For skiers, it’s hard to beat the excitement of being perched atop a ski run ready to push off or the fun of carving down a snowy slope off-trail. A distant second might be the fun of looking for great ski resorts where you can experience the thrill all over again next season.

Curated used data from Skiresort.info to compile a list of the top places to ski in 29 different states. Top locations were determined by overall star ratings, which took into account test reports and evaluation criteria.

Test reports consider a combination of 18 different factors such as ski resort size, slope offering, lifts and cable cars, snow reliability, and slope preparation, and are done by an in-person team that visits the resort. Evaluators also research factors such as total slope length, marked ski routes length, number of lifts in the ski resort, and the elevation difference between the mountain and the base or valley.

In total, 38 states have some type of ski resort, but 29 states were found to have at least three or more ranked alpine ski resorts, and are included in this list. Some states, such as California and Colorado, may have more than one ski resort that is highly rated; but for the purposes of this article, only the top-ranked ski resort for each state is included in the list.

Before the first snow flurries of the season fall, many seasoned skiers have already spent months—maybe even years—researching which ski resorts to add to their bucket list. There are a lot of things to consider, not the least of which is how long you can stretch the season and pack in the most snow days. The launch of modern snowmaking and trail grooming techniques gives skiers the chance to hit the slopes as early as mid-October in Colorado and Vermont and as late as July in California.

Another consideration is making sure the resort offers the best runs that match—or challenge—your technical skills. A ski resort’s size and overall slope lengths are usually good indicators of whether there is a good variety of slopes to choose from. Nearly all will offer trails for alpine, or downhill, skiing above and below the tree line. Many also offer options for cross-country enthusiasts, often traversing through forested wilderness areas. Some also have mogul trails, which are bumpy runs with snow mounds and troughs to navigate. Top resorts will also offer a range of trails from beginners’ greens and bunny slopes to black diamonds for the most confident skiers.

For those looking for a skier’s high—literally—make sure to check a resort’s elevation difference. This is also sometimes referred to as the vertical distance or vertical drop and refers to the height from the base to the summit. It’s a good indicator of the steepness and elevation change you’ll experience on the trails.

Most skiers are focused on what it’ll be like heading down the mountain, but that doesn’t mean going up has to be a cold, cramped journey. Today’s chairlifts have come a long way since 1906 when the first overhead cable tow pulled riders uphill on their skis. Your ride up the mountain now might be classic single or four-person lifts, trams that can zip 100 skiers up to a summit in less than 10 minutes, or gondolas with seat warmers and glass bottoms for spectacular views of the slopes below. Having a comfy ride can provide a warm, scenic break between runs—but the biggest perk might be that speedy, higher capacity lifts mean less time in transit and more time flying back down the hill.

Read on to see which ski resorts are the top-rated across the country.

CSNafzger // Shutterstock

Alaska: Alyeska Resort – Girdwood

– Overall rating: 3.3/5 stars
– Total slope length: 38.5 miles (62 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 2,526 feet (770 meters)
— Base: 230 feet (70 meters), summit: 2,756 feet (840 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 5
– Typical season length: mid-December – mid-April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 3.4/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 3.7/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3.5/5 stars

jannoon028 // Shutterstock

California: Mammoth Mountain

– Overall rating: 4.4/5 stars
– Total slope length: 55.8 miles (89.8 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 3,101 feet (945 meters)
— Base: 7,953 feet (2,424 meters), summit: 11,054 feet (3,369 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 25
– Typical season length early November – early June
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 4/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 5/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 4/5 stars

Steve Boice // Shutterstock

Colorado: Vail

– Overall rating: 4.6/5 stars
– Total slope length: 145.4 miles (234 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 3,202 feet (976 meters)
— Base: 8,061 feet (2,457 meters), summit: 11,264 feet (3,433 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 33
– Typical season length: mid-November – mid-April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 5/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 5/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 4/5 stars

Pugalenthi Iniabarathi // Shutterstock

Connecticut: Mohawk Mountain

– Overall rating: 2.6/5 stars
– Total slope length: 5.0 miles (8 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 571 feet (174 meters)
— Base: 919 feet (280 meters), summit: 1,490 feet (454 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 5
– Typical season length: mid-December – early April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 1.9/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 2.3/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3/5 stars

CSNafzger // Shutterstock

Idaho: Bald Mountain – Sun Valley

– Overall rating: 3.7/5 stars
– Total slope length: 57.2 miles (92 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 3,399 feet (1,036 meters)
— Base: 5,748 feet (1,752 meters), summit: 9,147 feet (2,788 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 13
– Typical season length: mid-November – mid-April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 4/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 4.3/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3.9/5 stars

yanik88 // Shutterstock

Illinois: Snowstar

– Overall rating: 2.5/5 stars
– Total slope length: 2.5 miles (4 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 180 feet (55 meters)
— Base: 591 feet (180 meters), summit: 771 feet (235 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 5
– Typical season length: mid-December – mid-March
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 1.5/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 1.8/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 2.9/5 stars

Alyssa Dole // Shutterstock

Maine: Sunday River

– Overall rating: 4.2/5 stars
– Total slope length: 52.7 miles (84.8 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 2,320 feet (707 meters)
— Base: 820 feet (250 meters), summit: 3,140 feet (957 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 19
– Typical season length: early November – late April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 4/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 4/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 4/5 stars

Monika Salvan // Shutterstock

Massachusetts: Wachusett Mountain

– Overall rating: 2.9/5 stars
– Total slope length: 7.5 miles (12 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 1,001 feet (305 meters)
— Base: 1,004 feet (306 meters), summit: 2,005 feet (611 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 4
– Typical season length: mid-November – early April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 2.1/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 2.5/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 4.1/5 stars

s8 // Shutterstock

Michigan: The Highlands at Harbor Springs

– Overall rating: 2.9/5 stars
– Total slope length: 16.0 miles (25.7 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 551 feet (168 meters)
— Base: 787 feet (240 meters), summit: 1,339 feet (408 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 10
– Typical season length: early December – late March
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 2.5/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 2.9/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3.2/5 stars

Life Atlas Photography // Shutterstock

Minnesota: Lutsen Mountains

– Overall rating: 3.2/5 stars
– Total slope length: 24.9 miles (40 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 827 feet (252 meters)
— Base: 863 feet (263 meters), summit: 1,690 feet (515 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 7
– Typical season length: late November – mid-April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 2.9/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 3.2/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3.6/5 stars

alexfe // Shutterstock

Montana: Big Sky

– Overall rating: 3.9/5 stars
– Total slope length: 155.3 miles (250 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 4,351 feet (1,326 meters)
— Base: 6,798 feet (2,072 meters), summit: 11,149 feet (3,398 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 39
– Typical season length: late November – mid-April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 4.9/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 5/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3.5/5 stars

Alisa_Ch// Shutterstock

Nevada/California: Heavenly

– Overall rating: 4.1/5 stars
– Total slope length: 58.4 miles (94 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 3,475 feet (1,059 meters)
— Base: 6,565 feet (2,001 meters), summit: 10,040 feet (3,060 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 27
– Typical season length: mid-November – mid-April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 4/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 5/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 4/5 stars

CO Leong // Shutterstock

New Hampshire: Bretton Woods

– Overall rating: 3.4/5 stars
– Total slope length: 34.8 miles (56 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 1,499 feet (457 meters)
— Base: 1,601 feet (488 meters), summit: 3,101 feet (945 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 8
– Typical season length: late November – mid-April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 3.2/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 3.6/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 4.0/5 stars

yanik88 // Shutterstock

New Jersey: Mountain Creek

– Overall rating: 3.0/5 stars
– Total slope length: 14.9 miles (24 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 1,040 feet (317 meters)
— Base: 440 feet (134 meters), summit: 1,480 feet (451 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 7
– Typical season length: mid-December – early April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 2.5/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 2.8/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3.4/5 stars

Marcelo Rodriguez // Shutterstock

New Mexico: Angel Fire

– Overall rating: 3.5/5 stars
– Total slope length: 46.6 miles (75 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 2,182 feet (665 meters)
— Base: 8,501 feet (2,591 meters), summit: 10,683 feet (3,256 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 5
– Typical season length: mid-December – late March
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 3.7/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 3.9/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3.9/5 stars

Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

New York: Whiteface

– Overall rating: 3.7/5 stars
– Total slope length: 23.0 miles (37 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 3,179 feet (969 meters)
— Base: 1,217 feet (371 meters), summit: 4,397 feet (1,340 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 11
– Typical season length: late November – mid-April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 3/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 5/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3/5 stars

Jennifer Stanford // Shutterstock

North Carolina: Sugar Mountain

– Overall rating: 2.9/5 stars
– Total slope length: 8.7 miles (14 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 1,116 feet (340 meters)
— Base: 4,098 feet (1,249 meters), summit: 5,214 feet (1,589 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 7
– Typical season length mid-November – late March
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 2.2/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 2.5/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3.8/5 stars

Julia56 // Shutterstock

North Dakota: Huff Hills

– Overall rating: 2.4/5 stars
– Total slope length: 1.9 miles (3 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 361 feet (110 meters)
— Base: 1,870 feet (570 meters), summit: 2,231 feet (680 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 4
– Typical season length: late November – early March
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 1.5/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 1.8/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 2.9/5 stars

Bizi88 // Shutterstock

Ohio: Snow Trails

– Overall rating: 2.5/5 stars
– Total slope length: 3.3 miles (5.3 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 230 feet (70 meters)
— Base: 1,214 feet (370 meters), summit: 1,444 feet (440 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 6
– Typical season lengthn: mid-December – early March
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 1.7/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 2/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3/5 stars

Sveta Imnadze // Shutterstock

Oregon: Mt. Bachelor

– Overall rating: 3.7/5 stars
– Total slope length: 62.1 miles (100 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 3,366 feet (1,026 meters)
— Base: 5,699 feet (1,737 meters), summit: 9,065 feet (2,763 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 15
– Typical season length: late November – late April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 4.1/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 4.4/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3.8/5 stars

somsak nitimongkolchai // Shutterstock

Pennsylvania: Camelback

– Overall rating: 3.0/5 stars
– Total slope length: 21.1 miles (34 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 797 feet (243 meters)
— Base: 1,247 feet (380 meters), summit: 2,044 feet (623 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 9
– Typical season length: mid-December – late March
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 2.7/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 2.9/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3.3/5 stars

Jacob Boomsma // Shutterstock

South Dakota: Terry Peak

– Overall rating: 3.0/5 stars
– Total slope length: 9.9 miles (16 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 1,083 feet (330 meters)
— Base: 5,906 feet (1,800 meters), summit: 6,989 feet (2,130 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 4
– Typical season length: early December – late March
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 2.3/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 2.7/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 4.1/5 stars

Spinel // Shutterstock

Utah: Park City

– Overall rating: 3.9/5 stars
– Total slope length: 155.3 miles (250 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 3,179 feet (969 meters)
— Base: 6,824 feet (2,080 meters), summit: 10,004 feet (3,049 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 42
– Typical season length: late November – early April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 4.8/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 5/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3.8/5 stars

Ruth Berkowitz // Shutterstock

Vermont: Killington

– Overall rating: 4.2/5 stars
– Total slope length: 73.3 miles (118 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 3,078 feet (938 meters)
— Base: 1,165 feet (355 meters), summit: 4,242 feet (1,293 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 22
– Typical season length: late October – late May
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 4/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 5/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 4/5 stars

Marcio Jose Bastos Silva // Shutterstock

Virginia: Wintergreen Resort

– Overall rating: 2.8/5 stars
– Total slope length: 6.2 miles (10 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 1,001 feet (305 meters)
— Base: 2,513 feet (766 meters), summit: 3,514 feet (1,071 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 5
– Typical season length: early December – mid-March
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 2/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 2.3/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3.8/5 stars

fotoexpression21 // Shutterstock

Washington State: Mission Ridge

– Overall rating: 3.6/5 stars
– Total slope length: 62.1 miles (100 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 2,251 feet (686 meters)
— Base: 4,567 feet (1,392 meters), summit: 6,818 feet (2,078 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 4
– Typical season length: late November – mid-April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 4/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 4.3/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3.6/5 stars

Daniel Friend // Shutterstock

West Virginia: Timberline Mountain

– Overall rating: 3.0/5 stars
– Total slope length: 11.2 miles (18 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 1,001 feet (305 meters)
— Base: 3,268 feet (996 meters), summit: 4,269 feet (1,301 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 2
– Typical season length: mid-December – mid-March
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 2.3/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 2.7/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3.9/5 stars

Aaron of L.A. Photography // Shutterstock

Wisconsin: Granite Peak

– Overall rating: 3/5 stars
– Total slope length: 12.4 miles (20 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 702 feet (214 meters)
— Base: 1,247 feet (380 meters), summit: 1,949 feet (594 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 5
– Typical season length: late November – mid-April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 2.4/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 2.8/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3.8/5 stars

Steve Boice // Shutterstock

Wyoming: Jackson Hole

– Overall rating: 3.7/5 stars
– Total slope length: 72.1 miles (116 kilometers)
– Elevation difference: 4,137 feet (1,261 meters)
— Base: 6,313 feet (1,924 meters), summit: 10,450 feet (3,185 meters)
– Total lifts/cable cars: 13
– Typical season length: late November – early April
– Other ratings:
— Ski resort size: 4.4/5 stars
— Slope offering and variety of runs: 4.7/5 stars
— Lifts and cable cars: 3.6/5 stars

This story originally appeared on Curated
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This story was written by Stacker and has been re-published pursuant to a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

This post was originally published on this site

Stacker

This story was written by Stacker and has been re-published pursuant to a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

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