If the cold days have you feeling cooped up and depressed, check out these five best uncrowded ski towns in America. These are hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
Fly or take a road trip to one of these small towns, enjoy the slopes and chase away the winter blues.
1. Victor, Idaho
Victor (Idaho), a town of around 2,000 people in Southern Idaho, is located on the “quiet side of the Tetons.” It’s only 25 miles from Jackson Hole, WY, close to all the world-class ski resorts and top cross country ski trails.
Named after the brave George Victor Sherwood, a late 19th-century mail career who walked, skied, and rode his horse over Teton Pass to deliver mail between the south end of Teton Valley, ID, and Jackson, WY.
The annual snowfall in Teton Valley is around 500 inches, which means you have lots of natural snow to enjoy all the winter activities – skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, snowshoeing, fat biking, or just enjoy the beauty of the snow-filled mountain views and backcountry terrain.
2. Philipsburg, Montana
Located 30 minutes southeast of Missoula is Philipsburg, a 19th-century mining town named one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It’s a year-round destination, but in winter, Philipsburg transforms into a winter wonderland.
Go for cross country skiing, downhill skiing, ice skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, and kiteboarding in and around Philipsburg, including Georgetown Lake Area. Or head over to Discovery Ski Area, a perfect place for skiers of all levels. Get ski lessons if you need help, and if you’re an advance skier, try the challenging runs, located off the Granite Chair.
Discovery Ski Area is about a 15-minute drive from Philipsburg. It gets about 215 inches of snow per year.
3. Leavenworth, Washington
For a taste of Bavarian culture, go to Leavenworth (Washington), a Bavarian mountain town located in north-central Washington on the east of the Cascade Mountains. It’s about 118 miles from Seattle and has a population of around 2,000. It gets around 100 inches of snow per year.
Leavenworth has a real family feel, a perfect home-base for the whole family. It offers a ski jumping hill, tubing hill, and 16 miles of Nordic trails. Fat bike, sled, snowshoe, and sled are also available.
4. Jay, Vermont
Located at the border of Quebec, Canada, in an area known as the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, is Jay (Vermont). Jay is small with about 500 people, but it offers plenty of outdoor activities year-round. Nearby Jay Peak receives the most snow in the northeast, at 359 inches of snow per year. And it is an ideal spot for an unforgettable ski vacation.
Jay Peak has 81 trails, which cater to novice, intermediate and advanced skiers. Those who can’t ski or want to improve can check out Jay Peak’s affordable ski lessons.
Jay is about 96 miles from Montreal, Canada, and 70 miles from Burlington, VT.
5. Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
The Village of Taos Ski Valley is small and compact, about a 30 minutes’ drive from Taos. It is located in the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains at the southern end of the Rocky Mountains. The Valley receives 300 inches of snow per year, and it is one of the highest municipalities in the US, at 9,207 feet above sea level.
Taos Ski Valley is not crowded like Vail and Aspen. It is an ideal ski destination for all levels of experience, but it’s renowned for its expert skiing terrain. At Taos Ski Valley, you can enjoy snowmobile and snowshoeing, however, snow tubing is not allowed.