Where to Top Out in Nearly Every State
It may come as no surprise to you that nearly three-quarters (74%) of the states that comprise the United States of America have some sort of uphill conveyance for skiers and snowboarders within their boundaries.
Or that these Alpine playgrounds — more than 450 of them — can be found anywhere from below the Mason-Dixon Line to just below the Arctic Circle.
But did you ever wonder what was the highest lift-served ski hill in each state? Well, I did and here’s what I found: The apex of these resorts range from nearly sea level to almost 13,00 feet.
The following is a rundown of the highest point in each of 37 states that have an Alpine ski/snowboard resort, sorted by geographical region (and from highest to lowest top point in each region).
This is the domain of the Appalachian ranges, where old-school resorts and mom-and-pop outfits abound, attesting to the notion that this region, particularly the New England area, can be considered the birthplace of skiing in the United States.
- North Carolina: Beech Mountain at 5,505 feet.
- West Virginia: Snowshoe at 4,849 feet.
- New York: Whiteface at 4,396 feet.
- Vermont: Killington at 4,242 feet.
- Maine: Sugarloaf at 4,212 feet.
- New Hampshire: Cannon Mountain at 4,078 feet.
- Tennessee: Ober Gatlinburg at 3,218 feet.
- Pennsylvania: Blue Knob at 3,150 feet.
- Maryland: Wisp at 3,117 feet.
- Virginia: Homestead Ski Slopes at 3,051 feet.
- Massachusetts: Jiminy Peak at 2,375 feet.
- Alabama: Cloudmont at 1,798 feet.
- Connecticut: Mohawk Mountain at 1,490 feet.
- New Jersey: Mountain Creek at 1,480 feet.
- Rhode Island: Yawgoo Valley at 300 feet.
Midwest and Plains
Here we find mostly smallish hills with modest verticals that are essentially the breeding grounds for many of America’s big-mountain skiers and snowboarders.
- South Dakota: Terry Peak at 6,488 feet.
- North Dakota: Bottineau Winter Park at 2,447 feet.
- Wisconsin: Granite Peak at 1,949 feet.
- Michigan: Ski Brule at 1,854 feet.
- Minnesota: Giants Ridge at 1,837 feet.
- Iowa: Mount Crescent at 1,499 feet.
- Ohio: Mad River Mountain at 1,460 feet.
- Illinois: Chestnut Mountain at 1,100 feet.
- Missouri: Snow Creek at 1,100 feet.
- Indiana: Paoli Peaks at 823 feet.
This is America’s backbone, the region of big mountains, high altitude and world-renowned resorts which many people believe is truly ski country USA.
- Colorado: Breckenridge at 12,988 feet.
- New Mexico: Taos at 12,451 feet.
- Arizona: Arizona Snowbowl at 11,499 feet.
- Montana: Big Sky at 11,148 feet.
- Utah: Snowbird at 11,000 feet.
- Wyoming: Jackson Hole at 10,449 feet (Beartooth Basin, which has two drag lifts and is only open May-July, tops out at 10,898 feet).
- Idaho: Sun Valley at 9,147 feet.
This region is famous for the massive snows storms — and the occasional Pineapple Express — that pound the Sierra and Cascades ranges.
- California: Mammoth Mountain at 11,040 feet.
- Nevada: Mount Rose at 9,701 feet.
- Oregon: Mt. Bachelor at 9,065 feet.
- Washington: Crystal Mountain at 7,011 feet.
- Alaska: Arctic Valley at 3,898 feet.