It’s peak ski season out there, fellas, and for us, that means one thing: Guy trip. We do our very best at least once a year to get all the guys together for something special. Some years we’re fishing in the pacific, others we’re touring the Alaskan backcountry and sometimes we’re catching rays on a beach somewhere and eating all the tacos we can find.
This year, we decided to plot out a ski excursion. Why? Because on a cold winter day there’s nothing better than carving fresh powder and grabbing a few fireside brews with the buds. We put a lot of time and effort into researching all the best resorts in the country, and we think we have a pretty solid list.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming (link)
Jackson Hole is home to arguably the best skiing and snowboarding terrain the U.S. has to offer. It’s also absolutely staggering in size, with two terrain parks, over 130 trails and a vertical drop of over 4,100 feet—all spread out across 2,500 acres of in-bounds terrain and 3,000 acres of back country action. Of the marked trails, 50% of them are expert, 40% are intermediate, and 10% are beginner, which means there’s enough fun for people of all skill levels.
Jackson Hole is just as appealing off the slopes, with its budget friendly lodging (This resort has every kind of lodging setup you can think of, from the bare bones to the positively extravagant) and plethora of awesome bars, restaurants and nightlife spots.
Whether you seek an incredible skiing/snowboarding experience, or you’re really looking to tie one off with the boys, you’ll find everything you want and more in Jackson Hole.
Telluride, Colorado (link)
If you’re looking for unbelievably picturesque vistas, coupled with some incredible terrain and fun right outside your door at all times, Telluride, Colorado is your huckleberry.
With amazing year-round views of the San Juan Mountains and some of the most renowned and varied scenery available in the U.S., people seriously just come hang out here for the scenery. Telluride is also a lot of fun because it offers everything from ski-in access that puts you right in the action, to awesome hike-to options for the outdoorsmen among us—all built around three terrain parks and 127 trails that span over 2,000 skiable acres with a vertical of over 4,000 feet. For skiers and snowboarders, it’s nothing short of paradise.
The other cool thing about Telluride is that it’s home to some of the best bars and restaurants in the entire country, including the famous Last Dollar Saloon. The town also lacks all semblance of pretentiousness, which leaves the door wide open for a damn good time.
Big Sky, Montana (link)
First of all, there’s something about Montana that gets us all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s one of those year-round destinations we can’t really get enough of, regardless of why we’re headed out there.
That said, Big Sky is the premiere resort in Montana, and what we love about it is that it’s got some expert and beginner stuff, but it’s really an intermediate play land. So, you’ll find something there for everyone. If you want everyone to rip slopes together, this is probably going to be one of your best bets. It’s also excellent because despite its massive 6,000 acres covered with fresh powder almost daily, it’s a unique location that’s gone proudly undisturbed by the allure of modern family vacation-style resorts.
You’ll still have bars and saloons open for some late night ruckus-making, but you won’t be fighting your way to a lift. If you’re into a more secluded, laid back week of skiing in the mountains with your crew, this is an excellent choice.
Oh! And it’s also a base camp for Yellowstone National Park, if you’re interested in some wintertime hiking and exploring. Just throwing it out there!
Heavenly, South Lake Tahoe, California (link)
If you’re really looking to party more than ski, Heavenly is where it’s at. Don’t get us wrong, the resort, located on the boarders of Nevada and California in South Lake Tahoe, is home to two full-service terrain parks, over 4,600 skiable acres and features 3,500 vertical feet (the steepest on the West Coast), but this is the partiers resort, more than anything else.
Heavenly is more like a snow-capped Sin City than anything else. Bachelor and bachelorette parties, casinos, fine restaurants, bars and clubs abound in this wonderful adult play land, and opportunities to go big or go home lurk around every corner. It’s also a decidedly younger atmosphere, catering primarily to the twenties and thirties crowd.
Killington, Vermont (link)
Finally, we have Killington, Vermont. We wanted to include at least one East Coast selection on this list for our readers in the Northeast, but the good news is this isn’t a cop-out pick. Killington is considered one of the best mid-sized resorts in the entire country, and offers skiers over 1,500 acres of skiable terrain with a 3,050 vertical, spread out over several different mountain areas that kick total ass. There are also two terrain parks for the more technical skiers and snowboarders in your group. We also really appreciate the near-even makeup between beginner, intermediate and expert trails at this resort, because it means something for literally every member of your group.
If it’s off-slope fun you’re after, think of this place as a smaller, more intimate Heavenly—minus the casinos, naturally. Folks from Vermont have a very special, very unique blend of New Englander-meets-hippie vibe, and those attributes are reflected perfectly at Killington. Tons of bars and restaurants, as well as clubs, great lodges and anything else you could ever want. You’ll find everything from penthouse suites to budget rooms here, and you probably won’t regret a stay in either.
It’s certainly no Breckinridge or Aspen, but that’s really what we love so much about it.
So get your bags packed and let's go.