Top 5 Ski Resorts in the Northern Rockies For 2017

Robin Azer |
Skiing in the Northern Rocky states includes Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Credit: Beautiful Holidays
Big skiing in the Northern Rockies: Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Credit: Beautiful Holidays

The Northern Rocky Mountains are home to some of the best skiing in all of the North America. From the challenging, yet diverse, terrain to the abundant snowfall to the perennially favorite (mostly) limited lift lines, these ski resorts deliver. In total there are 41 ski resorts located in the Northern Rockies. Below represents our picks for The Top 5 Resorts in the Northern Rockies for 2017.

Grand Targhee, WY

Grand Targhee is well noted for copious amounts of  deep powder. Credit: Grand Targhee Facebook page
Grand Targhee is well noted for copious amounts of  deep powder. Credit: Grand Targhee Facebook page

The blower-light powder capital of North America is indisputably Grand Targhee. Located on the western side of the Grand Tetons, storms moving across the region from the Pacific stop here on the regular and dump bountiful amounts of deep, fresh, snow. The skiing is spread out over two mountains, Fred’s Mountain and Peaked Mountain, offering up over 2,600 aces of skiable terrain. Also on tap at Grand Targhee is some of the only available inbounds CAT skiing, providing an additional 600 acres of skiing. The ever-popular feature of limited crowds rounds off some of the key features putting Grand Targhee on the short list as one of the best resorts in the Northern Rockies.

Summit Elevation: 10,000 ft

Vertical Drop: 2,592 ft

Skiable Acres: 3,000

Lifts: 5

Annual Snowfall: 500+ in.

Big Sky Resort, MT

Big Sky
Big Sky is big! In fact its one of the biggest resorts in North America. Credit: Big Sky Facebook page

As its moniker implies, Big Sky is big. On this select list of resorts in the Northern Rockies, Big Sky is top dog for skiable acres. If you pull the lens back to look at all of North America, Big Sky still finishes in the top three. The terrain serviced by the tram to Lone Mountain is steep and gnarly, offering up world class chutes, steeps and cliffs. As the tram here only services 15 people at a time, the competition is limited for catching some deep powder lines once you reach the top. In fact, generally speaking, this mountain is devoid of crowds vying for the same powder stash you’re hoping to find.

Summit Elevation: 11,166 ft

Vertical Drop: 3,666 ft

Skiable Acres: 5,809

Lifts: 21

Annual Snowfall: 306 in.

Sun Valley, ID

Sun Valley
Sun Valley, located in central Idaho, owns the bragging rights to the country’s first destination ski resort. Credit: Sun Valley Facebook page

Sun Valley provides a unique atmosphere where lines are blurred between wild west cowboy and upscale glamour. In 1936 Sun Valley became the first true ski destination in America. Original owner W. Averall Harriman, who grew up skiing in the Swiss Alps, had a secret weapon in his back-pocket that would revolutionize the entire industry – the invention of the chairlift. Sun Valley was the first to provide this service. The main mountain here, Bald Mountain or “Baldy,” offers easy access to backcountry terrain on the backface with an easy travserve back to the lifts. It’s most famous run is the 2-mile-long downhill stretch on a mostly consistent-35-degree-pitch known as Warm Springs. To ski racers, Warm Springs Run is  “practically perfect.”

Summit Elevation: 9,150 ft

Vertical Drop: 3,400 ft

Skiable Acres: 2,054

Lifts: 19

Annual Snowfall: 191 in.

Jackson Hole, WY

The iconic Jackson Hole Tram leading to some of the best terrain anywhere. Credit: JHMR
The iconic Jackson Hole Tram leading to some of the best terrain anywhere. Credit: JHMR

It’s Jackson Hole. What else needs to be added? Of course it’s on the list. It’s on every list. Why? The terrain here can only be described as world class. The steeps, chutes, cliffs and couloirs are its calling card to every expert skier around the globe. That’s not to say you have to be willing to huck a cliff to enjoy it. There’s still  plenty of alternative terrain to play with even if you’re not on tap to star in the next Warren Miller movie.

Summit Elevation: 10,450 ft

Vertical Drop: 4,139 ft

Skiable Acres: 2,500

Lifts: 12

Annual Snowfall: 366 in

Whitefish Mountain Resort, MT

Credit: Whitefish Mountain Facebook page
Whtefish a.k.a. “The Big” is located in northwestern Montana. Credit: Whitefish Mountain Facebook page

Whitefish Mountain Resort offers up big country skiing with a laid back vibe. Formerly known as Big Mountain, it was renamed in 2007. The terrain opens up across three main faces providing unending opportunities for everyone in the group, from the beginner to the expert. Whitefish offers up some off-piste big entertainment in the form of bowls, glades and steep trees to keep things interesting. Located just 35 miles from the Canadian border, this northern Montana resort has what it takes to make the list.

Summit Elevation: 6,817 ft

Vertical Drop: 2,353 ft

Skiable Acres: 3,000

Lifts: 14

Annual Snowfall: 324 in

 


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