“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, 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 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
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
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
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
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” 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
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
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.