Telluride offers some of the best skiing in the West and, possibly, even in all of North America. There is almost never a line for the lifts (except sometimes at the main lift, but only during the holiday season). Telluride is located in southwestern Colorado, which is warmer than many ski resorts. This setting makes it a great place to take the kids skiing—after all, if the kids aren’t complaining about the cold, everyone has a better time.
The best place in town to go after you’ve spent the day skiing is the X-Café , which is in the Camel’s Garden Hotel near Lift 8. X-Café serves excellent beer and coffee, and it is a great place to eat lunch.
Mammoth MountainMammoth Mountain’s incredible scenery and 300-plus days of sun each year make it one of California’s best ski resorts for groups. Mammoth Lakes is a small community of only 7,500 people. It is located only five hours from Los Angeles and three hours from Lake Tahoe, just far enough from the big cities that it doesn’t get as much tourist traffic as other resorts. Also, Mammoth has garnered a great deal of praise from Snowboard and Freeskier magazines for its meticulously groomed terrain.
Sun ValleySun Valley is located in the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho. Established in 1936, it was the first ski resort in North America. At one time or another, Sun Valley has been called home by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ernest Hemingway, and many other notable figures.
Sun Valley Resort’s two mountains have two distinct personalities. Bald Mountain towers 3,400 feet over the Wood River Valley and boasts the best-manicured terrain in the West. "Baldy," as it is known locally, is said to have the best skiing and snowboarding to be found anywhere.
Dollar Mountain is a great place for novices to learn, with plenty of space in which to acquire basic skills. Furthermore, Dollar Mountain offers a friendly staff of teachers to instruct kids (or adults) in how to get the most out of their ski trip.
Big SkyBig Sky in Montana is well-named, as all of Montana is deservedly known as “Big Sky Country.” Big Sky’s three mountains get 400 inches of snowfall annually, and lift lines are nearly non-existent. Big Sky is only an hour away from Bozeman's airport, it is one of America’s best-kept skiing secrets, and it is among the best ski resorts for groups to be found in the Northwest.
SugarbushSugarbush is located about forty-five miles southeast of Burlington, Vermont. It has 508 skiable acres and 111 trails for intermediate skiers, although there are many places for beginners and advanced skiers, as well. There are six peaks on two mountains: Mount Ellen and Lincoln .
Mount Ellen has a slightly higher elevation (4,083 feet) and offers spectacular views. It’s mostly for intermediate and advanced skiers, while beginners should stick to the Green Mountain Express .