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Snowiest U.S. Ski Resorts

Winter 2014-15

By WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist, John Bateman


Whether you like powder, packed powder, or granular snow, all skiers can agree on one thing- let it snow!

Snow-making machines have revolutionized the skiing industry, especially in places where snowfall is not frequent. Whether you prefer natural or man-made snow, some resorts don`t need the extra help; they get plenty from Mother Nature. Here`s our list of the top ten (naturally) snowiest ski resorts in the U.S.:

  • Mt. Baker Ski Area, Whatcom County, Wash.: This resort has the distinction of receiving the world`s greatest snowfall in one season - 1,140 inches in the winter of 1998-99. This is not the average snowfall, which is still a hefty 641 inches each winter. That is more than 50 feet! Nearest Big City: Seattle, 89 miles.

  • Alyeska Resort, Girdwood, Alaska: It is the biggest ski mountain in Alaska, with a top elevation of 3,900 ft. On average, around 630 inches of snow fall on the resort each year. Nearest Big City: Anchorage, 27 miles.
  • Alta Ski Area, Alta, Utah: Alta is one of the oldest ski resorts in the U.S. , and is also one of the few that doesn`t allow snowboarding. On average, it sees 550 inches of snow annually. Nearest Big City: Salt Lake City, 25 miles.
  • Timberline Lodge Ski Area, Mt. Hood, Ore.: This resort was made famous for being the setting of the 1980 movie, "The Shining". The snowy scenes were no exaggeration as it sees around 540 inches of snow each season. Nearest Big City: Portland, 60 miles.
  • Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, Snowbird, Utah: Open year-round with a top elevation of 11,000 ft., this resort sees around 500 inches of snow every winter. Nearest Big City: Salt Lake City, 29 miles.
  • Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, Placer County, Calif.: This resort is located in the Lake Tahoe region and is one of the closest to the San Francisco Bay area, making it a popular destination. Like Snowbird, this resort sees around 500 inches of snow every year. Nearest Big City: Reno, Nev., 46 miles.
  • Brighton Ski Resort, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah.: Located in Utah`s Wasatch Range, Brighton also averages around 500 inches a year. Nearest Big City: Salt Lake City, 30 miles.
  • Grand Targhee Resort, Alta, Wyo.: Part of the Teton Range, this resort is also in the "500 Club," boasting about 500 inches of snow annually. Nearest Big City: Idaho Falls, Idaho, 85 miles.
  • Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Kirkwood, Calif.: This resort is the second snowiest resort in the Sierra Nevada after the Sugar Bowl Ski Resort. With a top elevation of 9,800 ft., it sees around 472 inches of snow. Nearest Big City: Reno, Nevada, 100 miles.
  • Stevens Pass Ski Area, Stevens Pass, Wash.: A popular resort for skiers from the Seattle area, this Cascade Range resort has around 450 inches of snow every winter. Nearest Big City: Seattle, 78 miles.
  • You may notice that there are not any ski resorts in the East on this list, and that`s because the biggest snowfalls are by far in the West. Probably the snowiest eastern ski resort would be Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, Vermont. The average winter snowfall there is around 330 inches. By the way, this list is by no means exhaustive, and there are other resorts that may belong on this "snowiest-list", but this should at least give any skier and snow lover a good start for finding his or her favorite resort. Now go hit the slopes!

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    Story Image: Brighton Ski Resort, in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. (Wikipedia Media)

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