The 9 Most Appropriately Named Ski Areas in the U.S.

Brent Thomas | | BrainsBrains
It’s called Winter Park for a reason. Credit: Ikon Pass

“What’s in a name?”¬†Shakespeare wrote, implying that names are irrelevant. It is the characteristics of what you are referring to that matter.

This may be true for many ski areas; however, some are genuinely appropriately titled. These are SnowBrains’s top resorts that live up to their name.

#9 Sun Valley, ID

sun valley, Idaho, expansion, bald mountain
Sun Valley, ID. Credit: Sun Valley Resort

Sun Valley, ID, averages 205 days of sun per year, which is right about the nationwide average. However, when you consider it is located in a northern mountainous region, it is quite impressive. Those bluebird days are pretty magical.

#8 Purgatory, CO

Purgatory Resort Chair 1 the resorts recent addition is the only 6 pack chair at the Colorado resort. credit Expedia
Purgatory Resort Chair 1. Credit: Expedia

Purgatory means a place or state of temporary suffering or misery. I’m not saying it isn’t fun to ski at Purgatory, CO, in fact, quite the opposite. However, beginners may feel purgatory on some of the more advanced terrain. It’s also just a cool name for a ski resort, so we had to put it on our list.

#7 Arizona Snowbowl, AZ

Arizona Snowbowl, AZ. Credit:

There are several ski areas with the name “Snowbowl” in the title, which accurately describes the terrain at the mountain. Arizona Snowbowl, AZ, is one of the best that depicts its name with the terrain.

#6 Little Ski Hill, ID

drone shot of little ski hill
Little Ski Hill, ID, is operated by Payette Lakes Ski Club. Credit: Live More Creative FB

As you might imagine, Little Ski Hill, ID, is just that, a little ski hill. Located only two miles north of McCall, ID, it has a T-bar that accesses 405 vertical feet of terrain, six ski runs, and a terrain park. The focus of the area is the after-school program. This is a unique program that provides transportation from surrounding schools to the ski hill four days a week.

#5 Snowbird, UT

Snowbird, UT, was originally named after one of many defunct silver mining claims. Credit: Snowbird

You can make a case that any resort that has the word “snow” in the name is pretty appropriate. Snowbird, UT, maybe the most appropriate as copious amounts of the “best snow on earth” falls there, making it a powder paradise.

#4 Mammoth Mountain, CA

Mammoth, CA. Credit: Peter Morning

When many think of Mammoth, CA, they think of the hairy extinct mammal of the elephant family with a sloping back and long curved tusks. When used as an adjective, it means something of very great size. This perfectly describes Mammoth. The resort is massive with 3,500+ acres, a 3,100-foot vertical rise, 25 lifts, and 175 trails. It could also refer to the mammoth amount of snowfall they receive. This last season saw 715 inches at the base, and they are still open for skiing and riding through August 6.

#3 Powder Mountain, UT

Powder Mountain
Enjoying the goods at Powder Mountain. Photo Credit: SnowBrains

“Powder” is another namesake that is common for ski areas, but none are simpler and more adequate than Powder Mountain, UT. It has over 8,464 acres of terrain, making it the largest ski area in the U.S. It also receives over 500 inches of snowfall. “Pow Mow” can have powder stashes for days after storms.

#2 Winter Park, CO

ikon pass, colorado
Winter Park, CO. Credit: Ikon Pass

When you think of a park, you often think of a large grassy area used for recreation. Add “winter” to the beginning, and you get a snowy playground. This lands Winter Park, CO, high on our list, as that is exactly what it is. With over 3,000 acres, 28 lifts, and 171 trails, it is one of the best resorts in all of North America. Go play!

#1 Heavenly, CA

heavenly pow
Heaven must be like this. Credit: Heavenly Mountain Facebook

If you could instantly transport yourself to a place that has 4,800 skiable acres, a 3,500-foot vertical drop, 360 inches of average annual snowfall, 28 chairlifts, and beautiful views of Lake Tahoe, you would probably think you died and went to heaven. That is exactly why Heavenly, CA, takes the top spot on our list. What more could you want?

Did we miss any, or do you have a suggestion for an honorable mention? Let us know in the comments.

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3 thoughts on “The 9 Most Appropriately Named Ski Areas in the U.S.

  1. I would say Aspen Mountain, is one of the most appropriately named with all the Aspen groves which offer incredible tree/glade skiing.

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