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Northern Rockies

Resort Guide 2021: Best Terrain Variety in the West

Top 10 resorts in the West for Terrain Variety, according to SKI's Reader Resort Survey.

1. Big Sky, Mont.

Lone Peak Big Sky
Big Sky’s Lone PeakCourtesy of Jon Resnick/Big Sky Resort

Big Sky should be on everyone’s bucket list. Great terrain and lodging options. The bowl below Lone Peak on a powder day is awesome! Never seems to be a lift line. Great layout.”

2. Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.

“Can’t beat Whistler Blackcomb for scale and variety. Weather can be a challenge but when the sun shines, it is glorious!”

3. Mammoth Mountain, Calif.

Mammoth Top 10 Grooming
Big peaks and corduroy? Check and check.Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth has something for all levels of skiers. From extremely challenging to broad beginner and intermediate runs. Great grooming and lift system. Hugh mountain with lots to explore.”

4. Aspen Snowmass, Colo.

Aspen Snowmass has everything. You can find perfect groomers to the gnarliest steeps. Plus, there are plenty of things to do besides skiing.”

5. Vail, Colo.

Vail Back Bowls
Vail’s Back Bowls are the real deal.Photo courtesy of Vail Resorts / Koelker

Vail is big! From the bowls to hidden tree stashes, I can always find a line and ski undisturbed.”

6. Telluride, Colo.

The views are paralleled by the skiing at Telluride.Courtesy of Telluride Ski Resort

Telluride is a great ski resort with varied terrain. Gondola service makes it easy to get anywhere on the mountain. A wide range of eateries from Baked in Telluride to Allred’s on the mountain. Outstanding options for accommodations.”

7. Squaw Alpine, Calif.

Squaw is awesome! Has everything you need! Alpine Meadows is a treat. Less crowded than Squaw.”

8. Taos Ski Valley, N.M.

“Really nice terrain options and plenty of hike-to ski opportunities at Taos. Views are outstanding and the higher elevation allows for better snow conditions. Kachina bowl lift and access to terrain is amazing. Would definitely go back.”

9. Lake Louise, Alb.

Lake Louise Resort Guide 2020
Big runs and big mountains at Lake Louise.Photo courtesy of Lake Louise / Shannon Martin

Lake Louise is hands down the best scenery in North America and quite possibly the world. It offers an excellent variety of terrain with breathtaking vistas in every direction. Between the lodging and restaurant at Lake Louise and Banff, there is no ski area even close to the variety that Banff/Lake Louise offers.” 

10. Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is the best ski resort in the U.S. for those visitors who are primarily interested in the quality and variety of the skiing.”

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