Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
Off-the-beaten-path gems such as Idaho’s Schweitzer offer the best of both worlds: enough terrain to keep you busy for a few days, variety to satisfy all comers, and that down-home vibe that’s usually reserved for far smaller ski areas. Here are 5 good-sized ski areas you’d be wise to check out.
Related: Party in the Panhandle: Schweitzer Mountain, Idaho
- 3,000 acres
- 2,900′ vert
Snowbasin skis like a destination resort with open bowls, glades, and groomers galore, with one of the most efficient lift systems around (built for the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics), but feels like a local haunt.
Read more about Snowbasin: No. 30 in the West
RED Mountain, B.C.
- 4,200 acres
- 2,919′ vert
Right on B.C.’s Powder Highway, sizable RED sits among the Top 10 largest resorts in North America, and boasts a brand-new chairlift this season, too.
Pass News: RED Joins Ikon for 2020-’21
Wolf Creek, Colo.
- 1,600 acres
- 1,604′ vert
In addition to boasting the most powder in Colorado (430 annual inches), Wolf Creek happily blends deep days with a chill family-friendly vibe.
Bonus: Get to Know Independently Owned Wolf Creek
Mt. Rose, Nev.
- 1,200 acres
- 1,800′ vert
It’s the smallest hill on this list but it skis far bigger thanks to some super-legit expert pods, including The Chutes.
Lake Tahoe views included.
Keep Reading: There’s More to Mt. Rose Than Meets the Eye
Silver Mountain Resort, Idaho
- 1,600 acres
- 2,200′ vert
No wonder Idaho is called the Gem state. Silver Mountain claims some gorgeous tree skiing across its two mountains, plus few crowds to compete with.