Thanks to multimountain passes like Ikon and Epic, it’s now easy and (relatively) affordable to venture outside the Centennial State for a ski trip. And even if you’re a more casual skier or snowboarder who doesn’t have a pass, it’s refreshing to get away for a few days and explore other mountain towns across the country.
But with so many ski areas to choose from and a finite number of days in the season, trip-planning can be overwhelming. A helpful way to narrow down your options? Consider what you love most about your go-to Colorado mountain, then visit other resorts with a similar vibe, terrain or amenities.
Below, we offer a few creative suggestions for ski vacations based on your favorite Colorado resort.
If you love Winter Park, try Schweitzer.
The abundant tree skiing is one of the many reasons Colorado skiers and riders flock to Winter Park (and Mary Jane specifically) each season.
If you love gliding through glades, plan a trip to Schweitzer, the largest ski area in Washington and Idaho (and one of the few Western resorts on private property). The resort, located in Idaho’s panhandle in the Selkirk Mountains, has an impressive 1,200 acres of tree skiing, from wide-open glades to challenging tight turns.
When you finally emerge from gladed runs like Shenanigans or J.R. Trees, ski right to your room at Humbird, a new boutique hotel that opened earlier this month in Schweitzer’s base village. Also be sure to stop and soak up the views of Idaho’s largest lake, Lake Pend Oreille, which is rumored to have its own version of the Loch Ness Monster: the Pend Oreille Paddler.
How to get there: Fly to Spokane, Wash., then make the 90-mile drive to Sandpoint, Idaho.
If you love Vail, try Park City.
You could ski and ride for weeks and never get bored exploring Vail’s vast 5,300 acres of skiable terrain.
The same is true at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah, which has a whopping 7,300-plus acres to shred (and, like Vail, also offers great bowl skiing). Located in a historic silver mining town, Park City is so massive that there’s plenty of terrain for everyone, including 115 runs that crews groom nightly.
Like Vail and nearby Beaver Creek, Park City also has a neighbor resort, Deer Valley, in case you want to do even more skiing. (Keep in mind that the two mountains are on different ski passes and Deer Valley doesn’t allow snowboarders!)
If your legs need a break, take a tour or ride a bobsled at the Utah Olympic Park, a 400-acre facility built for the 2002 winter games that now serves as an official training site. Another great place to catch your breath? High West Saloon, the world’s first ski-in/ski-out distillery, located downtown near the bottom of the aptly named Town Lift.
How to get there: Make the 500-mile road trip, or fly to Salt Lake City then drive or shuttle 30 miles to Park City.
If you love Snowmass, try Mammoth.
Snowmass’ many wide, rolling blue groomers make for an easy, stress-free day of skiing for the whole family in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley.
At Mammoth Mountain, home to the highest lift-served summit in California, you’ll find a similar abundance of blue and blue-black runs with room to spread out and enjoy your time getting down the hill. The two mountains are also similar in size (3,342 skiable acres at Snowmass and more than 3,500 acres at Mammoth) and offer a diverse mix of cruisers, more advanced runs, glades and terrain parks.
Mammoth Lakes, located in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains of central California, also offers tons of other activities for building out a family-friendly itinerary, like ice skating, snow tubing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
How to get there: Fly to Bishop, Calif., then drive or shuttle 40 miles to Mammoth Lakes.
If you love Telluride, try Sun Valley.
You may end up sharing a lift with an incognito celebrity or an uber-wealthy entrepreneur when you venture down to Telluride, the luxurious-yet-still-quirky mountain town in southwest Colorado.
For a similarly star-studded skiing sojourn, head north to central Idaho for a vacation in Sun Valley, where stars like Ernest Hemingway, Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and even some of the Kennedys loved to hit the slopes. In more modern times, celebs like Justin Timberlake, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jodie Foster and Demi Moore have been spotted in the region, which is anchored by the city of Ketchum.
Lifestyles of the rich and famous aside, Sun Valley — like Telluride — also hosts a renowned film festival every year (this year, it’s March 30 through April 3). In between movie screenings and filmmaker Q&As, explore more than 2,400 acres on your skis or snowboard or wander through the Sun Valley Museum of Art.
Sun Valley is also a great place to stay up late and stargaze: It’s part of the 1,416-square-mile Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve.
How to get there: Fly to Hailey, Idaho, then drive or shuttle 10 miles to Ketchum.
If you love Arapahoe Basin, try Taos.
Arapahoe Basin’s irreverent vibes and truly awe-inspiring high-alpine terrain make it a favorite among Summit County locals and Front Range skiers alike.
For more of that distinctly independent feel and rugged, no-holds-barred skiing, journey south into New Mexico to ski at Taos Ski Valley. Adventurous skiers will love the lift-served terrain on Kachina Peak, a towering 12,481-foot behemoth that offers views of the Sangre de Cristos. Afterward, reward your bravery with a stein of German beer and apple strudel at The Bavarian.
Like A-Basin, Taos is primarily a standalone resort — it’s about 20 miles north of the town by the same name — but it does offer some notable amenities that make it easy to spend a long weekend there.
Five years ago, the ski resort opened The Blake, an 80-room, ski-in/ski-out hotel that’s a few steps from Lift 1. And if you decide to make the quick drive into town, you can immerse yourself in the region’s Native American and Spanish heritage, explore its thriving art scene and sample tasty New Mexican cuisine.
How to get there: Drive 300 miles south, mostly on Interstate 25.
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