Hit the Slopes Ski Guide 2015

In Activities by Chris Dunn

Hit the Slopes Ski Guide 2015

Ready to escape to a winter wonderland and shred up the powder-dusted slopes? It’s that season where snowflakes continuously fall and the mountains beckon skiers to embrace their new snowy coats. From the rugged Rocky Mountains to the famed French Alps, black diamond trails and green circle runs welcome every level of skier. Pack your gloves and goggles because we’ve got the world’s best ski destinations awaiting your stay!

Mammoth, California

Known for perhaps the best late winter and spring skiing, Mammoth Ski Resort boasts an average of 400 inches of snow caked on its slopes. The extended ski season can even last through to July. This four-star location in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range exists just an hour away from Yosemite National Park. With excellent modern accommodations in the town of Mammoth Lakes, guests can survey the stunning Mammoth Mountain, which stands with a 11,053 foot summit. Spend your time gliding down powder-fresh snow that many Olympic athletes have called home!

Keystone, Colorado

Keystone Resort, the largest ski resort in Summit County, lies just a short hour and a half drive from Denver International Airport. Bustling with luxury spas, world class restaurants, and 3,148 acres of skiable terrain, Keystone presents a variety of winter fun. Over 3,000 condos make this the perfect location for families. Amidst three mountains, Keystone also features the largest night skiing operation in Colorado, illuminating the trails with lights for beautiful late hour downhill runs. This large ski town also offers unique activities beyond snow sports—take a romantic sleigh ride or twirl round on the five-acre resurfaced skating lake. Experience for yourself why Keystone has been hailed the best winter wonderland in the Rocky Mountains.

Big Sky, Montana

Retaining the largest skiing terrain in the U.S., Big Sky Resort rests an hour away from Bozeman, Montana. It famously includes a 4,350 foot vertical drop. Packed with an assortment of mountain adventures, this 5,800 acre resort opens its doors from November – April. Swiftly ski down the six mile trail, breathing in the fresh scent of the glades covered in a minimum of 400 inches of snow per year. For those who are not accustomed to skiing, lessons and guides are available for every age. Cruise on a hollering zipline tour through the mountains 150 feet above the forest floor. From late afternoon through the late at night, take a turn snow tubing! The 300 foot long tube park provides the perfect setting to soar through the beautifully lit park after the sun has set.

Big Sky specializes in its expanse of activities, such as ice climbing in Gallatin Canyon and snowmobile tours in a choice of three areas. You can also embark on a snowcoach tour or sleigh rides. Neighboring Yosemite National Park, the resort also supplies transportation and tours to allow you entry into the world of buffalo and America’s famous geysers.

Deer Valley, Utah

Situated just outside of Park City, Deer Valley Resort sports world-class powder. As a 2002 Winter Olympics venue site for freestyle moguls, aerial, and alpine slalom events, Deer Valley represents the highest quality of snow sports. In comparison to the nearby ski resorts, Deer Valley indulges guests with an upscale dining, amenities, and lodging. This resort proudly offers free ski valets, free parking shuttles, and uses more grooming equipment than any other resort in the Wasatch Mountain range in order to prevent overcrowding.

Recognized as a mecca for freestyle skiing due to its multiple hosting for FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships and FIS World Cup events, this area prevails as a spot for winter sport connoisseurs. With three classy day lodges, Deer Valley has been named one of the top three ski resorts in North America for the last decade.

Sugarloaf, Maine

Maintaining the only lift-served above-treeline skiing in the East, Sugarloaf Ski Resort promises a sweet season of snow. Located in Carrabassett Valley, it possesses one of the largest halfpipes in the U.S. and classic mountain lodge stay at the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel. Recent home to the 2014 Reggae Festival and the Sugarloaf Marathon, this resort renders lively events for entertainment. Beginners and intermediate-level skiers can test the slopes in Whiffletree, one of four terrains included in the park, while advanced skiers can brave the popular SuperQuad. Sugar-like snow scattered all about this Western Maine location makes “The Loaf” a choice destination between mid-November through May.

Tremblant, Quebec

Nestled in Canada’s Laurentian Mountains, Mont Tremblant Ski Resort is home to first-rated ski and snowboarding trails, a picturesque cobblestone village, and luxurious hotel and condo accommodations near the blue glass lake. Spend the day cross-country skiing, dogsledding, ice fishing, snowshoeing, or tubing—just a handful of activities available in this winter haven. Unwind with a steamy evening in the spa surrounded by the cool mountain air.

Over 94 trails run throughout the area, while Mount Tremblant’s 2,871 foot summit towers as one of the tallest peaks in the region. Foodies flock to this hotspot of restaurants, including the favorite snack of maple taffy on snow. Mont Tremblant resembles the ultimate ski experience in the Alps but without the trek overseas to Europe.

Baqueira, Spain

Fixed in the heart of the Pyrenees Mountains, Baqueira-Beret Ski Resort is the grandest and most visited ski resort in Spain. The surrounding rural villages flaunt quaint stone and wood houses along with archaic Romanesque churches. A favorite holiday destination of the King of Spain, Baquiera always assures uncrowded beauty of the slopes. The tremendous Pacha nightclub gives visitors respite for a night out, while the pub Tuc Nere provides the perfect place for a drink, chat, and dance. Bacquiera-Beret Ski Resort, recently celebrating its 50th anniversary, features off the beaten track and suitable terrain for levels beginner through advanced. Discover the laid-back après-ski environment in this luxe scene.

La Plagne, France

If you’re looking for a ski sanctuary in the illustrious French Alps, La Plagne Ski Resort embodies an unrivaled winter essence. Not far from the Glacier de la Chiaupe, this famous resort stretches across 39 square miles, divided into four communes. Ten villages adorn this provincial ski town, providing blissful stays from quaint chalets to modern hotels and everything in between. From an outdoor heated pool to excellent childcare centers, La Plagne has all you could desire in an ideal winter vacation. Coast down the sweeping bowls or the tree-lined black diamond runs by day, then choose among the 50 restaurants and ten nightclubs by night. Embark on a helicopter tour of the three mountains and snow crisp valleys. Pistes fit for every person’s style await in this majestic French destination.

Trysil, Norway

As Norway’s largest ski destination, Trysil Ski Resort is one of the best family-friendly ski locations in Scandinavia. With a namesake meaning “quiet stretch of a river,” Trysil brings a quiet calm under the Norwegian skies that dance with the mesmerizing lights of the Aurora Borealis. Dotted with many ski-in/ski-out accommodations, the area conveniently allows visitors to travel without the necessity of a car. The resort maintains the nation’s largest and most advanced snow-production equipment, ensuring the slopes are always groomed and ready for visitors. Flaunting 64 pistes and 26 ski lifts, Trysil includes great trails for expert skiers to beginners, and is highly rated by snowboarders as well.

Niseko, Japan

Accumulating nearly 15 feet of snow every January, the mystical Niseko Ski Resort is perched on the northern island of Hokkaido. This fabled location that receives twice as much snow as most American resorts has held the Winter Olympics twice, giving flame to the legendary tales of its dry powder that attracts visitors from around the globe. Niseko is compromised of a pastoral hometown mixed with modern developments. Pure water complimentary of the geothermal hot springs and community-maintained mineral springs that bubble around this volcanic region are available everywhere in this winter utopia.

Famous for its amazing backcountry skiing, Niseko entices skiers to become acquainted with its constantly fresh snow open to powder hounds until 9 p.m. Between the mythical hot spring spas and the acclaimed expanses of snow-laden slopes stretching across six ski areas, Niseko remains a world-class dream destination.