Having been a ski bum for many years, I know what makes a good ski town: excellent skiing, massive snowfalls, a vibrant population, and job opportunities. These are the ingredients that make a town most hospitable to a ski bum. We were surprised by how well ChatGPT identified many of these same points and offered up some great ski towns to live in as a ski bum. I wouldn’t put Jackson, WY at the top of the list due to its extremely high cost of living and competitiveness, but the rest of the list looked good and had some valid points. We turned to artificial intelligence to ask the question, “What are the best ski towns for ski bums?”

What Are The Best Towns To Be A Ski Bum?

The best towns to be a ski bum often combine a strong ski culture, affordable living options, and easy access to great slopes. Here are some top picks:

1. Jackson, Wyoming

  • Pros: Proximity to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, vibrant ski culture, stunning scenery.
  • Cons: High cost of living, particularly in housing.

2. Crested Butte, Colorado

  • Pros: Known for its extreme terrain, friendly community, more affordable than other Colorado ski towns.
  • Cons: Limited job opportunities and nightlife.

3. Truckee, California

  • Pros: Access to multiple ski resorts (including Squaw Valley and Northstar), close to Lake Tahoe.
  • Cons: Can be expensive, crowded during peak seasons.

4. Fernie, British Columbia

  • Pros: Excellent powder, small-town charm, affordable living.
  • Cons: Remote location, limited nightlife.

5. Revelstoke, British Columbia

  • Pros: Incredible backcountry skiing, Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s famous vertical.
  • Cons: Isolated, limited amenities.

6. Ogden, Utah

  • Pros: Close to Snowbasin and Powder Mountain, affordable, historic town with a lively arts scene.
  • Cons: Lesser-known compared to other Utah destinations.

7. Nelson, British Columbia

  • Pros: Near Whitewater Ski Resort, vibrant arts community, affordable housing.
  • Cons: Small town with fewer amenities and job opportunities.

8. Bend, Oregon

  • Pros: Access to Mount Bachelor, outdoor lifestyle, craft beer scene, relatively affordable.
  • Cons: Increasing cost of living, touristy.

9. Taos, New Mexico

  • Pros: Unique Southwestern culture, Taos Ski Valley’s challenging terrain, affordable.
  • Cons: Remote, limited job opportunities outside of tourism.

10. Park City, Utah

  • Pros: Access to Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley, lively town with good amenities.
  • Cons: High cost of living, crowded during peak season.

11. Bozeman, Montana

  • Pros: Close to Bridger Bowl and Big Sky Resort, vibrant community, university town.
  • Cons: Increasing cost of living, cold winters.

12. Mammoth Lakes, California

  • Pros: Mammoth Mountain’s long season, stunning Sierra Nevada scenery, active community.
  • Cons: Isolated, high cost of living.

Each of these towns offers a unique combination of lifestyle, ski access, and community vibe, making them ideal for those looking to embrace the ski bum lifestyle.

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