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Resort Guide 2022

Don’t Forget Your Snorkel at The Top 10 Resorts in the West for Deep Snow

When powder is priority No. 1, you want to ski at these destinations. Here are the best resorts in the West for Snow.

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Inarguably one of the most important aspects of a ski vacation, snow can make or break your time on the slopes. It’s also one of the most subjective. How we judge good snow depends on what we’re looking for, where we live, and how we ski. The resorts listed below ranked highest in SKI ‘s 2022 Reader Resort Survey, so you can expect some of the best conditions in their respective regions.

Top 10 Resorts in the West for Snow

No. 10: Loveland Ski Area, Colo.

Score: 8.62
Other Strengths:
Value (#1), Access (#1)
Weaknesses:
Nightlife (#33), Lodging (#33)

Loveland Ski Area
Gary Fondl, Loveland Pass (Photo: Liam Doran)

What Readers Say

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

“Loveland is old school. Affordable. No frills. In the day lodge (practically the only base area amenity) you’ll see tables of locals who all know each other. They all greet each other by name. Everyone boots up inside, gets a cafeteria coffee and chats at big round tables. 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 important as anything else. I love it. Reminds me of Vermont in the ’70’s before base area villages were even a thing. If you want a mellow, affordable, no stress, no frills day that will leave you relaxed and peaceful, this is the place.”

No. 9: Steamboat Resort, Colo.

Score: 8.69
Other Strengths:
Family (#3), Dining (#6)
Weaknesses:
Challenge (#28), Value (#26)

What Readers Say

“Steamboat has both great terrain and lifts and a local town that supports the hill and businesses.  The snow is always great and plentiful.  The dining choices are next to none with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.”

“The mountain and the town never disappoint. It is the best run resort by far for employees, lodges, food, and locals. The snow quality is amazing and there’s more to do than just ski. While other resorts may have more acres of trails, 100 percent of steamboat is skiable. Best tree skiing I’ve found and no problems getting going at good speeds on the groomers.”

“Steamboat is the best mix of great snow, a lively village and après scene and charming mountain town. While it’s not the most challenging mountain, I think it’s one of the best “all around” experiences.”

No. 8: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyo.

Score: 8.73
Other Strengths:
Challenge (#2), Nightlife (#11)
Weaknesses:
Family (#29), Lifts (#26)

Jackson Hole Snow
Skier Connery Lundin in Jackson Hole Backcountry, WY (Photo: Adam Barker)

What Readers Say

“If I could ski any resort around the country on a powder day, Jackson Hole might be the one. Too bad pretty much every other skier on earth has the same idea. It gets crowded! But the terrain and snow is great. Consistent snow quality.”

“Jackson Hole is simply the best ski resort in the world for skiers looking to ski the best terrain inside and outside the gates. I would recommend it to advance and expert skiers. Lines can be long despite all the various lifts and runs, but there are enough variety for most skiers and we’ll worth the wait. It’s difficult to find another resort anywhere that’s offers the variety, the varying degree of difficulty, and the proximity to the backcountry that Jackson Hole has to offer.”

JHMR is a not-to-be-missed resort. Period. Expectations run high based on its reputation, and it delivers. Were resort access easier I would likely put out on my list of annual must-do destinations. P.S.: The local have become increasingly pissy about out-of-towners.”

No. 7: Revelstoke Mountain Resort, B.C.

Revelstoke
Austin Ross playing hide-and-seek on Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Photo: Mattias Fredriksson)

Score: 8.75
Other Strengths:
Challenge (#7), Value (#7)
Weaknesses:
Grooming (#31), Access (#31)

What Readers Say

“Big mountain skiing, unique destination, great snow and a good chance of hitting a powder day, low traffic, and a unique small town with some interesting après and dining options.”

“Revelstoke is Canada’s Jackson Hole. Tough to get to and expensive, but worth it for every single steep and deep moment.”

“One of my favorite ski resorts in Western Canada. The terrain is difficult and the double-blacks are extremely challenging. However, for an advanced or expert skier this is one of the best mountains in Western Canada to really push your skills and experience some of the best steep skiing in the West. Excellent tree runs, bowls, chutes, glades, and gullies. Not a family or beginner friendly mountain.”

No. 6: Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah

Score: 8.80
Other Strengths:
Value (#8), Access (#9)
Weaknesses:
Local Flavor (#30), Dining (#30)

Solitude Snow
(Photo: Solitude Mountain Resort)

What Readers Say

Solitude is one of the unknown jewels in Utah. It has steep, narrow runs, glades that keep powder and all kinds of interesting terrain. Love the area, but there is nothing around/near it so I stay in Salt Lake. Resort is never crowded except for some weekend days as well as during the end of year holidays.“

“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.”

“Perfect blend of family-friendly groomers and wicked in-bounds extreme terrain. Who can beat the Utah powder, really? The resort isn’t crowded, food and such are good and reasonable. Did I mention the skiing? The powder? Only downside is there is really no nightlife to speak of but then again you’re there for the skiing, and with the steeps, chutes, trees, and cliffs, you’re too fried to party all night and be able to hit it again the next day.”

No. 5: Banff Sunshine, Alb.

Score: 9.00
Other Strengths:
Grooming (#4), Lifts (#6)
Weaknesses:
Nightlife (#18), Après (#16)

Banff Sunshine Snow
Curt Hiller @ Sunshine Village (Photo: Graham McKerrell)

What Readers Say

“Banff Sunshine has nearly 100 percent natural snow, much superior to ski on than man-made 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 aprè-ski.”

“The perfect ski resort close to Calgary (1.5-hour drive). The snow is always better and deeper then others nearby (Lake Louise, Nakiska, etc.). There are so many lifts and slopes that you never feel like you are waiting in line even on a busy day, weekend, etc. I think this hill is not good for beginners, though.”

“Sunshine has one of the longest operating seasons of any resort in North America. It has a wide variety of terrain from beginner to advanced/expert and is not surrounded by an over- commercialized setting of shopping, etc…. Truly a jewel in the Canadian Rockies!”

No. 4: Powder Mountain, Utah

Score: 9.06
Other Strengths:
Value, Overall Satisfaction
Weaknesses:
Dining, Family

What Readers Say

“Powder is massive, and covered in so much untouched powder most of the season. I almost don’t want to write this down so I keep more of it to myself. But seriously, even days after a storm are like a powder day at Pow Mow!”

“So much terrain! It was pretty overwhelming just the sheer amount of acres there are to ski. There’s also cat skiing and sidecountry tree skiing where a bus picks you up on the highway below. It’s a great place for adventurous skiers, but I’m not sure it’s very family friendly.”

“Someone needs to invest a bunch of money into this place, the infrastructure is pretty worn, from the lifts to the day lodges. That said, there’s a ton of potential here.”

No. 3: Snowbird Resort, Utah

Score: 9.21
Other Strengths:
Challenge (#3), Access (#10)
Weaknesses:
Local Flavor (#33), Family (#33)

Snowbird, UT
(Photo: Adam Barker )

What Readers Say

“I love Snowbird for its good snow and a great variety. It’s worth big travel year after year. There is plenty of advanced terrain to keep people occupied and a lot of great intermediate terrain. If anything it’s maybe lacking in beginner terrain.”

“Snowbird is for skiers. The snow-sliding experience is epic for those of intermediate abilities and greater. People ski hard and crash early so they can do it all over again the next day. There is little “nightlife,” hardly an issue for those struggling to stay awake much after 8 or 9 pm. For those with less interest in the mountain experience, metropolitan Salt Lake City is well under a half-hour away and offers the wide variety of options one would expect in any major city.”

“I absolutely love to ski this mountain. The terrain is unbeatable. Super challenging and really fun. But the vibe here is not as friendly as almost anywhere else around here. It’s super competitive and the lines were super super long this year which didn’t help the mood. I skied other resorts with long lines and it felt like Disneyland…everyone was still happy! Not here, the locals just want you off of their mountain.”

No. 2: Grand Targhee, Wyo.

Score: 9.37
Other Strengths:
Value, Overall Satisfaction
Weaknesses:
Nightlife, Lodging

Grand Targhee Snow
(Photo: Fred Marmsater)

What Readers Say

“The BEST snow and the least likely to be tracked out, especially on weekdays. The terrain is playful and varied, and there really is something for everyone. My favorite thing about Grand Targhee, though, is how crowded it’s NOT, especially when most resorts these days are choked up with lift lines and packed parking lots.”

“Grand Targhee is skiing like it used to be. I grew up in New Hampshire, and it reminds me of skiing in the late ’70s at my tiny home hill, booting up in the lodge and gathering for beers in the cafeteria. Targhee just get much betters—and much more—snow!”

Targhee is fun, but there wasn’t enough expert terrain to keep us occupied for more than a day or two. The steep runs are pretty short.”

No. 1: Alta Ski Area, Utah

Score: 9.41
Other Strengths:
Challenge (#8), Overall Satisfaction (#9)
Weaknesses:
Grooming (#30), Family (#30)

Buried cars after storm Alta, Utah
(Photo: Lee Cohen)

What Readers Say

The snow! Easy to find powder, even when the slopes are stripped clean next door at Snowbird. This place is a cathedral for skiers. It’s definitely for those more advanced. The terrain is challenging but so much fun. If you are a serious skier, you have to go at least once.”

“The best snow, great terrain, it’s all about the mountain. We’ve had many powder days and bluebird days. I thought it was expert skiers’ heaven and worried about our intermediate skiers, but they loved it too. For just skiing, probably my favorite mountain.”

“Great snow, steeps, and open bowls. Way too many traverses. Powder gets tracked out faster than its neighbors, including the runs located at the end of endless traverses. What year are we in? Skiers only, really?”