Some ski areas don’t need dozens of high-speed quads or lavish dining options to be remarkable. These 7 ski areas apply to those who love great skiing and supporting small businesses.
Far north of Salt Lake City and just up the canyon from Logan, UT; Beaver Mountain is a family-run Utah ski hill that’s “all ski, no resort.” Abundant Utah powder coupled with an old school feel makes Beaver a great place to visit, not to mention rip some of the lightest powder UT has to offer. The mountain is relatively mellow, but a well-planned lift system helps to make the mountain accessible without chairlift clutter. Ski the Beav and you’ll understand why it is such a beloved local ski hill.
Adult Lift Ticket: $50
Located only 20 miles from Taos, NM Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort hosts the most extended ski season in New Mexico. Although the mountain lacks dangerous vertical or high-speed lifts, powder days at the ‘Pu’ can be a real treat. Excellent glade skiing with no crowds and small resort charm makes Sipapu a place not worth skipping.
Adult Lift Ticket: $29
Finding Turner Mountain in remote Northwest Montana (Libby, MT) may be the hardest part. However, for those making the trek, Turner rewards its guests with impressive terrain, good vertical, and a no-frills environment. Group up with your buddies, and you can rent the whole resort by the day. Turner is run by volunteers and stays true to its motto: “Steep, Deep and Cheap.”
Adult Lift Ticket: $38
Among all the high profile resorts doting the shores of Lake Tahoe, Donner Ski Ranch offers a much more laidback and fun atmosphere to make turns. One of the first resorts in Northern California, little has changed for the worse at Donner. Perched high on Donner pass, the snow conditions are typically excellent.
Adult Lift Ticket: $75
Tucked away in the southeast corner of Washington, Bluewood Mountain is a small hill that brings skiing to a large area. Only accessible via Highway 12 through Dayton, WA the journey to Bluewood provides lighter than average PNW powder. Bluewood has just two triple chairs, two surface lifts and inbounds catskiing on the weekends.
Adult Lift Ticket: $44
Hoodoo Ski Area, OR:
Many are surprised to hear that a ski resort lies outside the Mt Hood, Mt Bachelor mountain complexes but there’s a gem that lies quietly in the Willamette National Forest. With impressive acreage and terrain, Hoodoo Ski Area is fun for a variety of skiers. Like many other Oregon ski resorts, this is a classic Cascade Volcano environment blanketed in white. Explain to your friends how to pronounce Hoodoo, and they’ll be tagging along next time too.
Adult Lift Ticket: $53
Dwarfed by the nearby mega-resorts Sunlight Mountain Resort is a unique & small ski hill with some steep terrain. The closest ski area to Glenwood Springs, Sunlight is a fun place to get away when Aspen is too crowded. The East Ridge at Sunlight is a serious big mountain playground.
Adult Lift Ticket: $65