Top U.S. Ski Destinations: Part 2 of 3

We recently named two of our picks for the top ski destinations in Part One of this Three Part Series. We have taken snow, lift lines, terrain and après-ski activities into account to give you these top ski towns. We've already praised Bend, OR and Taos, NM as top ski towns and now we continue with two more world class ski resorts. The two ski resorts listed below are very different from each other but both offer an amazing ski experience and that is why they've been selected.

Wolf Creek, Colorado


Jeff Bernhard- Wolf Creek

Wolf Creek is a unique ski and snowboard experience. The resort is located in Southwest Colorado near the top of Wolf Creek Pass, east of Pagosa Springs, CO. With over 400 inches of annual snowfall Wolf Creek boasts the most snow in Colorado and is well known for its powder skiing and riding. Thanks to its isolated location the lift lines are short and fresh powder can be found days after the last snow storm. The resort is all about skiing and snowboarding, there isn't a huge base area, expensive condos or fur coats. The people at Wolf Creek are very relaxed and friendly. The price of a lift ticket is much more affordable that most Colorado resorts, you can park right at the base and you won't waste any time waiting in lines.

Even with all of the above mentioned perks, people still focus on the snow. "The best thing about Wolf Creek is the great snow conditions. We are all spoiled when it comes to powder skiing!" says Roseanne Haidorfer-Pitcher, Marketer for Wolf Creek Ski Resort.

Where to Ski


While Wolf Creek offers great blues and greens, long groomed runs and excellent bump runs, you've got to hit the Alberta Lift for a backcountry skiing experience that is located within the resort boundaries. The terrain serviced by the Alberta Lift includes wide open sections, beautiful glades and tighter trees, all of which is usually covered by deep powder. This area is rarely tracked out like other resorts. You'll find soft and deep powder days after the last storm.

What to do After Skiing


After a hard day of skiing powder nothing is better that a soak in hot springs. The nearby town of Pagosa Springs offers a really nice natural hot spring. You'll find nice restaurants, affordable lodging and a unique shopping experience in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Make it Affordable


When asked how to save some money on your ski trip, Rosanne suggests, "Check Wolf Creek's Calendar of events, we offer 'Local Appreciation Days' -no ID required. We also offer a Beginner ski special but most importantly, bring your own lunch. Wolf Creek offers the 'Base Camp' for guests who want to save. The building has a large deck so you can enjoy eating outside and really spacious inside as well."

North Conway Village, New Hampshire


Due to Sierra Trading Post's location most of our knowledge of ski resorts is in the West. We asked our Twitter followers what their favorite ski town was and multiple people suggested North Conway, NH. After a little research I discovered National Geographic named it as one of the best ski towns in the world. North Conway is a quaint New England Village that offers many lodging options, great pubs, fabulous dining options and hundreds of shops. The area is located within driving distance from Portland, ME, Manchester, NH or Boston, MA and the area boasts 5 different ski resorts.

Cranmore

Cranmore Mountain Resort is one of the alpine ski resorts located in the area. Kathy Bennett from Cranmore says, "Cranmore is the sunny mountain located right in the heart of North Conway Village. We are celebrating our 75th Anniversary which makes us one of the oldest ski mountains in the country. We hope to open on November 24th and are very excited about this season."

What to do After Skiing


Beyond excellent dining and shopping, North Conway Village offers cross country skiing, ice climbing, skating, snowshoeing and tours of the Mt. Washington Observatory's Weather DiscoveryCenter. There are plenty of activities to keep the whole family busy.

Make it Affordable


Book your vacation early and avoid peak holiday periods. Buy your ski tickets online. Cranmore is offering an online special of two tickets for $75 to celebrate their 75th Anniversary.

Comment below to let us know what you think of these picks. Be sure to check out our other choices in Part 1 of our Top Ski Destinations and Part 3 of our Top Ski Destinations.

*Featured image by Robert Tadlock. This image was modified.
Andy Hawbaker
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Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
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