The 9 Best Family Ski Resorts in the U.S. to Book in 2018

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With activity-filled days, spectacular mountain scenery, social apres-ski events, and blazing log fires, family ski holiday have become an iconic and glamorous way to celebrate the arrival of winter. From the hills of Vermont and New Hampshire to the wild, remote peaks of Utah and Colorado, the United States hosts a stunning range of ski slopes and resorts that appeal to skiers of all experience levels.

When planning a family holiday in the snow, it is not just the quality of the powder and the pistes to be considered when deciding on a destination. The quality of lodges and resorts, the presence of family-friendly facilities and the availability of shops, restaurants, and entertainment to keep visitors happy during time off the slopes are just some of the factors that influence the ideal location for a winter break. Whether you're looking for amazing views over snow-covered peaks and pristine forest, or well-developed infrastructure for easy slope access and a range of shopping, dining and accommodation options, there is a ski resort suited to the individual needs of each unique family.

  • 01 of 09

    As the largest ski and snowboard resort in the U.S., Park City Mountain in Utah is built to deliver the ultimate snow holiday experience. With 17 peaks, 7,300 skiable acres, and more than 300 trails, the huge area offers a range of intermediate and experienced-level slopes, with a few beginner runs, and a practice area available for training up younger children.

    With an unmatched location at the base of the ski lifts, the Sundial Lodge stands out from a range of luxury hotels within Canyons Village thanks to amenities such as a rooftop hot tub and firepit, heated outdoor pool, and ski-in, ski-out access. Large modern rooms are softened by natural textures such as wooden furnishings and stone-lined fireplaces. On the slopes, the Red Pine Lodge serves hearty snacks and cool drinks in a large restaurant with a rooftop patio. Apart from skiing, visitors can also enjoy activities such as snowmobiling, zip lining, and horse-drawn sleigh rides. In the nearby Park City Mountain Village, cafe’s, bars and pubs lining the historic Main St. are a great place to go for casual after-ski drinks and formal apres-ski events.  

  • 02 of 09

    Servicing the pistes of the Bretton Woods ski area in New Hampshire, the white walls and red roof of the historic Omni Mount Washington Resort are an iconic landmark in the region. Since 1902, the grand hotel has cultivated a reputation for the best in quality accommodations and superb service. With cozy guest rooms filled with plush antique furniture and blazing log fireplaces, a graceful lobby, and an outdoor courtyard with a heated pool and comfortable cabanas, it is easy to see why this hotel has hosted celebrities and presidents alike. The opulent spa offers a wide range of treatments, from deep tissue and hot stone massages to coffee bean body scrubs and soothing mud wraps.

    The hillsides around Bretton Woods offer gentler slopes than most other ski resorts around the U.S., there are not many runs to excite more experienced skiers. However, this makes the area perfect for beginners and intermediates, with a network of easy trails allowing plenty of opportunity for practice and improvement. There are four restaurants within the ski area, with more at the base of the mountain and in nearby hotels and resorts. Activities such as snowmobile tours, Nordic skiing, ice skating, and an inside climbing wall are also available.

  • 03 of 09

    Located on the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada, Heavenly Mountain sits in a stunning location on the shore of Lake Tahoe, with magnificent views over the lake from the peaks of the surrounding mountains. But with 97 trails spaced over 4,600 skiable acres, visitors don’t just come for the views — they come for the slopes. The majority of the pistes are in the intermediate experience range, with fewer beginner and experienced routes. The slopes also contain two terrain parks, a mountain coaster, and a tubing hill, as well as a selection of cafes and restaurants.

    Situated on the edge of Lake Tahoe, the Lakeland Village is a stunningly scenic property consisting of spacious townhouses set amid leafy woodland and is only a short drive from the base of the Heavenly Mountain ski resort. Guest accommodations feature stone fireplaces, full kitchens, and an attached patio — some with views over the lake. There are outdoor pools for adults and children, relaxing jet spas and a sauna, and a complimentary shuttle service to downtown and nearby casino complexes.

  • 04 of 09

    From the summits of the Telluride ski resort in Colorado, visitors can gaze over the Rocky Mountains' jagged peaks, sheer cliffs, and deep wooded valleys. The dramatic scenery contains plenty of technical trails for experienced skiers to enjoy, but facilities are also well suited for younger skiers, with a good number of beginner and intermediate slopes. The ski school also offers private and group tuition, as well as advanced courses and specialist training camps such as heli-skiing and biomechanics. With the best ski-in, ski-out access in the area, the Inn at Lost Creek offers upscale accommodations in a relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere.

    Two-bedroom guest condominiums can house up to six guests and combine modern and rustic elements into a tasteful and comfortable living space, with amenities including full kitchens, stone fireplaces, steam showers and jetted bathtubs. One of the finest restaurants in the area, Siam’s Talay Grill serves Asian tapas and seafood dishes; though, outside the resort, you can also check out one of five on-slope Mountain Village restaurants including the incredibly scenic Guiseppe’s and Alpino Vino lodges. Guests can swim in the indoor pool or take in the surrounding mountain vistas from the warmth of the rooftop hot tubs. 

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Located close to Bridger Bowl mountain in Montana, the Ramada by Wyndham Bozeman offers superb value for money for families looking for a fun ski escape without breaking the bank. While rooms come from as little as $60 per night, the hotel provides excellent amenities for the price. Basic but spacious rooms can accommodate up to five family members, and come with bathrooms, fridges, microwaves, hot drink facilities, and free Wi-Fi. Guests are provided with a free continental breakfast to fuel them up before hitting the slopes.

    With inexpensive equipment rental and lift passes, Bridger Bowl offers 75 marked runs within 2,000 acres of skiable terrain, with a good mix of beginner, intermediate and experienced trails. Instructor and guides are on hand to teach the ropes to first-time skiers, either privately or in group classes, and lead more adventurous and experienced visitors on ridgetop expeditions. The Deer Park Chalet and Alpine Cabin keep guests nourished while on the mountain with hot meals and a variety of beverages. At the base, the Jim Bridger Lodge hosts ski rental offices and a restaurant, café, and bar. Of course, after a day spent outside, the heated indoor pool and hot tub back at the Ramada are a great place to relax, the pool even features a waterslide to entertain the young ones. 

  • 06 of 09

    With playgrounds, snow forts, and a colorful daily parade, Keystone Lodge & Spa in Colorado has a strong family-friendly atmosphere backed by an impressive range of facilities dedicated to younger families. Guest rooms and suites come with all the expected modern amenities and offer breathtaking views over the surrounding mountains, forests, and rivers. A complimentary shuttle service provides transportation to and from the base of the ski slopes, and a free ski check service takes care of all the cumbersome equipment.

    After a long day on the slopes, guests can relax in the full-service spa before dining at the Bighorn restaurant overlooking Keystone Lake. On the mountain itself, there is an extensive network of beginner and intermediate trails, with most trails offering generous width from summit to base. For hot chocolate and a snack during the day, the Summit House offers great views and is conveniently located close to the spacious learning area. When kids need a break, the children’s center provides a fun, interactive environment for them to unwind with supervision. 

  • 07 of 09

    Offering ski-in, ski-out access to the steep slopes and hair-raising pistes of Beaver Creek, the Charter at Beaver Creek is the best of the best in upscale lodging for families looking to maximize their time on the slopes. Rooms and condos can accommodate up to eight guests and are comfortably designed with wooden furniture and tranquil autumnal color schemes. In their downtime, guests can relax in the heated outdoor and indoor pools, hot tubs, and saunas, and indulge in aromatherapy massages and other services at the full-service Spa Struck. The Black Diamond Bistro provides contemporary American dishes accompanied by excellent views over the Beaver Creek mountain, where a network of diamond and double diamond runs are an irresistible lure for experienced skiers.

    When it comes to outdoor pursuits, steep routes down precipitous slopes, complex mogul runs, and twisting trails through dense forest offer adventure and excitement to visitors looking for a challenge. There are also two advanced terrain parks, with the professional-sized Rodeo offering technical rails and 60-foot jumps and the Zoom Room filled with structures such as log slides, boxes, and stall features. For less experienced family members, there are plentiful beginner and intermediate runs, a large practice area, and a separate beginners terrain park with simple challenges. Three mountain restaurant lodges supply snacks and hot and cold beverages to skiers on the slopes.

  • 08 of 09

    Located at the base of the ski lifts of the Jackson Hole Mountain resort, the Alpenhof Lodge is a historic boutique hotel built in the style of an Austrian ski chalet. In the luxurious Edelweiss and Jungfrau suites, hand-carved ceiling beams, Bavarian furniture, and crackling wood fireplaces add rustic character, while jetted tubs and heated tiles and towel racks in the bathrooms provide modern comforts. Finnish saunas and massages can be enjoyed in the spa, and guests can gaze up at the ski slopes while relaxing in the heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi.

    The slopes themselves contain 130 trails over 2,500 acres, with more than 4,000 feet of vertical drop. The landscape is more conducive to intermediate and experienced skiers, with only a few beginners runs. Other activities include cross-country and heli-skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoe tours. Kids’ camps and private lessons get beginners up to speed, and day-care services are available for very young ones. Nearby, the famous town of Jackson offers an authentic touch of frontier character. Attractions include the Jackson Hole Museum, antique souvenir shops, Wild West-themed bars, and the famous elk antler arches of the main square.

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  • 09 of 09

    As the winter playground of the rich and famous, facilities and services at Aspen Snowmass deliver the excellence and quality you'd expect from such a reputation. Of the accommodations located in Snowmass Village, the Aspenwood is unrivaled. Condominium units sleeping up to eight guests have soft earthy color schemes, wood and stone accents throughout, and atmospheric touches such as wrought iron light fixtures and gas fireplaces. The units are clustered around a central courtyard featuring an outdoor heated pool and hot tubs fed by trickling waterfalls. Ski-in, ski-out access is also available with the ski lifts and village mall all located within walking distance.

    The Elk Camp restaurant offers an ever-changing menu with seasonal, organic products served in an elegant dining room complete with a roaring fireplace, as well as on an alfresco terrace. The Lynn Britt Cabin serves gourmet European cuisine in a rustic but sophisticated atmosphere. There are also several cafes, food trailers, and pub-grub venues that offer more casual snacks and beverages. Although the slopes are dominated by technical pistes designed for experienced skiers, there are a network of beginner and intermediate slopes. There are also separate terrain parks for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiers, providing the opportunity for all skiers to develop and hone their skills. Alternative winter activities include snow tubing, snow bike tours, and an alpine coaster. 

Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular family ski resorts in the U.S. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 35 different hotels overall and read over 140 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.