13 Ski Resorts You Need to Visit in 2019
Whether you long for an extreme black diamond run or an acclaimed ski school, a famous Olympic site or an exotic peak off the beaten path, here are 13 ski resorts you need to visit in 2019.
Courtesy Whistler Blackcomb
Let your inner Lindsey Vonn shine at the alpine skiing site of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. Thanks to top-shelf resorts like the luxurious Four Seasons, with gas fireplaces available in guest rooms and located just a short, complimentary shuttle ride away from the packed powder of the slopes, and a walkable village ready to convert your U.S. dollars into name-brand clothes and gear, it doesn’t take long to see why Whistler is a playground for the rich and famous. Go from snowy 20-degree weather at the top of 6,000-foot peaks to the bucolic village below experiencing highs in the 60s, before enjoying al fresco dining in the shadow of the slopes. Whistler Blackcomb is easily one of the top ski resorts to visit in 2019. Check out the most popular travel destinations in Canada.
Courtesy Mammoth Mountain
With five distinct accommodation choices on site, and rates starting at $104 for a knotty pine room or cabin in the Tamarack Lodge, Mammoth Mountain makes your entry into Southern California’s highest winter wonderland manageable for all budgets. Rising over 11,000 feet above sea level, Mammoth is a four-season playground in the Eastern Sierras, a mere five hours from Los Angeles traffic, that has the pleasure of receiving abundant sunlight 300 days a year and copious amount of fresh snowfall. At the top, there are black and double black diamonds runs to challenge the most experienced skiers, including the Cornice Bowl, an excellent option for those daring to dip a big toe into the black diamond world with the comfort of being fed into intermediate runs mid-mountain. Here are the best U.S. ski resorts.
Courtesy Chamonix-Mont Blanc
Speaking of the Olympics, the Winter games began at this idyllic European village nestled in the basin of the Italian, Swiss, and French Alps. In a way, it feels as if time has stood still in the nearly 100 years that have passed since those inaugural Chamonix Winter Games in 1924. While its charm remains authentically vintage, the accommodations, dining, and skiing are thoroughly modern in this historic French village. Whether you decide to conquer Mont Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps, hire a mountain guide to ski the legendary Vallée Blanche (Chamonix’s famous 20 kilometer ski route running over glaciers), or wish to learn to ski where the Olympics began, the Chamonix Valley ski resort experience can be tailored neatly to your needs. For slope-side access and mountain luxury without the hefty price tag, book a room at the Hotel Les Grands Montets situated conveniently at the foot of the Grands-Montets ski resort.
Taos Ski Valley
Courtesy Taos Ski Valley
New Mexico isn’t usually associated with winter weather but Taos Ski Valley, sitting 18 miles away from one of the funkiest towns in America, makes this a ski resort like no other. The eyes of experienced skiers will be as big as saucers at the thought of climbing 12,481 feet above sea level to access virgin Rocky Mountain snow on Kachina Peak. Because many skiers don’t think about skiing Taos, you will not find many crowds—meaning more skiing and less waiting in lines. At night, there are all those Taos art galleries to soak up the local culture and fine New Mexico cuisine to devour after burning thousands of calories shredding on the slopes of Taos Ski Valley.
Lake Tahoe Northstar
Courtesy Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe
When you want to splurge on a refined mountain lodge ski resort experience, look no further than the glorious Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe. Luxurious guest rooms spill out into a warm and cozy lobby looking out onto the slopes. With an in-house ski shop and stellar ski school helping novices of all ages fall in love with the sports of snowboarding and skiing, the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe California ski resort is a family favorite destination. After a day of skiing Northstar’s 3,170 acres, head to the new outdoor Après Alley in the lower level of The Village for craft cocktails, live music, and tasty bites with friends and family to tell tall tales from 8,610 feet in the sky, spin yarns of your time on the 1.4 mile Loggers Loop, and relive epic spills on the Northstar slopes. Here are more of the best winter vacations ideas.
Big Sky Resort
Courtesy Big Sky Resort
Big sky and big mountains await at the best skiing in the Rockies (and possible in America). Big Sky Ski Resort offers skiers over 245 trails coated with 400 feet of fresh powder annually, spanning more than 5,800 acres of rugged terrain seamlessly spread over four mountains at a 60/40 split between advanced/expert trails and beginner/intermediate runs. Ride the futuristic Ramcharger 8 chairlift, North America’s first eight-seater, D-line lift with heated seats. Meanwhile, over on the Lone Peak Tram, adventurous skiers rise 11,166 feet to enjoy 300-degree views of three states and two National Parks. The accommodations on site at Big Sky Ski Resort are almost as plentiful as the slopes themselves, with choices ranging from luxury homes to lodge hotels and condos to cabins, nearly all of which offer ski-in or slopeside access, free breakfasts, as well as free skiing for kids age six and under. Check out these gorgeous photos of National Parks covered in snow.
Grouse is a local mountain in a major metropolitan gem of a city. When you visit this Pacific Northwest ski resort, you can go for a bike ride around Stanley Park or take a walk along the beach, then just a half an hour later be on the slopes enjoying the magnificent view of Vancouver below. This is the least glamorous ski resort on our list but when you combine a hip cosmopolitan urban area, and the chance to have a spontaneous “let’s go skiing today” moment, Grouse Mountain is a ski resort you need to visit in 2019. With no lodging on-site, stay at the nearby, surprisingly excellent Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites nearby for pennies on the dollar compared to proper ski resort accommodations. Add a day in Vancouver before or after Whistler Blackcomb to squeeze in a little more skiing and a lot more culture.
This alpine ski resort is a true hidden gem dominated by snow-capped mountain peaks and the legendary Matterhorn. Breuil-Cervinia is located in the Valle d’Aosta region of northwest Italy and features a network of slopes that connects Breuil-Cervinia to Swiss resorts like Zermatt, and to the Plateau Rosà and Valentina glaciers. Skiers will love having the Matterhorn as a backdrop providing stunning views for epic ski selfies. If your legs have any energy left in them, know that a bar at the bottom of the slopes has an ice rink. With any luck, a friendly impromptu hockey game will break out while you enjoy a warm drink and dinner. The Lo Stambecoo Hotel is literally inside the chair lift station, making easy ski in/ski out a dream come true. Don’t miss these 10 perfect vacations for people who love winter.
Courtesy Val Thorens
It’s a bucket list of any skier to ski the French Alps. Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe at a whopping 7,500 feet, a big beautiful mountain made bigger thanks to accessible nearby ranges of Meribel and St. Martin-de-Belleville. There are countless areas and trails to explore here, offering a variety of challenges, including a freestyle ski park for the daring. La Folie Deuce is a top-notch après bar on the hill to finish off your French Alps experience with a toast. Hotel Le Sherpa provides an affordable ski in/ski out experience with a picturesque terrace for sunsets and warm drinks after a day on the slopes.
Courtesy St. Anton
Tucked into the mountains and drenched with snow in winter, the affordable five-star ski resort Arlberg Hospiz Hotel in Austria has everything you want and need for a snowy European ski retreat. With the St. Christophe ski list opposite the hotel, you will find yourself going downhill on one of the longest runs in the world in no time, and stopping to take in the stunning views along the way. For some hot fun after a cold day, St. Anton provides top-shelf après ski bars and huts, and the village has a large number of restaurants and clubs to keep the party going late into the night. Don’t ski past Mooserwirt, the most famous ski bar in St. Anton, or the Krazy Kanguruh which morphs into an open-air dance floor after sunset.