Aspen and the Colorado Rockies
Aspen is consistently one of the top holiday ski destinations every year, offering four mountains from which to unleash your skiing fury upon. Buttermilk and Snowmass are known as the more family-friendly of the four, with Snowmass holding the annual ESPN Winter X Games each January. The Aspen Highlands runs are reserved for the intermediate to advanced skiers, with over 35 percent of its terrain dedicated to experts.
Each year the mountains of Aspen receive 300-plus inches of snowfall, which helps fuel its famous double-black diamond runs, steeps, and breathtaking winter views. During the holidays, Snowmass village is decked out in all its holiday cheer, featuring carolers, Santa’s Village, and the annual Torchlight Parade. Aspen also features snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, sleigh rides, and ice skating.
Killington Peak in Vermont
If your home base is closer to the East Coast, Killington Peak is definitely one of the top resorts for the holidays. Killington is the largest ski destination in the Eastern side of the United States, and also hails the highest vertical drops in all of New England. It has been said that you can stand at Killington Peak’s 4,241 foot tip, and see across five distant outlying states.
Kicking off the holiday season this year will be the Rails to Riches Jam and Party, featuring $15,000 in cash prizes for the best skiers and riders. The bonfire lit finals will begin at 5PM, and conclude with an awards ceremony and fireworks display. Concluding the holiday season will be the Collegiate Snowfest and Winter Games. The snowmaking machines are already overheating from opening day, but they will keep the powder fresh and temperament jolly through the rest of the season.
The Mammoth Mountains of California
Mammoth Mountain always tops the list as one of the best ski resorts in the US. Located in the Sierra Mountains, the area gathers over 400 inches of snowfall per year, which makes it hard to believe it also boasts over 300 days of clear blue skies. Mammoth features over 150 trails, 3,500 acres of ski terrain, 28 lifts, three gondolas, opens in mid-November, and runs clear through June most seasons. This year their doors opened a week early (November 7th), with Opening Day events kicking off on the 12th.
This years events included the world premier of the snowboarding film, Hot Lips, and live music from Shiny Guns. As the holidays approach, Mammoth Mountain traditionally highlights the season with some old fashioned holiday cheer, also known as their annual Night of Lights. The event includes spectacular Christmas displays, fireworks, and an “on-snow” Torchlight Parade.