Skiing in the USA
A skiing or snowboarding holiday to the USA is everything you have dreamed of and, once bitten, you will not go anywhere else. From the ski resorts of the Sierra Nevada in California where pistes have views over the desert, to the cowboy towns of Colorado and Wyoming, to the ski resorts with pretty clapboard towns in the wooded hills of New England.... a trip in the USA has so much variety and offers not just a skiing holiday but an 'all American experience'.
The key highlights of skiing in the USA are the English-speaking ski instructors, the great variety of quality accommodation and of course the snow! With snowfall totals in the Western resorts averaging between 350 and 500 inches annually, this far surpasses that of European ski resorts, earning their fantastic reputation for powder and perfectly groomed trails (pistes). The variety of terrain within each area is extremely diverse and as the tree line is much higher in the USA, this avoids the "white out" conditions when it's snowing.
USA ski resorts
The compact nature of the ski resorts offers families a perfect holiday when ease of access to the slopes, ski school and resort amenities are more of a priority, but as a general rule you will find the more central the accommodation, the more of a premium price you will pay.
Unlike Europe which has large 'interconnecting ski areas', the USA has clusters of ski resorts in a relatively small area which are easily accessed by shuttle services. Alternatively, to really give yourself maximum flexibility, we highly recommend hiring a car. Often several resorts within an area are included on one lift pass ticket (see below) and are only a 20 - 45 minute distance from each other, mainly along the interstate, so no treacherous, winding mountain roads.
Each resort within an area will offer an unique skiing experience. Most customers will want to base themselves in one resort and explore the area from there, but we can easily put together tailor-made, multi-resort holidays (a Ski Safari) which are particularly good for linking together some of the more charismatic and isolated resorts, such as Jackson Hole or Steamboat. The more adventurous you want to be, the more you will get out of your holiday, however there are certain tips to do this without destroying your budget. This is where our expertise and first hand resort knowledge really can help. If it is your first time to the USA or you want some inspiration for your next trip, please give James or Caroline a call on 01273 224 060.
To make the most of your time in the USA we do suggest taking at least a 7 night ski trip to New England (East Coast) or 10 nights in the Western Resorts. This not only allows you to get over the longer journey, jet lag and some altitude effects, but enables you to take a day off when you feel tired or to do one of the many non-ski activities such as snowmobiling or dog-sledding. Please remember a lot of the accommodations offer long stay incentives, such as 3 free nights on a 10 night stay, so you can often find it as cheap to stay 10 nights as the regular 7 nights.
There are also lots of opportunities to tag on a city stay, which are not necessarily expensive and add a completely unique flavour to the trip – such as New York, Boston, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles, click the 'City Add-Ons' box on the right for further details.
Multi-resort lift passes
Colorado – 'The Colorado Ticket' is incredibly good value for money and covers the resorts of Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail, Beaver Creek and Arapahoe Basin. Winter Park, Copper Mountain and Steamboat are now all available on the 'Rocky Mountain ski pass'.
– there are 3 huge resorts on 'The Three Resort International Lift Pass' in the one valley and 'The Salt Lake Super Pass' then includes 4 awesome mountains in the other canyons, only 45 minutes away.
– the 'Ski Lake Tahoe Passport' covers 7 very unique ski resorts dotted around the spectacular lake.
All of these can be pre-booked online through Ski Safari, and offer substantial savings on in-resort prices.