By David Schissler

(November 2013) I’ve always enjoyed the Annual Ski Magazine Resort Rankings. It’s been sort of a “bucket list” of places to ski before the term ever existed. In recent years many other publications have come out with competitive ranking systems of their own but I prefer to stick with the Ski magazine list. It’s been around the longest and I’ve actually participated in the annual survey. I can tell you from experience, the questionnaire is extensive and the categories broad. It’s more likely to elevate a resort for its skiing than its restaurants!

A few years back Ski integrated the list. There was no “West” or “East” list, it was the top 50, period. I liked it that way because it really showed how resorts compared on a national or even continental basis with the Canadian resorts represented. Sure, most of the top spots were still taken by the giant resorts out west but it demonstrated how the “Killingtons” and “Stowes” matched up.

This is still a subjective exercise, but a very good guideline of places you should consider experiencing. It’s a moving target, but an excellent indication of where you’ll find the best snow, the best lifts, the best terrain, the best scenery, and yes of course, the places to eat. I have only 10 resorts left to ski on the list (some are new to the list and some standards fell off!) and I try to get to one every year or two. To see how these areas stack up against each please visit our Directory or use our links for more info about any of the areas.

Top 30 Ski Resorts in the West The Top 20 Ski Resorts in the East
1. Jackson Hole, WY
2. Deer Valley, UT
3. Vail, CO
4. Sun Valley, ID
5. Park City, UT
6. Whistler, BC
7. Tellluride, CO
8. Steamboat, CO
9. Snowmass, CO
10. Canyons, UT
11. Beaver Creek, CO
12. Big Sky, MT
13. Aspen Mountain, CO
14. Mammoth Mtn, CO
15. Crested Butte, CO
16. Breckenridge, CO
17. Snowbird, UT 17.
18. Winter Park, CO
19. Taos Ski Valley, NM
20. Aspen Highlands, CO
21. Whitefish, MT
22. Heavenly, CA
23. Keystone, CO
24. Squaw Valley, CA
25. Northstar, CA
26. Copper Mtn, CO
27. Alta, UT
28. Solitude, UT
29. Snowbasin, UT
30. Brighton, UT
1. Smuggler’s Notch, VT
2. Sugarloaf, ME
3. Jay Peak, VT
4. Tremblant, QC
5. Holiday Valley, NY
6. Stowe, VT
7. Sugarbush, VT
8. Killington, VT
9. Bretton Woods, NH
10. Whiteface, NY
11. Sunday River, ME
12. Loon Mountain, NH
13. Okemo, VT
14. Saddleback, ME
15. Stratton, VT
16. Mount Snow, VT
17. Cannon Mtn, NH
18. Waterville Vly, NH
19. Gore Mtn, NY
20. Wildcat Mtn, NH


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