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Taos, New Mexico
With some of the steepest runs in the United States this southwestern town is a prime location for alpine thrill seekers.
Park City, Utah
Having established itself as one of America’s top ski destinations Park City is also home to the internationally renowned Sundance Film Festival.
Crested Butte, Colorado
This isolated, high altitude mining town offers some of the best free style and backwoods terrain in the Rocky Mountains.
Not known for upscale restaurants and fancy hotels, people come to this small town in the Northern Rockies for one reason – to hit the slopes, and with two of America’s wildest mountains this resort isn’t for the faint of heart.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
With one of the top ski schools in the nation the town of Steamboat Springs claims to have produced more Olympic and professional skiers than any other town in America with 79.
Whistler, British Columbia
Photo – Blake JorgensonKnown to many as North America’s mega mountain Whistler has more runs, more snow, more terrain parks, and more square mileage than almost any other resort on the continent.
Photo – Boreal Mountain ResortHome to one of the first ski lifts in North America, the ski resorts in this region receive some of the highest average snowfall in the country. In fact, some years it’s almost possible to ski year round.
Photo – Kurt MüllerIn a country jam packed with ski towns Zermatt is king. Nestled in the shadow of the famous Matterhorn Mountain this ski resort offers some of the best (and most expensive) skiing in the world.
Photo – Kitzbühel TourismusWith a good blend of everything from beginner to advanced the town of Kitzbühel has also been known as one of the more romantic ski getaways in Europe with its cobblestone streets and horse drawn sleighs.
One of the birthplaces of extreme skiing in the United States, it’s the experts that will probably get the most out of the plethora of chutes, bowls, and back country terrain that Jackson Hole has to offer.
Mont Tremblant, Canada
Found in Quebec, this ski resort is probably the best way for Americans and Canadians to experience the European ambiance without paying for a plane ticket.
While its not the most well known ski resort in the world this small mining town features some of the best terrain in Canada.
North Conway, New Hampshire
Before the large west coast resorts came to prominence this small New England town was arguably the premier ski spot in the Americas.
Photo – Noah ClaytonKnown for being beginner friendly with a good number of easy slopes Whitefish is the perfect place for families or groups of skiers encompassing various skill levels.
It’s the largest ski town on our list and in spite of not having the quaint feel of some of the others, the ski terrain in the region is no joke. In fact, expert skiers will probably get the most out of visiting this Pacific resort.
Wanaka, New Zealand
Photo – Tony HarringtonWhen the snow melts in the northern hemisphere towns like Wanaka become popular destinations for skiers and snowboarders looking to get their fix during the summer months (northern summer).
Photo – Gerhard HeidornKnown around the world for giving birth to “extreme skiing”, this small town in the French Alps is for those of you that like your mountains big and your slopes steep.
Photo – Tony DeminPossibly one of North America’s most picturesque ski resorts Telluride is also one of the highest sitting at over 8,000 feet (about 2,400 meters) with runs that go to over 12,000 feet (about 3,600 meters)
This quaint New England ski village goes to sleep early and caters more towards the family/homey crowd so if you’re looking for nightlife this may not be the place for you.
Photo – Scott MarkewitzAs Alaska’s top ski destination, this resort located 40 miles south of Anchorage enjoys a laid back lifestyle centered around the slopes. With no crowds and a tree line that stops almost by the time you reach the lift most of the slopes are wide open alpine.
With an international atmosphere and incredible views Banff fuses a vibrant small town with the great outdoors and has something to offer everyone.
One of the earliest Rocky Mountain ski towns, Ketchum still maintains a pre-war feel and thanks to its remote location crowds are usually not much of an issue.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Photo – Patitucci PhotoOften referred to as the most beautiful ski resort in the world the focus here is usually more on socializing and taking in the scenery than actually hitting the slopes. If you plan on getting in some good runs this is a good thing though considering they tend to be slightly less crowded.
It’s the one ski town that every other ski town in North America compares itself to and for good reason. In Aspen you’re almost sure to sight celebrities, movie stars, and Olympic athletes strolling about its streets.
Thanks to constant storms blowing in from Siberia the mountains on the Japanese island of Hokkaido are known to have some of the most consistently fresh and soft powder in the world.