Everyone wants to experience skiing on the best powder now there is, but unless you live near one of these ski resorts it’s not that easy. This is why we’ve created this list of the best powder ski resorts in the world so you can plan your next skication at one of these locations.
We’re going to cover the best ski resorts for powder in the USA, Canada, Japan as well as in Europe. Depending on your level of experience, you’ve probably already been to one if not more of these resorts before. However, it’s always nice to learn about other great ski resorts that can satisfy your powder fix. We’re talking about snow!
Keep reading to find out what’s made our list.
Best Ski Resorts for Powder in the USA
Snowbird/Alta in Utah is renowned for its deep powder and challenging terrain. With more than 500 inches of snow each year, it’s no wonder that Alta is considered one of the best powder skiing locations in the world.
With runs like Rim Run and High Rustler, skiers can find plenty of challenges to keep them coming back for more.
Mount Baker, Washington
Mount Baker is up there with Snowbird/Alta as one of the best powder ski resorts in the USA. It is located on the west coast of Washington state, about a two-hour drive from Seattle.
On average the ski area receives more than 700 inches of snow each year, making it one of the snowiest places in North America. Mount Baker offers a variety of activities, including alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and sledding. Although, you’ll probably only be interested in getting out on the fresh powder!
Wolf Creek, Colorado
Wolf Creek is one of the best ski resorts in all of Colorado and this is down to the fact it’s got some of the best snow in the country.
Wolf Creek receives an average of 442 inches of snow each year, more than any other resort in the state. The snow is so deep and fluffy which makes it a favorite among powder hounds. It’s even good for skiers of all levels as beginners can enjoy the wide-open groomed runs, while advanced skiers can explore the resort’s many chutes and glades.
Steamboat Springs is a world-famous ski resort in Colorado. It’s known for its trademarked “champagne powder” snow which is light and fluffy, and perfect for skiing or snowboarding. This is obviously a marketing ploy mainly, but the snow does have an extremely low level of water at only 6%!
Steamboat has over 150 trails, and is a great place for both beginner and advanced skiers. The resort also has a lot of other activities, like snowshoeing, dog sledding, and ice skating.
We have a dedicated article on What is Champagne Powder, so be sure to check that out if you want to learn more.
Time for another resort in Colorado and we couldn’t miss Vail from this list of the best power ski resorts. It is situated in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado covering a huge area of 5,289 acres with 193 trails.
Vail first opened its doors in 1962 and has since become a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. The resort is also home to many events and competitions, including the Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships and the Vail Winter Dew Tour.
Unless you’re a Coloradan, coming to Vail might be a once-in-a-lifetime ski trip that you take and one that is totally worth it. It offers luxury hotels and upscale restaurants so make sure you’ve got a good budget.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole is another top choice for powder skiing. With an average annual snowfall of 450 inches and great terrain for serious skiers, it’s no wonder that Jackson Hole in Wyoming consistently ranks among the best ski resorts in the United States.
It also made our list of the best places to ski in November in the USA.
Crystal Mountain, Washington
Crystal Mountain in Washington offers visitors a chance to enjoy the state’s snowy mountains. The resort is located in the Cascade Range of the state, and it offers a variety of trails for all skiing levels.
It’s not in the top 5, but Crystal Mountain in Washington still offers great powder. Visitors can purchase a day pass or an annual pass, and they can also take advantage of discounts for groups or families. Crystal Mountain is a popular destination for locals and out-of-state visitors so expect it to be busy in the peak months.
Best Ski Resorts for Powder in Canada
Big White, British Columbia
Big White is a ski resort located in British Columbia, Canada. It is one of the largest resorts in the province, and it is known for its great powder like most of the resorts in British Columbia.
Big White offers a variety of ski and snowboarding terrain. It is a popular destination for locals in Canada and for tourists from the United States that are just across the border. Of course, there are visitors from all around the world too.
Fernie, British Columbia
Fernie is another one of the top powder ski resorts located in British Columbia. With over 2,500 acres of skiable terrain, Fernie offers something for everyone.
The resort is also home to five powder bowls, which are perfect for those who love fresh powder. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Fernie also offers cross-country skiing, ice skating, and tubing. There are also plenty of après-ski activities for after a hard day on the powder.
Revelstoke, British Columbia
Whilst Revelstoke Mountain Resort is one the youngest ski resorts for fresh powder on this last having opened in 2007, it quickly became a popular destination.
Revelstoke offers a unique mix of terrain, with both high-speed groomed runs and challenging backcountry trails. The resort is home to the longest vertical drop in North America at 5,620 feet, almost 400 feet steeper than second place Whistler Blackcomb.
Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
Speaking of Whistler Blackcomb, it’s another one of the Canadian ski resorts located in British Columbia to boast some of the best powder in the world.
With an average annual snowfall of 40 feet, Whistler has enough powder to keep everyone happy. It has more than 200 runs spread across a whopping 8,171 acres. There are wide-open groomers or you can find challenging tree skiing.
Best Ski Resorts for Powder in Japan
Everyone knows that Japanese snow is some of the best powder in the world. The first of our best ski resorts for Powder in Japan is Niseko that is located on the Northern island of Hokkaido.
The area is known for its powdery snow, which attracts skiers and snowboarders from all over the world, except from during the last two years due to Japan’s travel restrictions.
Niseko is home to Mt. Yōtei, a volcanic mountain that provides a stunning backdrop for the resort. It is visible from many of the runs so you’ll see skiers stopping to take photos of the view.
Like much of the Japanese countryside, Niseko is also known for its relaxed atmosphere. There are no lift lines or crowded slopes, and the town has a friendly, small-town feel.
Lotte Arai isn’t on Hokkaido which is the island best known for the famous Japanese powder. Instead, it’s on the main island on Honshu located in the Niigata prefecture and still offers top quality powder.
The resort is located on the slopes of Mount Naeba so there are lots of Japanese onsens there to relax at the end of the day. Lotte Arai has 23 courses, ranging from beginner to expert.
The resort is open from December to March, and it receives heavy snowfall during this time. Lotte Arai is also home to the largest ski school in Japan, making it an ideal place for beginners to learn how to ski.
Time for another of the best ski resorts in Hokkaido, Rusutsu. It is one of the most popular ski destinations in the whole of Japan and one reason is due to the fresh powder that you can find.
Set amidst stunning scenery, Rusutsu offers a wide variety of courses to suit all levels of skiers and snowboarders. It is also located just under two hours away from the capital city of Hokkaido, Sapporo.
Kiroro Ski Resort is yet another popular powder ski resort on Hokkaido. One of the most popular attractions at Kiroro is the ski area, which boasts over 20 different trails. The resort also has many restaurants and bars, as well as a spa and an outdoor pool. As with the other two Hokkaido ski resorts we’ve mentioned, it’s also located a short drive from the city of Sapporo making it easy to get to.
Best Ski Resorts for Powder in Europe
Engelberg is a ski resort located in central Switzerland and one that our writer Harry visited for his first ski trip back in 2017. The resort is situated in the canton of Obwalden, north of Andermatt which we’re going to talk about next.
Engelberg is one of the most popular ski resorts in Switzerland as it is known for its heavy snowfall throughout the season. It has great accommodation options and restaurants so Engelberg is also home to several ski schools so you can drop your kids off and go hunting for the fresh powder.
Andermatt is another Swiss ski resort with some of the best powder in Europe. The resort offers a variety of different trails for beginners, intermediate level and experts. If you fall into the last category then you’ll want to go hunting for fresh powder in the terrain park.
Like all resorts in Switzerland, Andermatt offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, making it a great place to relax and take in the scenery.
Lech is a ski resort in Austria that is famous for its powder snow. It didn’t make our list of where to ski in October like other Austrian resorts, but once it starts snowing you’ll find that it’s one of the best powder ski resorts in Europe.
Its elevation is over 1,450 meters above sea level and has a population of approximately 1,700 people. This obviously gets busier during the peak months when snowboarders and skiers from all over the world come to visit.
The last of the best powder ski resorts on our list is Tignes in France. It is known for its high-quality powder as well as having many shops, mountain restaurants, and bars to suit everyone.
We recommend that you go off-piste to find the best snow here, but make sure you’re fully equipped and that you know what you’re doing.