It’s time to plan your ski vacationOpens a New Window., and you want what every snow-loving guy wants come winter: epic steeps, deep powder, and a whole lotta vertical gnar…or at least a good hill to take the family for a few cold thrills. Too bad you can’t predict where the snow will be any better than your weatherman.
But don’t worry, some mountains will never disappoint. Because, while it is about the snow, it’s also about the terrain, the crowds, the charm, the nightlifeOpens a New Window.—and, sometimes, the whole package together.
To that end, we’ve gathered the 10 best ski resorts on the continent that offer something for every skier or snowboarder. Bottom line: none here will fail you. You wanted a good time on the slopes? Consider it done.
Taos Ski Valley (Taos, NM)
You won’t find a hopping après scene here, but that’s not the point. Tucked at 9,000 feet in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico, Taos Ski Valley is rugged and natural for the more adventurous inbounds skiers and boarders. You’ll have access to plenty of tame groomers over its 1,300 acres—though, more than 50 percent of the trails are rated to expert—but the draw here is the matrix of untouched bumps, rocks, and drops on unmatched hike-to terrain. That and the 300-plus days of New Mexico sunshine on top of 305 annual inches of snow. Trudge up to the Highline Ridge or 12,481-foot Kachina Peak for dozens of heart-hammering shots down steep chutes and over cornices.
Don’t miss: Watch elite skiers and boarders catch big air and land flips on Kachina Peak at the Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships. February 28 – March 2.
Getting there: Fly into Albuquerque and drive 2.5 hours north to Taos. The ski valley sits 15 miles into the mountains north of town. (skitaos.orgOpens a New Window.