Five Old-School Ski Resorts You'll Fall in Love With - Page 2
|Freshly groomed snow, Alta Ski Area, Utah (Alta Ski Area)|
Alta Ski Area (near Salt Lake City, Utah)
Alta is a true skier's paradise. Snowboarders are not allowed on the slopes here, and they'll probably never get the green light. (In fact, only Alta and Deer Valley in Utah and Vermont's Mad River Glen still ban boards.) This is a good thing, unless you're a snowboarder: Alta is one of those mountains that seems simply made for skiing, with a nice variety of terrain for everybody. You’ll have your choice of plenty of steep and deep runs, evidenced by a vertical drop just over 2,000 feet and an average annual snowfall of 560 inches. A number of classic ski lodges are at the resort's base, but downtown Salt Lake City is less than 30 miles away. You can save by staying in a motel or hotel in town and taking a ski shuttle to Alta; it could even make renting a car unnecessary.
Taos Ski Valley (near Taos, New Mexico)
This is where the weeklong ski vacation was perfected, and a seven-day getaway is still the best way to experience Taos Ski Valley. The late founder, Ernie Blake, is a legend for his hands-on approach, and his legacy continues to shine on today—largely because Taos remains one of the few family-run resorts in the ski universe. The hike-to terrain is some of the best in the West, including easily accessible steep chutes off of West Basin Ridge, as well as the resort's summit atop Kachina Peak. If you summit the peak, you'll be looking down at a staggering 3,274 feet of vertical drop. Nearly half of the 113 runs are relatively gentle greens and blues, so beginners and intermediates need not shy away from a Taos getaway.
Mad River Glen (near Waitsfield, Vermont)
Founded in 1948, Mad River Glen is one of Vermont's most-loved ski areas, and with good reason. Like Alta, Mad River Glen has a no-snowboarding policy, and like Monarch, all of its runs converge on a single base area. Nearly half of the runs here are rated black for experts, like Paradise and Gazelle, but Mad River Glen also delivers a nice variety of beginner- and intermediate-friendly routes, including Antelope, a two-mile-long cruiser off the top of the only single chairlift still running in the United States. While there is no lodging at the base area, numerous options are within 10 miles, and many of them partner with the resort to offer ski-and-stay packages.