A recent study from Forbes Advisor analyzed the quality, cost, and accessibility of more than 6,000 ski resorts and ski areas in order to find the top 50 greatest winter sports destinations in the world.
Resorts were scored on 14 different factors including the length and variety of slopes, how they were reviewed by skiers and snowboarders, the quality of the apres-ski scene – and of course, price. Ski destinations were ranked on the quality, cost, and accessibility of their skiing and snowboarding experience, as well as social factors like their après ski scene and Instagram worthiness.
- Related: Top 9 European Ski Resorts
The top ten worldwide can be viewed here, and the top ten in North America are below:
#10 Mammoth Mountain (California) – 44.65
#9 Big Sky Resort (Montana) – 45.06
#8 Beaver Creek (Colorado) – 45.24
#7 Palisades Tahoe (California) – 46.48
#6 Breckenridge (Colorado) – 46.51
#5 Park City (Utah) – 48.94
#4 Aspen Snowmass (Colorado) – 52.61
#3 Lake Louise (Canada) – 52.78
#2 Whistler Blackcomb (Canada) – 56.34
#1 Vail (Colorado) – 60.39
Ski destinations were ranked on the quality, cost and accessibility of their skiing and snowboarding experience, as well as social factors like their après-ski scene and Instagram worthiness.
Resorts were scored on their relative performance in the below categories using a min-max normalisation formula and results were totalled to create an overall index score with a maximum possible score of 100.
- Total length of slopes
- Length of slopes by difficulty
- Number of ski lifts
- Ski pass price (Main season adult day pass)
- Ski review score
- Après-ski score
Source: skiresort.info. Where ski pass prices weren’t available on skiresort.info, prices were sourced from sno.co.uk.
- Number of Instagram hashtags – correct as of 03/10/2022
The number of hashtagged posts for ski areas and resorts.
- Average annual snowfall (cm)
Source: onthesnow.co.uk. Inches converted to centimetres using Google.
- Snowboard review score
Source: worldsnowboardguide.com. As resorts were scored on a scale of 0-10, we divided the score by two for consistency. Where only text reviews were available and no score was given, resorts received 0 points.
- Quality of accommodation
Average customer review score sourced from Booking.com. Review score divided by 2 for consistency.
Hashtags and slope difficulty were given half-weighting as while Insta-worthiness and the length of slope by difficulty might be important to some, they may be less of a consideration for others.