Family Ski Vacation: Okemo Mountain Resort, Vermont

Ski at Okemo Mountain Resort

I like Okemo because it’s not Killington. Don’t get me wrong, I love Killington, but Okemo Mountain Resort has a family friendly vibe AND it’s just a little bit further down the path than Killington.Okemo Mountain Resort Ski
So while everyone’s heading to Killington and meeting up at the Wobbly Barn to party (I still can’t believe that thing has not come down), head over to Okemo for the same great snow without the volume of humanity that you get at Killington.

Located in the heart of Central Vermont’s Green Mountains, Okemo offers eight different properties, all with their own character and charm. Okemo Mountain Resort has plenty of trails for all abilities.

Okemo has:

  • 121 trails and glades
  • 667 acres of terrain
  • 96% of trails covered by snowmaking
  • Novice 32% Intermediate 36% Advanced/ Expert 31%Vertical Drop: 2,200 feet (most vertical in southern Vermont)
  • Base Elevation: 1,144 feet
  • Summit Elevation: 3,344 feet
  • 1 high-speed six-pack bubble chair with heated seats
  • 9 quad chairs (4 highspeed quads)
  • 3 triple chairs
  • 7 surface lifts
    Okemo map

Other cool things to do at Okemo:

Snowcat Excursions

Ever watched those snow cats go up at night to groom the hill and get a twinge of jealousy? Some brilliant person came up with a way to make everyone happy. See the mountain from the view from inside a specially-designed cabin, attached to an Okemo snowcat! See the top of the mountain, and the valley below like you’ve never seen it before, lit up at night.

Each ride departs from the Jackson Gore base area and will last just over one hour, with time to get out at the summit, take pictures and learn a bit about the mountain and the area along the way. You must register in advance to take in this incredible experience, and we will begin offering rides as soon as weather permits.

Ride a Mountain Coaster

The Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster is Central Vermont’s favorite four-season attraction, offering a scenic and exhilarating ride through alpine forests and along the contours of the mountain at Okemo’s Jackson Gokemo coasterore. The roller coaster ride heads down 3100 feet of track following the contours of the mountain with added waves, camel back and banking loops down the mountain, at up to 25 miles an hour. Sled-like cars carry two passengers in comfort but can be handled easily by one alone. The riders are in control of the speed, and this gives them a unique hands-on experience, encouraging repeat visits.

Guests will load and unload the Timber Ripper in the Jackson Gore base area, near the bottom of the Coleman Brook Express lift.

Click here for more information on the Okemo Mountain Resort.

 

How To Dress for Winter Sports

How to Dress for Winter Sports

The key to enjoying winter sports is to dress right. There’s nothing more miserable and potentially day ruining than letting your child get cold, wet and uncomfortable kid. It’s important to also take into account what your activities are, what the weather predictions throughout the day will be and since most of it will change from hour to hour, you need to dress in layers. And layering in the right gear is also important.

whistlerFollow these guidelines and you’ll be good to go for a full day of family adventure.

First, what are you planning on doing? Will there be a lot of hiking up a mountain, skiing, duck walking up to the lift line? Will you be Alpine or Nordic skiing? What I’m getting at is, how hot do you expect to get under all those layers? If you think you’ll be sweating that’s important to know.

Dressing Your Core in The Winter

Base Layer (top and bottom):

A good moisture wicking, tightly woven, flexible technical fiber will keep you cool and dry. Keeping dry is important because while you are hot while you are sweating, if you don’t get rid of the moisture you just shed, it will make you colder than when you started out. Remember why we sweat in the first place? We sweat to cool our bodies down by evaporating the moisture off our bodies. Getting soaked even in your own sweat is just as bad as if you accidentally got wet. So, moisture wicking is key.

Also keep it flexible. The more flexible your under layer is the more you’ll enjoy yourself. And try to find the thinnest, with the most protection that you can. It can be a bit more costly but it’s so worth it when you are out there in the elements. Cold weather gear is not the place to cheap out.

For really cold days, you can add a layer of fleece on top of the under layer. Make sure that’s flexible as well for both your torso and legs. You want to be free to move at your own pace. Remember the kid in Christmas Story that looked like a marshmallow? Don’t be him.

Your Core Middle Layer:

We’ve already talked about Fleece but there are a number of technical fabrics you can use to layer up over your base layer. Wool is also a good choice as long as it’s flexible. This middle layer is the part you will want to remove and add as the weather changes. So for really cold days one more thin layer that can be easily taken off and stuffed in a bag if the sun comes out, might not be a bad idea. Just don’t make this layer a big heavy one. Stay away from the big cable knit sweaters. A turtle neck is fine to throw over your base layer but try to avoid cotton. Make sure if you do put anything cotton on, that it’s sitting on top of your base layer (as opposed to touching your skin directly–neck is OK) and you can peel it off easily.

Your Core Outer Layer: 

First it MUST cut the wind. It’s not worth anything unless it cuts the wind. I don’t care how pretty the jacket is, you’re not going to care if you are miserably cold. Tight fibers like Gortex and other types of material are good for blocking wind and water. You want a nice, water and windproof shell. This way even if you do get sweaty under there, the wind won’t be getting through to evaporate the sweat. You can get a super heavy duty jacket that has goose down or layers of insulation that will keep you super warm standing still. If you will be standing around watching an event or minimally active outside, this is a good choice.

For skiing, or hiking I’d recommend a mid weight shell with air vents and plenty of pockets to hold your stuff. If you think it might be super cold out, I’d go with yet another fleece layer with a shell on top of it, than a very thick jacket. The weather can change on a dime and when you are skiing hard or Nordic skiing (which you’ll find yourself dripping in sweat even on the coldest days) you will get hot. If you have a fleece layer that you can remove and a shell with vents under the armpits you can better regulate your body temperature. If you only have a big honking goose down jacket to remove, you’ll be stuck with either freezing or sweating your brains out. Or you’ll be putting it on and taking it off every five minutes. One important thing to remember about technical fiber, don’t stick pins in it. No name tags, no stick pins. If you push a pin through that fiber, you’ll start to ruin the whole “wind-proof” part of it.

Preparing Your Head for the Cold

If you grew up under a rock you might have missed the fact that 70% of your body heat leaves through your head. That includes if you have a thick skull or a thick head of hair. So ladies, I know I hate them too, it’s hat time. Granted if it’s not super cold out, you can get away with a fleece headband or earmuffs but a hat is your ticket to long term fun. I have always hated hats, but I’ve come to Jesus about it and found a better way. Instead of a hair flattening, stupid looking hat, I bought a neoprene full head hood. I look like I’m ready to dive off a pier but it has this great affect of keeping my head warm, plus my hair stays relatively intact. It’s similar to when you put your clothes in a suitcase still wrapped in the dry cleaner plastic. My thick hair is flattened out and tucked away so it’s not getting stuck under my goggles, so it makes it easy to put on my helmet (also another item I finally grew up and started wearing).

Ski Helmet:

If you are skiing, helmets are not just for kids anymore, everyone should be wearing a helmet. It took me awhile to get over the dork factor, even though I’d think nothing of wearing a bike helmet, but seriously, there are rocks out there, and ice as hard as rocks. When you think about how crazy it is to be strapped to a board sliding down the side of a mountain…on snow… it’s kind of crazy that we didn’t always wear helmets. So invest in a good one. Make sure it comes from a reputable company and make sure it fits comfortably on your head. Air vents are also a nice feature to have. Another nice feature are the kind that come with cushioned pockets that let you drop little speakers in. Make sure to replace it every few years and for kids, check every year to see that it still feels comfortable or go get a new one. Never use a hand-me-down helmet. Treat helmets like you would car seats.

Mounting Things on your Helmet:

I know a lot of people like to mount cameras on their helmets. I’m not an expert on them by any means, but something about drilling through or attaching mounts to a helmet never sat right with me. If the helmet comes with a mount that’s a better choice. When I read that the formula one racer, Michael Schumacker’s freak off-piste ski accident, which left him in a coma, was possibly caused by his Go Pro mounting, that kind of made sense to me. It’s just good policy not to modify safety equipment after market.

Ski Goggles:

My least favorite piece of equipment. I am yet to find the perfect pair that never fogs, is dark enough for sunny days, and still lets me see the dips and peaks of a very gray/white looking terrain. Depth perception is the bane of my existence when the sun is not out. And I want ones infused with Google Glass or something like that, that shows me where to go and how to hit the mogul…and an arrow pointing to the lodge, but I digress. If you are a heavy breather like me, invest in a pair that leads with no fog as their key feature. They even have ones with fans in them. Truth is, it’s best to have a couple of pairs ready, one for sun, one for clouds, or a set that allows you to change lenses. And it has to fit your face or you’ll be miserable. There’s no easy win with Goggles, do your research and take your time to get them fitted. This is one of those items (unlike Swaravski- encrusted ski jackets) where the more you spend, the better the gear will be.

Keeping Your Neck Warm

Scarves are Ok in a pinch but if you are planning to be active at all, invest in a neck gator. It’s a nice round, usually fleece scarf that stays snug around your neck (not too tight of course) and you can pull it up over your face when you need.

Try to have at least one of your layers zip up your neck. You want to make sure there’s no way for air to get down your shirt, or blowing on a naked neck. When skiing your chin gets cold because along with your nose, it’s one of the first body parts heading into the wind. So at the least a gator, at the most, something that zips up completely covering your neck.

Scarves are also bad because they get caught in chair lifts and under skis. They’re kind of deadly actually, so if you have a scarf tied around your neck, be very careful about loose ends.

Keeping Your Legs Warm During Winter Activities

The same as mentioned above applies for pants. My recommendation is get the most flexible, comfy pair you can find. They can be baggy as long as they cling to you on the inside and are water repellent. Unless you don’t plan on ever falling, ever, or it’s warm enough for you to ski around in wet drawers, only invest in water resistant. The more waterproof, the less flexible they tend to be, so try to strike a balance, or don’t plan on falling down. And no sitting in the snow while waiting for your less than perfect friends to catch up either.

Keeping Your Feet Dry and Happy

Winter Socks:

Wool, silk or technical fiber socks. No cotton. Repeat. No cotton. They can come in different thicknesses so choose them based on how cold you think it will be. Keep in mind what boots you are going to be wearing. I usually go with thinner. My boots are pretty well lined and hopefully stay water proof (but even the best boots can manage to get water in them). Feet sweat too remember. Avoid doubling up socks unless you have to. And did I mention, no cotton?

Boots–for Winter Hiking

Waterproof, covering your ankle is preferred. In summer I’d say a lighter shoe is fine, but when there’s a potential for any snow or slush, you want something covering at least your ankles, preferably up to your calf. You want a good grip on the bottom of your shoe. If you hit ice and there’s no tread on your shoe, down you will go unceremoniously. If it’s really icy, invest in a pair of crampons, it makes exploring in icy areas, so much easier. They are not just for ice climbing. Any hiking trail that gets trampled in the snow is going to get icy.

Boots–for Specialized Winter Sports

With any specialized boot you need to get fitted properly. Nordic, Alpine and Snowboarding boots are all different, so you need to get fitted by an expert and discuss the features that best work for you. Most importantly, they should feel comfortable even with a pair of mid grade thickness socks on as it’s likely that’s what you’ll be wearing. Don’t try them on with light, dress socks. Make sure your toes are not jammed in there and that if they lace or buckle up, they can handle your calf. For front entry boots for example if you have big calves, you might need to have the buckles moved. I’ve never tried the molded fit boots but they sound fabulous, but can be pricier. The idea behind them is the less wiggle room between you and the boot, the better control you’ll have over your equipment. I’ve also heard complaints from people who say the fitting wasn’t done right and it’s too tight out on the hill (which is just the worst). So you’ll have to explore that one on your own with a qualified sales rep.

Also, this may sound weird but make sure you clip your toe nails. If you are in between pedicures your nails might not be bothering you in regular sneakers as you walk around but you’ll find that if you are in a pair of boots and hiking, walking, running or skiing downhill and your nails are a little long, it won’t take long before they start cutting into each other. This can be really painful, so don’t underestimate it. Clip them good and lace up tight before you head out.

Keeping Your Hands Warm

 

Gloves

This is a key item. The first things that will get cold are your hands and feet. Invest in a good, waterproof, windproof, insulated ski glove. If you need to, you can also buy inserts as they can wick sweat away and keep your gloves dry for days of skiing. Just make sure your gloves still fit when you put them on. You don’t want your fingers to be too tight in them, or cut off your circulation. The last thing you want is less blood flowing to your fingers, since as it is, it will be making a mad dash to protect your core as soon as you get a bit chilly. Even with the best gloves, your fingers are likely to get chilly. Go inside when you need to, or take the time to warm your hands up, even if it means sticking them under your armpits. My recommendation, especially if you have kids with you, buy a big box of hand warmers, the kind you shake and they heat up. They are the best thing in the universe when you are out skiing and the only thing making you uncomfortable are your bitter cold hands. There’s no shame in them. I have them for the boots as well but they tend to bunch up in my ski boots and end up hurting. It really depends on the shoes and socks you have on so try them out before you go.

How to Handle Kids and Cold

Now I’ve written this with an adult in mind, but everything applies to a child even more so. When you are with children in the cold, remember they get cold faster, and are less tolerant that us adults. Keep checking on them, ask them how they feel because they may not always tell you, and be ready to carry their layers if they need to take them off or put them on. Keep an idea in your head of where all the good spots to warm up will be, and be realistic about how much you can push them.

Having a kid have a melt down because they are cold and miserable in the middle of nowhere on a cold, snowy day, believe me, can be a bit scary. I know because it happened to me. It was late in the day with a zero wind chill factor and my daughter threw a tantrum and refused to move, half way down the hill. Luckily I convinced her to move, but it was frightening to think what do you do to keep them from freezing. So cold weather is not the time to push them, even though you are dying for one more run, or to check out that ridge just a little further up ahead.

Oh and those hand and toe warmers? They are fantastic for shoving down a pair of kids ski pants if needed. They work magic. I just stockpile them each winter and bring fistfuls with me on every outdoor trip.

I’d love to hear about your outdoor winter adventures with your kids. Feel free to share below in the comments section. –Chris

Family Ski Vacation: Park City Mountain Resort, Utah

Park City Mountain Resort, Utah

This is a historic year for Park City as it connects its Park City and Canyons resorts, making Park City the biggest resort in the US.  With 3300 acres, 9 bowls of terrain and a 10,000 foot summit, Park City is a great place to find adventure with your family. 

parkcityThe speedy lifts on the front side of this 50 year young Utah favorite destination is just what families need to get their adventure groove on.

Park City Mountain Resort is located in the heart of Utah’s famed western town of Park City, just a 30-minute drive from Salt Lake City Airport. The US Ski and Snowboard Teams train on the front side and the 2002 Winter Olympic snowboarding and ski racing events were held here.

What Programs Do They Have For Kids?

Kids Signature Programs offer just the right mix of fun and education; the perfect balance for getting young ones started on the slopes. By limiting class sizes to five students or fewer, they give your child more personalized attention with more time to play, more time to practice and more time to learn.

They’re now open for the 2015 2016 ski season at Park City. Here’s the video to prove it!

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Click here to learn more about Park City Utah.

Heavenly Mountain, Lake Tahoe Ski Resort

Ski Family Vacation at Heavenly Mountain in Lake Tahoe

With a higher elevation and the most skiable terrain in Tahoe, Heavenly ski resort is one of the most unique ski and snow sport destinations in the world.

lake-tahoe-ski At Heavenly Mountain Resort, skiers and snowboarders alike get access to a varied degree of terrain that spans the California-Nevada border and includes rolling glades, terrain parks and challenging technical steeps. You can ride from one state to another state to get your full day of skiing in.

There are also plenty of family-friendly events at Heavenly to choose from. When you need a beak from carving powdery turns, you can head out to try some tubing and ice skating. For the kids, there’s also the kids ski school, the Ripperoo Parade, shows and arcades. Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 10.56.01 PM

An experience at Heavenly offers something for everyone. Beginners can practice on groomed runs while more seasoned riders can explore the back-country-like canyons, tree runs and terrain parks.

There are 4,800 acres  of Heavenly ski and snowboard terrain, 97+ trails, and 3,500 feet (of vertical. The area is the largest of the California ski resort.

Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Heavenly Resort has a mix of terrain for all abilities, but in particular it’s an intermediates’ paradise, so if you’re looking for super expert and extreme terrain, this may not be the resort for you. However, if you have young children, it’s a perfect mix to keep everyone happy.

Heavenly Lake Tahoe has 29 lifts that include a gondola and lots of high speed six-packs and quad chairs, and Vail Resorts has been investing heavily in more lifts and terrain.

Heavenly Mountain Resort is extremely convenient for travelers from all over the world, located within an hour of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, and two hours of the Sacramento International Airport. Click here to learn about Heavenly Mountain in Lake Tahoe.

Traveling by car is easy as well since Heavenly is located off three major U.S. highways and interstates. The drive from the Bay Area and Northern California only takes a few hours and is easy at any time of year.

Check out this video to get a sense of the insanely beautiful terrain at Tahoe.

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Lake Tahoe: My review of Heavenly Resort and The Ridge Resorts

Skiing in Lake Tahoe

IMG_6611 So after the CES show I made a quick jump up to Lake Tahoe to check out the skiing up there. I’d noticed that Heavenly Resort was one of the most searched on ski resorts this winter so I had to see what it was about. I flew up after the show and met some ex-ski instructor friends who live in the area vbefore heading home. Here’s my take on everything:

Heavenly Resort Ski Resort

It’s an interesting mountain with beautiful views. Most of the trails are intermediate so it’s great for families with children. Everywhere you look there are decent, long, wide trails with slopes that are challenging but not super aggressive. There are a few blacks but you have to work to get to them and then my friends who used to teach there, told me there’s a big jump between blue and black in these areas. So be careful if you have young children. You might find yourself going from a nice easy blue to a monster black. Even so, the trails were covered in powder so even if you had to pick your way down with a little one it might not be so dire.

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Since I didn’t have my daughter with me this time, I was able to go full throttle, which was nice, except that I found myself bored with the mountain. For the $125 lift ticket price, I would have liked a few tougher trails besides the scary blacks tucked away in the corner. So I would say if you have a mixed bag of skier levels with you, and kids, this is the place to be. If you are on your own or with very experienced skiers, I’d opt for another mountain. My ski instructor friends said Squaw is better for expert level.

IMG_6608It’s a little odd how you can’t buy your tickets from anywhere on the mountain. I find that obnoxious. I would have liked to have been able to order my tickets and have them waiting in my room the way I can in Tremblant. And there are no discounts, so if I am going to pay $125 a person, I don’t want to have to wait on line to do it. Order them on the mountain’s website and give yourself time because the site is a little clunky. Desktop is a lot easier than mobile. Also parking is tough but there’s free parking behind Harrah’s. From South Lake you actually take a Gondola up to the mountain so it’s a little disconcerting not being able to walk to the main lodge from the parking lot. I drove around and around trying to find a big entrance to the mountain until I realized the bottom of the Gondola was it. There are also a few other access points to get on the hill from the Gondola is the main one.

Overall, definitely a mountain I would go back to when in the area but wouldn’t make a big trip out to go there if I have to make a big trip out of it.

The Ridge Resort

I got an upgrade because I’m an Expedia gold member and while I booked a hotel room I ended up in a beautiful apartment with views of the village. Large master bed, a living room, with fireplace and a full size kitchen and dining table. The bed pulls out as well, plenty of room for a large family.

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One thing that wasn’t made clear to me was that you can’t just rent any car from the airport to get up the hill. The Ridges is located at the very tippy top of exactly that, a ridge. The road goes straight up. I rented an Elantra and on the way up were signs all over about chains and 4 wheel drive when signs are flashing. With the sun melting the snow and the run off continually soaking the road, I knew if I went down into town I better get myself back up that mountain before the sun went down and it began to freeze. So I would recommend not booking this place unless your car can handle steep drives up and down in inclement weather, unless you feel like being stuck up there after sundown.

The Ridges is more of a compound with several buildings, scattered around the main lodge. There’s no housing inside the lodge itself but it’s where you go for the fitness room and spa. I didn’t love that you had to trek out in the cold to get to the spa or fitness center, or grocery store, especially since it was a pretty steep walk. They do have buses but it seemed kooky to me to wait for a bus to take you only a short distance, so I just hoofed it.

There’s a nice bar and restaurant in the lodge, except sadly the weekend I was there it was completely booked for a wedding. So I only got to hear the party going on from downstairs. One of the reasons I booked this place was because I knew they had a nice bar and restaurant on the premises, so that combined with the fact that I didn’t want to risk the drive down the mountain, really kind of stunk.

The best part of the Ridges is it has it’s own private gondola that will take you right down to the ski area. It’s about a ten minute ride and remember to bring your key with you to call the gondola. It’s a great feature, the only downside to it is you don’t get to go to all the cool restaurants down in town by the main gondola.

Information on Heavenly Ski Resort

The Ridge Resort

 

Family Ski Vacation: Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge, Co

Breckenridge is a world-class destination for Colorado vacations with kids who are looking to experience a fun Colorado family vacation in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. There are tons of activities and restaurants on and off the mountain and lots of options of where to stay.

 

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Parents can also watch their kids excel on the hill after a day of lessons at their world renowned ski school. Adult, Child, and Private Lessons are available for all family members.

Need a break from skiing? Take the kids ice skating, sleigh rides  or snowmobiling. You can even enjoy a ride on Breckenridge alpine slide or just relax in the historic Town of Breckenridge.

When fortune seekers flocked to Breckridge back in the 1800s little did they know they found something better, the perfect ski mountain town.

Family Ski Vacation: Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

Taos New Mexico

Taos Ski Valley is located in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains in Northern New Mexico, with access to 1,294 acres of skiable terrain, and receiving an average 300 inches of snowfall annually. The ski area has a great mix of terrain combined with a distinctive mix of European, local Native American and Spanish cultures. It’s also  home to one of the country’s highest rated ski schools.

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Family Ski Vacation: Telluride Ski Resort

Telluride

Nestled in the southwest corner of Colorado, 100 miles from the nearest stoplight, Telluride encompasses 2,000 acres of lift-accessible terrain. Once dubbed “To-Hell-You-Ride” from its mining town days, Telluride is now a chic,  modern town.

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Telluride Ski Resort boasts some of the steepest, deepest and most diverse terrain of any ski resort in North America.

Family Ski Vacation: Stowe Mountain, Vermont

Stowe Mountain, Vermont

Stowe Mountain Resort is just totally lux and I got very used to having the ski valets run up to me at the end of my run and grab my skis, tag them and whisk them away to storage. The next morning they were magically waiting for me. At $400 a night the rooms were not cheap, but the views were stellar, the restaurant food superb, and the spa was ultra relaxing. Our in-room fireplace made it the perfect evening with a blustery snow storm just outside.

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Stowe Mountain Resort, is the definition of the luxury Eastern resort, and provides quality skiing and riding for all levels of family abilities. The area’s lift system includes a gondola to shuttle guests between Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, and its “sister” mountain, Spruce Peak.

Mt. Mansfield  gets 333 inches of average annual snowfall that falls over it’s 2,360 foot vertical drop and 485 acres of skiable terrain.

The Stowe Mountain Lodge, located in the base village, is a 312 room luxury hotel and spa that has been recognized as one of the greenest, most sustainable luxury hotels in the world.

Take the Kids Skiing this Winter

Best Vacation Spots to Take the Kids Skiing

I didn’t learn to ski until I was 19 and that was only because I had a few friends who dragged me along. But as soon as I hit the slopes I was hooked. Within a few years I had a job at a local mountaSki alta for a ski adventure with your family this winterin ski school and I was teaching little kids how to ski.

I vowed then that when I had a kid I was going to teach her early. That’s exactly what I did. I love taking your offspring skiing with you. There’s nothing better than spending a day out in the great outdoors in something as pure and wonderful as a ski resort setting. Granted you may not be able to hit all the hills you want and have to come in a lot more often, but it pays off.  There’s something satisfying about passing the love of skiing on to the next generation. Taking the kids skiing when they are little also ensures a way to connect with your kids long into adulthood. So get those skis waxed because there are some great family friendly ski destinations to be had.

Mammoth

Located in the southwest corner of the volcanic Long Valley Caldera on the eastern edge of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountain Range; Mammoth Mountain reaches over 3,500 skiable acres and a 3,100ft vertical drop.

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The mountain is blessed with over 400 inches of snowfall a year and it’s the highest elevation in California at a neck-bending height of 11,053ft.

The modern resort has world class terrain options, and an ski season that can sometimes last into July.

Ski at Alta

 

Alta is one of the oldest ski areas in the United States and has been running the lifts since 1939. Sorry snowboarders, Alta Ski Area restricts access to skiers only.

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Located only about a mile up the road from Snowbird in the Little Cottonwood Canyon, Alta Ski Area features 2,200 acres of prime skiable terrain with average snowfalls each season of 560 inches.

Alta Ski Area is renowned for having excellent snowfall combined with some of the most diverse and challenging terrain in North America.

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Breckenridge, Co

Breckenridge is a world-class destination for Colorado vacations with kids who are looking to experience a fun Colorado family vacation in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. There are tons of activities and restaurants on and off the mountain and lots of options of where to stay.

 

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Parents can also watch their kids excel on the hill after a day of lessons at their world renowned ski school. Adult, Child, and Private Lessons are available for all family members.

Need a break from skiing? Take the kids ice skating, sleigh rides  or snowmobiling. You can even enjoy a ride on Breckenridge alpine slide or just relax in the historic Town of Breckenridge.

When fortune seekers flocked to Breckridge back in the 1800s little did they know they found something better, the perfect ski mountain town.

 

Taos New Mexico

Taos Ski Valley is located in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains in Northern New Mexico, with access to 1,294 acres of skiable terrain, and receiving an average 300 inches of snowfall annually. The ski area has a great mix of terrain combined with a distinctive mix of European, local Native American and Spanish cultures. It’s also  home to one of the country’s highest rated ski schools.

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Telluride

Nestled in the southwest corner of Colorado, 100 miles from the nearest stoplight, Telluride encompasses 2,000 acres of lift-accessible terrain. Once dubbed “To-Hell-You-Ride” from its mining town days, Telluride is now a chic,  modern town.

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Telluride Ski Resort boasts some of the steepest, deepest and most diverse terrain of any ski resort in North America.

Stowe Mountain, Vermont

Stowe Mountain resort is just totally lux and I got very used to having the ski valets run up to me at the end of my run and grab my skis, tag them and whisk them away to storage. The next morning they were magically waiting for me. At $400 a night the rooms were not cheap, but the views were stellar, the restaurant food superb, and the spa was ultra relaxing. Our in-room fireplace made it the perfect evening with a blustery snow storm just outside.

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Stowe Mountain Resort, is the definition of the luxury Eastern resort, and provides quality skiing and riding for all levels of family abilities. The area’s lift system includes a gondola to shuttle guests between Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, and its “sister” mountain, Spruce Peak.

Mt. Mansfield  gets 333 inches of average annual snowfall that falls over it’s 2,360 foot vertical drop and 485 acres of skiable terrain.

The Stowe Mountain Lodge, located in the base village, is a 312 room luxury hotel and spa that has been recognized as one of the greenest, most sustainable luxury hotels in the world.