With mountain upgrades, anniversaries and million-dollar renovations, there’s something to suit every skier or snowboarder in 2023. From bucket list Japanese destinations to record-breaking snow in the Rockies, here’s the pick of the crop for a winter break.
Unexpected Skiing in the Mountains of Arizona
A destination known for its year-round sun and desert landscapes, discover Arizona’s winter sports offerings for an unlikely ski trip in 2023. Arizona Snowbowl Winter Resort is home to the state’s longest ski season with an average of over 260 inches annual snowfall, located north of the mountainous city of Flagstaff. One of three winter resorts in Arizona, Snowball is the most popular due to its variety of runs for everyone from expert locals to complete beginners or children. Another resort for a winter sports holiday is Sunrise Park Resort in East Arizona, which aside from skiing also offers separate runs for snowboarding, cross country ski and children’s ski.
Reimagining skiing at Steamboat, Colorado
In January 2023, Steamboat in Colorado will also celebrate its 60-year anniversary. The popular resort is known for its western heritage but is currently undergoing a $200 million renovation which will see modernisation on the mountain and in the resort’s base area. The new Wild Blue Gondola has become the longest gondola in North America and the fastest 10-person gondola in the USA, while base area improvements include a new ice skating rink and food and drink hall. Steamboat is on the Ikon Pass, offering unlimited access along with 13 other North American ski resorts.
Celebrate Vail’s 60th Anniversary, Colorado
This season, iconic ski resort Vail in Colorado is celebrating 60 years of operations, with a line-up of special events and tributes. Founded by World War II veteran soldiers, Vail has seven iconic back bowls that are now more accessible than ever thanks to new high-speed chairlifts. With its old-world charm and rich history, delectable dining options from elevated dining experiences to casual family fare, and an equally varied nightlife and après-ski scene, Vail is one for the ski bucket list.
New terrain on Aspen Mountain in Aspen Snowmass, Colorado
Set to open for the 2023-24 winter season, Aspen Mountain is increasing its skiable acreage by more than 20 per cent. The area, called Pandora’s, is currently under development and will be the mountain’s first significant addition since the opening of the Silver Queen Gondola in 1985. It will include 1,220 vertical feet of groomed trails and glades ranging from intermediate to advanced terrain. Whilst at the resort, visitors can head to one of the other four mountains, Buttermilk, to ski the family-friendly mountain and experience the newly transformed base area including a new fully electric skier services building and restaurant.
Panoramic views and a groundbreaking new gondola at Palisades Tahoe, California
Palisades Tahoe has become the third-largest ski area in North America, with the highly anticipated $65 million base-to-base gondola connecting two mountains of the resort for the first time. Skiers and riders have a brand new way to access a combined 6,000 acres of storied terrain. The 16-minute gondola ride will take skiers and riders between the two base areas, The Village at Palisades Tahoe and Alpine Lodge, reducing road congestion in the region and making it easier to enjoy both mountains in a single day. It is the first gondola of its kind in North America, offering panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada.
Try night skiing at The Summit at Snoqualmie, Washington State
The Summit at Snoqualmie proudly offers the most night skiing in the US, with nearly 600 acres to discover under the stars. Located just an hour’s drive from downtown Seattle, The Summit at Snoqualmie offers fun for skiers and snowboarders visiting the city. Featuring famous steeps, backbowls, terrain parks, a Nordic centre and Tubing Park as well as fantastic terrain for beginners, The Summit operates 7 days, and 6 nights a week. The Summit at Snoqualmie is also accessible to Ikon Pass holders.
Ski California’s first ski resort – The Badger Pass Ski Area, Yosemite Mariposa
The Badger Pass Ski Area reopened in January 2022 with the ski season typically running from January through to March. Established in 1935 as California’s first ski resort, this is the Sierra’s best-kept secret. With a base elevation of 7,200 metres and 10 runs, Badger Pass is inviting for beginners and intermediates, as well as terrific for black diamond skiers with the Wildcat, Red Fox and signature Badger runs. Cross-country skiing, snowshoe trails and rentals and snow tubing are also available for visitors to enjoy. For current conditions, weather and ski area info visitors can call the Snow Phone at (209) 372-1000. Additionally, the Badger Pass Webcam is a great way to catch up to the current snow conditions.
Enhanced ski time in Whistler, Canada
There’s no better place to be in the winter than Whistler with its world-class ski runs and European-style Village truly representing a winter wonderland. The Village is transformed into a scene visitors would expect only from the movies. With beautiful twinkling Christmas lights and snow-capped roofs, Whistler Village is the perfect place to watch the snowfall in December. For those looking for more, the view of Black Tusk is as quintessential Whistler as it gets. With two new chairlifts joining the Whistler Blackcomb mountain; Big Red Express and Creekside Gondola for the 22/23 ski season there will be no more queueing and more skiing. These lifts will significantly improve wait times and increase out-of-base uphill capacity by 35% in the Creekside area, especially on high-volume days.
Best Ski Town in North America – Mammoth Lakes, California
This month Mammoth Lakes, California was named “Best Ski Town” in North America in the 2022 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Award Contest. Mammoth Lakes is home to Mammoth Mountain, which is already off to an incredible ski season with 5 ft of new snow in December already! With a long history as a basecamp for adventurers, Mammoth Lakes has kept its laid-back charm as major investment over the last decade brought a host of new dining, lodging, air service and activity options that provide for an exceptionally well- rounded visitor experience. Not to mention, the local ski and snowboard season is one of the longest in the country, often extending to the Fourth of July.