#1 Telluride Ski Resort
With 41% of its terrain deemed advanced territory (that leaves 23% for beginners and 36% for intermediate level), stellar skiers will have plenty to keep them on the mountain all day. Skiers and riders looking to elevate their snow adventure can book a heli-ski trip and descend upon untouched, virgin snow.
#2 Silverton Mountain
Although there are dozens of ski areas in Colorado, home to most of the southern Rocky Mountains, only two offer heli-sking: Telluride and Silverton. Silverton is “unique” in its single-ride offering, says Chris Linsmayer, public affairs director at Colorado Ski Country USA. Instead of renting a helicopter for the whole day or multiple days, newbie heli-skiers can purchase one ride for as little as $39.
#3 Park City Mountain
A charming, quintessential ski town if there ever was one, Park City, Utah, offers world-class skiing for all levels and plenty to see and do off the slopes too. You won’t find heli-skiing in this part of the Rocky Mountains, but thrill seekers can pair up with a professional guide who’ll take participants on a journey to discover the best runs on the mountain.
#4 Powder Mountain
Powder Mountain is so proud of its natural snow that it even has a name for it: creamy corduroy. With an average snowfall of 500 inches per year, that’s a lot of creamy corduroy to experience. Visitors might encounter crowds at the post-ski live music shows at Powder Mountain Powder Keg, but making friends is easy when you’re swapping shredding stories.
#5 Mammoth Mountain
The highest ski resort in California, Mammoth is known for getting heaps of snow each season — 400 inches average. You won’t find heli-skiing here, but an alternative for the hardcore fitness fanatic is skipping the chairlift and walking up a very big hill. Skiers put something called climbing skins on the bottom of their skis, and the against-the-grain texture of the skins helps the climber ascend the mountain.
#6 Whistler Blackcomb
Between the two mountains — Whistler and Blackcomb — there are 200 runs and 16 alpine bowls to make up over 8,000 acres of terrain. This part of the Coast Mountains in Canada’s British Columbia is considered the largest ski area in North America. Easier-to-access mountaintops mean more opportunity to explore as much of the expansive region as possible, but for a truly extreme skiing experience, there’s the backcountry.
#7 RED Mountain Resort
Located in Rossland, British Columbia, Red Mountain considers itself Western Canada’s original ski destination. The resort area offers up to 4,200 acres of skiing, and “unspoiled” is a word RED Mountain likes to use to describe its slopes. There’s some beginner territory here, but most of the mountain caters to expert, advanced and intermediate levels.
#8 Big Sky Resort
Experienced skiers and riders won’t want to miss Lone Peak, the iconic peak of Big Sky. The resort limits the number of skiers who can ski off the 11,166-foot peak at a time making this a unique feature of the resort. It is the closest thing Montana has to heli-skiing, says Stacie Mesuda, public relations manager for Big Sky Resort.