Best Ski Resorts in the West

jacksonholeWhen you think of ski resorts, what flashes through your mind? Perhaps you see gorgeous powder, freshly fallen and ready for fun. Maybe you see the less accessed trails on high mountain slopes and hear them calling your name. Then again, by chance you might be thinking more of the lodge and the delightful amenities that are found inside – like food, warmth, and a back massage.
While all of the above sound fantastic, you might also have pictured the other side of the coin. Memories of prior ski trips could have surfaced with long lines, backed up lifts, and poor service in the lodge. That trip could have been riddled with excess people – ruining your alone time and causing your vacation to be full of less than fun.
The trick to finding a good ski resort is location. Taking a trip to the slopes in the mountains around Salt Lake City may sound like a good idea, but think of the area. It is full of college kids (several colleges are nearby) who buy season passes and hit the slopes on their free time as much as possible. Then you have the out of town people lured in by a major airport and the nearby big city. Add yourself in as the final ingredient and you’ve got a recipe for a long vacation – and not in the good way.
Instead of the big SLC or a hot spot foreign slope stop, imagine booking a stay in one of the Jackson Hole hotels. You’ll find yourself in nearly the middle of nowhere, but with amenities. In other words, subtract the oversized crowds and college ski bums, add in a little frontier atmosphere and you’ve got a true get away.
Places like Jackson Hole have the advantage of being away from major cities (in truth Jackson Hole isn’t a city at all, more like an area with some towns involved) and catering exclusively to tourism. They feature great local restaurants, bars, and of course lodges. The mountain ranges around Jackson Hole have a number of resorts with both proximity and distance from the towns among their assets. With miles of slopes and a little less crowding you’ll find that a small town feel is the right way to go for a good ski run.
Remember, you’re looking for a good time, not a constant fight through lines. Put in the effort to find the smaller, but well put together, resorts and you’ll be living the dream vacation you’ve been waiting for. Just don’t forget the skiis.

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