Fresh Powder

What’s new at the best ski resorts in the West


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PARK CITY

New this season 

New: the grand reopening of eight restaurants at Canyons Resort. New-ish: expanded terrain and the first heated chairlift in North America. 

The slopes 

You can’t go wrong anywhere in Park City, but for a luxury destination, Deer Valley stands out with ski valets, perfectly groomed tracks, Utah’s “champagne powder,” and a superlative ski school.

Après–ski

Ski Beach at the St. Regis serves up peppermint schnapps, hot chocolate, and Swiss fondue, courtesy of acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

On the injured list?

Make any excuse to visit the spa at the five-star Stein Eriksen Lodge. Get a shea butter wrap, Great Salt Lake salt crystal exfoliation, and hydrating massage to combat the dry climate. 

Travel tip

Don’t miss the famous Deer Valley turkey chili between runs and then hit the High West Distillery & Saloon for artisan rye whiskey made on site in Old Town.

MAMMOTH

New this season 

Fly direct (daily!) on United’s SkyWest Airlines, from SAN to Mammoth Yosemite Airport, Dec. 15 to April 15 (about $200 round-trip). Sayonara, seven-hour drive!

The slopes

Intermediates should try the Cornice off the gondola, while experts love the narrow Avalanche Chutes on powder days.

Après–ski

Ski right up to Gomez’s for their fine selection of more than 150 tequilas, tasty margs, and authentic Mexican food.

On the injured list?

Drive to Mono Lake for an unforgettable nature experience or hit June Lake for pristine backcountry cross-country skiing.

SUNDANCE

New this season 

Sundance Resort is moving and expanding its terrain park and adding lights for night skiing and snowboarding.

The slopes 

It’s old-school skiing with only a few lifts and bowls, but Sundance wins points for natural beauty and uncrowded slopes.

Après–ski

The cozy Owl Bar has the original bar, bullet holes and all, from Thermopolis, Wyo., where the infamous Hole-in-the-Wall gang (including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) used to swill. Live music and a cast of characters can be found here—even Robert Redford himself.

On the injured list?

Take a class in jewelry making, pottery, painting, or printmaking taught by local artisans at the Art Shack behind the resort.

Travel tip

Dine at the Tree Room surrounded by Redford’s extensive Native American art collection, then see a complimentary movie, part of The Redford Film Series.

ASPEN

New this season 

Thanks to a $26 million renovation, new restaurants, and a high speed quad replacing two lifts—cutting ride time from 18 minutes to under 7—start Dec. 10.

The slopes 

You’ve got four stellar mountains: challenging steeps at Aspen Mountain for advance skiers, Buttermilk for beginners, Snowmass for families and snowboarders, and Highlands for locals and backcountry types.

Après–ski

The swank Sky Hotel’s 39 Degrees Lounge is the spot for creative cocktails and celeb spotting. Goldie Hawn is a regular.

On the injured list?

Take a yoga class at 02 Aspen, then hit the myriad art galleries and chic boutiques.

Travel tip

Grab sushi at Matsuhisa then check out who’s playing at The Belly Up. People like Snoop Dogg drop in.

SQUAW VALLEY

New this season 

Starting a 5-year, $50 mil renovation, Squaw Valley has 10 new grooming machines, 200 mountain signs, info boards with real-time updates, and more. Plus: more than 300 days of sunshine a year!

The slopes 

Experts can play in moguls and steeps galore and huck themselves off the in-bound cliffs, while beginners can cruise tame green runs with hypnotic views of the deep blue lake. 

Après–ski

The new KT Base Bar has K-banas (ski cabañas), outdoor fire pits, and dining on the sundeck. The new Rocker@Squaw restaurant in The Village sports plugins for your helmet cams so you can edit the day’s footage and upload to YouTube.

On the injured list?

Catch some air on the new tubing course at the base area, or practice your mushing skills dog-sledding at the Resort at Squaw Creek.

Travel tip

New! If you fly into any airport (Reno, Sacramento, SFO) and present your boarding pass that day, you can ski that afternoon for free. Over the holidays, ski with gold-medalist Jonny Moseley for free. Hot!

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