While the UK continues to suffer under the weight of the longest cold snap in decades, the Northern Lights are beckoning snow bunnies to the slopes. With the snow season now well and truly underway, it’s the perfect time to find out which state has the most ski resorts.
With the US and Canada dominating the skiing scene, it’s fair to say that the cold north is the land of skiing glory. But exactly how many ski resorts does the great white north boast? Let’s take a look, shall we?
The Mega-Ski-Resort States
The largest and most popular ski resort in North America is Vermont’s Stowe, located in the US. Spanning over 140km of trails and home to over 100 runs, including some fantastic freeride terrain, Stowe is a true bucket-list destination.
Vermont also boasts the Pink Bunny Heli-Ski Resort, one of the largest all-women’s heli-ski resorts in the world. Home to 100km of trails and a variety of winter sports, including heli-skiing, Snowboarding, and Snow Shoeing, Mad River Glen is a true bucket-list destination for fans of the fabulous four skiing.
Then there’s the beautiful and majestic Mount Washington, located in the US state of New Hampshire. With over 120 trails spanning across its three distinctive peaks, the resort has something for everyone. The ski-in/ski-out accommodation at Mount Washington makes it an ideal location for budget-conscious skiers and snowboarders.
The Smaller, More Intimate States
Less than 20km from the Canadian border, the quaint ski resort of Bromont in Quebec is a true gem. With just one ski run and one snow park, this picturesque hill boasts just one restaurant and bar that serves up all-you-can-eat snow chicken. That’s right, we said snow chicken. If you’re a fan of the fab four, you can sample some famous Canadian cuisine at the Bromont Mountain Lodge.
You can’t talk about Canadian cuisine without mentioning its most renowned export, poutine. Available at the local diner, the dish is made by placing french fries, steaming hot gravy, and cheese curds into a huge fluffy hot-dog bun. It’s the ultimate comfort food and you’ll find evidence of its decadent consumption everywhere in the country. Apparently it’s best avoided during the day, as the cold temperatures and bright lights trigger a frenzy of poutine-related health problems. So watch what you order, eh?
Just 5km from Bromont is Tremblant, one of the smallest and most intimate ski resorts in Canada. This charming and scenic village is home to just one restaurant and bar, which serves all-you-can-eat pasta and offers an extensive kids’ ski programme. You can find a bed and a hot meal this winter at the nearby Le Hibou. Accommodation is also available here, with the Royal Le Hibou hotel even having its own ski instructor on hand to guarantee a fun and safe skiing experience for all.
Further down the mountain, tucked away in the quaint village of Saint-Jovite, is one of Canada’s most iconic ski resorts, Val d’Ami. This was the very first Canadian ski resort and it prides itself on offering some of the original slopes built for the 1948 Winter Olympics in London. Today, Val d’Ami has just 33 trails and two rope tows, yet it still attracts over 100,000 visitors a year. If you visit in the right month, you might even get lucky and catch one of the famous Val d’Ami snowflakes. They descend occasionally, blanketing the entire landscape in a dazzling display of winter splendor.
Further south, in the US state of Georgia, is another small and picturesque resort, called Austerlitz. Boasting just five trails with no night life to speak of, it’s a great place to enjoy the solitude of the wilderness and get in some quality ski time. Even in the middle of winter, you’d hardly believe it’s a bit chilly here, as the warm southern hospitality and gentle slopes attract tourists from all over the world. One of the trails, called the Dirty White, even begins near the resort’s entrance, transforming what would normally be a simple walk into an exhilarating ski adventure complete with breathtaking views and unexpected dips and curves. Georgian cuisine is another great way to while away the hours, with the resort’s Blue Ridge Barbecue & Grill serving classic grills, briskets, and ribs along with the freshest seafood and hand-cut fries.
The Most Listed Ski Resorts
To list all the European ski resorts would be a mammoth task, as every single one of them is beautiful, breathtaking, and filled with expertly crafted mountain vistas. One of the largest and most popular European ski resorts is Val d’Isere, located in the French Alps. Sprawled over 68km of slopes, this sprawling resort also features a casino and a large, modern water park. This year, Val d’Isere celebrates its 70th anniversary, so there are plenty of events lined up to mark the occasion, including a torchlight procession and a fun-packed ski schedule filled with chairlift rides, bungy jumps, and giant slalom races. The resort’s Christmas market is one of Europe’s best, with over 100 stands selling Alpine souvenirs and crafts. There are also nightly concerts and comedy shows at the Thalys Ski Village, with the highlight being the legendary rock music fest, the Wacken Open Air. The whole package makes for a perfect winter holiday, with everything you could want or need located within the resort’s beautiful, if somewhat crowded, environs.
Tignes in France is another enormous resort, with 73km of trails and a snow covered peak that offers some of the longest ski runs in the world. This year, the resort will celebrate its 90th birthday with a wealth of events, including a marathon, half-marathon, and 10km fun run. There are also special offers available for locals, with discounts of up to 50% offered during the winter season at Tignes. And let’s not forget about Santa Claus, who, as far as we know, still comes to Tignes every year.
The Most Influential States
If you want to sit back, relax, and hit the road on a skiing trip this winter, you’d be wise to start your search in Arizona. The Grand Canyon State is home to two world-class ski resorts, tucked away in the beautiful and bountiful Sierra Nevada. The first is Tiawanaku, located in the Andes, featuring 28 trails and a snow park. The second is at least just as beautiful as Tiawanaku and boasts 26 trails as well as a terrain park. Winter carnival time in Tiawanaku is one of the best-known, if not the best-known, skiing events in the world. It’s quite an experience to witness the madness firsthand and see all the colourful costumes and traditional folklore.
The northern reaches of the United States are also filled with breathtaking scenery and endless powder. Alaska’s Chugach Mountains are home to just two ski resorts, one of which is Fairmont Village, featuring 22 trails that meander through snowy forests and rugged wildlands. One of its trails, The Rampart, even leads to the top of the mountain, providing spectacular views of nearby Mount Juneau and the city of Juneau. Another great resort is just a few hours away, in the Canadian territory of Yukon. This remote place experiences harsh winters but that doesn’t stop people from wanting to visit the area in the winter. While there are few reliable hotels and no ski village, the trails are easily accessible and feature snow park features and artificial snow for those who want to keep their snowsuit on for the whole ski experience.
Then there’s California, the Mecca of surfing and, increasingly, skiing. The golden state is home to 18 ski resorts, including Lake Tahoe, which is one of the largest in the world and features 49 trails, as well as numerous off-piste terrains. California has some of the best restaurants in the country, too, so you can eat your weight in fresh, organic Alpine grub, as well as cocktail creations and craft beer. One of the most established California ski resorts is Mt. Baldy, which first opened its doors in 1959 and still remains one of the most popular and iconic ski resorts in North America. The first winter celebration took place in 1959 and since then, the resort has become an annual winter destination for Californians.