6 places you don’t know you can ski

Note: All travel is subject to changeable government restrictions frequently – please check federal, state and local advice before scheduling a trip. Ski resort operations may vary. Check before leaving.

When most people think of skiing or snowboarding in the United States, large resorts, including mountainous terrain, probably come to mind. Popular places like Aspen, Park City and Jackson Hole often have breathtaking views of the summit, plenty of varied runs, delightful gondola or tram and multiple options for dining in the mountains. However, there are much less obvious spots for skiing that provide less crowded slopes, better bumps for your buck, and in some cases pure novelty. Some don’t even need cold weather! Here are a few worth checking out.

Related: 10 national parks that will fascinate you in winter

Badger Pass Ski Area: Yosemite National Park, CA.


Photo courtesy of Yosemite.com

Did you know that you can actually ski inside a national park? Yosemite offers a family-friendly ski resort with beginner-friendly terrain. There are only 10 runs and five chairlifts, but that’s enough to have some fun on the slopes. The Badger Pass ski area opened in 1928, making it the oldest ski area in California. Newcomers pay $ 5 per lift ride downstairs, which is a great option for young children.

Where to stay: Comfortable and rustic Yosemite Valley Lodge is located in Yosemite National Park and close to the ski resort.

Lee Canyon Ski and Snowboard Resort: Las Vegas

Image courtesy Lee Canyon Ski and Snowboard Resort

Ski during the day and slot play at night! Lee Canyon Ski and Snowboard Resort offers fun fun descents in just over an hour from the Las Vegas Strip, which means you can reach the snow-capped mountains at 8,600 feet above the desert. Live in the area? Locals get discounts on lift tickets.

Where to stay: Retreat on Charleston Peak About 20 minutes from the resort is a luxury boutique hotel with 63 rooms.

Big Snow American Dream: East Rutherford, NJ

Photo courtesy Big Snow American Dream

Hit the slope just 20 minutes from the Empire State Building ?! Indoor Ski Hill In Big Snow American Dream, give a ski every day. Whether you’re looking for a fun activity regardless of the season or want to work on improving your ski or snowboard skills before hitting the great outdoors, Big Snow offers an excellent alternative to the real thing. To change the speed, try renting a snow-go bike and try riding a slope instead. Big Snow is scheduled to reopen in early 2022.

Where to stay: Within walking distance of Hilton Meadowlands Big Snow and laundry facilities, on-site dining, a fitness center and an executive lounge.

Buck Hill: Burnsville, MN

Photo courtesy Buck Hill

In Minnesota, one of the coldest states, you don’t even need actual snow to ski. At Buck Hill (25 minutes south of Minneapolis), Mother Nature provides snow during the colder months, but the resort manages snowfall to make up for the lack of coverage. In the spring and summer, the fun continues on the slopes with dry run made from Neveplast artificial snow turf.

Where to stay: Located close to the resort and Mall of America, Best Western Premier offers facilities such as Nicolette in indoor pool, jacuzzi tub, game room and farm-to-table dining.

Arizona Snowball: Flagstaff, AZ

Photo courtesy of Arizona Snowball

Yes, there is ice in Arizona! With 55 runs, three terrain parks and eight chairlifts, the Arizona Snowball provides plenty of terrain for all power levels. Just 35 minutes north of Flagstaff, it’s a great place to take the family, especially since kids 12 and under are ski free and the resort offers free “snow experience” lessons for those 13 and older.

Where to stay: Just a few minutes away from Snowbowl’s basecamp resort offers attractive cabins with gas stoves.

Maunakeya: Big Island, HI

Photo © LeighHilbert

In Aloha State, you can have both ski and beach on the same day. Although there are no ski lifts on the Mauna Kea volcano, there could be snowfall. There are no shelters, transportation, amenities, or emergency services and, above 13,000 feet, the weather can be unpredictable. However, if you live in Big Island, have ski or snowboard gear and a 4-wheel drive truck, you can try it and say they skied in Hawaii.

Where to stay: Beachfront Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa offers luxurious accommodation with superior facilities.

Tagged: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Midwest, Minnesota

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