10 Top Ski Destinations in the United States
by Libby ZayPosted Nov 30th 2010 01:52 PMUpdated Jan 11th 2011 04:39 PM
Park City, Utah
Drop in on the world-famous slopes of Park City, home to the steep mountains where the United States Ski Team trains. With 500 plus inches of snowfall every season and around 100 powdery trails, adventure awaits around every turn at this top ski destination. Also home of the Sundance Film Festival, it is not unusual for hordes of tourists to outnumber permanent residents here.
High above Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a mountaintop resort featuring nine whitewashed trails. The snowmaking system at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort produces enough white stuff to please snow bunnies of all abilities. With an amusement park, an aerial tram that sets off from downtown Gatlinburg, and fantastic views of the Great Smoky Mountains, its easy to see why this is one of the top ski destinations in the country.
Mount Hood, Oregon
Mount Hood makes our list of top ski destinations because the world-famous Timberline Lodge is known the world over for having a longer ski season than any other resort in the country. In fact, over a million visitors flock to Timberline 12 months out of the year. Perched at 6,000 feet on the side of Mount Hood, if you've ever seen "The Shining", the snowy resort exterior will be instantly recognizable as the Overlook Hotel.
Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada
Situated in the Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe is a top ski destination for downhillers living in California and Nevada. Well known for its blizzards, there are over a dozen major ski areas surrounding the lake. Heavenly Mountain Resort holds bragging rights for the west coast's longest vertical drop, and has 97 runs for skiers and snowboarders to mix it up.
Lake Placid, New York
The heavy northeastern snows make this winter wonderland in the Adirondack Mountains a top ski destination. Famous as the site of the Olympic Winter Games of 1932 and 1980, Lake Placid is where the Miracle on Ice, a game where amateur and collegiate American hockey players defeated the national Soviet team, went down. At 3,430 feet, Whiteface Mountain in nearby Wilmington has the highest vertical drop in the eastern United States.
With steep terrain that spreads over two peaks, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a top ski destination favored by intermediate-level skiers. Located 12 miles northwest of Jackson, the resort features one of North America's highest vertical drops of 4,140 feet. Experts and daredevils live for the thrill of trying to conquer Corbet's Couloir, one of the most famous ski runs in the world that has been frequently described as the scariest slope in America.
Big Sky, Montana
Six-mile long runs and 4,350 feet of vertical drop make Big Sky one of the top ski destinations in the United States. Situated on Lone Mountain, the resort's signature peak soars at an altitude of 11,100 feet. One of the last places in the Rocky Mountains to remain uncrowded, lift capacity here is 20,000 people per hour, meaning there is hardly ever a wait to get to the top.
Perhaps one of the most legendary names when it comes to skiing, it should come as no surprise that Aspen makes our list of top ski destinations. The Colorado ski resort has four unlinked mountains that are fit to please skiers of all levels. The only problem with visiting this world-class destination may be the price tag, as the resorts here are favored by the rich and famous and tend to be pricey.
With an average snowfall of 22 feet, the picturesque slopes of Stowe are typically blanketed for an exceptionally long winter season. Known as 'the ski capital of The East,' Stowe Mountain Resort draws slope lovers from the entire Eastern seaboard. Located on Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest mountain, the famous "Front Four" trails cater to intermediate to expert skiers, while the lower altitude Spruce Peak is for novices.
Opened in December 1962, Vail Ski Resort has a collection of 193 marked trails on three faces, and features a crazy vertical drop of 3,450 feet. With around 5,300 acres of skiable terrain, the resort brags the largest single mountain ski area in the United States and is renowned as "America's favorite ski resort." After Whistler Blackcomb, Vail is the second largest resort in North America.
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