Resort Picks: Gems

Five refreshingly undeveloped resorts

Pristine powder at Whitewater Ski Resort     Photo: Doug LePage/courtesy, Whitewater Ski Resort

EASTERN PROMISES
We love the steep, off-piste terrain and mellow vibe. But what makes Jay Peak, Vermont, our favorite New England area is the snow. It consistently gets about 20 percent more than other eastern resorts. jaypeakresort.com

STEEP THRILLS
A winding dirt road and two antique double chairs keep the crowds away from Nelson, British Columbia's Whitewater, so you get plenty of snow to yourself. Fifty-plus feet a year falls on steep slopes dotted with trees straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. The locals call it Kootenay Gold. You should sample some. skiwhitewater.com

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
With more than 900 vertical feet of legitimately steep terrain, a base area that consists of three interconnected yurts, and not a single groomed run, Michigan's Mount Bohemia is the Midwest's most challenging resort. The only catch? It's in the Upper Peninsula, a six-hour drive from Minneapolis. mtbohemia.com

UTAH'S SECRET
It's huge (5,500 acres total) and sees just a fraction of the skiers that Utah's better-known resorts do. But here's the best thing about Powder Mountain: For 12 bucks, you can catch a cat ride to Lightning Ridge, where 700 sparsely gladed acres of 2,200-foot-long runs await. powdermountain.com

OLD-SCHOOL CALI
Kirkwood is small—two high-speed quads, 2,300 acres—but it's also steep and gnarly. (The annual Subaru North American Freeskiing Championship is hosted here.) Nightlife? Bub's Pub is a hole in the wall with a jukebox and a pool table. kirkwood.com

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