Published January 2020
It’s officially the heart of the ski season—boards and skis have been waxed and sharpened, ready to hit the slopes in search of fresh powder. An estimated 59.3 million people visited U.S. snowsports destinations last winter—the fourth highest tally on record. And, reports indicate heavy snowfall across the U.S. for the remainder of 2020, so ski resorts and towns can expect a major influx of mountainside guests this year, too.
Vacasa travel experts took to the data to rank the best ski destinations of the year, looking at locations that have received the most Vacasa property bookings during the winter season, spanning December 2019 through February 2020. These (ice cold) hotspots are in high demand for a reason, so if you’re craving the crème de la crème of ski vacations, read on.
Featured Vacasa home: Eagle Springs East: Boxelder Suite
Close to buzzing Park City, this serene ski town offers stunning mountain scenery and fantastic snow conditions. If the trails at Solitude Mountain aren’t enough to satiate your skiing appetite, remember that you’re right on the doorstep of some of the highest-rated resorts in the world.
Featured Vacasa home: Antler Ridge
Big Sky sits in a basin completely surrounded by mountain peaks. While the southern Montana resort town offers year-round recreation, it really shines in the winter months, with more than 400 inches of snowfall per year on average.
Featured Vacasa home: West Wing Cabin
Nestled on the banks of Dillon Reservoir, Silverthorne is neighbor to a number of local ski resorts. The community is loaded with vacation rentals, so there are plenty of options for all types of groups.
Featured Vacasa home: The Ridge House at Powder Ridge
The quaint town of Newry, Maine, is quickly becoming one of the most popular ski destinations in the U.S. due to its close proximity to Sunday River Ski Resort, a jewel of the northeast.
Featured Vacasa home: The Woods: D4
Killington is renowned among New England skiers as one of the region’s best offerings, with six peaks for powderheads to fawn over. Vermont’s beautiful Green Mountain range is ever in sight and serves as the perfect backdrop to this gorgeous ski resort town.
Now, we also know winter ski travel can be a significant investment, between taking the time off from work and forking over the often-hefty lift fees. Tracking down the best conditions is crucial, but so is getting the most bang for your buck—the ski resorts that don’t get frustratingly clogged, but still deliver champagne powder.
So, we dug into reservation data to determine which destinations yield the best value for snow-hungry travelers, ranking the ski towns that are seeing the lowest numbers of bookings in the U.S. from December 2019 through February 2020.
With less booking competition, vacation rental prices are generally lower than average, and crowds are less of a headache. Take these destinations into consideration for your upcoming adventure.
Featured Vacasa home: Eagle Crest on Ridge Course
Eagle Crest sits atop our “best value” rankings, as it often flies under the radar compared to nearby Bend. With easy access to the central Oregon ski paradise of Mt. Bachelor, Eagle Crest is a cost-conscious destination for families and small groups of travelers.
Featured Vacasa home: Vision House
Sitting on the eponymous, serpentine body of Lake Chelan, the town of Chelan, Washington, is a mountaineer’s delight. With vineyards, backcountry wilderness, and access to both Nordic and downhill skiing, Chelan is ripe for outdoor wintertime adventure.
Featured Vacasa home: Farmhouse
While Garden City is often revered as a summertime destination, don’t sleep on its winter offerings! Situated in northern Utah’s Bear Lake State Park, this beautiful retreat is just 10 miles from the ski slopes of Beaver Mountain.
Featured Vacasa home: Mowich Cabin
Black Butte Ranch is a central Oregon mainstay with its beautiful natural scenery and abundance of outdoor adventures for visitors to embark on. With Hoodoo Ski Resort just down the road, Black Butte Ranch is a winter getaway with serious value.
Featured Vacasa home: Magical Rocky Top
A mere hour north of Boulder, Estes Park is surrounded by raw beauty, in the throes of Rocky Mountain National Park. Estes Park cabins make the perfect access point to popular Colorado ski resorts like Eldora.
The 2020 ski season will continue to bring a swarm of travelers across the U.S. in search of fresh powder. While old faithful U.S. ski towns will remain big tourist draws, new markets are beginning to emerge as valuable alternatives for the cost-conscious consumer. No matter what town you choose for your winter destination, we’re here to help you enjoy an unforgettable mountainside trip. Time to shred.
Vacasa data collection occurred in November 2019.