You don’t have to be a snow enthusiast to know that Aspen, Jackson Hole, Park City, and Lake Tahoe are home to some of the most popular ski resorts in the country. These are the kinds of places that host the Winter X-Games every year and have A-list celebrities posing for pics on every slope.
Unsurprisingly, they’re also outrageously expensive and always teeming with people, which can make your skiing or snowboarding experience less than ideal. Rather than put yourself through that kind of hassle, check out these underrated ski resorts instead:
Black Mountain – Jackson, NH
Black Mountain is a family friendly resort located about 150 miles north of Boston. It receives plenty of fresh powder every year, caters to all ages and ability levels, and offers tremendous value for price-conscious skiers. With lift ticket and rental packages as low as $41, it’s hard to find a better bargain for similar terrain.
With Jackson Hole in the neighborhood, Grand Targhee doesn’t get nearly as much traffic as it deserves. The resort lays claim to a vertical drop of 2,270 feet, groomed Nordic skiing and snowshoeing trails, and unbeatable views of the western Tetons every step of the way. And if you can’t make it this winter, don’t worry. Grand Targhee has a summer season that spans from June to September.
Bridger Bowl – Bozeman, MT
An annual snowfall of 350 inches ensures that the 2,000-acre Bridger Bowl resort remains a skier or snowboarder’s paradise all winter long. Reasonable pricing, the variety of terrain, friendly locals, and the college town atmosphere of Bozeman (home to Montana State University) make this a great destination for your next getaway.
Silverton Mountain – Silverton, CO
Calling all experts: if you haven’t spent a day at Silverton Mountain yet, you’re really missing out! This resort limits the number of visitors to 100 daily, which means you’ll have its 1,800 acres of prime powder practically to yourself. But you won’t find any groomed runs or cut trails among those acres, so your ability level must be up to snuff. Guided, unguided, and heli-ski packages are available through advanced reservations only.
While these resorts might not have the same widespread cachet as their more luxurious counterparts, the quality snow, underpopulated slopes, and budget-friendly pricing make them attractive alternatives, so consider them for your next outing.