Ski Industry News

Top 10 Ski Resorts with No Lift Lines

by Drew Bower | November 20, 2015

It’s infuriating having to wait in a 45 minute lift line after an epic backcountry, park or groomed run. Questioning whether to turn in early or wait in ANOTHER long line isn’t something that will cross your mind at the following list of resorts.

10. Whitefish Mountain Resort

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Whitefish is known for it’s easily accessible ski-on, ski-off accommodations and small crowds. You won’t run into a lift line whether you’re taking advantage of the wealth of bowls, diamond runs or glades. Whitefish isn’t for the faint hearted, there are few beginner trails on the mountain, so strap up and get ready for an abundance of powder, many diamond trails and limit-pushing steeps.

9. Revelstoke Mountain

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Revelstoke is the best bang for your buck, averaging $76 for lift tickets, 5,620 vertical feet and an insane 720 inches annual snowfall. Have you ever been on a 3 mile long run? Check out Devil’s Club! Short lift line, long lift and many options for LONG runs is what truly sets Revelstoke apart. If you’re feeling bold, you can take advantage of the cat skiing, which opens up untouched bowls & glades on the mountains upper slopes! 8. Wolf Creek OR SnowBird/Alta Wolf Creek crushes other Colorado ski resorts with an annual season average of 465 inches snow. Lacking crowds, great glades and powder that is light and dry, this resort is your destination for the small town feel, with 7 serviced lifts and plenty of hiking-to-terrain. You’ll find little to no lines throughout your day and has been deemed by many to having the “best powder skiing of my life”. For Après skiing, head to Pagosa Springs, just ranked the 9th best place to live in the US!

8. Wolf Creek

Wolf Creek crushes other Colorado ski resorts with an annual season average of 465 inches snow. Lacking crowds, great glades and powder that is light and dry, this resort is your destination for the small town feel, with 7 serviced lifts and plenty of hiking-to-terrain. You’ll find little to no lines throughout your day and has been deemed by many to having the “best powder skiing of my life”. For Après skiing, head to Pagosa Springs, just ranked the 9th best place to live in the US!

7. Taos

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Taos is known for it’s hospitality and a lot of skier approval comes from the short lift lines. There’s an enormity of skiing for all levels, but over half the mountain is rated for you experts out there. Taos is one of the more quaint resorts with 14 lifts and 113 runs, but will push the limits of your comfort. You better know how to set an edge across the High Traverse ledge, among other hiking areas under Kachina Peak to hit some glades and chutes. Again, just a fraction of what Taos offers. All sides of the mountain are glorious, ranking up there with Aspen & Squaw Valley as must-ski resorts.

6. Sugarloaf

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It’s hard to hold a candle to west coast skiing when you travel east, but Sugarloaf is the place you want to be on the east coast. As if Maine isn’t already the most amazing place in America, Sugarloaf is the “sugar on top”. This resort has the second-largest vertical drop in the New England, in addition to having the shortest lift lines and longest trails. You can’t ski Sugarloaf without cutting through the “Snowfields”. Sugarloaf is home to the second-highest peak in the East, Mt. Katahdin, rising from 1,417 to 4,237 feet, dropping skiers above tree-line into the “Snowfields” for extreme play time. Plus, the average lift ticket price is $79, leaving plenty enough to indulge in some Maine Lobster off the slopes.

5. Crested Butte

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One of the many resorts on the south side of Colorado’s range, Crested Butte is home to more lift-accessible extreme terrain than any other Colorado resort. You’ll push your skiing limits at the Butte and won’t waste your time in line all day. There are features for all types of extreme skiers, terrain parks, mogul trails and the most double-black-diamonds in Colorado. Strap on your helmet and head to Crested Butte to take advantage of over 25 feet of snow annually.

4. Steamboat

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Oh, the notorious Steamboat Springs, where there is quite literally no bad time to visit. The cowboy rich, iconic hunting ranges and world class ski resort will leaving you wishing your trip was longer. 4 hours outside of Denver, Steamboat has everything a skiing wants, you’ll experience their famous Champaign Powder that’s knee deep with plenty of facial shots all day. Steep chutes for the more advance crowd and best of all, no lift lines! Steamboat is a must this season!

3. Grand Targhee         

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The Teton’s skiing reputation is one of the best in the country, the scenery and steeps are unmatched. For short to no lift-lines, take a trip to Grand Targhee on the western slopes of the Tetons. Targhee’s slogan is “Snow from heaven, not hoses” and it takes a single run to back this up. A great year at Targhee brings over 600” of snow, their average year is 504”. This is your best shot for insane amounts of snow and no lift lines, if your legs can handle a full day, you’re guaranteed to rack up laps on laps on laps!

2. Telluride

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Telluride is one of America’s hidden gems, although remote, it’s absolutely worth the drive, you won’t wait in a line all day. With incredible scenery and known for their great on-mountain food, it’s easy to justify the drive. Telluride has an average snowfall of 300”+, but has been known to have seasons with over 400”, which I’ve witnessed personally. It’s hard to go back to your ‘big’ ski resorts after a day at Telluride.

1. Big Sky

With over 5,800 ski-able acres and about 4,000 people per day, Big Sky has incredibly short lines, just one of the many perks of skiing Big Sky, however. Once at the top, skier have a vast number of trails emerge, from easy riding to expert level terrain. The ‘Lone Peak’ tram brings skiers to a whopping 11,166 ft., above tree line, there are many extreme trail options for you adrenaline junkies. Big Sky takes the cake with over 4,350 vertical feet and 1,015 cm average snowfall, there are 298 lifts, likely to have the shortest lines in America!

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