Ski season is finally here! It’s time to start thinking about where to spend those precious days off this winter. But with more than 1,800 ski resorts across the planet, how on earth are we supposed to choose? It’s not an easy feat, but I sifted through the options to uncover some of the top spots. Here are the best ski mountains around the world that I discovered.
How can you beat skiing in Banff National Park? Sunshine Village is in the heart of the park, but only 15 minutes from Banff town. The area is vast and stretches across three mountains. You can ski between Alberta and British Columbia in one run! Also, the runs vary from beginner to expert. There’s even a 12-acre terrain park where you can show off your tricks. Other top places to ski in Alberta are Castle Mountain, Lake Louise, Marmot Basin, and Nakiska.
- Lifts: 12
- Trails: 137
- Skiable Acres: 3,358
- Avg Annual Snowfall Inches: 360
Whistler is the king of ski resorts. It has won many awards for terrain variety, après-ski, lodging, dining and more. The resort is made up of two mountains that are connected by the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which holds the Guinness World Record for its length. Also, Whistler Village is world famous for its dining, shopping, and entertainment. Additionally, the resort hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, so you can take a photo with the statue of the Olympics Rings. Other top places to ski in British Columba are Big White, Fernie, Kicking Horse, Panorama, Red Mountain, Revelstoke, Silver Star Mountain, Sun Peaks, and Whitewater.
- Lifts: 37
- Trails: 200
- Skiable Acres: 8,171
- Avg Annual Snowfall Inches: 462
Alta was the second ski area in the United States to install a lift in 1938. Generations of skiers have enjoyed this mountain, so it has a traditional and sentimental spirit. The mountain only allows skiing, but snowboarders can go to the equally impressive Snowbird next door. Other top places to ski in Utah are Canyons, Deer Valley, Park City, Powder Mountain, Solitude Mountain, and Snowbasin.
- Lifts: 11
- Trails: 116
- Skiable Acres: 2,200
- Avg Annual Snowfall Inches: 514
Four mountains make up Big Sky Resort. With all of that terrain, it is perfect for a long week of skiing and snowboarding. Each of the mountains are connected by chair lifts, so getting around is easy. Big Sky has runs for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels too. Also, it is in gorgeous Montana! Other top places to ski in Montana are Bridger Bowl, Discovery, Great Divide, Lost Trail Powder Mountain, Montana Snowbowl, Moonlight Basin, Red Lodge Mountain, and Whitefish.
- Lifts: 34
- Trails: 306
- Skiable Acres: 5,750
- Avg Annual Snowfall Inches: 400
Jackson Hole is famous for the double black diamond run called Corbet’s Couloir, which is a super steep chute that only the bravest skiers endure. It starts off with a 10-20 foot drop (depending on the conditions), then it winds through narrow rock walls. This mountain is best for seasoned skiers, since the run are 50 percent expert, 40 percent intermediate and 10 percent beginner. Also, another mountain for the top places to ski in Wyoming is Grand Targhee.
- Lifts: 12
- Trails: 133
- Skiable Acres: 2,500
- Avg Annual Snowfall Inches: 475
Vail is one of the largest ski resorts in the world. There are almost 200 trails and 7 back bowls, with runs for all skill levels. The mountain has lots of groomed runs, but plenty of fresh powder too. Also, the town of Vail has excellent après-ski. There are tons of bars, restaurants, fine dining experiences, shopping, ice skating rinks, a movie theater, a bowling alley, and concert venues. Additionally, other top places to ski in Colorado are Aspen, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Steamboat, and Telluride.
- Lifts: 31
- Trails: 193
- Skiable Acres: 5,289
- Avg Annual Snowfall Inches: 34
St. Anton is one of Europe’s best ski resorts. It has won lots of awards for best skiing, resort quality, and off piste slopes. It’s also famous for its nightlife. The mantra is “ski hard, party hard.” If you can handle long days and late nights, then St. Anton is the place for you. Other top places to ski in Austria are Ischgl, Kitzbühel, Lech Zürs am Arlberg, Obertauern, Planai & Hochwurzen, Söll, Zell am See, and Zillertal Arena.
- Lifts: 87
- Trails: Unknown
- Skiable Acres: 260
- Avg Annual Snowfall Inches: 700
Ski in the picturesque French Alps at Tignes and Val d’Isère. The ski area is massive and it borders Vanoise National Park, which was France’s first national park. The charming ski villages make the experience even more magical. Other top places to ski in France are Alpe d’Huez, Les Arcs, and Montgenevre.
- Lifts: 39
- Trails: 76
- Skiable Acres: 5,901
- Avg Annual Snowfall Inches: 300
What could be better than skiing in the Swiss Alps with a view of the Matterhorn? Zermatt is the highest ski resort in Europe and you can ski there 365 days a year. The area stretches across the border of Switzerland and Italy, so you can ski in two countries in one day. The village is small, but it’s world-class and packed with shopping, dining, nightlife, and even a Matterhorn Museum. Other top places to ski in Switzerland are Davos, Savognin, Scuol, Silvaplana, and Verbier.
- Lifts: 54
- Trails: 147
- Skiable Acres: 394
- Avg Annual Snowfall Inches: 300
No matter where you are in the world, it’s very likely that a mountain is just a quick flight or road trip away. In Asia, you can ski in Niseko, Japan. It’s Japan’s no. 1 ski area and made up of four ski resorts. In the South Pacific, you can ski at Treble Cone near Wanaka, New Zealand. Treble Cone spans across 1,300 acres and is known for long, uncrowded runs. In Africa, you can even ski in Algeria, Lesotho, Morocco, and South Africa. There are options on every hemisphere. So what are you waiting for? Treat yourself this winter and start planning the perfect ski trip.
Where in the world do you want to ski or snowboard?