When thinking of the Southwest Region of the US, skiing is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Sure… Utah is known to have some of the best skiing in the US, but the rest of the states? Well, you’d be surprised.
Explaining our Criteria
Here at Parks & Trips, we created a proprietary Difficulty Score thats generated by combining a number of metrics for each resort. Primarily, we look at the count of easy-intermediate-expert slopes by acreage and the maximum vertical drop of the overall resort.
Our algorithm compares each resort’s metrics with all others in North America, then gives each a Difficulty Score, which we use to rank them accordingly. Resorts with a lower score are easier than those with a higher one. However, a high score does not mean that the resort does not have any easy slopes, or vice versa. This is just an overall score given to the resort based on all its metrics grouped together.
Snowbird: The Most Difficult Ski Resort in the Southwest
Taos Ski Valley, NM narrowly wins the top spot, just barely over Snowbird. It comes out on top because of its super high summit elevation and insane level of expert-only trails.
While Park City Resort is the most well-known Utah ski resort, Snowbird (also located near Salt Lake City) actually beats it. Snowbird has a higher summit, steeper vertical drop and more difficult trails than Park City (which comes in third in our ranking).
60% of the top ten most challenging ski resorts in the Southwest are located in Utah. New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada have the remaining difficult ski resorts. Texas is the only Southwest state that does not have a ski slope in our top 25.