Best Ski Resorts in the World - Hakuba Backcountry Powder

29 Best Ski Resorts in the World (2023)

Most times when you read articles about the best ski resort, it’s the best ski resort in the United States, Canada, or some other part of the world. It’s time to expand your horizon and start thinking globally. In our ever-growing list of the top resorts in the world, we will be giving you the ultimate list of places to ski throughout the globe. If I had infinite time and money I would pack my ski bag and visit every one of these places, not just for the skiing, but the opportunity to experience the vast rich ski culture that exists around the globe.

Writing this article, I came to realize both how much of the world I have had the opportunity to ski and at the same time, how much more there is to explore. Most of my skiing experience has been limited to the United States, Canada, and Japan. I can confidently tick off 20 – 30 ski destinations in this list, but have added at least that many more to the bucket list. I hope you enjoy reading this list as much as I have enjoyed making it and as you read check off the resorts you have visited and make sure to write down those you want to add to your bucket list!

North America

What is the Best Ski Resort in the United States?

Best Ski Resorts in the World - Best Ski Resorts in the United States
What is the Best Ski Resort in the United States?

The United States is home to some of the best ski resorts in the world. From the Rocky Mountains in Colorado to the stunning scenery of Vermont, there are plenty of places to choose from when planning a ski trip. And with so many different resorts to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you.

When it comes to the best ski resorts in the United States, there are a few that stand out above the rest. Some of the most popular ski resorts in the country include Vail Ski Resort, Aspen, Snowbird, and Park City. These resorts offer visitors a variety of things to do both on and off the slopes, making them ideal for families and advanced skiers alike.

Here are the 11 best ski resorts in the United States:

#1 Vail Ski Resort

  • Elevation: 3,527 meters
  • Vertical: 1,052 meters
  • # of Runs: 195
  • Annual Snowfall: 9 meters
  • Ski Season: Mid-November to Mid-April

Vail Ski Resort has three areas: the front-side, blue sky basin and the back bowls and has the fourth-largest skiable terrain in North America. The town is modeled after a Bavarian style village with pedestrian streets. 

#2 Aspen/Snowmass Ski Area

  • Elevation: 3,777 meters
  • Vertical: 1,342 meters
  • # of Runs: 336
  • Annual Snowfall: 7.6 meters
  • Ski Season: Early-December to Late-April

The Aspen Snowmass area is located in western Colorado and is a collection of four ski resorts – Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass. Collectively they form one of the world’s most famous resort areas.

#3 Snowbird

  • Elevation: 3,353 meters
  • Vertical: 988 meters
  • # of Runs: 169
  • Annual Snowfall: 12.7 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-November to Mid-May

Snowbird is a year-round destination in the heart of the Wasatch National Forest. Found on the eastern border of Salt Lake City the resort first opened in December of 1971

#4 Park City Mountain Resort

  • Elevation: 3,056 meters
  • Vertical: 980 meters
  • # of Runs: 324
  • Annual Snowfall: 9 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-November to Mid-April

Found in Utah, Park City Mountain Resort is a major tourist destination for skiers from all over the United States. The resort has several training courses for the U.S. Ski Team, including slalom and giant slalom courses, and was the host for several events during the 2002 Winter Olympics..

#5 Telluride Ski Resort

  • Elevation: 4,010 meters
  • Vertical: 1,172 meters
  • # of Runs: 127
  • Annual Snowfall: 8.4 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-November to Early-April

Located in Colorado, Telluride Ski Resort is known for it’s advanced terrain, but also has over 50% beginner and intermediate runs.The resort has over 2,000 skiable acres and is a year-round outdoor destination. It also hosts an annual skijoring competition popularized by the likes of Warren Miller.

#6 Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

  • Elevation: 3,185 meters
  • Vertical: 1,262 meters
  • # of Runs: 116
  • Annual Snowfall: 11.7 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-November to Early-April

Located in the world famous Teton Mountain Range Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and is known for its steep terrain and vertical drop. It is home to some of the world’s most famous skiers and boarders including Travis Rice. It is the home of the Teton Gravity Research production company.

#7 Breckenridge

  • Elevation: 3,962 meters
  • Vertical: 1,036 meters
  • # of Runs: 155
  • Annual Snowfall: 9.4 meters
  • Ski Season: Early-November to Mid-May

Breckenridge Ski Resort is found just west of the continental divide in Summit County Colorado. It is one of the most annually visited ski resorts in the world. It is spread across five peaks of the tenmile mountain range.

#8 Beaver Creek

  • Elevation: 3,490 meters
  • Vertical: 1,020 meters
  • # of Runs: 167
  • Annual Snowfall: 7.9 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-November to Mid-April

Situated near Avon, Colorado, Beaver Creek Resort comprises three villages – Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch, and Arrowhead. Beaver Creek is known for hosting the world cup super G and downhill races in December on the Birds of Prey course. 

#9 Deer Valley

  • Elevation: 2,220 meters
  • Vertical: 910 meters
  • # of Runs: 103
  • Annual Snowfall: 7.6 meters
  • Ski Season: Early-December to Early-April

Deer Valley is located in the Wasatch mountain range near Salt Lake City. It was the host of the freestyle moguls and alpine slalom events during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. It is consistently ranked among the top resorts in North America.

#10 Steamboat

  • Elevation: 3,221 meters
  • Vertical: 1,118 meters
  • # of Runs: 165
  • Annual Snowfall: 10.2 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-November to Mid-April

Steamboat Resort, found on Mount Werner in Colorado, was first opened in 1963. It is home to the Mavericks Superpipe, one of the premiere half-pipes in North America.

#11 Big Sky Resort

  • Elevation: 2,700 meters
  • Vertical: 1,149 meters
  • # of Runs: 585
  • Annual Snowfall: 12.7 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-November to Early-April

Located in southwest Montana near Bozeman, Big Sky Resort is the largest ski resort in the United States by acreage. It has over 4,350 skiable acres and receives an average of 400 inches of snowfall each year.

What is the Best Ski Resort in Canada?

Best Ski Resorts in the World - Best Ski Resorts in Canada 1
What is the Best Ski Resort in Canada?

Canada is a renowned destination for skiing, with resorts located across the country offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy world-class facilities and scenery. Families will find plenty of options for ski holidays in Canada, with resorts offering a range of activities and amenities to suit all ages and interests.

Here are the 11 best ski resorts in Canada:

#1 Whistler/Blackomb

  • Elevation: 2,284
  • Vertical: 1609
  • # of Runs: 200+
  • Annual Snowfall: 10.8 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-Nov to Mid-May

The two mountains Whistler and Blackcomb offer one of the longest ski seasons in North America with an annual snowfall of close to 11m and a huge variety of terrain including 16 alpine bowls and 3 glaciers.

#2 Lake Louise

  • Elevation: 2,637
  • Vertical: 991
  • # of Runs: 164
  • Annual Snowfall: 3.6 meters
  • Ski Season: Early-Nov to Early-May

Lake Louise offers over 4200 acres of terrain across four mountain faces. Located in the historic Banff National Park, the resort offers spectacular scenery.

#3 Sunshine Village

  • Elevation: 2,730 meters
  • Vertical: 1,070 meters
  • # of Runs: 120
  • Annual Snowfall: 9.1 meters
  • Ski Season: Early-Nov to Late-May

Banff Sunshine Village is one of three major ski resorts in the Banff national park and straddles the continental divide. It is the only resort in Canada where you can ski in both B.C. and Alberta. Due to its elevation, Sunshine is known for long seasons and cold weather. Be sure you bring your heated ski gloves, especially in the depths of January and February.

#4 Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

  • Elevation: 2,505 meters
  • Vertical: 1,315 meters
  • # of Runs: 120+
  • Annual Snowfall: 7.3 meters
  • Ski Season: Early-Dec to Mid-April

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is known for its steep terrain, long verticals, and ‘champagne’ powder Not for the light of heart or weak of leg, kicking horse offers some of the best lift-accessed terrain in North America. Be sure to stop at the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant restaurant at the top of the Gondola for the amazing food and view. Be aware many of the runs at kicking horse are managed avalanche terrain.

#5 Revelstoke Mountain Resort

  • Elevation: 2,225 meters
  • Vertical: 1,713 meters
  • # of Runs: 175
  • Annual Snowfall: 13.7 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-Nov to Mid-April

Revelstoke Mountain Resort boasts the longest vertical descent in North America. Combine the backcountry no-holds barred feel of the resort with its renowned snowfall and you have a winner!

#6 Big White

  • Elevation: 2,319 meters
  • Vertical: 811 meters
  • # of Runs: 119
  • Annual Snowfall: 7.5 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-Nov to Mid-April

Located 56km southeast of Kelowna B.C. Big White Ski Resort was nominated as the third-best resort in Canada by Snopak. It has over 38 acres of night skiing, Western Canada’s largest resort night skiing area.

#7 Fernie Alpine Resort

  • Elevation: 2,149 meters
  • Vertical: 1.082 meters
  • # of Runs: 142
  • Annual Snowfall: 8.75 meters
  • Ski Season: Early-December to Mid-April

Fernie Alpine Resort is located on the world famous powder highway and is known particularly for its high annual snowfall. The resort has over 10 square kilometers of skiable terrain.

#8 Sun Peaks

  • Elevation: 2,152 meters
  • Vertical: 882 meters
  • # of Runs: 137
  • Annual Snowfall: 5.6 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-November to Early-April

Sun Peaks resort’s four peaks Mt. Tod, Mt. Cahility, Mt. Morissey and Mt. Lolo surrounds the village at the base. The village has a quaint European styling that lends itself to the mountain atmosphere.

#9 Panorama Ski Resort

  • Elevation: 2,450 meters
  • Vertical: 1,300 meters
  • # of Runs: 129
  • Annual Snowfall: 5.2 meters
  • Ski Season: Early-December to Early-April

Located in the Purcell mountains in southeastern B.C. Panorama Mountain Resort is a ski and golf destination. It is known for its rolling cliffs and spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains.

#10 Red Mountain Resort

  • Elevation: 2,072 meters
  • Vertical: 887 meters
  • # of Runs: 110
  • Annual Snowfall: 7.5 meters
  • Ski Season: Mid-December to Early-April

Found in Rossland, a former gold mining town, RED Mountain Resort dates back to the early 1900s. It has a reputation for dry light powder with three lift accessible mountain summits Red Mountain, Granite Mountain and Grey Mountain. The fourth peak, Mt. Kirkup is in-bounds cat ski accessible.

#11 Mont Tremblant

  • Elevation: 875 meters
  • Vertical: 645 meters
  • # of Runs: 102
  • Annual Snowfall: 4.5 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-November to Late-April

Located in Eastern Canada, Mont Tremblant Ski Resort is the epitome east coast skiing. This resorts is a year round outdoor destination. Named by the indigenous Algonquin people as the trembling mountain, it is one of the tallest peaks in the Laurentians.

Asia

What is the Best Ski Resort in Japan?

Best Ski Resorts in the World - Best Ski Resorts in Japan
What is the Best Ski Resort in Japan?

When it comes to skiing, Japan’s world-renowned powder snow is some of the best in the world. For many the land of the rising sun is the ultimate ski destination with a unique cultural experience and snow that can’t be beat.

The best ski resorts in Japan offer a variety of terrain for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Niseko United, located on the island of Hokkaido, is one of the most popular resort areas in Japan. It is known for its abundant powder snow and top-notch facilities. Hakuba Valley, located in the Japanese Alps, is another popular resort area with over 10 different ski areas

Here are the 11 best ski resorts in Japan:

#1 Niseko United

  • Elevation: 1,188 meters
  • Vertical: 933 meters
  • # of Runs: 61
  • Annual Snowfall: 15 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-November to Early-May

Niseko United, consisting of the 4 resorts – Annupuri, ​Grand Hirafu, ​Hanazono and ​Niseko Village, is a world-renowned ski destination in Japan. Known for its abundant powder snow and top-notch facilities, it is located on the island of Hokkaido. It offers a variety of terrain for all levels of skiers and snowboarders.

#2 Hakuba

  • Elevation: 1,831 meters
  • Vertical: 1,071 meters
  • # of Runs: 200+
  • Annual Snowfall: 11 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-November to Early-May

Hakuba Valley is home to 10 resorts and 135 lifts with 960 hectares of skiable terrain. It is known for its great backcountry skiing (bring your avy bag and beacon) and variety of slopes that are perfect for beginners to advanced levels. There are many lessons and guiding options available through traditional Japanese ski schools and International ski schools.

#3 Rusutsu

  • Elevation: 994 meters
  • Vertical: 594 meters
  • # of Runs: 37
  • Annual Snowfall: 13 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-November to Early-April

Rusutsu Resort is the largest resort in Hokkaidō, Japan, operated by Kamori Kankō (as an individual ski area). The resort is famous for its ski slopes but also offers year-round attractions including an amusement park and golf courses. Rusutsu Resort was the first Japanese ski resort to be awarded Best Small Resort by The Great Skiing & Snow

#4 Nozawa Onsen

  • Elevation: 1,650 meters
  • Vertical: 1,085 meters
  • # of Runs: 36
  • Annual Snowfall: 12 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-November to Early-April

Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort is a large ski area located in Nozawaonsen, Nagano, Japan that opened over seventy years ago. The resort spans across three main areas and the southern part of the resort was used for biathlon competitions at the 1998 Winter Olympics. Nozawa Onsen Village is located at the foot of the ski resort.

#5 Furano

  • Elevation: 1,209 meters
  • Vertical: 964 meters
  • # of Runs: 23
  • Annual Snowfall: 9 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-November to Early-April

Furano Ski Resort is one of the most popular ski areas in Japan, located in Furano, Hokkaido. The resort offers a variety of terrain for all levels of skiers and snowboarders and is known for its great powder snow. There are 23 runs and 9 lifts at the resort.

#6 Shiga Kogen

  • Elevation: 1,737 meters
  • Vertical: 1,164 meters
  • # of Runs: 52
  • Annual Snowfall: 11 meters
  • Ski Season: Late-November to Early-May

Shiga Kogen is a group of 21 interconnected ski areas and the largest ski resort in Japan. Located in the Nagano Prefecture, it is a popular destination for both Japanese and foreign skiers and snowboarders. The resort is also home to the highest mountain in Japan, Mt. Ontake.

#7 Sahoro

  • Elevation: 1,030 meters
  • Vertical: 610 meters
  • # of Runs: 21
  • Annual Snowfall: 8.7m
  • Ski Season: Late-December to Late-March

Sahoro Ski Resort is a family-friendly ski resort located in Tomamu, Hokkaido. The resort offers a variety of terrain for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. There are 21 runs and 8 lifts at the resort.

FAQ

What is the number 1 ski resort in the US?

The number 1 ski resort in the U.S. is Vail Ski Resort.

How did we do?

Let us know what you think of our list in the comments. If we missed a resort that you think should be on the list, comment below and tell us why you think your resort deserves to be on the list.

If we haven’t added your part of the world yet, don’t worry we are working hard to add more to our list every day.

See you on the slopes!!

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