[sponsored by The Mountain Collective]
The beauty of the Mountain Collective pass is the great number of world-class destinations available to you – 16 to be exact. And although they’re spread right across North America (and the world), for the intrepid explorer there are some awesome road trips to be had, not only for skiing and riding at some of the best mountains in the country but also driving across some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.
We’ve put together a list of four epic road trips, involving some of the best skiing in the world. The Mountain Collective is unique in that there are NO BLACKOUT DAYS, so it is the perfect pass for over the holidays. And if you fall in love with a destination, or you hit it lucky with powder days, don’t forget you can add extra days for 50% off, and book discounted accommodation too.
So book some time off work, use those air miles, and hit the road for these amazing journeys:
Aspen Snowmass, CO / Telluride, CO / Taos, NM
At just over 1000 miles and 19 hours of driving, this is the longest trip we’ve come up with. But totally worth it when you get to ski the three world-class destinations. From Denver International Airport, it’s less than four hours drive to Aspen Snowmass. Driving right through the heart of the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains, stop in the historic Glenwood Springs for a bite to eat, before arriving in Aspen town. With four mountains to choose from, two days may not be enough to explore the 5,300 acres of unbeatable terrain, so consider adding an extra day for half price. From steeps to bumps to trees, Aspen Snowmass has it all.
200 miles south of Aspen Snowmass, through a number of gorgeous National Forests and conservation areas, is Telluride. Offering a modern European-style town, and the third highest North American ski area, Telluride has no trouble holding onto its dry, bottomless powder and boasts more than half of its terrain as advanced or expert, so not for the faint-hearted! After the lifts close, head to town and enjoy the après spoils that make this town so unique; from beer and film festivals to world-class restaurants and lodging options, the party seems to never end.
The third and final destination on this trip is Taos, NM. A six-hour drive through southern Colorado and into New Mexico to Taos Ski Valley in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains. The mountain towers over the resort at 12,481ft and offers some of the finest advanced to expert terrain in North America with snow that is light and dry, making for excellent powder days. A five-hour drive north, back to Denver concludes six awesome ski days at three of the greatest destinations available.
Mammoth Mountain, CA / Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, CA
Easily accessible from either the San Francisco Bay Area or Los Angeles, and right there in California, are two world-class destinations. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has over 6,000 acres, averages 450” of powder a year, and boasts one of the longest ski and snowboard seasons in the country. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows was voted North America’s best ski resort in 2016. Squaw Valley has a vibrant ski culture and mountain energy that spans from village to peak, whilst Alpine Meadows Resort is a beautiful playground for families and thrill-seekers alike, where the skiing and riding experience always comes first. Last season Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows got dumped on to the tune of 728”!
And 4 hours drive south of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is Mammoth Mountain, California’s highest (11,053ft) four-season resort and playground. With terrain to suit all abilities, Mammoth Mountain is a must visit. Offering an average of 400” annual snowfall, last season Mammoth saw 618” and stayed open right through until August 6th. With your Mountain Collective pass you can take advantage of 20% off accommodation at both these resorts, and make it a snow-filled, week-long trip away, easily accessible from Los Angeles or the Bay Area.
Alta & Snowbird, UT / Snowbasin, UT / Sun Valley, ID / Jackson Hole, WY
Another epic journey, almost 1000 miles and beginning in Salt Lake City, this road trip takes in three states, five world-class destinations and eight unforgettable days of shredding. First up are Alta and Snowbird, the powder capitals of the world. A day at each of these, where powder days are a common occurrence and the snow is some of the lightest and driest snow you will find anywhere in the world. Advanced and expert skiers will find a myriad of possible lines and descents.
A short drive north for two days at Snowbasin with its wide-open bowls, trees and glades, groomers and an abundance of light, Utah powder. Downtown Ogden offers a great aprés scene for when it’s time to retire from the slopes.
Less than 300 miles north, into Idaho, and you’ll arrive at Sun Valley Resort. A unique combination of old-world European styling mixed with a wild-west heritage, Sun Valley is a ski destination that every skier should have on their bucket list. The resort is situated across two mountains; Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain. Baldy offers expert skiers and snowboarders a variety of challenging bowls and glades off the peak, while Dollar Mountain is a beginner’s dream with gentle, perfectly groomed slopes.
Six ski days down, and we’ve still yet to get to Jackson Hole. Heading east across Idaho, into Wyoming, and we arrive at Jackson Hole in the gorgeous Grand Teton National Park. Featuring two mountains: Apres Vous and Rendezvous, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is known for steep skiing and gorgeous scenery and is home to some of the most hair-raising slopes in North America where steep fiends go to play. The ski resort receives an average of 450″ of snowfall each year and boasts a vertical of more than 4,000ft. The resort may be notorious for having extreme terrain, but Jackson Hole also caters to intermediate and beginner skiers with trails toward the base of the mountain and near the Casper and Teton lift area, as well as those accessible via the Sweetwater Gondola. After eight solid days riding some of the greatest destinations and gnarliest terrain available, if a five-hour drive back to Salt Lake City doesn’t sound like something you fancy, then you can dump the hire car and fly home from Jackson Hole airport.
Lake Louise / Sunshine / Revelstoke, Canada
And on to Canada’s finest for our final road trip, four days at three world-class destinations. Less than two hours from Calgary airport is Sunshine Village. Situated high along the Continental Divide in the stunning Banff National Park, Sunshine Village is home to breathtaking views and one of Canada’s longest ski seasons. Sunshine Village is Canada’s highest elevated resort, with 350” year average snowfall, and encompasses more than 3,300 skiable acres and terrain ranging from long groomed runs to steep expert trails.
Just up the road is Lake Louise. Still in the heart of Banff National Park, Lake Louise is home to 4,200 acres of skier and rider accessible terrain and offers endless chutes, glades, gullies and remote bowls. For the freestyle skiers and riders, the Showtime Terrain Park offers progressive lines for all levels and abilities with jumps, rails, boxes and even an airbag jump to practice tricks on.
A three-hour drive west, through absolutely gorgeous scenery, and you’ll arrive at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Revelstoke is going off right now, SnowBrains was there just this week. Revelstoke Mountain Resort provides 3,121 acres of skiable terrain spread out over glades, high alpine bowls, fall line skiing and groomed terrain. Cool fact: Revelstoke is the only resort in the world offering lift, cat, heli and backcountry skiing from one village base. After four days ripping it up in Canada, you’ll be ready for a break and Revelstoke is just 120 miles from Kelowna airport, offering flights back to the west coast of the USA.
For any road trip into the mountains, don’t forget to make sure to rent or buy snow chains for any hire car’s tires (and know how to use them). Most mountain passes require chains to at least be in the car. When renting a car, make sure you spend a little extra money for one with high clearance and good tires that can get you in and out of the snow-covered parking lots.
These are just four road trips that we’ve come up with, but with the Mountain Collective, your imagination is the only limit to where and when you ski and how you get there. And after just one road trip, the pass will likely have paid for itself, so to take more than one is a no-brainer.
If you’ve done any of these trips or come up with your own routes for making the most of the Mountain Collective, we’d love to hear about them in the comments.