The United States has many top quality ski resorts. Visitors can expect excellent snow and well groomed pistes, uncrowded lifts and runs and a high standard of accommodation and service.
Lake Tahoe is a top holiday destination for both winter and summer and Heavenly is one of the best places on the lake. One of the largest ski resorts in the US, Heavenly is in both California and Nevada on the southern end of the lake. There are 90 trails with the longest run nine kilometres. Its huge size means there is no waiting for lifts and the slopes are not crowded.
For beginners, there are easy blue runs right at the resort. Intermediates will find good runs on the whole mountain, but experts come to Heavenly for the some of the best powder runs as well as the biggest vertical drop on the West Coast. Snowboarders also have good powder bowls and a half pipe.
The Village at Heavenly has fabulous restaurants with many different cuisines, outlet malls, ice skating and a cinema complex. One big attraction is the brilliant nightlife at the casinos on the Nevada side.
Squaw Valley is the major ski resort on the northern end of Lake Tahoe. With wide open areas in six peaks that are linked, it looks and feels like the Alps and offers excellent skiing for every level of skier. Considered a quiet, relaxing place it does not have the level of night-time activity that Heavenly has, but it has elegant après ski venues and many top restaurants. It was the site for the 1960 Winter Olympics.
The season is from mid-November to the end of May. The 33 lifts are never crowded and the longest run is 8.2 kilometres. The trails are not marked on the piste map, but the lifts are classified blue, green and black. Skiers choose their level and the advanced runs are left in their natural state. Intermediates will enjoy the three mile run from top to bottom that is finely groomed. There are a lot of chutes, challenging slopes and big mogul fields for advanced skiers.
Visitors indulge themselves at the High Camp swimming lagoon at the Spa at Squaw Creek on the mountain.
Colorado, USA is possibly one of the most famous skiing destinations in the world. The Rocky Mountain State focuses on winter sports because of its high altitude, dependable snowfall and excellent terrain for skiers and snowboarders.
Breckenridge has an authentic Old West atmosphere dating from the days it was a gold mining town. The town centre is a National Historic District. The ski resort is small compared to some others in the US, but there is a wide range of great runs, trails and slopes for every level of skier.
Winter Park also offers excellent skiing with a casual, unpretentious atmosphere. The locals welcome visitors and there are good restaurants and après ski sites. Winter Park also offers dog sledding, sleigh rides, snowshoeing and hot sulphur springs to soak away the strain after a long day skiing.
Aspen and Vail
Aspen is a world famous ski resort attracting the rich and famous. With four mountains and excellent powder, it is a good place for every ski level.
Vail is home to the 2015 Alpine World Championships and considered North America’s top ski resort. They have seven back bowls that are legendary with runs 11 kilometres long.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole is not like any other ski resort. Situated on the edge of the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, it offers some of the most spectacular mountain views in the US. They have the powder and pristine runs in backcountry, and slopes near the village, but they also have herds of elk, bison and moose roaming the woods. They offer a Cowboy Ski Challenge where horses pull skiers over 40 mph over obstacles and jumps.
There is a main ski area as well as day trips to Grand Targhee for every level of skier. Advanced skiers enjoy the off-piste skiing as well as heli-skiing. For more sedate winter sports there is dog sledding, snowmobiling and wildlife safaris as well as visits to the amazing geysers in Yellowstone Park.
The après ski is also wild and friendly when skiers and riders join. Jackson Hole is the wildest mountain in the mainland US, and an extraordinary ski holiday destination.