5. Blue Ridge Parkway – Sugar Mountain Resort, NC
In total, the Parkway stretches 429 miles from Virginia to North Carolina. The short section from Boone, NC to Sugar Mountain (weather permitting) takes you along a winding ribbon through an endless ocean of rolling mountains in all directions. You may not find bottomless champagne powder, death defying grades, or sharp spines at ski resorts in the South, but the coziness and storied history of the Appalachian Mountains makes up when snow conditions fall short.
4. Alaska Route 1 – Alyeska Ski Resort, AK
For just under an hour from Anchorage, the route to Alyeska guides you lazily alongside the Turnagain Arm while mountains across bay find their reflections in the water below. On this drive it takes no time at all to go from feeling like you’re in the hubbub of city life to being immersed in Alaskan wilderness, and the prize at the end, Alyeska, is about as wild as it gets.
3. The Cascade Loop – Steven’s Pass Ski Resort, WA
Considered “one of America’s grandest, most spectacular drives,” by National Geographic, this 400 mile loop takes you through the best of what the Cascades have to offer from the North Cascade Highway, west to the Pacific Ocean, and south to our beloved Steven’s Pass Ski Resort, which harbors more snow than I thought was humanly possible. They average over 460″ of the white stuff. How’s that for deep? Take your time driving this one, and then get ready for some powder skiing.
2. San Juan Skyway – Telluride Ski Resort, CO
This 236 mile loop is one of those scenic drives that will make you feel like you’re really out there. Sheltered by towering 14,000 mountains and the pristine national forests of Southwestern Colorado, it’s easy to disappear into the mountains and develop a deep connection with the world around you. To take the whole loop would take you through small towns like Ouray, Silverton, Durango, and of course to ski, Telluride. Well known for having things to do all year round like the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in the summer and then, of course, awe-inspiring skiing in the winter, Telluride could be your home for a while…ya know, if you accidentally get lost.
1. Trans Canada Highway – Lake Louise Ski Resort, Alberta, Canada
If you have never felt small as a human yet, this will be the game changer for you. Technically, the Trans Canada Highway runs 4,860 miles coast-to-coast across the entire country, but the best part AKA the ones that deliver you to skiing and boarding, is the 115 mile section from Calgary to Lake Louise. From the outset of your journey from Calgary, the Canadian Rockies to the west loom with a hazy gray shroud. As you drive closer, though, the shroud lifts and suddenly you’re engulfed in drama, like the rock faces that maintain sheer faces longer than you can hold your poker face. The drive is magical and will only prepare you for what lies ahead, which is a fantastic day at the classic Alberta destination, Lake Louise.