6 places you didn’t know you could ski

Note: All travel is subject to frequently changing government restrictions; please check federal, state and local advisories before planning trips. Ski resort operations may vary. Check before you go out.

When most people think of skiing or snowboarding in the United States, large mountain resorts probably come to mind. Popular spots like Aspen, Park City, and Jackson Hole often have great views of the peaks, a huge amount of different trails, scenic gondolas or trams, and plenty of mountain dining options. However, there are less obvious places to ski that offer less crowded slopes, better bang for your buck and, in some cases, pure novelty. Some don’t even require cold weather. Here are a few worth checking out.

CONNECTED10 national parks that will amaze you in winter

Badger Pass Ski Area. Yosemite National Park, CA

Image courtesy of Yosemite.com

Did you know you can actually ski inside a national park? Yosemite offers a family-friendly ski resort with beginner-friendly terrain. There are only 10 runs and five chairlifts, but that’s enough for fun on the slopes. Badger Pass Ski Area opened in 1928, making it the oldest ski area in California. Beginners pay $5 for a lift on the bottom lifts, which is a great option for younger kids.

Where to stay?Cozy and rustic, Yosemite Valley Lodge is located in Yosemite National Park and near the ski resort.

Lee Canyon Ski and Snowboard Resort. Las Vegas

Photo courtesy of Lee Canyon Ski and Snowboard Resort

Skate by day and play slots by night. Lee Canyon Ski and Snowboard Resort offers hiking fun just an hour from Las Vegas, meaning you can quickly travel from the desert floor to the snow-capped mountains at 8,600 feet. Live in the area? Locals get a discount on lift tickets.

Where to stay?: Retreat at Charleston Peak A luxury boutique hotel with 63 rooms approximately 20 minutes from the resort.

Big SNOW American dream. East Rutherford, NJ

Image: Big SNOW American Dream

Hit the slopes just 20 minutes from the Empire State Building. At Big Snow American Dream indoor ski hill, every day is a ski day. If you’re looking for a fun activity no matter the season or to work on improving your skiing or snowboarding skills before hitting the great outdoors, Big Snow offers a beautiful alternative to the real thing. For a change of pace, try renting a Sno-Go bike and biking the slopes instead. Big Snow is scheduled to reopen in early 2022.

Where to stay?The Hilton Meadowlands is within walking distance of Big SNOW and features laundry facilities, dining, a fitness center and an executive lounge.

Buck Hill. Burnsville, MN

Image courtesy of Buck Hill

In Minnesota, one of the coldest states, you don’t actually need real snow to ski. At Buck Hill (25 minutes south of Minneapolis), Mother Nature provides snow in the colder months, but the resort blows in man-made snow to cover the missing runs. In spring and summer, the fun on the slopes continues with a dry run made with Neveplast artificial snow turf.

Where to stay?The Best Western Premiere Nicollet Inn is located near the resort and the Mall of America, offering amenities such as an indoor pool, Jacuzzi tubs, game room and farm-to-table dining.

Arizona Snowbowl. Flagstaff, AZ

Image courtesy of Arizona Snowbowl

Yes, it snows in Arizona. With 55 runs, three terrain parks and eight chairlifts, Arizona Snowbowl offers plenty of terrain for all ability levels. Just 35 minutes north of Flagstaff, it’s a great place to take the family, especially since kids 12 and under ski for free and the resort offers free “snow experience” lessons for ages 13 and up.

Where to stay?Basecamp at Snowbowl offers charming accommodations in cabins with gas stoves, just minutes from the resort.

Maunakea. Big Island, HI

Image © LeighHilbert

In the Aloha State, you can be both a ski bum and a beach bum in the same day. Although there are no ski lifts on Mauna Kea Volcano, it can snow. There is no resort, transportation, facilities, or emergency services, and above 13,000 feet, the weather can be unpredictable. However, if you’re on the Big Island, have ski or snowboard gear, and a 4-wheel drive truck, you can try and be one of the few who can say they’ve skied in Hawaii.

Where to stay? Beachfront Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa offers luxurious accommodations with superior amenities.

Tagged: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Midwest, Minnesota

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