Ski Resort Rankings

A Personal Rating of Virtually All the Destination Ski Resorts in the Western US and Canada

The Blurbs

The Best of the Best of the Best - The $100 Million Lottos

KEYSTONE => Every run is more beautiful than the one before! Bottom to top lifts! Simply the BEST!
Purgatory => Almost identical to Keystone. Great runs through trees. Bottom to top lifts ! Smaller, a tad isolated.
Brighton => Slightly small; less vertical than some. But the runs are amazing,and the tree skiing is INCREDIBLE !
Snowbasin => Probably the most varied terrain of any mountain. Fabulous amenities. A little remote.
Alta => Steeper overall, fabulous sections, great tree skiing & off piste. Inexpensive. A legend in the sport.
Snowmass=> Maybe the best overall mountain; if lifts ran bottom to top, it might be #1.

The Next Echelon - $96 Million All

Copper Mountain => Beautiful, varied runs; natural separation of green/blue/black areas. Best greens anywhere.

Big Mountain (aka Whitefish)=> Absolutely AMAZING terrain. HUGE. Alas, VERY remote; fog can be a problem.

Mt. Bachelor=> Great terrain for all levels. VERY FRIENDLY staff ! Remote. Fog reportedly occurs (we didn't have any)

Northstar at Tahoe => The only Tahoe area without wet 'Sierra Cement' snow, a visual joy, a blast to ski !
Big Sky => Varied terrain and awesome steeps. Also a bit remote.
Jackson Hole => Great terrain; not much for beginners; but the black skiing is among the BEST !

Still Fabulous

Deer Valley => Amazing grooming. Very pretty. Great amenities. Pricey.
Beaver Creek => Almost identical to Deer Valley in layout, grooming, amenities (and price). I often mix them up.
Sun Valley =>Terrific runs all over. Skis bigger than it looks because of 3400' vertical. Steeper than most sites. Remote.
Heavenly Valley => Absolutely Beautiful Runs! Needs more of them. Sierra Cement is prominent.

Really Really Good

Vail =>HUGE, but scattered layout; BACK BOWLS BEYOND COMPARE! Crowded; pricey; many catwalks.
Breckenridge=> Abundant choices, Great Greens. Crowded. Often windy at the peaks.
Arapahoe Basin => Fabulous Steeps! New Back Side opens it up to intermediates. Inexpensive. Another legend.
Aspen (aka Ajax)=> Great steeps; somewhat angular and small. Not much for beginners.
Grand Targhee => Different than many sites, WIDE OPEN, ski off in any direction! Smaller, slightly remote
Mt. Hood=>Very pretty. lots of fun. Skis bigger than it looks on map. Remote. Snow very wet when we went. 
Buttermilk => The ultimate BEGINNER'S PARADISE! Greens rival Copper and Breckenridge.
Aspen Highlands => Great steeps; somewhat small. A one day site.
Crested Butte => Great terrain, tons of fun runs. Pretty remote/isolated.
Park City => Lots of terrain for all levels of skiers. Many runs are too short. Crowded. Trees are ugly.
Kirkwood => Steep up top, but good overall. One day site. Remote.
Whistler => LONG, wonderful runs! HUGE! Alas, FOG is a MAJOR problem. Good Village. Too far from East Coast.
Powder Mountain => Not well known. Another WIDE OPEN site, ski in any direction at any time ! 

Still Good

Lake Louise=>Very good runs, but the real joy is the sightseeing on the way there.
Sunshine Village=> Smaller, scattered, still good. Same drive as Lake Louise, beautiful!
Steamboat (Springs) => Very popular, to me it's too crowded and not enough vertical per run.
Telluride => FABULOUS STEEPS, superior green area; not much decent blue.
Wolf Creek => Rivals Snowbasin for best natural terrain. Inexpensive. Too remote.

Pretty Good

The Canyons => Angular, narrow runs. Illogical lifts. Too many boarders !
Snowbird => Great Steeps !!! NOTHING else.
Loveland => As local sites go, pretty large. Not much vertical. Inexpensive
Sundance=> Back mountain is pretty good, Front mountain "not so much". Base is very quaint. Small, a one day site.
Squaw Valley=> Nice sections, but the WORST, WETTEST SNOW ON EARTH!
Solitude => Very pretty. Some good open areas. Too small, one day only.

Eh? But still better than working!

Winter Park=>the heading says it all. Nice runs, too much lift time.

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