While popular ski destinations like Aspen and Vail may get a lot of attention, there are also many lesser-known ski towns that offer excellent skiing opportunities without the crowds and high prices. In this article, we will delve deeper into some of the most underrated ski towns in America.
Whitefish is located in northwest Montana, near Glacier National Park, and is known for its authentic western feel. The town has a small, charming downtown area with excellent restaurants and shops. But the main attraction is Whitefish Mountain Resort, just a few miles from town.
Whitefish Mountain Resort offers over 3,000 skiable acres with a good mix of beginner, intermediate, and expert terrain. The resort is relatively uncrowded, which means shorter lift lines and fewer people on the slopes. The snow quality is excellent, and the views of Glacier National Park and Flathead Valley are breathtaking.
Taos, New Mexico
Taos is a small, artsy town located in northern New Mexico. The town is known for its vibrant arts scene and its unique architecture, which combines Native American and Spanish influences. However, Taos is also home to Taos Ski Valley, a world-class ski resort.
Taos Ski Valley offers 1,300 skiable acres with a mix of beginner, intermediate, and expert terrain. The resort is known for its challenging runs, such as Al’s Run, which is one of the steepest in-bounds runs in North America. However, there are also plenty of runs for beginners and intermediates, despite its reputation.
The snow quality, when they get the snow, is excellent, and the views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are stunning.
In addition to skiing, Taos offers a range of other winter activities, such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and hot air balloon rides. The town has a laid-back, bohemian vibe, and locals are friendly and welcoming.
Red River, New Mexico
Red River is a small, picturesque town located in northern New Mexico. The town is known for its western feel and its charming main street, which is lined with shops and restaurants. However, Red River is also home to Red River Ski Area, a family-friendly ski resort.
Red River Ski Area offers over 200 skiable acres, with a mix of beginner, intermediate, and expert terrain. The resort is relatively uncrowded, which means shorter lift lines and more space on the slopes. The snow quality is excellent, and the views of the surrounding mountains are breathtaking.
In addition to skiing, Red River offers a range of other winter activities, such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and excellent ice fishing.
Sandpoint is a small, charming town located in northern Idaho, near the Canadian border. The town is known for its beautiful scenery, with Lake Pend Oreille and the Selkirk Mountains providing a stunning backdrop. Sandpoint is also home to Schweitzer Mountain Resort, a world-class ski resort.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort offers over 2,900 skiable acres of skiable terrain with a mix of beginner, intermediate, and expert runs. The resort is relatively uncrowded, which means shorter lift lines and more space on the slopes.
Girdwood, Alaska, is hardly even considered as a ski destination by most skiers from the lower 48 despite having one of the best ski areas in all of North America, Alyeska Resort. Alyeska offers up Alaskan terrain that you don’t need a helicopter to access. The resort is known for its challenging runs, such as North Face, one of North America’s steepest in-bounds runs. Despite its world-class skiing opportunities, Alyeska Resort is relatively uncrowded, which means shorter lift lines and more space on the slopes.
The resort also has one of the most unique hotels you’ll find and it’s scary in North America. It has a world-class sushi restaurant and a trim that delivers you to the top of Alyeska right outside the hotel lobby.
North Creek, New York
North Creek made the list because it is often overlooked in favor of more well-known ski destinations in the Northeast, like Stowe, Lake Placid, or the towns of Southern Vermont.
The town is home to Gore Mountain, a ski resort with over 428 skiable acres, 110 runs, and 2,537 ft of vertical drop. The resort is known for its challenging terrain and excellent snow conditions, and it offers a wide variety of skiing and snowboarding options for all levels of experience. Despite its excellent skiing opportunities, Gore Mountain is relatively unknown to most skiers.
In addition to downhill skiing at Gore, North Creek offers a range of other winter activities, including cross-country skiing at Garnet Hill, and ice climbing.
Overall, North Creek is a hidden gem for skiing and outdoor recreation in New York State.