Number 10

Vail rounds out our Top 10 resorts by consistently scoring high in all categories. Vail does exactly what a great resort does, it offers something for everyone. The massive acreage(more than double that of Breckenridge) has everything under the sun: park and pipe, trees, fast groomers, open bowls and cliff areas. The only thing noticeably lacking is steeps. You’ll have to duck OB to find those.

On a pow day, head to the Back Bowls for vast expanses of open bowl skiing. The bowls are mellow, so for more challenging options, explore Chair 11for areas like the Prima Cornice. Vail is sprawling (seven miles wide), and there are tree runs, bump lines and pow stashes to be found at every turn.

The park at Vail, formerly of US Open glory, may have faded a bit, but it’s still well worth a visit. You’ll find both the expert and intermediate parks located on Golden Peak, under Chair 6. A veritable jibber’s paradise of boxes, rails, logs, wall-rides and a 450-foot halfpipe await you. Still scared of the medium to big jumps? Head over to the Aviator park under the Eagle Bahn Gondola and pick up some skills in the beginner park.

The town of Vail is happening. Young locals, rich second-homeowners and weekend warriors all mingle for great après, entertaining bars and tasty late-night pizza. If you’re looking for a taste of the good life, or just a bit of everything, Vail won’t disappoint.

Resort Rankings:
Snow Quality-8
Terrain Quality-7
Hike-to Access-7
Park Quality-5

Vital Stats:
Vertical: 3,450 feet
Acreage: 5,289 acres
Snowfall: 350 inches
Ticket: $97 (2008-2009)

Web Cam

North America’s Top 10 Ski Resorts

  1. Whistler Blackcomb, BC
  2. Aspen/Snowmass, CO
  3. Mammoth Mountain
  4. Jackson Hole, WY
  5. Squaw Valley, CA
  6. Alta/Snowbird, UT
  7. Breckenridge, CO
  8. Telluride, CO
  9. Heavenly, CA
  10. Vail, CO

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