought Aspen was going to be a snooty town but I was so wrong. People were nothing but friendly and welcoming. Snowmass is a wonderful mountain with terrain for all levels. Yes, it’s expensive but I can’t wait to come back!”

5. Taos Ski Valley, N.M.

Taos Ski Valley
(Photo: Claire Mylot)

Score: 8.88
Other Strengths:
Challenge (#2), Overall Satisfaction (#3)
Weaknesses:
Access (#27), Nightlife (#23)

What Readers Say

“Great terrain for expert skiers, great snow quality, ample snowfall, gorgeous unspoiled non-glitzy setting at the resort and nearby town, awesome Southwestern ambiance, super-friendly locals, wonderful Southwestern food, great local tourist activities.”

“I have never had a bad trip to Taos. Excellent snow and services. I recommend it to all my friends with some experience. My daughter is my favorite ski buddy and we have had some memorable experiences Taos.”

4. Whitefish Mountain Resort, Colo.

Score: 8.95
Other Strengths: Value (#2), Local Flavor (#2)
Weaknesses: Snow (#23), Lifts (#23)

"Whitefish Mountain Resort, Montana climbs to No. 3 in the West in SKI Magazine's 2020 Resort Guide"
(: Courtesy of Whitefish)

What Readers Say

“Big mountain with challenging skiing and some of the nicest people you will ever meet at Whitefish resort and in the town of Whitefish.”

“Great skiing and great people. Most who come here come to ski and enjoy the outdoors. Wish less people would come here expecting the experience to be like the big corporate resorts.”

3. Snowbasin Resort, Utah

Score: 8.95
Other Strengths:
Lifts (#2), Grooming (#3)
Weaknesses:
Nightlife (#29), Lodging (#30)

Snowbasin's John Paul Lodge
(Photo: Courtesy of Snowbasin)

What Readers Say

“A friend said to go check it out, as it is a hidden gem. It truly has a family friendly feel and vibe. All employees were beyond helpful, gracious, and super nice.”

“Snowbasin has some of the best snow and lodges we have ever been too. The staff is very friendly and helpful with your needs. The food is a little pricey, but you will never be disappointed with the quality. Very kid friendly runs for beginners and some of the best black diamond runs in Utah.”

2. Deer Valley Resort, Utah

Deer Valley ski resort Utah
(Photo: Noah Wetzel)

Score: 9.40
Other Strengths:
Family (#2), Grooming  (#2)
Weaknesses:
Challenge (#31), Variety (#30)

What Readers Say

“Deer Valley is the best resort we have skied at thus far. The customer service is exceptional, the Utah powder is like no other, the food/restaurants/amenities/après both at the resort and in town are exceptional. These are the reasons why we have skied there numerous times and will continue to go back every opportunity we get.”

“Deer Valley is just special for customer service and efficiency. You pay for it but it’s nice to have short lines, great access all over the mountain, and amazing food.”

1. Sun Valley, Idaho

Sun Valley ski resort Idaho
(Photo: Courtesy of Sun Valley )

Score: 9.50
Other Strengths:
Grooming (#1), Lifts (#1)
Weaknesses:
Access (#24), Snow (#22)

What Readers Say

“I ski all over the West but Sun Valley is my favorite! It has that special sauce of friendly locals, no lift lines, great après, tasty restaurants & fun bars. It also has the best ski hotel I have ever stayed in, the Sun Valley Lodge!”

“This resort is by far the best. The terrain is wonderful for all levels of skiers, there is great dining and lodging options, and the people are terrific. Sun Valley also has short lines which means that you can get lots of skiing in!”