The 6 most exclusive ski destinations in the U.S.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

With ski season fast approaching, here’s a breakdown of the most exclusive ski destinations in the U.S. to visit this winter.

A skier at Vail, Colorado. Image credit: Glade Optics/Unsplash
A skier at Vail, Colorado. Image credit: Glade Optics/Unsplash

With the colder months settling in, now is the time to start planning for that perfect ski escape – powder snow, short lift lines, and uncrowded runs.

The U.S. has some incredible slopes to choose from, all easily accessible from most major airports across the country. If you want to start your holiday off the right way, we recommend downloading the Blacklane app to make your airport transfers a breeze.

Take a look at our list of exclusive ski destinations in the U.S.

Vail, Colorado

Sitting at the base of Vail Mountain, Vail may be small in stature but it’s known around the world for it’s incredible alpine skiing.

The terrain on Vail Mountain varies greatly, with steeps, glades, and bumps along many of the more advanced runs. This combination makes Vail a great family ski resort in Colorado.

The resort spans two sides of the mountain – the front side consists of smooth, well-maintained slopes while the legendary Back Bowls offer up powder fields to the tune of 3,017 acres.

The resort village is spread across three primary areas: Golden Peak, Vail Village, and Lionshead. 

Ski stats

  • 2021/2022 season starts November 12
  • 5,317 skiable acres
  • 195 runs
  • 31 lifts
  • Average annual snowfall: 354 inches / 899 cm

Where to stay

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail for personal ski services, gas-burning stone fireplaces, and private retreats complete with a residence concierge.

The Arrabelle at Vail Square for its great location in the heart of Lionshead Village, rooftop hot tubs, and slopeside ski valet.

Elevation Resort Residences at Solaris for easy access to Gondola One, balcony views, and spacious accommodation – from studio to four-bedroom + den premium residences.

Getting there

  • Eagle County Regional Airport – 45 minutes by car
  • Denver International Airport – 2 hours by car.

Aspen, Colorado

Snowmass ski area at Aspen, Colorado. Image credit: Joshua Sukoff/Unsplash
Snowmass ski area at Aspen, Colorado. Image credit: Joshua Sukoff/Unsplash

Let’s start with a heavy hitter. People travel from all over the world to ski Aspen, where fine, powdery snow and hundreds of different trails offer endless possibilities.

Four main ski areas surround the town – Aspen Mountain for intermediate and expert skiers, Aspen Highlands for avoiding the crowds, Snowmass for families, and Buttermilk for freestyle riders and skiers.

With decades of skiing history and runs that have hosted World Cup races, there’s no doubt Aspen is one of the best places to go skiing in Colorado.

Ski stats

  • 2021/2022 season starts November 25
  • 5,527 skiable acres
  • 362 runs
  • 41 chairlifts
  • Annual average snowfall: 300 inches / 762 cm

Where to stay

Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection for its extensive history dating back to 1889, great attention to detail, and exclusive snowmobile access to the picturesque Maroon Bells. 

The Little Nell for ski-in/ski-out access, option to make first tracks on Aspen Mountain before it opens to the public, and access to the hotel’s secret speakeasy.

The St. Regis Aspen Resort for its award-winning Remède Spa, its location at the base of Aspen Mountain, and its often-reviewed concierge service.

Getting there

  • Aspen Pitkin County Airport – 10 minutes by car.
  • Denver International Airport – 2 hours by car.

Beaver Creek, Colorado

Groomed snow at Beaver Creek. Image Credit: John Price/Unsplash
Groomed snow at Beaver Creek. Image credit: John Price/Unsplash

While Beaver Creek is smaller than its surrounding ski resorts, less people means less wait time at the lifts and less crowds on the scenic trails – perfect for feeling like you have the runs all to yourself.

A playground for movie stars and ex-presidents, Beaver Creek has a range of luxurious amenities, including an escalator that runs from the shopping district to the ski trails and freshly-baked cookies handed out every afternoon during ski season.

Ski stats

  • 2021/2022 season starts November 24
  • 1,832 skiable acres
  • 167 runs
  • 24 lifts
  • average annual snowfall: 325 inches / 826 cm

Where to stay

The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch for ski-in/ski-out access, mountain or valley views, and in-house ski and snowboard school.

Trappers Cabin for a log cabin nestled among aspen and pine trees, a Cabin Keeper to take care of requests ranging from massage therapists to equipment rentals, and a feeling of seclusion. 

The Osprey for panoramic views, outdoor hot tub, and ski concierge.

Getting there

  • Eagle County Regional Airport – 30 minutes by car.
  • Denver International Airport ´- 2 hours by car.

Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky boasts more than an acre of skiable terrain per skier on average, making those long runs in the Northern Rockies that much sweeter.

The main mountain here is Lone Mountain, which has a tram that runs right to the summit for expert skiers to tackle, but not before enjoying those incredible 360-degree views.

There are also plenty of trails for novice and intermediate skiers to enjoy across seven terrain parks, so you’ll find it hard to get bored here.

Ski stats

  • 2021/2022 season starts November 25
  • 5,800 skiable acres
  • 300 runs
  • 38 lifts
  • Average annual snowfall: 400 inches / 1016 cm.

Where to stay

Spanish Peaks Mountain Club for the option to buy property in the area and gain members-only access to 5,700 acres, complete with ski club facility in the winter and fly fishing and golfing in the warmer months.

Moonlight Basin for unique property real estate and rentals north west of Big Sky Mountain Village, access to the Private Moonlight Lodge, and breathtaking views.

Montage Big Sky for the bragging rights of visiting one of the most highly-anticipated new luxury ski resorts in the U.S. (scheduled to open mid-December), access to a 10,000 square foot spa, and ski-in/ski-out access.

Getting there

  • Bozeman Yellowstone National Park – 1 hour by car.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

A skier flies down a mountain at Jackson Hole Valley. Image credit: Max Kramer/Unsplash
A skier flies down a mountain at Jackson Hole Valley. Image credit: Max Kramer/Unsplash

Three ski areas make up Jackson Hole Valley: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Mountain Resort, and Grand Targhee Resort.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is the one for the adventurers. It’s long been known for its advanced runs, but there’s a decent amount of blue runs for skiers who maybe want to push themselves a bit over the course of a few days.

The most beloved thing at Jackson Hole would have to be the Aerial Tram, nicknamed “Big Red” or “The Red Heli”, which carries expert skiers to the top of Rendezvous Peak to traverse down some incredible backcountry.

Ski stats

  • 2021/2022 season starts November 25
  • 2,500 skiable acres
  • 16 lifts 
  • 133 runs
  • Average annual snowfall: 459 inches / 1165 cm

Where to stay

Amangani for a heated outdoor infinity pool with splendid views, custom outdoor experiences, and redwood and sandstone architecture.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole for a private wildlife safari, a snowmobile ride through Yellowstone National Park, and an après ski dome set up during the winter on the pool deck. 

The Teton Club for condo-style rentals right at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, slope-side hot tubs, and balconies with valley views.

Getting there

  • Jackson Hole airport – 36 minutes away by car.

Deer Valley, Utah

Located within the mountain town of Park City, this skiers-only site offers up some of the best powder Utah has to offer.

Limited ticket sales means you’re never having to battle the crowds across the six mountains offering 2,000 skiable acres.

And when you’re ready for après ski, there’s plenty of establishments where you can relax and regale your party with tales of your favorite runs.

Ski stats

  • 2021/2022 season starts December 4
  • 2,000 skiable acres
  • 21 lifts 
  • 103 runs
  • Average annual snowfall: 370 inches / 939.8 cm

Where to stay

The St. Regis Deer Valley for a private ski valet, decadent marble bathrooms, and private terraces overlooking the slopes.

Montage Deer Valley for a 35,000-square-foot spa sanctuary, drinks at The Après Lounge with direct access to Ruby, Empire, and Lady Morgan ski lifts, and ski-in/ski-out access.

Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley for après cocktails in the private Stein alpenglobes, access to Forbes Five-Star hotel and spa on-site, and a choice of suites, rentals, and residences.

Getting there

  • Salt Lake International Airport – 45 minutes by car.

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