10 Surprising Ski Destinations

You don’t necessarily think of Japan or Appalachia when you think of ski country, but these are just two unexpected destinations where you can find powdery slopes.
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One of the world’s prime ski areas, you might not think of heading to Argentina’s Patagonia region for July skiing. The Bariloche ski resort sits on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi in the foothills of the Andes and boasts some of Argentina’s best skiing. 


One of Africa’s few ski destinations, the Oukaimeden resort earns high marks from skiers who love the natural and un-Westernized ambience.


Believe it or not, there’s enough snow in the Golan Heights between January and March to support an active and growing ski resort at Israel’s Mount Hermon.


Australia’s mountainous island state has snow during most of the southern hemisphere’s winter. The ski village at Ben Lomond National Park sits near the mountain’s 1,570-meter peak.

North Carolina

North Carolina’s southern Appalachians are hardly synonymous with skiing, but cross country skiers can enjoy the trails in Roan Mountain State Park, while alpine enthusiasts can ski downhill at nearby Beech Mountain.


Just 55 minutes from Tehran, Iran’s Shemshak ski resort tends to draw more advanced skiers than the country’s bigger, better-known ski destination, Dizan.

New Zealand

If you want to ski between June and October, New Zealand’s got lots of choices. Mt. Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park is home to the country’s highest peaks.


Though it’s rarely sunny, Niseko is considered by many to be Japan’s best ski locale, thanks to its varied terrain and abundant natural powder.


One of the least likely ski destinations in the world, Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush Mountains require an hour trek on foot to reach the peak. Still, the Bamiyan Ski Club, a charitable organization set up to promote skiing in the area, is attracting more adventurous skiers every year.


With 125 ski resorts, 474 kilometers of slopes and 535 ski lifts Slovakia should be top of mind when we think of skiing. Jasná Nízke Tatry is widely consider the country’s premier ski resort.

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