Take a Hike

The lift-served skiing at these five resorts is fantastic. The terrain requiring a bit of extra effort? Icing on the cake.

Dec 9, 2009
Outside Magazine
Jackson Hole, Wyoming (Ian T. Coble/Digital Vision/Getty)

Jackson Hole, Wyoming    Photo: Ian T. Coble/Digital Vision/Getty

Big Couloir, the 1,450-vertical-foot no-fall zone that sits just inside Big Sky's boundaries, requires you to bring avy gear and check in with ski patrol. So don't start there—narrower but less-punishing lines begin from the knife-edge ridge that separates Big Sky from sister resort Moonlight Basin (above the Challenger Chair). bigskyresort.com

Jackson Hole gets credit for beginning the open-boundary trend over the past decade. A 15-minute hike along Pepi's Bench gets you to the steeps in Sheridan Bowl; longer slogs into the Headwall, Casper Bowl, and the uncontrolled Bridger-Teton National Forest beyond provide more diversity. jacksonhole.com

Keystone still has a reputation as a tame Denver family resort. For shame. The new 300-acre Independence Bowl opens 30-to-40-degree lines accessed by an invigorating hike on AT gear. Cat rides ($225 per day) serve the well- and sore-heeled alike. keystoneresort.com

Unbeknownst to the Brie eaters in Deer Valley's exquisite lodges, the resort's Empire Canyon has hike-to shots that rival any at its bro-ier neighbors. A short traverse gets you to the first of nine Daly Chutes—500-to-800-vertical-foot shots. Hike or sidestep along the ridge for the X Files Glades, wide-open avenues underneath a canopy of pines. Naturally, all runs wind up at the cozy Empire Canyon Lodge. deervalley.com

It's time to ski what you've been missing: Fernie's five lift-accessed bowls are chock-full of interior B.C.'s abundant (340-plus inches annually) powder—and bereft of people. Traverse skier's left along Cedar Bowl to the Snake Ridge for rock-lined chutes. Skier's right from the Timber Chair takes you to Siberia Ridge, where a ten-minute hike accesses 30-degree open bowls leading back to the base. skifernie.com

Filed To: Keystone, Deer Valley, Park City, Downhill Skiing, Backcountry Skiing, Snowboarding

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web


Not Now

What You Missed

Our most important headlines, sent to you every Saturday.

Thank you!