There are over 300 ski resorts or ski areas in North America. However, only one can take home the title as the highest.
When you look for the highest, you are technically looking for the ski resort with the highest summit elevation.
Many times, this peak elevation is only accessible via means besides lifts or gondolas. Helicopters, snowcats, snowmobiles and even basic backcountry hiking are other ways to reach the max summits of these resorts.
Colorado is the king of skiing, which we detailed in our write-up about the best states to ski in. It is the most challenging state to ski as well. It should then come as no surprise that Colorado is very well represented in this list. In fact, Colorado has the top 6 resorts on this list, 9 of the top 10, and 17 of the top 25.
Located in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado ski resorts have access to some of the tallest peaks in the mountain range. This makes it easy for the ski areas in Colorado to find a place in our top 25 list of the tallest in North America.
1. Silverton Ski Area
Silverton, hidden deep in the San Juan Mountains, is the highest ski mountain in North America, with about 100 feet to spare. However, this place only has one lift. Most of its skiable acreage is only accessible through either hiking or by riding a snowcat or helicopter. However, Silverton is a bit of an anomaly. It is by no means a “resort”. It has no on-site lodging, no beginner or intermediate trails, and is basically just one big ungroomed mountain that skiers that make their way up.
2. Telluride Ski Resort
The second-tallest ski resort – and first “real” resort – is Telluride. Also nestled in the San Juan Mountains, Telluride has a peak that is about100 feet shorter than its neighbor, Silverton.
One of the most popular ski resorts in the US, Telluride is also one of the most difficult. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for beginners. In fact, about 50% of its trails are of the green and blue variety… making Telluride a ski resort that everyone can find something at.
3. Arapahoe Basin (A-Basin)
Located in Dillon, Colorado, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (or more affectionately known as A-Basin) is best known for having the longest ski season in the country, usually staying open into early June. This is because the resort’s highest summit (the East Wall) faces mostly north-to-northeast.
4. Loveland Ski Area
Loveland Ski Area comes in as the fourth-highest ski resort in the country, and it is one of the closest to the city of Denver. Located in the Araphaoe National Forest, it is separated from the Araphoe Basin Ski Area by the Loveland Pass.
5. Breckenridge Ski Resort
Breckenridge is probably the most visited of all the ski resorts inside our top 5 list. It is located just west of the Continental Divide in Summit County. Breckenridge Ski Resort is owned by the Vail company, making it the highest US resort within the Epic Pass network.
Breckenridge is actually the owner of the highest ski lift in the US. The Imperial Express SuperChair is opened in 2022 with access to Imperial Bowl and Imperial Ridge.
The Other Highest Ski Mountians
So, those are the top five… but what about the rest of the list?
Well, here is the full list of the 25 ski resorts in the US and Canada with the highest summits. As stated above, Colorado wins this list, and it’s not even close. New Mexico and Arizona each have two a piece, while Canada unbelievably has zero.