The Best US Ski Destinations that Aren’t Aspen or Vail

you’re taking off from New
, LA
or even London
(if you’re switching up your routine holiday to the Alps), here are
the best US ski destinations for powder, sunshine and après with
less crippling price tags than
and Vail and fewer people.

These are the six best ski resorts in the US



Despite attracting a high-end clientele, Telluride remains one
of the US’s more laidback ski resorts – its low profile and
fantastic skiing is precisely why its devotees return time and time
again. The pistes here are renowned for being steep, so make sure
to hit the black-diamond Bushwhacker to show off your daredevilish
side. To fuel up for ripping down groomed trails and weaving
between trees, start the day with some blueberry pancakes at
Butcher and Baker Café in town. Right on the ski
trails, Alpino Vino is the best place for a long lunch à la Chez
Vrony in Zermatt, or for a five-course meal and copious amounts of
wine at dinnertime thanks to a nighttime gondola and snow coach to
take you there (and back again).

Beaver Creek


A classic Colorado destination, Beaver Creek is a gorgeous
cluster of wooden gingerbread houses nestled at the mountain’s
base. The area enjoys 300 sunny days a year, so bluebird days are a
staple of skiing here. When you’re not making the most of the
resort’s groomers, you can ice skate in the centre of the village
or go Nordic skiing for a spot of cross-training. Come dinnertime,
we’re extremely partial to Beaver Creek’s snuggly mountain cabin
meals, reachable by sleigh ride.

Jackson Hole


Renowned for its wide-open spaces, imposing Teton mountains and
free-spirited cowboys, Jackson Hole offers a unique combination of
gnarly ski trails and Western aesthetics. Following a day on the
slopes, sidle up to The Rose (dreamt up by the team behind New York
City’s Death + Co) or Snake River Brewing in the town of
Jackson for après cocktails and light bites. If you’re less keen on
the local specialities that tend to be meat-heavy, head to Cultivate Cafe for a vegan take on all your favourites
like the buffalo jackfruit sandwich or to fill up with a smoothie
bowl chock-full of almond butter and cacao nibs before you hit the
peaks. Take the glamour up a few notches and swoop into the area’s
latest stay, Caldera House, kitted out with
outdoor firepits to sit by while swathed in fur blankets and a
members-only Alpine Club.


New Mexico

With its unique New Mexico location, Taos is a nice change of
pace from the typical Colorado and Utah track while maintaining
impeccable skiing conditions. Its high desert surroundings are also
reminiscent of the colours and landscapes of Georgia O’Keeffe
paintings, making this location an out-of-the-box ski destination.
A source of artistic inspiration, and an art colony in its own
right, Taos is steeped in culture. Just one mile from Taos Pueblo,
is the oldest continuously inhabited indigenous community in the
US. Suffice to say, Taos is one of the most unexpected experiences
you can have on a ski holiday and will certainly make a mark in a
way that partying on tables in Chamonix won’t.

Lake Tahoe


Split between California and Nevada and ringed by the Sierra
Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe is centrepoint of a number of
surrounding ski resorts. Squaw Valley and Northstar are two of the
best, the former having hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics and the
latter offering over 3,000 acres of ski trails. At Squaw Valley,
après is done at the beer garden at High Camp, while Northstar’s
village has an entire “après alley” in the lower part of the
village. For something more laidback, head to Après Beach to roast
s’mores and clink Moscow mules.

Jay Peak


Jay Peak is worlds away from the glitzy resort towns scattered
across many of the other skiing states – something its die-hard
fans couldn’t be prouder of. Its location, near the Canadian
border, wards off certain fair-weather holidayers, but braving its
chilly temperatures is worth it for the untracked glades and
abundance of drops and off-piste tracks through the forest for
thrill seekers. There is a strong ski-bum culture here, alongside
devoted families and ski racers who would choose the raw atmosphere
and lack of pretentiousness here over most other mountains. If
you’d rather skip the icier months, come here in spring for chilled
tailgate barbecues, soft powder and pond skimming competitions.