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We left Salt Lake City to visit Wolf Creek in February, excited to see how Colorado’s best snow stacks up against Utah’s self-proclaimed “best snow on Earth”.
While there we got to ask the locals and visitors what they liked about Wolf Creek. Some people mentioned the super-chill small town atmosphere. Mentions of the hot springs in nearby Pagosa Springs were unavoidable. But, one thing was universal: Wolf Creek’s 465 annual inches of snow, which is the largest annual snowfal of any hill in Colorado.
Who wouldn’t love that?
Telluride is a town named after a rare exotic metal that became a rare — and in it’s own way exotic — destination.
Telluride has been a mythical place for me ever since I heard about it in the ski movies that my family watched each year in the weeks leading up to opening day. Narrators always spoke about Telluride with deep reverence. It was a legend.
When I finally visited in 2013 the resort it lived up to my ideas about it as a young boy. Pretty much every house in Telluride is a ski-in ski-out if you’re willing to walk a few blocks in your boots. Tourism development has been kept largely separate from the old mining town itself, helping to maintain it’s old mountain town charm. The mountains are as epic as any I’ve seen.
When we visited we asked the locals how they felt about it. This is what they told us.
Do you think Telluride could be the best ski resort in the USA?
Crested Butte was a great surprise for me on this tour. I had heard little about the mountain before we arrived. When I opened up a map of the hill at the hotel desk I was pleasantly surprised by the swaths of black and double-black diamond runs blanket the north face of the mountain.
I was also very stoked about the small ski-town charm. Crested Butte is a perfect example of a small ski town, just like the one I grew up in. Authenticity like that can’t be bought or replicated. Those were all things that the locals told us they loved.
What do you think? Could Crested Butte be the best ski resort in the USA?
It was a serious powder day when we interviewed skiers and snowboarders at Sugar Bowl. Surprisingly, when we asked them what they liked about the resort, nobody even mentioned the snow (though it was fantastic).
Everybody did, however, mention the friendly atmosphere. A lot of people also liked the terrain.
I thought the terrain was magnificent.
Have you ever been to Sugar Bowl? Do you think it could be the Best in the West?
We asked interviewed locals and visitors as Squaw Valley to find out what they think about the mountain.
A lot of people talked about the big mountain terrain, exposed cliffs, and steep pitches. There were several mentions of the terrain park (which is pretty epic) and the chill vibe of the community.
We kind of expected those answers, but there was one surprise as well. Squaw Valley recently purchased the neighboring Alpine Meadows (the duo is referred to as ‘Squawpine’ by some), a mountain loved by locals. We learned that when Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are eventually joined by a lift (efforts are underway) ‘Squawpine’ will be the biggest ski resort in the country combining hardcore skiers love of Squaw’s extreme terrain with the homey atmosphere and awesome backcountry of Alpine Meadows.
What do you think? Is Squaw Valley the best ski area in the USA?
We interviewed a bunch of skiers and snowboarders at Grand Targhee to find out why they keep coming back year after year.
As you’ll see in the video. The snow is good– very good. And deep. And consistent. Did I mention that it’s deep?
They also appreciated the value they got for their dollar there, and the music scene on the hill is said to be amazing!
(Although Grand Targhee’s lift tickets are inexpensive, you can find them even cheaper here).
Grand Targhee has some of best snow in the United States (perhaps even THE best). That, combined with the excellent value of the resort make it a good contender for a top spot in Best in the West.