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Snow Rider

Everyone has their go-to ski destination. Here’s what’s new on the mountains of California, Utah, and Colorado. Mother Nature, bring on the snow.

Snowboarder at KirkwoodKirkwood

California

Take flight! Skip the six-hour drive to Mammoth and book a quick 90-minute plane ride instead. The seasonal Alaska Airlines flight to the popular ski destination kicks off December 19 and runs through April 13. With evening flights Monday–Sunday and morning flights on Saturday, it makes taking that last run down the mountain as easy as the bunny slopes. alaskaair.com

Mammoth Mountain is always swarming with cool kids, but this season it may have some competition with the reopening of June Mountain on December 13. Mammoth’s neighboring resort, with a summit of 10,090 feet and 35 trails, of which 35 percent are considered beginner, is offering free lift tickets to kids 12 and under all season long. junemountain.com

January is National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. First-timers aged eight and up visiting Snow Summit and Bear Mountain can get free rentals throughout the month (except January 1–5 and 18–20) when you buy a lesson online, starting at $70. For advanced riders, the Red Bull Plaza at Bear Mountain has SoCal’s only superpipe, and was ranked No. 3 out of the U.S.’s top parks by TransWorld SNOWBoarding. In town at Big Bear Lake, Big Bear Lake Brewing opens this month.

Utah

Snowbird is installing Utah’s only new chairlift, a detachable quad that’ll reduce ride times by 50 percent. Also being cut in half are lift ticket prices at Snowbird and Alta for the day of arrival at Salt Lake International Airport (pre-register at alta.com or snowbird.com).

Brighton Resort will open a girls-only terrain park, with design help from free-skier Grete Eliassen, Burton, and Red Bull.

Watch the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup, taking place at Deer Valley Resort (January 8–11) and the U.S. Grand Prix at Park City Mountain Resort (January 17–19).

Learn skating techniques at the official training ground of winter Olympians in Park City. The Waldorf Astoria Park City offers private ice-skating and speed-skating lessons with a U.S. national speed-skating team member. South Korea 2018, anyone? parkcitywaldorfastoria.com

For an après-ski cocktail in a cozy setting, head to Park City’s Washington School House. The former school turned luxury boutique hotel is très chic. washingtonschoolhouse.com

Colorado

Kimpton’s Sky Hotel in Aspen finished its facelift—’70s ski-lodge chic—just in time for this ski season. With refreshed rooms, a newly designed outdoor area complete with a 24-hour heated pool, and the revamped restaurant and lounge called 39 Degrees, the Sky Hotel is primed for a wintery vacay. Plus, it’s steps from Aspen Mountain’s challenging and picturesque landscape. theskyhotel.com

With six top spots to hit the slaopes in Colorado, picking just one mountain to master can be difficult. Opt for The Epic Pass instead and gain unlimited, unrestricted skiing and riding all season long at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, and Eldora in Colorado. The Epic Pass is also accepted at Canyons in Park City, Utah; Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood in Tahoe, California; Afton Alps in Minnesota, and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. Plus, Epic Pass holders receive five free days at Verbier, Switzerland, and five free days at Arlberg, Austria. Epic Pass is $689 for adults and $359 for children ages 5–12. epicpass.com

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