Breckenridge ski
The Rockies - Been there

For some of the best skiing in the world, head to the Rocky Mountains

Photo by breckenridge.com

The Rockies - Been there For some of the best skiing in the world, head to the Rocky Mountains

The Rockies are synonymous with stoke-worthy skiing but with so many resort options it can be tricky to pin down the spot that will be just right for your needs.

Bailey Gaddis
Bailey Gaddis

The following resorts offer a bevy of amenities; whatever kind of traveler you are, you're certain to be pleased.

1.Jackson Hole Mountain Ski Resort

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Down the slopes at Jackson Hole. Photo by Website / jacksonhole.com

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Down the slopes at Jackson Hole.

Known for its extreme terrain and a few runs that require avalanche safety equipment, Jackson Hole is best left to the experts. A favorite for those who go hard is the heli-ski tour – what’s more extreme than dropping from a helicopter onto an epically steep slope?

If you prefer to leave the intense snow sliding to others, the overwhelming beauty of this rustic wonderland makes it a prime locale for sitting fireside with a hot cup of something tasty, while you take in the majesty of the American West.

Sleep: Spring Creek Ranch. Located on a wildlife sanctuary and towering 1,000 feet over the town of Jackson, these luxury accommodations will allow your ears to enjoy a symphony of howling coyotes and elks practicing their mating call, while your eyes feast on unbeatable views of the Teton Mountain Range.

Plus, the limitless blue skies and Wilderness Adventure Spa, which offers unique goodies like High Altitude Facials and Soul Readings, ensure your mind, body, and spirit leave refreshed.

Eat: Mangy Moose. This cavernous steakhouse offers location-appropriate hearty options, like elk burgers, prime rib, and brisket. The “Moose” also hosts live music and is a fave après ski bar for locals.

Explore: Tour the National Elf Refuge by horse-drawn sleigh. Sit back, cozy up, and get your camera ready as a horse pulls your sleigh through snowy terrain dotted with thousands of elk. These rides are generally available from mid-December through early April and allow you to fully immerse yourself in the Wyoming wilderness.

2. Breckenridge

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The view isn't bad. Photo by Website / breckenridge.com

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The view isn't bad.

The “something for everyone” Breckenridge resort features 34 lifts, 187 trails, and five peaks, creating a winter playland for a beginner, intermediate, and expert skier alike.

The upper reaches of this resort is best left to the daredevils but as you travel down the mountain the runs mellow out, offering cruisy fun for those who would like a lower dose of snow-fueled adrenaline.

And, Breck didn’t forget the snowboarding and freestyle skiing crews, who can entertain themselves on the superpipe and four terrain parks.

Sleep: Grand Timber Lodge. Skip the shuffling of stuff from room to car, to lift by posting up in this ski-in/ski-out resort that sits next to Breck’s Snowflake Lift.

The range of rooms, from studios to three-bedroom condos, makes this lodge a match for couples on a romantic sojourn, or families looking to engage in some quality bonding between slope sessions.

To top off the goodness, Grand Timber Lodge has a Sustainable Stays program in hopes of leaving the smallest possible footprint on the surrounding alpine environment.

Eat: Relish. While in Colorado, you might as well eat fare that’s inspired by Colorado. The innovative menu at Relish changes seasonally and is an ideal spot for a foodie’s big night out.

Must-try dishes include the sake seared bay scallops, pecan crusted ruby red trout, and the grain mustard braised Berkshire pork shank. Don’t forget to end your meal with the Baked Alaska – you deserve it.

Explore: Snowmobile Tours. These motorized tours are one of the best ways to explore the heart of Colorado while receiving a few jolts of adrenaline along the way. In addition to the winter thrills, you’ll receive insider info on the Rockies from your knowledgeable guide.

3.Park City

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Park City by night. Photo by Website / forbes.com

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Park City by night.

If you want plenty of space to roam you’ll likely jive with the country’s largest ski resort.

With a shocking 7,300 acres of terrain, a 3,200 vertical drop, 300 runs, and 38 lifts you’ll want to pre-plan your day so you can spend your time shredding instead of map-pondering. And, the seven terrain parks make Park City a frozen amusement park for freestylers.

Sleep: Marriott’s Summit Watch. With villas offering the convenience of a kitchen, the coziness of a fireplace, and the ease or direct access to downtown Park City, Summit Watch is an ideal option for families.

Speaking of convenience, the hotel offers a ski valet and is located across the street from Town Lift.

Eat: Riverhorse on Main. This eatery is one of the oldest and highest acclaimed restaurants in Park City and is only 0.2 miles from Marriott’s Summit Watch.

Try the macadamia nut crusted Alaskan halibut, Durham Ranch slow-roasted buffalo short rib, and the trio of wild game. Don’t forget to pack some fancy-ish duds as the classy ambiance of this establishment gives you a good excuse to dress up for dinner.

Explore: Tubing at Gorgoza Park. Enjoy the ease of a lift that transports you and your tube to the top of the seven tube lanes, including smaller beginner lanes for the little ones, then enjoy the thrill of zooming down a groomed lane. And, for your mini-adventure-junkies, Gorgoza Park offers mini-snowmobile rides.

4. Ski Santa Fe

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On the slopes at Santa Fe. Photo by Website / skisantafe.com

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On the slopes at Santa Fe.

Soak in the spiritual vibes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains as you carve a line down one of Ski Santa Fe’s 83 trails (20% easy, 40% intermediate, and 40% expert.) For killer views of the surrounding mountains and high desert terrain hop on the Tesuque Peak Triple Chair or the Millennium Triple Chair.

Sleep: La Fonda on the Plaza. A classic Santa Fe hotel with a rich history, the La Fonda is a must-stay for those who want to immerse themselves in the local culture. The hotel’s prime location on the Plaza allows guests to easily access many of Santa Fe’s best restaurants, galleries, and shops without ever having to get in their car.

Eat: Plaza Café. A fun staff, retro ambiance, and authentic New Mexican cuisine has made the Plaza Café, one of the oldest restaurants in Santa Fe, a famous stop for many food-enthusiasts. If you want to explore favorite New Mexican flavors, try the cashew mole enchiladas, tortilla soup, or stuffed sopaipilla.

ExploreTen Thousand Waves. Can you guess what the ideal activity is after a long day of skiing? If your answer is “soaking in an outdoor hot tube inspired by Japanese hot springs,” then you’re correct. Ten Thousand Waves offers communal tubs, or spa suites that include hot tubs, cold plunges, saunas, lounging decks, changing rooms, and showers. If you want to amp up the relaxation, book a massage or an Ashi Anma foot treatment.

5. Sun Valley

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Sun Valley athlete Tamara Harrison snowboarding on Bald Mountain during one of Sun Valley's famous bluebird days. Photo by Website / sunvalley.com

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Sun Valley athlete Tamara Harrison snowboarding on Bald Mountain during one of Sun Valley's famous bluebird days.

The sparse lift lines, and stellar grooming and snowmaking technologies, make the remote location of Sun Valley well worth the extra travel time.

If you’re a lover of the winter holidays Sun Valley is your kind of place; with activities like “Magic in the Mountains” winter stroll and scavenger hunt, an open-air holiday market, tree lighting ceremony, and annual Classic Christmas concert this spot gives Santa’s Village a run for its money.

Sleep: Sun Valley Lodge.

Renowned as the country’s first destination ski lodge, the 80-year-old lodge was recently renovated, and now exudes contemporary yet cozy vibes.

For those that have high spa-standards, the 20,000 square foot spa does not disappoint with location-appropriate treatments like the Mountain Man Facial, Purifying Mountain Herbal Ritual, and Alpine Arnica Soothing Soak.

EatEnoteca. Small plates, which include bite size goodies like baked bacon wrapped dates, artisanal cheese boards, and Anne’s mac and cheese, and bigger small plates, like Idaho trout, duck confit, and pork osso bucco, make Enoteca a bit frustrating, in the best way possible, because you have so much tastiness to choose from. Oh, and the chocolate budino is a major “yes, please!”

Explore: Sun Valley Outdoor Ice Rink. For those that prefer their winter sports on skates instead of skis, Sun Valley’s year-round ice rink is waiting for you. Be ready to focus when your skates hit the ice as the awesome presence of the mountains towering over the rink are hard to ignore.

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Check out more writing from Bailey Gaddis on her website. 

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