European ski destinations are all the rage, but let's not forget the dazzling North American continent's stunning snow-capped mountains and staggering Alpine civilizations that give even the best of the best Euro-ski spots a run for their money. With so many shimmering winter wonderlands, rocky mountain regions, and stupendous ski slopes that impress both newbies and seasoned skiing veterans, North America is indeed a world-class wintery destination with jaw-dropping skiing and snowboarding opportunities all across the vast, wild, and rugged continent. For those on the west side of the pond who desire to dip their toes into the supersport of skiing for the very first time, feast their eyes upon some of North America's best beginner's ski resorts below.
10 Sugarloaf Mountain, Maine
Located in the Appalachian Mountains, Sugarloaf is a full-service resort offering private and group lessons, rentals, and some of the best views in the region. This is the perfect skiing retreat for East Coast folk, with impressive trails that glide down one side of the second tallest mountain in Maine. Sugarloaf's above-the-tree-line terrain means there are fewer obstacles on the slopes (as well as some of the East Coast's most amazing, uninterrupted views to take in), so beginners can enjoy a much safer time without worrying about colliding with anything.
Plus, the resort's highly varied terrain makes it one of the top ski resorts for brand new skiers on the East Coast, with around 20 of the 160 plus trails being rated green for beginners. In addition, guests can also enjoy some incredible cross-country skiing opportunities thanks to over 100 kilometers of Nordic trails at the resort - which is only two and a half hours from Portland.
9 Park City Mountain Resort, Utah
Park City Mountain Resort is the largest and one of the most famous ski and snowboarding resorts in the USA with a whopping 341 runs that attract all levels of skiers. Despite it being an epic ski resort for advanced skiers with skills to show off, it's an equally fantastic place for beginners to learn and get familiar with the sport thanks to no lack of skiing classes for absolute beginners, along with gear rental and a fun, welcoming atmosphere that takes the pressure off learners.
Also, the awesome staff at Park City are renowned for their maintenance skills, keeping the trails and slopes in tip-top shape to ensure outstanding snow quality and skiing conditions. The trails here are also noticeably longer than average, which is great because it means guests don't have to waste too much time constantly riding up the lifts between runs.
8 Mt. Bachelor, Oregon
Mt. Bachelor Resort is an Oregon gem in the Pacific Northwest and rests on the side of a magnificent shield volcano. This highly-rated ski resort boasts 101 runs, including plenty of easy slopes and freestyle trails. Because the terrain is so diverse here, it's the perfect area for all levels of skier who want variety, including beginners who have ample opportunity to practice their skills and move on and up to the next exciting and more difficult trail once they've mustered up some confidence.
What's more, Mt. Bachelor also offers an in-depth and very affordable beginner's skiing program for those just starting out and those with little experience. And, there's pretty much nowhere else in the US that gives a newbie skier superior bragging rights and the chance to say "I learned to ski on a volcano!"
7 Canaan Valley, West Virginia
There are a number of unbeatable ski resorts in this region and around Washington DC, but Canaan Valley definitely runs the gamut as an all-around favorite destination for all levels of skiers on the East Coast. Offering 48 ski and snowboard trails that are very diverse with variable terrain - one with an impressive 850-foot drop - Canaan Valley Resort is a top candidate and representative of some of the very best skiing in the USA.
Here, guests also have access to skiing lessons taught by experienced instructors and can rent gear if needed. And, when bored of the slopes (which is impossible at Canaan Valley!) the resort has some incredibly fun tubing slopes to let oneself loose on too. Utterly irresistible with its spa, fitness center, varied dining options, and a stunning wintery backdrop, it's not just the slopes that have earned Canaan Valley a spot on this list.
6 Steamboat Springs, Colorado
The mesmerizingly charming and scenic Steamboat Springs is just three hours from Denver and offers guests an impressive 165 runs to explore that include several bunny hills and green trails for beginners to enjoy. What's especially great for beginners here is the resort's ski school with superb instructors and guides, and the fantastic learner's area with wide, open, and very easy runs for newcomers to find their feet at their own pace. Steamboat Springs also exudes a warm and welcoming homely atmosphere and a relaxed feel, which is exactly the kind of ambiance that beginners benefit from the most when learning.
5 Breckenridge, Colorado
Imagine a 13,000-foot summit as the backdrop of a breathtaking winter dreamland, and you get Breckenridge ski resort with its mind-boggling 187 runs that make it one of the most popular and most visited ski destinations in the USA. Snow maintenance here is out-of-this-world level impressive, and the resort's masterly infrastructure to keep skiers well served and on the move is nothing short of incredible.
As a family-friendly resort with excellent amenities, as well as gear rental and lots of ski lessons to suit all skill levels - including beginners - it's an amazing spot for newbies to try their hand at skiing for the very first time. Plus, where else can a beginner brag about having skied on a 13,000 foot-high mountain?
4 Stowe, Vermont
Stowe is situated on the tallest mountain in Vermont amidst a picturesque, lush mountainous forest that looks just like a computer desktop wallpaper. Not only is it one of the prettiest resorts on the East Coast, but it's also popular thanks to how accessible it is - being easily reached from major cities like Boston and New York City.
Vermont is indeed home to a number of outstanding ski resorts, however, Stowe is particularly noteworthy due to its smaller crowds of skiers by comparison to many others in the region. Combine that with the fact that there are numerous beginner trails across two mountains, along with skiing lessons and gear rental, and Stowe is an all-around perfect (and quieter) ski spot for beginners and experienced slope-sliders to enjoy.
3 Angel Fire, New Mexico
The very family-friendly Angel Fire Resort is slightly on the smaller side by comparison to its famous and huge neighboring resort - Taos. Because this pretty little snowy gem is lesser known than many of the other equally brilliant ski resorts in the Southwest region, it's the perfect winter wonderland for guests to avoid the crowds and enjoy the slopes all to themselves.
Here, the resort's 81 trails - 21% of which are rated beginner-level - are fantastic for both newcomers and intermediate skiers, and all are kept well-maintained thanks to the resort's extensive snow-making capacities that provide perfect-powder snow every single day. There's also a brilliant ski school here that specifically caters to first-timers, offering three levels of beginner packages.
2 Northstar, California
The scenic Northstar in the equally stunning Lake Tahoe boasts bountiful opportunities for beginners. This is a large family-friendly resort with a fun, energetic atmosphere, which is why it's such a popular choice amongst both newbies and skiing veterans alike who simply want to kick back, let their hair down, and have a lot of fun. Here, guests can also ski on top of an extinct volcano (bragging rights!) and have access to the resort's tubing run, ice skating rink, and a sumptuous spa for unwinding in after an action-packed session on the slopes.
As for newbie skiers, around 13% of the resort's ski trails are rated for beginners, with plenty of opportunities to progress to the intermediate trails when ready. And, with an easy learner's area, gear rental, and ski lessons on offer, Northstar is a well-rounded choice for those with little to no experience.
1 Whistler, British Colombia, Canada
Last but not least, it's time to head to Canada, where the enormous Whistler resort takes the crown as the largest ski area in North America. This massive resort spans across two mountains - Whistler and Blackcomb - which is not only impressive, it also means guests have almost too much terrain to explore. It's the paramount playground for those who get bored easily, and who love to ski somewhere new every single time without repeating any runs. Skiers can quite easily ski for several days without seeing the same slope again, so how's that for variation?
Beginners at Whistler are also in for a treat - in addition to world-class ski lessons, a well-equipped learning center, and easy gear rental, first-timers can discover a superb variety of terrains here, which means newbies learn how to ski in a multitude of conditions and scenarios that bode well for becoming an experienced, well-trained skier.