Where to Ski: Aspen, Whistler, or Vail?

Powder Day at Vail Skiing Skier

When it comes to picking the perfect skiing or snowboarding destination, it can be overwhelming for many travelers. After all, there are dozens of popular locations throughout North America, and while many claim to be the best, few actually are. Depending on what you’re looking for in a ski vacation (quality of snow, variety of runs, apres ski options), a resort can be lacking or as perfect as you imagine. So we’ve whipped up a brief review for three of the continents most popular ski resorts: Aspen, Whistler, and Vail. Read through each to determine which is be the best option for your trip, your budget, and your family.

Vail Ski Resort *****

Located in Colorado, the ski resort of Vail boasts more than 5,000 acres of skiable terrain. Snowfall is reliable, and the area can claim more than 300 days of sunshine each year. Elevation at the summit tops more than 11,000 feet, and more than 30 lifts give over 50,000 people an hour uphill capacity. Activities like snow-tubing, sledding, and indoor arts and crafts within Vail Village make this a wonderful places for even those who don’t love skiing. For families who wish to take advantage of daycare services and children’s ski classes, this is an especially great destination.

In addition to being named the third best ski resort in North America by SKI Magazine, Vail was ranked first for Digital Presence, recognizing the resort’s progressive stance at revolutionizing the ski-vacation experience. Leading the way forward with social media initiatives like EpicMix, this ski season kicks off with the unVAILing of the world’s fastest gondola (1,200 feet-per-minute and wi-fi-equipped), highlighting the resort’s technology. Vail is still the classic mountain experience that skiers have loved since 1962, but with some excellent upgrades.

If you’re planning on skiing for several days, look into getting in an Epic Pass and save some serious coin. You have the option to not only ski at Vail, but Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, and Arapahoe Basin. Not a bad bang for your buck.

Whistler Blackcomb *****

This ski resort is located in British Columbia, and with more than 8,000 acres of skiable area, it is the largest of all three options in this guide. It also boasts the most annual snowfall, at 469 inches, and it has the longest run, which goes on for more than seven miles. There are 40 different lifts available for guests, meaning that lines are minimal. Although Whistler welcomes skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, experts may not feel challenged, as there are a limited number of challenging runs.

Whistler Blackcomb was voted the #1 overall resort in North America by SKI Magazine for its consistent and reliable snow, so you can rest assured that your ski experience will be as legendary as the mountain itself. It also took #1 overall in Terrain Variety; #2 overall in Service, Lodging, Après, Off Hill Activities, and Digital Presence; and Top 5 for Challenge of Terrain, Lifts, On-Mountain Food, Dining, Scenery, Terrain Parks, and Overall Guest Satisfaction. Receiving an annual snowfall of 11.92 metres (39.1 feet) per year, Whistler offers an abundance of powder to experience and enjoy. The past three seasons received higher than average dumps of the white stuff and this season is shaping up to be a beauty!

Aspen ***

Of the three resorts, Aspen is the smallest. Snowboarding is not allowed within Aspen, so that may be an issue for large groups where some members prefer snowboarding to skiing. However, Aspen does offer visitors incredible scenic beauty and a variety of upscale dining and nightlife options. Keep in mind that there are very few beginner’s trails, with most of the skiing revolving around more advanced runs. While it may come across as pretentious to some, Aspen does offer some incredible options for celebrity spotting and people watching.

Make an informed decision!

Although there are undoubtedly some great runs at Vail, Aspen and Whistler, they each have some advantages and drawbacks that potential visitors will need to consider before making their final decision. For more information, call today to speak with our friendly destination experts at 1-800-649-9960. They’ll help get you on the right track. Or check out our Current Specials and Discounts for Vail Resorts and start planning your next ski vacation today!

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  1. Posted December 7, 2012 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    While Vail and Aspen are pretty darn cool, nothing beats the legendary “Apres Ski” that Whistler has to offer at the bottom of the slopes.

  2. adventure pads
    Posted December 12, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Nice Post

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