Skiers who have been looking for the right time to get out should wait no longer. Spring break skiing is around the corner and trips should be booked. In the west, travelers should plan with confidence as mountain snow bases are reaching levels what will ensure good conditions for spring.
Telluride has long been a recognizable destination name to most skiers, but it remains a white whale for many. It shouldn’t. The town’s old bones, tracing to the time when Telluride was a mining outpost, make for a striking foreground against the backdrop of a seemingly vertical box canyon whose upper walls reflect the sun an hour before rays hit the street in town. Top-end eateries and clever shops keep storefronts jammed and foot traffic circulating. Town runs right into the lower trails of the ski resort, with the Telluride Gondola climbing out and up into Mountain Village, a separate town where much of the ski resort operations and lodging sit. This combination of charming old buildings, striking scenery and proximity to skiing make Telluride the best ski town in North America.
2. Jackson Hole
A name that has always been synonymous with extreme skiing, Jackson has made major changes on its mountain to make it more beginner and intermediate friendly. From added terrain on the Teton lift, to the new Sweetwater Gondola and a new kid-friendly ski instruction center dubbed Solitude Station, the resort has been busy bolstering its case as a destination resort that can handle all skier types. It’s a good case, and the efforts are working, as Jackson has grown its skier day totals at a clip far greater than the industry as a whole.
Steamboat calls itself Ski Town USA, and it just might be. This venerable ski resort has been soaking Colorado storms for powder since 1963, and the area’s skiing roots are intertwined with those of America. This is a real place, not an Epcot facsimile of a ski town, so Steamboat has more to offer than many resort towns that have cropped up purely as tourist turnstiles. It also has perhaps the coolest and certainly one of the largest ski shops in America in Ski Haus, which sports a book section and enough spare parts to fix any ski or binding, no matter the year or model.