The Best Ski Areas in North America, According to Skiers + Snowboarders

From small to large resorts across the country, discover the best places to hit the slopes this winter.

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Honoring ski resorts from Vermont to California, Liftopia — the largest online and mobile marketplace for lift tickets and mountain activities — unveiled the 2017-18 Best in Snow Awards, recognizing the most beloved ski areas in North America. The Best in Snow Awards calculates survey feedback from thousands of skiers and snowboarders to determine the ski areas consumers are most passionate about.

With seven categories including the Top 10 Best in Snow, Beginner-Friendly, Most Challenging, Family-Friendly, Best Snow Consistency & Quality, Least Crowded and Best Value, the Best in Snow Awards level the playing field between big and small resorts to uncover the true top ski areas across North America. Winners are ranked and divided into five regions: Northeast, West Coast, High West, Southeast and Midwest.

So, according to skiers and snowboarders across the country, which are the best places to hit the slopes in North America? Here are the results so you can book your winter vacation with ease.

Most Beginner-Friendly Ski Area

Participants took into consideration the quality of instructors and programs, terrain and snow; crowds; the size of the resort; and the cost of lift tickets, rentals and programs.

Photo by: Bretton Woods

Bretton Woods

Most Challenging Ski Area

These areas offer the most difficult runs. Participants took into consideration vertical drop, terrain variety and difficulty including glades and off-piste and snow conditions.

Photo by: Magic Mountain

Magic Mountain

Most Family-Friendly Ski Area

Participants considered quality of instructors; terrain variety; on- and off-slope activities, amenities and attractions; and cost of lift tickets, rentals and programs.

Photo by: Titus


Most Snow Consistency and Quality Ski Area

Participants took into consideration annual snowfall, snow quality, snowmaking, grooming crews, snow conditions and trails open.

Photo by: Alta


Least Crowded Ski Area

Winners were determined based on the total number of skier and snowboarder visits annually, skiable acreage, lift capacity and participant feedback on the least crowded ski area.

"Glacier Point Road, Yosemite"


"Glacier Point Road, Yosemite"

Photo by: iStock/Paigefalk


Best Value Ski Area

Participants considered cost of lift tickets, rentals and programs; accessibility; terrain variety; on- and off-slope activities, amenities and attractions; and surrounding area.

Photo by: Magic Mountain

Magic Mountain

Top 10 Overall Ski Areas in North America

No. 1: Magic Mountain, Vt.

Magic Mountain

No. 2: Alta, Utah


Photo By: Magic Mountain

Photo By: Alta

No. 3: Mad River Glen, Vt.

Mad River Glen

No. 4: Snowbird, Utah


Photo By: Mad River Glen

Photo By: Snowbird

No. 5: Arapahoe Basin, Colo.

Dave Camara via Arapahoe

No. 6: Powder Mountain, Utah

Powder Mountain

Arapahoe Basin March 19, 2016 - Bruce Ruff on East Wall 2016. (Photo by Dave Camara)

Photo By: Dave Camara via Arapahoe

Photo By: Powder Mountain

No. 7: Jay Peak, Vt.

Jay Peak

No. 8: Mount Bohemia, Mich.

Mount Bohemia

Photo By: Jay Peak

Photo By: Mount Bohemia

No. 9: Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Jackson Hole

No. 10: Bald Mountain, Idaho

Bald Mountain

Photo By: Jackson Hole

Photo By: Bald Mountain

Want more? Discover the full results for each region, as well as the methodology behind the Best in Snow Awards.

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