Best Family Ski Resorts in the Western USA

Jocelyn Murray November 28, 2011 No Comments

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Powder snow, crisp mountain air, lush evergreens blanketed white… ski season has arrived, bringing an exciting array of winter sports that are great fun for the whole family. Listed alphabetically, the following ski resort towns and villages are among the very best for families in the western USA and feature a host of recreational activities on and off the slopes, lodging – including ski-in/ski-out access, and ski school lessons. For many families skiing is a longtime family tradition. Why not make it your own as well?

 

 

Beaver Creek – Colorado

 

Beaver Creek skiing

Beaver Creek blends the warmth of the west with European appeal

Nestled among tranquil aspen groves with stunning views, Beaver Creek in Colorado’s central Rocky Mountains is an idyllic wonderland for families. This renowned winter retreat blends European appeal with the cordial warmth of the west. With over 1,800 acres of terrain, there is skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and tubing at Haymaker Tubing Hill. Ice skating in the village, ski and snowboard school for adults and children, and childcare for children and infants ages 2 months to 6 years are also available.

Beaver Creek ice skating

There is ice skating and many other family activities

A wide range of accommodations including ski-in/ski-out lodging, and complimentary shuttle service throughout the village make staying here and getting around worry-free. Luxurious day spas, shops and boutiques, art galleries, bars and restaurants offer relaxation and fun off the slopes. Plenty of entertainment await the whole family and include figure skating performances, movie nights for kids, winter parades, talent contests, live animal encounters, ice sculpture demonstrations, and more. A vibrant performing arts center features concerts, musicals, comedy and dance shows, and lots of family programs including acrobatics, stunts, and illusion shows. Beaver Creek is conveniently located about 30 minutes from Eagle Airport with non-stop service from 11 airports in the USA and one-stop international connections.  The Beaver Creek ski resort is located just south of the town of Avon Colorado, about 15 minutes east of Vail Colorado. For more information visit www.beavercreek.com

 

 

Big Sky Resort – Montana  

 

Big Sky Resort

Big Sky Resort boasts some of the biggest skiing in the nation

Montana – the state known as “Big Sky Country” – is also home to some of the biggest skiing in the nation with over 3,800 acres on three mountains, 400+ inches of annual snow, short lift lines and activities galore. Located in the southwestern section of the state, Big Sky Resort in Madison County, Montana offers everything from traditional alpine skiing and snowboarding, to Nordic skiing, snowmobile and snowcoach tours, and romantic horse-drawn sleigh rides. It boasts exciting basecamp recreation centrally located at the front of the village with ziplining among the trees, scenic snowshoe tours, a high ropes course, climbing wall, bungee trampoline, laser tag, 500-foot long tubing park with carpet lift, and wellness studio with fitness classes like yoga, pilates and kickboxing.

 

Big Sky lifts

Short lift lines mean more time on the slopes

The Kids Club hosts daily thematic indoor crafts and activities as well as outside playtime in the snow. Ski and snowsports lessons are available, as well as childcare and babysitting services. The picturesque and lively resort village features great dining and entertainment, shopping, a fitness center, a pampering spa, and assorted lodging accommodations by the slopes, all surrounded by nature’s mountain grandeur, teeming wildlife and stunning scenery. More than 25 daily flights into Bozeman, Montana are offered with several major airlines, which is about a 45 minute drive from the resort. For more information visit www.bigskyresort.com

 

 

Deer Valley Resort – Utah

 

Deer Valley

An elegant day lodge at Deer Valley Resort in Utah

Ranked consistently as one of the top ski resorts in North America, Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah is known for its outstanding guest services, posh amenities, limited crowding through controlled ticket sales, high capacity uphill chairlifts, luxurious accommodations from condos and homes to ski-in/ski-out lodging and more. At just 36 miles from the Salt Lake City International Airport, it features over 2,000 pristinely groomed acres on its mountains and bowls. This classic skiing resort caters to the time-honored traditional skiing and prohibits snowboarding – something die-hard skiers will relish.

Deer Valley skiing

Over 2,000 groomed acres await skiiers at Deer Valley Resort

Guests can also go snowmobiling, NASTAR racing, snow shoeing, dog sledding, cozy sleigh rides, cross country skiing, hot air ballooning and more. Ski instruction is available for all ages including a children’s ski school. There is also a wonderful child care program with indoor playground through the Deer Valley Children’s Center that has engaging activities from arts and crafts, to music, games, story time and more. The resort also boasts an assortment of dining options, shopping, luxurious spas, free shuttle bus throughout the town, and access to historic Main Street’s vibrant attractions. For more information visit www.deervalley.com/

 

 

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort – Wyoming

 

Teton Village

Teton Village aglow in splendor (courtesy of Tristan Greszko/ Jackson Hole Mountain Resort)

Home to some of the most challenging terrain in North America, Jackson Hole in Teton Village, Wyoming has 2,500 acres for skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, heli-skiing, snowcat skiing, paragliding and snow kite boarding. Visitors can also take horse drawn sleigh rides, go dogsledding, and embark on nature eco tours where they will be treated to breathtaking sightseeing and wildlife with many dozens of native species of mammals and birds including bison, elk, bighorn sheep, moose and eagles. The Mountain Sports School offers programs and lessons for varying ages and abilities.

Jackson Hole elk

Amazing wildlife - like this elk - are native to the area

Children ages 6 months to 18 years will find exciting age-appropriate programs designed just for them with caring, dedicated and enthusiastic instructors. There is even a kids’ night out (ages 4-18) with dinner, movies, games and sledding, so parents can have a few hours out on their own as well. Finding suitable accommodations is easy, from cozy cabins to rustic ranches, condos, luxurious hotels, country inns and slopeside lodging with ski-in/ski-out convenience. There is also shopping, a variety of spas with soothing treatments to hot tubs and steam showers, and dining with an assortment of cafes, bars, grills and restaurants. The Jackson Hole Airport is located in Grand Teton National Park at the base of the spectacular Teton mountain range and close to the resort. For more information visit www.jacksonhole.com

 

 

Keystone – Colorado

 

Keystone ice skating

This 5-acre lake is an ice skating winter wonderland

Located in the White River National Forest in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains, the Keystone ski resort has 135 trails, over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, and the longest ski day in Colorado to enjoy it all from 8:30am-8pm. Keystone is about 90 minutes from Denver International Airport. In the winter, its five-acre lake becomes the largest outdoor Zamboni-maintained ice skating rink in North America and is truly a winter wonderland. This family park features day and night skiing and snowboarding, tubing (with its own lift), Nordic skiing, snowmobiling, snow biking, snowshoeing, scenic gondola rides and sleigh rides. There are ski school lessons for the whole family, and a premier child care and nursery as well.

Keystone snow fort

This snow fort in Kidtopia is one of Keystone's many children's delights

Children will love Kidtopia with its snow fort, live music, arts and crafts activities, tubing and more at this seasonal winter escapade for families. Family lodging in Keystone is available to fit a range of budget and accommodation needs, but the best are the ski-in ski-out hotels that boast unbeatable convenience, being just steps from the lifts and gondolas, as well as the charming village with restaurants, shops and entertainment. For more information visit their website at www.keystoneresort.com

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avatarAbout the Author:

Jocelyn Murray is a travel writer and historical fiction novelist. She holds two university master's degrees in both English and Education, along with a bachelor's degree in Economics and European Studies. She also has a teaching credential and taught at the elementary school level.

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