People who love to ski also love to do it early in the season if they can. The perfect holiday for these folks is a Christmas ski destination vacation but only if the snow is great that early. I’ve researched the best Christmas ski destinations in North America for all the snow lovers out there!
According to Z Rankings, Alta Ski Area is number one for reliably early snow. In most years, 95% of the trails are open by Christmas. Not only that but Alta is absolutely gorgeous with its picture-perfect ski runs and majestic mountains.
Located at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon area of Utah, Alta’s base elevation is at 8600 feet which helps when it comes to early snow totals. One thing to keep in mind is that there is no snowboarding allowed at Alta. Another thing is that there’s not much of a mountain town at Alta. So if you’re looking for the whole Christmas town experience, you probably want to look at other areas. A point in Alta’s favor though is that it’s only 30 minutes away from Salt Lake City International Airport. Click here for more information about Alta and lodging options there.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
This is one of my favorite ski resorts and town at any time of the ski season! But at Christmas, there is great snow of the powder variety and lots of it. Z Rankings rates it number two for Christmas snow with typically 93% of the terrain open by then.
Snowboarders are welcome here. According to my son, Steamboat has awesome terrain for snowboarding! There are other activities available too such as snowmobiling, sleigh ride dinners, and soaking in the local hot springs.
Steamboat is easily accessed by flying directly into Steamboat/Hayden Airport AND it has an amazing town experience to go with your skiing. Steamboat Springs, a true western mountain town, boasts delectable dining experiences in its many restaurants and lodging is available both on the mountain and in town. Bonus points for the free shuttle between the mountain village and town. Christmas in Steamboat is an all-around amazing place to be! Click here for more information and lodging ideas.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole is easy to get to with its airport 30 minutes away from the resort village and with its 82% of terrain open on Christmas, it’s one of the best places to spend your holiday.
If you’ve ever been to Jackson Hole, you know the skiing is terrific and the mountain village provides all you need in the way of restaurants and lodging availability.
The town of Jackson is fifteen minutes away from the mountain resort so that’s important to know if you like a town close by. While the bus to and from town isn’t free, it is cheap and it eliminates having to drive the two-lane road and find parking. Shopping and dining in Jackson is a wonderful experience so don’t let the distance deter you from spending time there. Click here for more information on the area and lodging.
Winter Park, Colorado
Winter Park is on my list of the best Christmas ski destinations over others that might have more terrain open due to its easy access location. You can fly into Denver International Airport and be at the resort in a matter of a couple of hours. Bonus points for not having to go through the Eisenhower Tunnel which can be hazardous driving in winter.
This resort averages 77% open on Christmas according to Z rankings. While the towns close by are less than exciting, they do provide some great restaurants! The mountain resort is cozy and has ice skating right in the village.
Other activities available nearby are stellar snowmobiling and nordic skiing/snowshoeing. The latter activities are available at Snow Mountain Ranch about 15 miles from Winter Park Resort. There are MILES of trails and beginners are welcome! Click here for more information on Winter Park and lodging.
Whistler-Blackcomb, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Our only Canadian resort on the list, Whistler-Blackcomb is a mammoth resort area that gathers in early snow from the Pacific winter storms that feed it. Z rankings note that it is 86% open by Christmas Day! This resort area is the largest in North America and that’s why we’re including it on our list of best Christmas ski destinations.
There’s easy access by flying into Vancouver International Airport and taking a train, shuttle, bus, or rental car for the two-hour trip to the resort. There are loads of accommodations and prices are good due to the number of rooms available.
Skiers of all abilities will love this resort since it has so much terrain available and over 50% is in the intermediate range level. There are three mountain villages in the Tyrolean style so welcome to Europe West! Whistler Village is pedestrian-only and a joy to stroll around, dine and shop. And there are tons of other activities from snowmobiling, bobsleighing, nordic skiing, and sleigh rides to just sitting on an outdoor patio people watching and soaking in a hot tub.
When you’re booking accommodations at Whistler-Blackcomb don’t forget to look at U.S. prices since there is a favorable currency exchange if you live in the U.S. That means it costs us less to vacation in Canada! Click here to learn more about this amazing ski resort!
The Wrap Up
So there you have it, my 5 top Christmas ski destinations. If you’re still thinking of booking a trip for Christmas, better book now since rates will go up the closer it gets to Christmas. Check out the links I provided in the post above. Even if you don’t ski, these resorts have fantastic adventures other than downhill skiing. So don’t let that stop you from booking your dream Christmas vacation. Happy Holidays!
If you want to read more about travel click and read these articles too.
- Now is the Time to Plan Your Holiday Travel
- Why you Need and How to Get a Passport
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Which is Better?
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