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From Canada’s top ski resort to the famed slopes of Colorado…
Snow lovers rejoice! North America’s top ski resorts are prepping for a snow packed winter that’s sure to entice all levels of skiers and snowboards. These resorts offer adventures and relaxation for all, meaning that visitors can enjoy some of North America’s most scenic experiences or cozy up by a warm fire regardless of whether or not they hit the slopes during their stay. Below you can read about the unique aspects of North America’s five most impressive ski resorts that might just have you hoping on the next plane across the Pacific.
Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort
The ski resort of Whistler-Blackcomb spans over 8100 acres (3200 hectares) that receive an average annual snowfall of 11.9 meters. Skiers and snowboarders can choose from over 200 runs to enjoy during their visit, and adventure seekers can join a backcountry adventure, take part in a snowmobile tour, or experience dog sledding with a professional musher. Whistler’s heli-skiing experience transports skiers and snowboarders to the best slopes based on the conditions at time of departure, with 432000 backcountry acres on offer. accessible via a fleet of 100% carbon neutral helicopters.
Resort-goers seeking a more laid back adventure are invited to explore ice caves that are accessible via a short helicopter ride. Pedestrian-only Whistler Village offers visitors the option of roaming between shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, nightlife, and family friendly playgrounds, while those looking for a way to unwind can relax at the Scandinavian style spa located just north of the Whistler Village. The spa offers thermal baths and a variety of massages.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Jackson Hole offers 133 in-bound trails that have seen an average snowfall of 11.7 meters over the last 5 years. With an in-bound acreage of 2500 (1012 hectares) and a backcountry terrain covering over 3000 acres (1214 hectares), expert skiers and snowboarders can enjoy challenging slopes at over 50% of Jackson Hole’s runs. Jackson Hole also provides visitors with a variety of spa options, including the recently unveiling SpaTerre that covers 12000 square feet (around 1100 square metres) and has ten treatment rooms.
The Kids Ranch provides families and children with a 20000 square foot (1800 square metre) skiing facility that is geared for young skiers of all abilities. With a variety of national parks in the region—National Elk Refuge, Bridger Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park—resort goers at Jackson hole can join wildlife expeditions, hikes, kayaking tours, and bike trips throughout these protected lands.
Telluride Ski Resort
The resort of Telluride offers 148 trails covering 2000 acres (around 800 hectares) that receive an average annual snowfall of 7.1 meters. Telluride welcomes skiers of all abilities to its slopes with trail difficulties ranging from beginner to expert. For the thrill seekers, Telluride’s paragliding, whitewater rafting, and Via Ferrata adventures will provide an adrenaline rush. Telluride’s Via Ferrata, meanwhile, is a guided hiking trail that requires the use of steel cables and iron rungs to reach views of Bridal Veil Falls, Colorado’s highest freefalling waterfall. For a more relaxed adventure, resort goers can join a variety of four-wheel vehicle tours, enjoy fly fishing in the Upper Dolores, take a horseback riding trip, or play golf at Telluride’s 18-hole par-70 golf course.
Big Sky Ski Resort
Big Sky sees an annual snowfall of over 10 metres across its 5850 skiable acres (2300 hectares) and 300 runs. The majority of Big Sky’s slopes are geared towards advanced skiers but intermediate, expert, and beginner skiers and snowboards are sure to find a run that suits them. Adrenaline junkies in Big Sky can indulge in the longest zipline in the Yellowstone region, while families can experience a thrill on smaller zipline courses. Families can also enjoy the perks of Madison Base, which is geared more towards family friendly fun than its counterpart Mountain Village. More laid back ways of viewing the northwest Yellowstone region include sleigh rides and snow-coach rentals. Resort goers seeking relaxation can enjoy the Signature Solace experience at Big Sky’s spa and salon.
Vail Ski Resort
Exclusive and upmarket Vail offers skiers 5317 acres (2150 hectares) of skiable land that sees an average annual snowfall of 9 metres. The 195 trails at Vail are mostly geared for expert and advanced skiers, although beginner and intermediate skiers have plenty of slopes from which to choose. Looking for a different kind of adventure? Hop aboard the Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster or book an alpine trek with a llama.
Vail Village is considered one of North America’s premier destinations for mountain resort shopping, with hundreds of shops from boutiques to outdoor gear to art galleries lining the charming streets, which are lined with heated cobblestones. The village attracts more and more luxury shops and shoppers each year, selling high-end items such as jewellery, perfumes and furs along with essential skiing gear. The village has the largest free transportation system in the United States.
The neighbouring ski villages of Lionshead and Golden Peak are also pedestrian friendly. Golden Peak annually hosts the Burton U.S. Open where snowboarders from around the globe compete to be crowned the champion of Halfpipe and Slopestyle.