Looking for fresh tracks in untouched powder five days after the last storm?
Sick of standing in lift-lines for half your visit?
Ready to apres with the locals and get the inside scoop on, well, everything?
How about free parking, affordable tickets, rentals and lessons?
If any of these things sound like your ideal vacation, take a break from the mega-resorts and check out some authentic, local and unique smaller ski areas in Utah and Colorado. Here are four incredible hills that will satisfy your craving for that fresh, undiscovered powder and offer a few unique amenities of their own.
1. Sunlight Mountain, Glenwood Springs, CO
This quirky little gem is a great place to start. An hour north of Aspen and west of Vail, Sunlight Mountain will let you ditch the crowds but swim in the powder on 67 trails. The mountain is bowl-shaped, meaning no one gets lost! You and your whole crew will find their way to the same bar (there’s only one) without any time wasted traversing after a wrong turn. Another added bonus is a little something known as the world’s largest hot springs just a few minutes away in a town with great lodging and a lingering taste of the “Old West”.
2. Arapahoe Basin, near Breckenridge, CO
Arapahoe Basin (A-Basin to natives) offers 960 skiable acres and is famous for the gnarly drops in the backside, called Montezuma Bowl. With a convenient, free parking lot and short lines, A-Basin is a great hill for the adventurous in the family as well as anyone looking to cruise some beautiful groomers or play in the park.
3. Beaver Mountain Ski Area, near Logan, UT
Big on personality and black diamond runs, Beaver Mountain Ski Area invites you to “Ski the Beav”! Family owned and operated since 1938, Beaver Mountain offers one the most affordable lift tickets in Utah. It has the delicious off-the-beaten-track feel for those tired of elbowing the crowds in Canyons or Snowbird, and the little town of Bear Lake is family-friendly. Or, you could decide to rent the mountainside yurt for a unique ski-in/ski-out experience.
4. Sundance Mountain Resort, Sundance, UT
Founded by Robert Redford in 1969, Sundance Mountain Resort has to make the list. Apart from incredible luxuries and amenities such as rustic-modern lodging and the Foundry Grill, visitors can take part in night skiing, and even winter zip-lining. They have an incredible ski school, and are ready to accommodate anyone ready to hit the slopes in style.
Small ski areas have so much to offer and bring personality, flair and unique opportunities to anyone ready to get off the beaten track. If you are considering a trip to the lesser-known parts, browse our site and take advantage of the discounts to help you save on mountain transportation, equipment rentals and even lift tickets in some areas.