The last month of the year means the holidays are fast approaching and the search for powder begins for skiers and snowboarders.
Here are 5 US mountain ski resorts known for their light as air powder:
Silverton Mountain, Colorado
“All thrills, no frills” is what advanced and expert skiers will experience at this resort that exceeds 400 inches of snow per year. It’s a real adventurous mountain with only one lift that takes you to the top and there are no clear-cut runs or groomers. What it does have is 1,819 acres of natural terrain with chutes, bowls and cliffs, plus 22,000+ acres to heli ski or hike to. The mountain limit is 474 skiers a day, but there are usually less than 80 powder seekers on most days. One thing to note is that avalanche gear is required at all times to ride the lift.
Lake Tahoe, due to its warmer temperatures, has the reputation for “Sierra Cement.” However, there are exceptions to this rule and Kirkwood is your daddy. They are located on the Sierra Crest with elevations ranging 7,800 to 9,800 feet create a little something we like to call the K-Factor – a geographical predisposition to receive the lightest, the driest, and the most plentiful snow in the Tahoe region. Add in 2300 acres of terrain and you can escape the normally crowded Tahoe lifts (and traffic!).
Powder Mountain, Utah
Mother Nature blesses the 7,000 acres of Powder Mountain (Pow Mow) with over 500 inches of puffy white powder each year. Pow Wow doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that other resorts in the area have and it isn’t well known. What it does offer is great skiing and boarding on fresh powder terrain at the largest ski resort in the U.S. that prides itself on not needing snowmaking facilities.
Predominantly a mountain for locals, Solitude has the sweet combination of lots of powder and not too many people on its slopes. It has over 500 inches of snowfall covering over 1,200 acres of skiable terrain. All levels of skiing abilities will find their bliss on the 65 named trails, the 3 open bowls, the groomed cruisers, steep chutes and the line skiing through the trees.
Grand Targhee, Wyoming
All the powder you could want is here in this pristine powder paradise. Sitting on the western side of the Tetons and covering two mountains, the picturesque Grand Targhee traps the snow from eastbound storms with over 500 inches of heavenly white stuff falling annually. It’s no wonder skiers and snowboarders alike love the 3,000 acres of uncrowded terrain. It’s a good place for beginning powder riders and there’s plenty of intermediate trails amongst the glades, trees and bowls.
Once the snow really starts falling it’ll be easy to cut fresh tracks at these resorts. Then it’s all down hill from there.
Note from Doug Heinz
If you are looking for some great deals on lift tickets at these places, I highly recommend checking out Liftopia. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting these guys here in SF and they have a great business. They also have one of the best apps for snow conditions and ski reports that I’ve seen.