With the Winter Olympics coming up, you may be inspired to hit the slopes yourself. From the best après-ski hangouts to the prettiest peaks, here is Sunset’s list of best ski towns in the West.
Most relaxed: Rossland, British Columbia––Not a fan of the resorts? With only 112,000 visitors to the slope per year, Rossland manages to maintain that unaffected, small town charm.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Most Old West charm: Steamboat Springs, Colorado––Surrounded by 400 cattle ranches, skiers can mingle with the spur-clad locals.
Prettiest town: Telluride, Colorado––13,000 foot peaks and Bridal Veil Falls, what more could you ask for?
Most under the radar: Sandpoint, Idaho––In the panhandle between glacially formed Lake Pend Oreille and the Selkirk Mountains, Sandpoint has remained relatively unknown. Highlights include: MickDuff’s Brewing Co., Pend D’Oreille Winery tasting room, and Bistro Rouge Café.
Most food-focused: Bend, Oregon––There’s nothing better than a good meal after a long day of skiing, and this former logging town certainly delivers. Try the sandwiches from Jackson’s Corner; Spork, a cart that serves Thai curry and tacos; Zydecom for New Orlean’s flavors; 900 Wall, for a pasta/pizza/steak menu that truly delivers; and Joolz, an Oregonian take on Lebanese food.
Most charm: Crested Butte, Colorado––Expect to see anything from a hand painted bus to ski-toting bike riders.
Best après-ski scene: Jackson Hole, Wyoming––From the Mangy Moose to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, the locals in Jackson prove they are as hard-partying as they are hard-skiing.
Teton Village in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Most well-rounded: Truckee, California––Just 13 miles north of Lake Tahoe, this ski town has something for everyone from cafés, to jazz lounges, to tasting rooms.
Easiest ski weekend: Park City, Utah––Just a quick plane flight away, Park City mixes small-town charm with a swanky celeb scene during Sundance Film Festival.
Best for non-skiers: Taos, New Mexico––Though the steep slopes atop a 9,207 foot base beckons experts, the town of Taos has everything for the non-skier from the 1,000-year-old Taos Pueblo, El Monte Sagrado’s spa, and an art museum.
This article can be found in its original form at Sunset.
Photos: Red Mountain Resort, Brown Cannon III via Sunset, and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.