Finding the best ski resort in the United States can be a bit of a challenging proposition. Expert skiers will want to see the resorts with the most challenging hills. Beginners will want a hill they can both learn and expand on their skills at. Casual skiers may consider the best ski resort one that has the best amenities within the best state.
For this list, we decided to choose the top resort in each state that the whole family can enjoy. This means that we try to find resorts that have plenty of options to stay the night, enough trails that every skill level, and are close to major metro areas (to make the travel a little easier). Not every ski resort meets every one of our requirements, but we do our best to find.
By default, Cloudmont is the best – and only – ski resort in Alabama. To be honest, I’m a little surprised that there are any ski areas in this state.
Eaglecrest is the only ski resort associated with a nationwide pass system (INDY), and its also in the capital city of Juneau.
The largest ski resort in Arizona, the Snowball has a healthy distribution of trails for all skill levels.
While Heavenly is one of the largest ski resorts in the state (and country, for that matter), it also offers quite a bit for the rest of your family as well. There is a wide array of activities for kids of all ages to enjoy, such as family-friendly restaurants, snow tubing, and even an alpine coaster.
Only an hour-and-a-half from downtown Denver, Keystone Resort has something for everyone, which includes ski classes, their Family Ski Trail, and the gondola.
The largest ski resort in Connecticut, Mohawk Mountain, has a great mix of trails for every skill level, snow tubing, and local inns that are super close to the resort.
While Sun Valley has the highest summit and vertical drop in the state, it also has a healthy percentage of its trails rated for beginners. A part of the IKON ski pass, Sun Valley was also rated North America’s top ski resort in 2021/22 by SKI Magazine.
Chestnut Mountain is the largest ski area in Illinois, which is a state that doesn’t have many. However, the onsite accommodations, and slopes that fit all skill levels makes this the best place to ski with your family in Illinois.
Owned by Vail Resorts, Paoli Peaks has the most amenities of the two ski resorts in Indiana.
While not the most difficult ski area in Iowa, Sundown Mountain has double the number of trails of any other Iowan ski resort. In a state known for its flat terrain, Sundown has an almost 500 ft vertical drop, making it challenging enough for the experienced skier.
This came down to Sunday River in and Saddleback. Both are in the western part of Maine, onsite lodging, and average difficulty scores. What brings Sunday River to the top is the fact that it has way more trails than Saddleback, which means you’ll be able to find the perfect run that you and your little ones can both enjoy.
While it’s the only ski resort in Maryland, Wisp still holds its own with a 700 ft vertical drop, over 30 trials that are evenly split between different skill levels.
Jiminy Peak is the largest ski and snowboard resort in southern New England. It has an adventure park in the summer, and a Kids Rule Mountain Camp in the winter that teaches kids how to ski and snowboard.
Cannonsburg is an average-difficulty ski resort with loads of activities and programs to teach kids to love the snow.
Another Vail-owned resort, Afton Alps has the most lifts and trails of any ski resort in Minnesota. Nestled in the scenic St. Croix River Valley just outside Minneapolis and St. Paul, this sprawling resort provides its guests with multiple restaurants, and top-notch instructors.
With only two ski resorts located in Missouri, we didn’t have too many options to choose from. Amazingly, both resorts are Vail-owned, so you can always expect a fantastic experience with great food options. We chose Hidden Valley because it has a slightly higher vertical, and a couple more trails than Snow Creek.
Big Sky is an experience that everyone has to enjoy at least once. The Mountain Village surrounding Big Sky is one of the best in all of ski-land, and the mountain itself has the best lifts known to man. Yes, it is a difficult resort to ski, but with over 300 trails, everyone will surely be able to find a run (or 10) that suits their skill level.
Of all the ski resorts surrounding Lake Tahoe, only two are actually in Nevada (Reno, to be exact). Mount Rose has the most trails, the best diversity, and is located in the hotbed of skiing – so it just had to be our pick here.
Loon Mountain is the Goldilocks of New Hampshire ski resorts. It’s not too tall, but tall enough. It also has a respectable number of trails, which are evenly distributed across all skill levels.
New Jersey is another state that didn’t give us too much to work with. With only 3 resorts (1 is youth only), we decided to go with Mountain Creek. It is the largest of all ski resorts in NJ by a mile, so finding a slope here that fits your skill level shouldn’t be too difficult.
Taos Ski Valley is the steepest and largest of all New Mexico’s ski resorts. This also means it has the most amenities like onsite lodging and a number of restaurants. While there are a huge amount of black diamond and double-black diamond trails, there are still over 180 acres dedicated to of beginners.
While Snowshoe Mountain is West Virginia’s largest resort, that distinction provides more beginner trails than others, as well as onside lodging and more space to get out and have fun.
Grand Targhee Resort is very family-friendly. In addition to being much more affordable than the more popular ski resorts in Wyoming, they also offer a beginner area with its own lift ticket and children under 5 always ski free.