The West Coast of the United States offers some of the country’s steepest terrain and deepest snow. Ski and snowboard areas range from small local spots to internationally known destinations. The massive Rocky Mountains span several Western states including three in the TDS cable states of Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. Along with recommendations from the Travel Channel, here are a few more ideas of great places to ski and snowboard.
Colorado: The Rocky Mountains provide the geographic features for the number one destination for skiing in North America. So many choices, so we picked resorts near TDS cable communities.
Arvada: Echo Mountain and Eldora Mountain Resort
Cortez: Hesperus Ski Area and Purgatory Resort (see shoutout below)
Fort Carson: Monarch Mountain (see shout out below)
Northern Colorado: Ski Granby Ranch and Steamboat
Woodland Park: Cooper Mountain (see shout out below)
New Mexico ski resorts benefit from an abundance of light snow thanks to their location in the southern portion of the Rocky Mountains. In Ruidoso, check out Ski Apache, a resort owned and operated by the Mescalero Apache Tribe. Located 16 miles northwest of Ruidoso, Ski Apache has the largest lift capacity in New Mexico.
Ski Cloudcroft is the Southern most ski resort in the United States. Located high above the desert of the Tularosa Basin, Ski Cloudcraft is 20 miles east of Alamogordo, NM.
West Texas: Despite having vast open spaces and towering mountain tops, one thing West Texas does not have are snow-covered slopes. However, peaks can be found in a short drive to New Mexico.
Southern Utah: Is there great skiing in Southern Utah? YES!! Great snow meets red rock at Utah’s two most southern resorts: Eagle Point Ski Resort and Brian Head Resort. Both are laid back and wonderfully crowd-free. Brian’s Head has an annual snowfall of over 360 inches and offers 71 runs and eight chair lifts. Eagle Point has 5 lifts and 40 runs.
Where to ski crowd free – Travel Channels recommends
At Monarch Mountain, you’ll find affordable lift tickets and runs for skiers of all levels. Salida is in the heart of Colorado’s best outdoor adventures. Winter days here are often mild enough that you can ski, bike and fish on the same day. For a bargain of a weekend, stay at one of the two hostels in downtown Salida — the Simple Lodge and Hostel or the Salida Hostel. Nature will be your après-ski hot tub: Chaffee County has scores of hot springs, from the rustic, clothing-optional pools at Valley View Hot Springs (call ahead; they can fill quickly) to the upscale pools at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort closer to Buena Vista. Tack on an extra day to visit Great Sand Dunes National Park, the tallest dunes in North America and one of the most underrated parks in the whole country.
Be prepared for a major altitude adjustment if you visit Leadville, which at 10,152 feet is the highest city in the U.S. Ski Cooper is just outside town and has both snowcat skiing and mellow terrain perfect for young and novice skiers and snowboarders. Warm up between runs at the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse, just on the other end of the parking lot, where you’ll find hearty soup and warm drinks. Not into downhill skiing? Rent cross-country skis at the Cookhouse to slide across groomed trails. Stay overnight in a Tennessee Pass yurt, and the staff will pack in your gear and make dinner for you right in your yurt.
Best Family Ski Resorts Travel Channel recommends
Purgatory Resort has it all: Snowcat skiing, dogsledding, sleigh rides, Nordic trails, snowmobiles and Santa Claus right on the mountain near Christmastime. The mountain is just half an hour from Durango, on Colorado’s Western Slope, where the spirit of the Wild West is still alive and well. The scenery in the San Juan Mountains surrounding Durango is unparalleled, so don’t skimp on driving around the area even if you fly right into the Durango airport. Don’t want to drive? The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad weaves through some of the most beautiful parts of the San Juans. .