Whether you prefer big resorts with villages full of restaurants and lodging options or old-school throwbacks where the crowds rarely go, each ski season inspires a mix of revisiting places you know and adding a new spot to your repertoire. This season, check out these sweet areas for skiing and riding that are more than worth your time.
Diamond Peak Ski Resort, Nevada
Located just above Incline Village on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, Diamond Peak has an average annual snowfall of 325 inches and 655 acres of skiable terrain. The community-owned resort has solid trails for all levels of skiers and riders, with sweet groomers, powder stashes in the trees, and distracting Lake Tahoe views nearly everywhere. On some runs, there are moments when it seems you’ll eventually ski straight into the vivid blue lake. With 28 uncrowded trails, 13 named tree skiing and riding areas, and three terrain parks, Diamond Peak has plenty to fill a dream ski day. Don’t skip out on a Village Terrain Park experience, with an excellent selection of boxes, jibs, jumps, and rails for all ability levels.
Mt. Rose, Nevada
Lake Tahoe’s closest skiing and snowboarding resort to Reno lets city dwellers spend less time on the road and more time outdoors. The genuine local vibe combined with convenient slope-side parking lots are an added appeal so you can skip most of the things that can make skiing a pain. With the region’s highest base (at 8,260 feet), Mt. Rose has excellent snow conditions throughout the season, even in spring. The resort has some of the best beginner terrain in the area, but more experienced skiers and snowboarders aren’t disappointed, with the majority of the 70-plus trails designated as intermediate and advanced/expert. The legendary Chutes offer more than 200 acres of some of the longest vertical in North America, with pitches from 40-55 degrees.
Heavenly Mountain Resort, Nevada
If you’ve ever dreamed of skiing in two states on the same day, come to Heavenly. It’s one of the only ski resorts in North America that spans across two states, giving skiers and riders the opportunity to hit some of the best runs in Nevada and California in one outing. Renowned for the beautiful views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada mountain range from its slopes, Heavenly also has an average of 251 inches of snowfall and 300 bluebird days per year. Heavenly’s trails favor intermediate skiers (with 60% blue runs), but with wide-open groomed cruisers, spectacular tree skiing, double-black-diamond canyons, and close proximity to the bustle of South Lake Tahoe and Stateline for après-ski fun, it’s truly a resort for everyone.
Beaver Mountain Ski Resort, Utah
A favorite of Northern Utah locals, some say this is Utah’s best-kept secret resort. Family owned and operated since 1939, Beaver Mountain is the longest continuously owned family ski resort in the United States. Its combination of excellent runs and friendly atmosphere lets skiers and riders unwind and have a good time. Beaver Mountain’s 828 skiable acres are a bit petite compared to many other Utah resorts, but it’s got the same fall-line skiing of larger resorts with lower prices and fewer crowds. Those who love to ski “The Beav” choose it time and again for its 400 annual inches of snow, long runs (some that stretch for more than 2 miles), and northeast exposure that gets great morning sunshine.
Alta Ski Area, Utah
Neighboring Snowbird in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon, Alta’s 2,614 acres of old-school slopes have long, straight runs that cut down the fall line. It’s one of the quickest ski resorts to access from the Salt Lake City airport—only a 45-minute drive away. The 118 trails include one of skiing’s most notorious, Alf’s High Rustler, but all remain off limits to snowboarders. Warm up on easier trails off the Cecret and Sunnyside lifts, or head straight to intermediate and expert runs off the Supreme, Collins, and Wildcat lifts. Alta and Snowbird are separated by a ridgeline, and buying a combination ticket lets you travel between the two via the Keyhole or Mineral Basin, so you can double your terrain.
With more than 8,000 acres of terrain covered in 500 inches of snow each year, Powder Mountain is ideal for experts to challenge themselves and for beginners to learn to ski powder. Despite its huge size, the resort’s relaxed vibe is a welcome contrast to crowded mountains with long lift lines. Pow Mow’s Adventure Center has lessons for individuals and groups, as well as guided sidecountry adventures in the DMI (“don’t mention it”) territory among wide-open bowls and steep chutes. Take a snowcat ride to Lightning Ridge to access an additional 700 acres of backcountry, get picked up at the bottom of the mountain, and do it all over again. The Lightning Ridge Snowcat offers single-ride tickets or a punch pass for multiple excursions.