Buscar
Español
US$ USD dólar estadounidense
Reino Unido

Lifestyle

TRAVEL

SKI | Top 5 Family Ski Resorts in North America

North America - notably the USA and Canada - is always a great choice for a family holiday. The USA, spread across the 9.834 million km² continent has 150 famous landmarks, over 400 theme parks, 95,471 miles of shoreline and beaches and the average hours of sunshine per year ranges from 2,400 to 4,000 depending on where you visit. Canada with its wide open spaces, is the second largest country in the world by total area after Russia, covering 9.985 million km² and has over 2,000,000 fresh water lakes more than any other country in the world.



Eleven of Canada's 13 provinces border one of three oceans, making its 243,042 km coastline the longest in the world! 42% of the land is made up of spruce, poplar and pine forests, set amongst wide open plains and vast mountain ranges. One common thing the USA and Canada has to offer for families is some of the world's best ski resorts with 15,278 kilometres of slopes spread across North America. 

All images by Jon Resnick
13 Jan 2020

---

All major destination ski resorts are aware of the need to cater for families, recognising this as their main stream of revenue. As a consequence, they offer plenty of amenities on and off the slopes to cater for all ages, in particular activities for under fives. We've looked at amenities, diversity of the terrain, off-slope activities and quality of snow to bring you our top five family friendly ski resorts. 

OUR TOP 5

1. WHISTLER BLACKCOMB | BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
 
- ON PISTE -


Whistler Blackcomb features in the list of our five best family ski resorts for a number of reasons and subsequently, it's more often than not voted the top family ski resort in the whole of North America. As well as being the best for families, it is one of the largest ski resorts with over 200 runs nestled between the two mountains. Initially two separate resorts - Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain, in 1997 the owner of Blackcomb purchased Whistler and they came together under one. Depending on their level of expertise, there are a host of different programmes for all skill levels with specially dedicated camps for each. On the slopes, there is a vast amount of terrain between the two mountains with a number of beginner slopes which means they'll never get bored skiing the same few slopes like other resorts. In addition to this, they frequently offer free skiing for children.

- OFF PISTE -

Off the slopes, other activities for families include a tube park, an outdoor zip line, snow shoe hikes through the mountains and dog sledding tours. For daredevils, there is a tri-cable gondola lift that goes from Whistler to Blackcomb and back - the first of its kind in North America. The village in Whistler has a number of different shops and restaurants, a playground and an ice rink for the children. Every weekend in the centre is a fire and ice event which showcases local snowboarders and skiers doing tricks through a hoop of fire and is said to be a sight to behold.

- GETTING THERE -


The nearest international airport is Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and is 135km away. Driving time from the airport to Whistler is approximately 2.5 hours.


2. JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT | WYOMING, USA


- ON PISTE -

Jackson Hole mountain resort is great for families all year around due to the fact 97% of the land there is preservation land, so there are plenty of open spaces with wildlife and stunning national parks. The scenery here is particularly spectacular, especially when flying in over the mountains to the local airport which is a short 20 minute drive into Teton Village. Renowned for its tough and demanding ski runs, in recent years they have added more ski lifts and intermediate trails for novices which makes it an ideal place for families. For more advanced skiers, Jackson Hole mountain is notoriously hard to conquer and it's the challenge coupled with the breathtaking scenery that encourages people to visit time and time again.

- OFF PISTE -

For families that wish to spend time away from the slopes, Jackson Hole has a Children's Museum that's suited to families with younger children and toddlers. Also here, is a family-friendly bowling alley. Grand Teton National Park is nearby and there are plenty of guides who offer eco tours where you can see a whole array of wildlife including Bison , Elks, Hawks and the famous American bald eagle. For art lovers, there is a the National Museum of Wildlife Art with works from famous artists such as Andy Warhol and Georgia O'Keeffe. Finally. one of the most notable activities for families is the sleigh rides at the National Elk Refuge.

- GETTING THERE -

The nearest international airport is Salt Lake City (SLC) 494 km away and is approximately a 4 hour drive.

----

3. ASPEN - COLORADO, USA

- ON PISTE -


With four mountains to ski - Aspen in Colorado is a great choice for families. Set within the Roaring Fork Valley are Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk. Between them there are 5,285 acres made up of eight terrain parks, four half pipes, 326 marked trails and a total of 46 lifts. The best locations for children are Buttermilk and Snowmass. Aspen Snowmass is one of the most famous ski destinations in the world and is not only known for its diverse terrain but its fine restaurants and abundance of nightlife. The mountain has a rocky terrain and a 4,406 feet vertical drop for more advanced daredevil skiers, however the beginners facilities for young skiers are second to none. At both Snowmass and Buttermilk, several areas have been specially customised for children, with trails that feel more like an adventure - some of which offer little surprises along the way, such as fun art installations.

- OFF PISTE -

Known in general for its glamorous nightlife and restaurants, there are plenty of activities for families to enjoy together. Have fun rafting in Aspen’s whitewater rapids, hike or bike the Rio Grande Trail, the Hunter Creek Trail or Smuggler Mountain Road, get everyone's adrenaline going by tubing down the mountainside or enjoy the Ice-skating, sledding, rock climbing and swimming in many different locations.

- GETTING THERE -

Aspen is located 357 km southwest of Denver, International Airport (DIA) and is approximately a 4 hour drive.


4. OKEMO - VERMONT, USA

- ON PISTE -


Okemo is one of Canada's premier family mountain resorts. Situated in Southern Vermont amidst lush, rolling green mountains, Okemo is not only great for family skiing but the perfect destination for experiencing everything the great outdoors has to offer in the state of Vermont. There are five different areas of the mountain in total, The Main Area, Solitude, South Face Jackson Gore and Glades Peak. In general, the terrain here is smooth rather than rocky which makes it ideal for families as there are no bumps or steep slopes. There are however plenty of long runs which are great for beginners or intermediate skiers and with plenty to choose from - 120 trails spread across 667 acres - it's possible to ski all day on numerous different slopes. For those who are more advanced skiers, the Jackson Gore side has more challenging, natural terrain.

- OFF PISTE -

In addition to skiing, families can enjoy mountain, ziplines and segway tours and and Jackson Gore Village in particular caters for families with plenty of options for aprés ski after a long day in the snow. One of the most unique attractions in Jackson Gore is the The Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster - a rollercoaster that takes riders through alpine forests and along the contours of the mountain. The riders determine their own speed which is great for families of little ones who don't wish to go too fast - it climbs 1,600-feet followed by a 375 vertical-foot descent!

- GETTING THERE -

The Hartford-Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Connecticut is 200km and is just over a 2 hour drive. 

----

5. BIG SKY - MONTANA, USA

- ON PISTE -

Montana’s Big Sky Resort is situated in the beautiful rugged Northern Rocky Mountains, 50 miles from Yellowstone National Park and 40 miles from Bozeman and is one of the biggest ski areas in North America, offering a wide variety of terrain for all levels of skiers, making it perfect for families. It has 5,800 skiable acres and caters for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers. One of the best things about Big Sky is the guaranteed snow, with an average of 11,167 feet of snowfall every year - for families, it's good to note that the slopes do not become overcrowded which makes it safer for little ones - this is due to there being such a vast terrain set over four mountains, offering over 300 runs and 36 ski lifts, including the first eight seat lift in the US with heated seats and a covered shelter to offer protection from bitter winds and snow. Children under the age of six ski completely free. In addition, there is a mini ski camp where you can enrol the littlest members from three to six years old. The most iconic mountain in the area is Lone Mountain which stands at 11,167 feet.

- OFF PISTE -

There are plenty of additional activities for families in this mountain town - from riding dog sleds to fly fishing, snow shoe trails and you can even take an avalanche course! For those that wish to enjoy Yellowstone Park in the winter months, it's a short 50 mile drive and takes just over an hour. 

- GETTING THERE -

The Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN), is less than a 45 minute from Big Sky and is 57 km   


Shop our seasonal Ski Shop Here

Related Features

STYLE

Visiting Family Friendly Resort Whistler | @islandfeversisters

In the midst of ski season, we spoke to Kathy Croman of @islandfeversisters about her recent trip to Whistler and her ski essentials for daughter Kaia.
READ MORE

STYLE

Ski | Technical Outerwear

Discover the innovative technical features guaranteed to kids warm, dry and looking cool on the slopes this season.
READ MORE

¿Qué opinas sobre este artículo?

No me interesa No me interesa
Top
Mi cuenta Mi configuración