Planning a Family Ski Vacation: Where to Go for Snow

In the past few years, the ski scene has changed with changing weather patterns. For the many families who only take one major ski vacation per season, it’s more important than ever to know where to go for the best conditions. And yes, NOW is the time to book!

Planning a family ski vacation: Where to go for snow

While no resort or ski area can guarantee good snow pack when families book in advance, it’s possible to increase the odds of enjoying peak conditions (no pun intended) by booking one of the following US and Canadian ski resorts with the most consistent annual snowfall. When you want a sure thing for your family ski vacation during an unpredictable winter, go here:

1. Alta Ski Area, Utah

What places Alta at the top of the list? With a base elevation of 8,530, Alta has a leg up on many resorts. The dry, light snow of the Wasatch Mountain Range of Utah isn’t quick to melt, and Alta’s location west of Park City seems to be a magnet for regular snowfall. Still unsure? Trust fellow skiers and snowboarders: Alta was voted best ski resort for consistent annual snowfall in the recent Best Family Ski Resorts poll conducted by family travel expert Trekaroo.

2. Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia 

Don’t be fooled by the rain that often falls at Whistler’s base area, which is hit by precipitation from the nearby Pacific. Higher up, the powder will be accumulating. Recognized as one of the most reliable North American resorts for snow pack, Whistler Blackcomb also has one of the most comprehensive village scenes, aiding in a great vacation, even if, by chance, the snow isn’t want you were hoping for.

3.  Jackson Hole, Wyoming

The cowboy town of Jackson Hole has as much going for it in winter as in summer. Known for its powder bowls and backcountry ski terrain, Jackson Hole consistently receives over 9 meters of snow due to its location in the Teton Mountains of the Rockies. Book this ski resort in December, January, or February for the best conditions; the season starts in November and ends earlier than its snowpack requires, due to its placement on an elk migration site.

4. Big Sky Resort, Montana 

With an average of 400 inches, it’s no wonder Big Sky, located in southwestern Montana, needs snowmaking capabilities on only 10% of the mountain. Plus, Big Sky now has more snow to play in, thanks to the acquisition of adjacent Moonlight Basin. It’s known for its deep stashes, but also has perfect groomers for younger kids and beginners. After a day of ripping it up on the mountain, be sure to stay at the Summit at Big Sky, where a 100-person hot tub awaits.

5. Northstar California

Located in the heart of North Tahoe, Northstar doesn’t always get the biggest natural snowpack among North American resorts. However, it’s makes the list for an important reason: Northstar has the best snowmaking capabilities in Lake Tahoe. What this means for skiing and snowboarding families: a sure thing, even when other resorts in the area are closed. Northstar is a great pick for early ski season trips, when it’s unclear what Mother Nature will bring.

Now, book early and without fear of a lack of snow upon your arrival!

About the author

Amy Whitley

AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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