Nothing beats an epic ski weekend during the winter months. Those who crave space where the mountains meet the ski know that here in the U.S., the best skiing is out west. States like Colorado, Wyoming, and even parts of California have powder and drops that bring in droves of adventurers each year.

When it comes to choosing which mountainside you are planning on careening down, not all of them are created equally. It's a common mistake to go ahead and book at one of the giant, well-known ski resorts, but are they really as good as people seem to think? We think that these five popular ski spots are overrated. For a genuinely insane ski weekend, think outside of the box.


You Can Do Better Than Steamboat

If tree skiing floats your boat, then you have probably at least considered heading out to Steamboat. Steamboat is known for its tree skiing, and plenty of people swear by this experience. Is Steamboat as out of this world as so many people claim it is? Maybe, if you manage to hit the runs first. Steamboat attracts millions of people every year, which means the tree tracks get worn down pretty quickly, taking the thrill out of tree skiing.

An alternative to Steamboat is Red Mountain. This lesser-known ski spot is located in beautiful British Colombia and has much of the same tree skiing acreage that Steamboat has, but it won't be as packed, even during high season. Red Mountain isn't called, "the last great unspoiled resort" for nothing!s

Squaw Valley Is Cool, But Check Out Other Options

Extreme skiers will know all about Squaw Valley. For years this mountain has made a name for itself for being one of the most challenging terrains for powder-lovers to take on. When the snow really starts to come down, Squaw Valley becomes seriously packed. People can not seem to stay away from it's awesome.

If crowds rain on your ski-parade, then consider trading Squaw in for Homewood Mountain. Homewood is located on the western side of Lake Tahoe, and those who have discovered this gem will tell you, it's pretty darn amazing. Not only is the skiing top-notch, but the views are basically unbeatable. Homewood is known for some of the BEST sheltered glade skiing as well as cat skiing.

Whister Is Massive, But Maybe Also Massively Overrated?

Anyone who loves snowboarding and skiing will undoubtedly have Whistler on their bucket list. It's one of those places, like Jackson Hole, that you have to hit up at least once, but is it really worth its salt. Like we said, probably at least once, but if you ski multiple times per season, try trading your Whistler vacation for Big Sky.

Big sky is comparable to Whister in size, with Whister covering 8,171 acres and Big Sky covering 5,800 acres, but at Big Sky, you will be able to roam the three hundred shoots and four mountain peaks, with a fraction of the crowds. Popular Whistler attracts tons of people, but Big Sky, located in Montana, is still flying under the radar, making it a way better choice.

Related: 15 Ski Resorts That Treat Their Guests Like Royalty (5 With Less Than Stellar Reviews)

Jackson Hole's Expensive Lift Tickets Make People Wonder If There Is Better Out There

If you ski or snowboard, then you know you have to do Jackson Hole at least once before your skiing days come to an end. We won't lie, Jackson Hole is outta this world, but to experience it, you are going to have to fork over some serious moolah. Spending a couple of days on these slopes gets pricey because of how expensive the lift tickets are. The cost of experiencing this place makes many people wonder if Jackson Hole is overrated. For a similar experience, maybe check out Revelstoke in Brittish Colombia. Revelstoke has a verticle drop that puts the drops at Jackson Hole to shame, plus it's not nearly as packed or pricey.

Vail...Just About Everyone Has Been There And Done That

Vail has been a ski and snowboard mainstay for decades, but is it becoming overrated? Many people think that Vail is a thing of the past, and are opting for ski spots like Sun Peaks instead. Sun Peaks has much of the same appeal as Vail does, the family-friendly ambiance and the European flair, but it's less congested than Vail. Sun Peaks is not too far from infamous Whistler Mountain, so many skiers heading towards Brittish Colombia pass it by, not knowing it's equally as awesome as the grander resorts.

Sun Peaks gives skiers and snowboarders much of what they are looking for, in a more relaxed atmosphere. It's an excellent, less dangerous option for families looking for some mountain adventure.

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