Las Vegas visitors might not associate skiing with the arid climate of the city, but Sin City makes a perfect jumping off point to ski resorts in the region. One sits just an hour outside the city, while others can become a perfect day trip. So get those skis ready for a day on the slopes complete with bunny slopes to black diamonds.
Just an hour northwest of Las Vegas sits Lee Canyon, a snowy destination for skiers, snowboarders, tubers, snow shoers, and fun in the snow. With a base elevation of 8,510 feet, Lee Canyon gives snow bunnies a chance to ski 11 trails from bunny trails to four double black diamonds, with four lifts servicing the mountain. New for the 2019/2020 season, the 10,000-square-foot Hillside Lodge with an outdoor heated terrace and patio dining spaces, a ski-in, ski-out bar, a bistro, expanded restroom facilities, and a renovated Bighorn Grill. Skiing at Lee Canyon generally opens in late November or early December and closes in April.
Brian Head Ski Area
Brian Head, about 200 miles northeast of Las Vegas in Utah, is close enough to Las Vegas that you can make it a quick day trip. With an annual average snowfall of nearly 360 inches, Brian Head spans 650 acres over two connected mountains, Giant Steps and Navajo, offering 71 runs, eight chair lifts, and two surface lifts. Inside Giant Steps Lodge, The Last Chair Saloon features barbecue fare and its own No. 9 Pale Ale with a great view of the slopes. Giant Steps Cafe on the second floor of the Giant Steps Lodge offers burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, and pizza, while Navajo Cafe at the Navajo Lodge serves similar fare.
Bear Mountain Resorts
Located in the San Bernardino Mountains about 210 miles from Las Vegas sits Bear Mountain Resorts in Big Bear Lake, California with two all-inclusive properties Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, offering skiing and snowboarding in the winter. Bear Mountain at a base elevation of 7,140 feet features 14 runs, three pipes, eight lifts, and four moving carpets spanning 198 acres with the longest run, Geronimo, measuring 1.5 miles. Snow Summit with a base elevation of 7,000 feet has 27 runs spanning 18 miles with 11 lifts, five moving carpets, and Westridge, the 1.25-mile trail.
Eagle Point Ski Area
Eagle Point, about 245 miles from Las Vegas in Beaver, Utah, offers a 9,100-foot base elevation offers five lifts with access to more than 600 skiable acres and 40 runs. The resorts sees 350-plus inches of snowfall annually. Other amenities include the 12,000-square-foot Canyonside Lodge with a restaurant, bar, lounge, and hot tub garden; the Skyline Lodge, featuring a cafeteria and retail store; and the “Lookout” warming cabin, with 360-degree views of surrounding 12,000-foot peaks.
More than 400 inches of snow fall on Mammoth Lakes, the ski resort about 310 miles from Las Vegas in Mammoth Lakes, California. Mammoth Mountain, the lava dome complex in the Inyo National Forest of Madera and Mono counties, features a 7,953-foot base elevation and more than 3,500 acres of skiable areas with 150 trails, eight parks and pipes, three halfpipes, and 300 days of sunshine a year. New for the 2019/2020 ski season, a $20 million renovation at Canyon Lodge, backcountry clinics, a tour to the back side of Mammoth Mountain, and three new dining options: Elixir Superfood & Juice, The Warming Hut Restaurant with breakfast and dinner made from scratch, and First Chair Food Truck with breakfast burritos and sandwiches transitioning.
Park City, Utah
Head north of Salt Lake City, about 424 miles, to Park City, Utah, with ski resorts such as Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Ski Area, or Canyons Resort. The area features 17 mountain peaks with a base elevation of 6,800 feet and 7,300 acres of skiing and 348 trails. Around 40 snowcats groom more than 120 trails every night. New to Park City for the 2019/2020 season, Tombstone BBQ with a beer bar and a full kitchen, and a fixed grip quad chairlift, named “Over and Out,” that takes skiers from the Tombstone Express Lift to the top of Sunrise Lift.