Glacier National Park is a short trip from this resort, located in the Whitefish Range of western Montana. Whitefish offers full- and half-day tours of the park by snowshoe or cross country ski. Or sign up for the more advanced backcountry skiing tour and rack up vertical among Glacier’s unspoiled cedar and hemlock forests.
Although not actually inside Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort skirts right up to the edge: the resort’s Aerial Tramway tops out right at the border, and its famed backcountry bleeds into the park proper. Recommended tour operators include EcoTour Adventures, which offers safari-style wildlife tours of the park, and Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris. Snowshoeing and winter bike tours are also available.
Located just outside Golden, British Columbia, this resortified slice of extreme skiing terrain also happens to be smack in the middle of Canada’s national park row. Just to the west is our northern neighbor’s own Glacier National Park. Drive a little further to Mount Revelstoke National Park, known for its rain forests and alpine meadows. To the east are Yoho (pictured), on the western slopes of the Canadian Rockies, and Banff, Canada’s Yellowstone. Or, head south to Kootenay National Park for a soak in Radium Hot Springs.
The most famous views of the 13,000-foot Tetons are from the east on the Jackson Hole side of the mountains, but that’s no reason to write off Grand Targhee Resort on the range’s western slopes. Take one of the resort’s guided snowcat adventures on Peaked Mountain for staggering views of the Tetons (and access to a huge store of backcountry powder), or venture a little further with a guided snowmobile tour of Yellowstone.
Just 30 minutes from the eastern entrance of Yosemite National Park, you can easily roll your ski vacation and some spectacular sightseeing into one visit. From June to September Yosemite Area Regional Transit System offers day trips straight to the Yosemite Valley from Mammoth. Don’t be dissuaded by the summer dates: because of its high elevation in the Sierra Nevada, Mammoth Mountain is often skiable into July.
Lying just beyond the northwest reaches of Yellowstone, Big Sky bills itself as base camp for the national park. The resort can arrange third-party wildlife viewing tours, cross country skiing in the park, snowmobile tours and door-to-park coach services.
Sunshine Village is one of three resorts actually inside Canada’s most famous national park. (The other two are Lake Louise and Mt. Norquay.) Take a guided snowshoe tour of Sunshine Meadows or venture outside of the resort to explore Banff’s hot springs, pristine alpine lakes and stunning Rocky Mountain views.
Mt. Rainier towers over Crystal Mountain, which sits just outside the national park’s eastern boundary. Access to the park itself is limited in winter, but a gorgeous 2.5-hour loop around the mountain can take you to the year-round Nisqually Entrance. Winter activities in the national park include snowshoeing, winter camping and cross country skiing.
The closest major destination resort to Denver is also due south of Rocky Mountain National Park, which is open all year. Pencil in a day on your ski vacation to snowshoe in this wild haven or take a sleigh ride among Colorado’s snow-capped 14ers. Note: the direct route to the park’s southwest entrance may be closed in the winter, so you may have to take a scenic detour to the Estes Park entrances. Check the park’s website for road closures.