Best Ski Vacations in the USA

For those who embrace winter's icy winds and heavy snowfall, a ski vacation is the perfect getaway. The U.S. News ranking of the top domestic ski destinations weighs the most important considerations: accessibility, accommodations, acreage and annual snowfall, along with expert recommendations and readers' top picks. Have a favorite slope? Vote to help determine next year's list.

  • Breckenridge
    View 14 Photos
    Belongs on List?


    #1 in Best Ski Vacations in the USA

    Situated about 80 miles southwest of downtown Denver, Breckenridge offers travelers nearly 3,000 acres of skiable terrain spread across 187 trails. And with annual snowfalls averaging roughly 300 inches every winter, odds are you'll enjoy superb conditions while on the mountain. Breckenridge Ski Resort is a great spot for both novice and expert skiers, while the Breckenridge Nordic Center is an excellent place to go snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

    Read More
  • Park City
    View 26 Photos
    Belongs on List?

    Park City

    #2 in Best Ski Vacations in the USA

    This Utah ski haven roughly 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City played host to the 2002 Winter Olympics. The two premier resorts, Deer Valley and Park City Mountain, offer dozens of diverse runs and unique features like half-pipes for snowboarders. Sports fans will enjoy visiting the Utah Olympic Park, while families will appreciate the kid-friendly Gorgoza Park. What's more, the presence of the city's many luxury accommodations and dining venues up the après-ski ante.

    Read More
  • Jackson Hole
    View 30 Photos
    Belongs on List?

    Jackson Hole

    #3 in Best Ski Vacations in the USA

    The chilly temperatures and powder-covered slopes in this Wyoming valley beckon to avid skiers and snowboarders. Though Jackson Hole Mountain Resort features some of the region's best trails, downhill devotees can also hit the slopes at Snow King and Grand Targhee resorts. After shredding powder, take a tour of the National Elk Refuge or a dip in the Granite Hot Springs, the latter of which is heated to 112 degrees during the winter.

    Read More
  • Vail
    View 17 Photos
    Belongs on List?


    #4 in Best Ski Vacations in the USA

    Vail, Colorado, is one of the country's most popular wintertime destinations thanks to its two top-notch ski areas: Vail Ski Resort and Beaver Creek Resort. Both ski resorts boast more than 7,000 skiable acres, offering a combined total of 345 ski trails. The nearby mountain ranges also feature a variety of cross-country paths. But be prepared to splurge: Lodging here is pricey during ski season.

    Read More
  • Steamboat Springs
    View 17 Photos
    Belongs on List?

    Steamboat Springs

    #5 in Best Ski Vacations in the USA

    Steamboat Springs, Colorado's six peaks feature roughly 3,000 acres of trails, making the city a popular place for skiers who desire variety. Visitors will find everything from expert chutes to kid-friendly ski areas here. For travelers who prefer snowboarding, the mountain offers three terrain parks. Following a busy day on the slopes, vacationers can head to Strawberry Park Hot Springs to enjoy a relaxing soak in 104-degree mineral springs.

    Read More
  • Big Sky, MT
    Belongs on List?

    Big Sky, MT

    #6 in Best Ski Vacations in the USA

    Home to nearly 6,000 skiable acres, Big Sky in southwestern Montana offers plenty of powder for winter sports enthusiasts. Excellent ski conditions are practically guaranteed here thanks to an annual snowfall total of about 400 inches. After a day of zipping down ski runs, travelers can head to the Mountain Village to relax with a drink by the fire or enjoy a meal at one of the many eateries in town.

  • Telluride
    View 20 Photos
    Belongs on List?


    #7 in Best Ski Vacations in the USA

    With more than 2,000 skiable acres, this Colorado town draws snow lovers in droves. The massive Telluride Ski Resort boasts 148 trails and a 4,425-foot vertical drop. Once the lifts shut down for the day, the chalets in Mountain Village provide a warm place to thaw. While you'll likely stay close to the slopes, make sure to pencil in time for exploring the boutiques and eateries lining downtown's charming Main Street.

    Read More
  • Aspen
    View 29 Photos
    Belongs on List?


    #8 in Best Ski Vacations in the USA

    This tried-and-true winter locale in Colorado caters to all skill levels at its four major ski areas – Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands. And for backcountry skiers, the nearby White River National Forest provides plenty of picturesque cross-country skiing trails. At the end of a long day on the slopes, unwind with a drink at the popular Aspen Brewing Company or venture to Glenwood Springs to take a dip in its famous hot springs.

    Read More
  • Lake Tahoe
    View 41 Photos
    Belongs on List?

    Lake Tahoe

    #9 in Best Ski Vacations in the USA

    Lake Tahoe is beautiful from any vantage point, but the California-Nevada area is quite stunning from the slopes. Ski areas like Heavenly, Squaw Valley and Northstar California resorts lure powder hounds from around the U.S. with their thousands of acres of skiable terrain. Keep in mind, room rates here can be pricey, so consider making reservations in advance or booking a vacation rental to share with family and friends.

    Read More
  • The Finger Lakes
    View 23 Photos
    Belongs on List?

    The Finger Lakes

    #10 in Best Ski Vacations in the USA

    This region in central New York is an East Coast skier's dream. The area around the 11 lakes offers perfect mountain conditions thanks to the huge deposits of lake-effect snow that blanket the region annually. Bristol Mountain, which is home to the highest vertical rise between the Rockies and the Adirondack Mountains, and Greek Peak Mountain Resort are the region's major ski destinations. What's more, the Finger Lakes area boasts miles of groomed trails and parks that are ideal for cross-country skiing.

    Read More
  • Taos, NM
    Belongs on List?

    Taos, NM

    #11 in Best Ski Vacations in the USA

    Taos is often lauded for its small-town charm, but what many don't know is that it's also touted as the best place to ski in New Mexico. Taos Ski Valley accrues more than 300 inches of snow per year and features 110 trails, 51% of which cater to expert skiers thanks to the resort's placement on the sky-high Kachina Peak. Beginners will appreciate its equally impressive bevy of easier runs, while budget-conscious travelers will love the abundant low-cost accommodation options available throughout the area.

  • Sun Valley
    View 21 Photos
    Belongs on List?

    Sun Valley

    #12 in Best Ski Vacations in the USA

    Sun Valley is one of America's oldest ski spots. Located just east of Ketchum, Idaho, Sun Valley appeals to skiers who seek affordability (in comparison to other top skiing destinations), exceptional powder (220-plus inches of snow fall here every year) and top-notch trails (121, to be exact). When winter sports enthusiasts are not traversing Sun Valley Resort's downhill trails, they can enjoy more than 25 miles of Nordic trails at the Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center.

    Read More

Vote to Add these Destinations to the Rankings

You May Be Interested In

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.


The 50 Most Beautiful Places in the World

Let these gorgeous destinations inspire you to travel more.

January 16, 2020

50 Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

From relaxing weekend getaways to epic adventures, these honeymoon trips will help couples create memories to last a lifetime.

January 8, 2020

The Cheapest Days to Fly: A Guide to the Best (and Worst) Times to Travel

Use these tips and tricks to get the best deal on your next flight.

December 23, 2019

30 Top Florida Weekend Getaways

Spend sun-filled days exploring Florida's beautiful beaches, cities, parks and small towns.

December 9, 2019

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

November 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

November 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

November 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

November 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

November 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

November 12, 2019