In keeping with tradition to scrutinize every resort ranking put out by venerable ski and travel publications across the globe, we decided to break down Condè Nast Traveler’s recently released listing of its picks for North America’s best ski resorts.
It’s no secret that Telluride has long been a bucket list destination for skiers and snowboarders, with 300-inches of snow annually (sorry, Condè Nast, but we’re not sure where you came up with 170-inches per season), and some steep terrain to boot. If you’re not a skier or snowboarder, Telluride’s spot nestled in Colorado’s dramatic San Juan mountains make it a perfect place to stroll down the town’s main street (Colorado Avenue) and take in the view. Don’t forget, the likes of Oprah and Tom Cruise have called Telluride home, so don’t be fooled by the quaint mountain town’s rustic charm– if you’re looking for luxury, Telluride does it quite well.
Ski Santa Fe, New Mexico
Ski Santa Fe might come as a surprise to everyone – except anyone that’s experienced a powder day at one of New Mexico’s ski resorts (Taos, Ski Santa Fe’s neighbor to the north, rounded out Conde Nast’s list at number 20). Eighty percent of Ski Santa Fe’s 83 marked trails are designated as intermediate or expert terrain (20 percent beginner, 40 percent intermediate, and 40 percent expert, respectively), with over 1,700 feet of vertical accessible from the resort’s base area at 10,350 feet. When this place gets hit by snow, it’s a gold-mine.
Deer Valley, Utah
Deer Valley’s only pitfall might be that it still doesn’t allow snowboarders (a perk to some, but a definite downer for families with the aforementioned in tow). Although, for those who are allowed to cruise down Deer Valley’s slopes, over 300-inches of snowfall a year should make a good case for its spot in Condè Nast’s top five. Ski Magazine also named Deer Valley the overall pick for its “Best in the West” rankings this year, so I guess snowboarders will just have to keep dreaming.
Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah
Utah once again makes its case for being the country’s best state for skiing. And not just skiing – Sundance Mountain Resort boasts night-skiing (accessible on most of the ski area’s front side), and a winter zipline tour, although we’re thinking a flask of “hot chocolate” might be a mandatory part of what sounds like an incredibly frosty ride. Book your trip for mid to late January (18-28 this year) to catch a who’s who of Hollywood’s A-list as they buzz through town on their way to Sundance’s annual film festival (Sundance Film Festival, duh).
Whistler Blackcomb, Canada
Arguably the continent’s biggest resort (Utah’s Powder Mountain is technically bigger, although it much of its terrain is not lift-accessible), it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Whistler rounded out Condè Nast’s listing of North America’s best ski resorts. Along with a little bit of terrain for everyone, it’s got the intangibles, too – late spring skiing, a storied bar and après-ski scene, and, of course, its Peak 2 Peak gondola complete with glass floors.