Not all resorts are created equal. Last year there were some 477 operating ski areas in the U.S.—not to mention dozens more in our neighbor to the North—and they all promise, to some degree or another, to give you snow lovers out there the winter escape you’ve been craving all year.
Some resorts trumpet their backcountry access while others tout kid-friendly tubing runs. Many boast gourmet dining and the best après-ski cocktails this side of the mountain, while others draw attention to their killer terrain parks and super-steep tree runs. But to offer a truly memorable balance of the best terrain, perfect powder, lively off-slope experience and activities for the kids—well, now we’re talking great.
Of course “great” means different things to different people. Maybe you go for Colorado’s big Rocky Mountain runs with 5-star treatment waiting for you at the base of the mountain; or maybe you prefer a cozier New England vibe on classic hills that people have been skiing for generations.
Because there are so many things that can make a ski area great, we’re turning the question over to you, our readers: what’s the best ski resort in North America? What’s your mountain of choice for bombing down expert runs and where do you book your family vacations? What area has the most fully featured terrain park and a bumping nightlife, too?
We picked a solid 80 candidates spread out over the U.S. and Canada, many of which are the busiest in the hemisphere. While the popular picks are on here—Vail, Stowe and Mammoth, to name a few—we threw in a few regional favorites and less crowded alternatives to the big guys.
But the final choice is yours. We want you share a little love for your favorite resorts, vote for the best of the best, and tell us what makes them so great. And next week we’ll reveal YOUR picks for the 50 best ski resorts in North America. Click HERE to vote!