Winter Wonderlands: North America's Top Ten Ski Resorts

Sun Valley, Taos, and Snowbird

Sun Valley
Sun Valley, Idaho (208.622.2183. has undergone some dramatic improvements. Several high-speed lifts have been added, new resort lodges have been constructed, and the snowmaking system has been upgraded. Despite the facelift, the resort still doesn't attract huge crowds—could it be the remote location?—but that just means there's more for anyone who manages to make it here. Experts spend their time skiing Mount Baldy—a towering slope with nearly 3.500 feet of steep, vertical terrain.

Taos Ski Valley
Thanks to its southern latitude, Taos, New Mexico (800.776.1111. offers a great combination of fair weather and light, dry powder to complement its steep terrain. The site's base elevation—more than 9,000 feet—puts the entire ski area above the tree line. The majority of runs are designated "Expert," prompting top skiers to give Taos high marks for callenging terrain and open cruising.
Boasting the most vertical feet in the state—and with nearly half its terrain designated "Advanced" or "Expert"—Snowbird, Utah (800.453.3000. is a place where aggressive skiers can really rack up the mileage. The site's sheer variety—an array of steeps, bumps, tree skiing, and wide-open filds full of Utah's legendary light powder—also banishes boredom. Easy access from Salt Lake City and the extended skiing season round out the qualities that make Snowbird a top choice.

Paul McMenamin is the author, editor, and photo director of the original Ultimate Adventure Sourcebook.

Published: 20 Aug 2001 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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