If the oncoming of winter is spurring you on to thinking about getting out on the slopes, you might be considering winter sports locations in the US. Winter sports holidays are great fun for all ages. Learning is fun and when you’ve mastered the basics, the thrill of the slip of skis over dry powdery snow with the mountain breeze in your hair and sun on your face is immeasurable. And it isn’t just skiing. Most of the best winter sports locations in the US offer a wide range of activities from curling to ice skating, and dog sledding to ice climbing. Here’s a few destinations for you to consider.
Sometimes winter sports destinations get an advantage at being the best locations by being chosen as a site for the Winter Olympic Games. Although they usually have some advantages, the games means those are exploited and greatly added to. For example, facilities are built for sports that are not available in every location, such as for curling or luge. Since being the host of the 1980 Games, Lake Placid has remained one of the top US winter sports locations with great slopes, facilities for practically every snow sport and great entertainment.
This may not be one of the most familiar names to you but if you like your US winter sports destinations to be small and intimate, you’ll love this place in Soda Springs, near Lake Tahoe. It’s especially known for having good snow late into the season and with the tree runs that have good jumps and slides built into them, Boreal is particularly popular with snowboarders. I love the fact that parts of the park area are floodlit so if you want some post sundown ski action it’s possible here up to 9pm. There’s also an excellent family snow fun area.
Winter sports freaks have the choice of two mountains at Stowe in Northern Vermont; Spruce Peak and Mount Mansfield. The mountains have been hosting winter sports since the early 1930s. Stowe Mountain Resort is considered to be the best US destination for freestyle skiing, especially on the double-black diamond “Front Four” trails, but beginners will be perfectly at home on Spruce Peak. If you want to try something other than the slope sports, Mount Mansfield offers excellent ice climbing. There’s a real community set up here and something to do every minute of the day and night.
If you’re interested in the best locations for winter sports in the US for a family vacation, you won’t find many better than Beaver Creek. There’s a very strong emphasis on family activities here with many organized activities that cater from tots to teens and things that the whole family can enjoy together, as well as all the facilities of the resort itself. Lessons at the ski and snowboard school start at age 3 so if you’re looking for somewhere the family can learn together, Beaver Creek is an excellent choice.
For US winter sports destinations where the wilderness is priority, you don’t get much wider than Alaska. Skagway may be a town that’s home to only about 1,000 residents but its facilities are superb for the mountain wilderness and untracked trails. It is also one of the most renowned locations for heli-skiing in the States. As the home of the world’s largest non-polar ice cap, you can expect stable conditions here and miles and miles of untouched dry powder.
Don’t you just love the name? It’s so evocative. Big Sky is one of the favorite winter sports locations in the US for snowboarders. There are some seriously challenging runs on Lone Peak, but beginners and Intermediate boarders will find their feet on Andesite Peak. There’s 3,500 acres of snow fields under Montana’s big open skies (did you see what I did there ^_^) so plenty of room for everyone to turn their tricks and jumps and whatevers (I don’t know any skateboarding lingo!) You’ll find après ski well catered for with more than 20 restaurants with welcoming hosts.
I know this is another choice in Colorado and I usually spread my choices out but I have never been able to resist the combination of fire and ice (it’s why I love Iceland so much). Dunton Hot Springs is a former ghost town, abandoned by miners, but has been renovated to be a charming ski resort built around the hot springs. This is a winter resort where you can go dog-sledding, ice climbing and heli-skiing, but when the day’s excursions are over, you can take a dip in the thermal waters before enjoying the après ski in a restored Old Western saloon and dance hall.
Whatever your key considerations when choosing US winter sports destinations, there’s such a wide range, you won’t find it an easy decision., but once you do, you’re in for a fab time. Are you into winter sports? What’s your bag?