10 Longest Vertical Drops in North America:

SnowBrains |
Lone Peak, MT.
Lone Peak, MT.

We’ve decided to put a small twist on this statistic.  The rankings we are displaying below only reflect the amount of vertical that can be accessed via a chairlift.  No hiking.  Just riding chairs and skiing down.  This is more relevant for the highest percentage of skiers in North America, so we thought we’d allow the numbers to reflect that.


Mt. Mackenzie, Revelstoke, B.C.
Mt. Mackenzie, Revelstoke, B.C.

– 5,620 Vertical Feet (most continuous vert in the Americas)

– If you hike, you can get 5,997 vertical feet

– 3,500 acres of skiable terrain

– Video of pillow dropping stormy deepness at Revelstoke


Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.
Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.

– 5,234 Vertical Feet (resort claims 5,280 so they can say “a vertical mile”) at Blackcomb

– If you hike, you can get 5,678 vertical feet

– Whistler is at 4,978 Vertical Feet

– 8,000 acres of skiable terrain

– Video of the 100’ front flip at Whistler


snowmass view

– 4,396 Vertical Feet

– 3,500 skiable acres

– Video of Snowmass Freeskier madness

#4 – BIG SKY, MT

Lone Peak @ Big Sky, MT. photo: keithhensen.net
Lone Peak @ Big Sky, MT. photo: keithhenson.net

– 4,346 Vertical Feet

– 5,806 skiable acres

– Big Sky & Moonlight Basin are now 1 ski resort and you can ski it all on one pass making it “The Biggest Ski Resort in the USA”

– Video of snowboarder Erik Morrison making the most of Big Sky’s big vert


Jackson Hole, WY. photo: washington post
Jackson Hole, WY. photo: washington post

– 4,139 Vertical Feet (most continuous vertical in the USA)

– 2,500 skiable acres

– Video of some guys from Squaw skiing the North Shore at Jackson Hole  


Panorama, B.C.
Panorama, B.C.

– 3,979 Vertical Feet

– 3,000 acres

– Beautiful video of Panorama’s incredible vistas 


Telluride, CO
Telluride, CO

– 3,830 Vertical Feet

– If you hike, you can get 4,410 vertical feet

– 2,500 skiable acres

– Video with Alpha Blondie Reggie at Telluride from “Blizzard of Ahhhhhs”


Kicking Horse, B.C.
Kicking Horse, B.C.

– 3,790 Vertical Feet

– If you hike, you can get 4,133 vertical feet

– 3,000 skiable acres

– Video of some quality big mountain lines at Kicking Horse


Remember this scene? The Shining, Timberline Lodge, OR
Remember this scene? The Shining, Timberline Lodge, OR

– 3,690 Vertical Feet 

– Longest vertical drop in North America from November – September

– If you hike, you can get 7,250 vertical feet

– 1,500 skiable acres

– Video of the Timberline Lodge in the famous Kubrick movie ”The Shining”


Aspen Highlands, CO showing Highlands Bowl
Aspen Highlands, CO showing Highlands Bowl

– 3,572 Vertical Feet

– If you hike, you can get 4,292 vertical feet

– 1,500 skiable acres

– Video of Aspen Highlands pow skiing

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50 thoughts on “10 Longest Vertical Drops in North America:

  1. The 3,690 Vertical Feet at Timberline could be the most boring 3,690 Vertical Feet you will ever ski

  2. Snowmass has a “continuous” vertical drop of 4,406. Contrary to what other website say about the Cirque barely running, that’s just not true and hasn’t been for several years. I’ve never seen an opening later than mid-Jan. It’s often December now. You can ski the Hipass to Hanging valley or even the Edge run, and then all the way down to Two Creeks. Are are two areas with very little pitch (on the way down). I am a snowboarder and can do it without stopping/walking.

    1. Agreed Russ!! This website has no interest in accuracy or truth. My comments were made a year and a half ago and they have corrected nothing.

      1. Exactly!! A website that ignores accuracy is bullshit. I’ve had the same issue. My comment is 2 years old and they still refuse to correct the list.

  3. What do they mean by “if you hike” at Big Sky. The tram goes literally within 30 feet of the absolute peak of Lone Mountain. If you ski from the very highest point where the weather station is down to the bottom of Six Shooter you would get about 4,360ft of vertical. I guess I’m just confused because no hiking is involved in skiing off the Tram to the bottom of Six Shooter.

  4. When conditions are right you can also get more than 5K off of Mt Rose with a car shuttle.

  5. Your Kicking Horse numbers are screwed up. Currently you have a smaller vertical drop listed that you have listed for Snowmass, which would put Snowmass in front. But, Kicking Horse’s vertical is longer than what you have here.

  6. Beg to differ on Big Sky being the largest ski resort in USA, Powder Mountain Utah has 7000 acres skiable terrain.

    1. Big Sky + Moonlight + Yellowstone Club combines to 8600 acres without climbing or a shuttle… all contiguous and is all lift served.

      1. Recent expansion at PowMow, now over 8,464 acres. And on one resort/lift ticket; you make that sound like it’s three resorts? Big Sky website says only 5,800 acres.

  7. Snowmass should be number three. The lift served vertical is 4,406 feet. The top of the Cirque is 12,510 feet and the base is 8,104. It can all be skied in one continuous run.

  8. I ski’d over 11,000 VF from the summit of Rainier to the Nisqually bridge. Over 9,000′ if you stop at the Paradise parking lot. Summit is 14,410′. You can also get 6,400 VF from the 12,400′ summit of Mt Adams. WA domination! Just gotta hike for it and dodge crevasses!

  9. heavenly, ca. from top of sky to bottom of kingsbury grade – 5,160. Does require a car shuttle but no hiking. Add 27′ if you start from monument peak.

  10. I believe your Big Sky stats are not correct. 4,350′ is the true chairlift accessible vertical. The top of the tram is 11,150′ and the bottom of the six shooter on the Moonlight side is at 6,800′, so this 4,350′ is skiable via the north summit snowfield as long as you have the proper avalanche gear and a partner. Most ski one of the dictator bowls down to the Big Sky Base Area (7,500′) for a vertical of 3,650′. It is not possible to ski down to the bottom of the lone moose lift (6800′) from the peak without taking another lift.
    As long as the snow isn’t blown off the top of Lone Peak, it is possible to hike the sixteen vertical feet from the tram and ski down for a grand total of 4,366′.
    Numbers aside, skiing anywhere is a privilege and an awesome pastime.

  11. as I understand it, as an Oregon resident that has taken a tour of Timberline Lodge, the only scene that they actually use the CCC built lodge is for the opening scene. I wanted to do the maze, damn it.

    …and sit at the bar. It is cooler than the movie tho, because of the history and craftsmanship that went into the construction of it.

        1. Don’t know about you Ignasi, but I’ve taken the cable car to the Augille du Midi many times. So yes, it is lift accessed.

    1. Hi, i live in Barcelona, Catalonia, and i´ve been skiing at Revelstoke!! fantastic mountain with vertical drop record in America, but i´ve been skiing in Italy (Cervinia) and Zermatt and it have a summit at 3899m and base in Cervinia 2000m and in Zermatt 1500m (conected resorts at the summit) Fantastic!!! but the snow…..is so diferent!!!! You have the best snow in the world!!! Bye!!

      1. You can have all the vertical in the world, but if you ain’t got the snow, you gots nuttin. That said, skiing Europe is mind blowing.

        1. Yeh man. Timberline? That place has no pitch, and the snow sucks. I wouldn’t compare it to any on the list.

    2. Europe does reign when considering vertical lift served. North America is king where reliable snowfall amounts are concerned. A bad year in the Rockies would be considered a great year in most of the Alps. Many parts of the Jungfrau Region in Switzerland barely touched 100 inches of annual snowfall last year. Some barely got 65 inches. Compare that to most of Canada and the US and you’ll see the difference. The vistas make European resorts some of the best on the planet though. Although Mürren didn’t have the best year for snow, the views were still spectacular.

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