Great US ski fields

These five American ski resorts offer everything required for a great winter holiday workout.

From absolute beginners to seasoned pros, there's a US ski field to suit every ability level.
From absolute beginners to seasoned pros, there's a US ski field to suit every ability level.

Stowe, Vermont

As well as spectacular skiing, great snowboarding terrain and cross-country areas, Stowe has spectacular scenery. The road up to the resort is packed with shops, motels, micro-breweries and eating places and Stowe itself has more than 90 shops and restaurants.

Ski season: Mid-November to late April.

Vail, Colorado

Vail is the US' largest single ski area and deserves its ranking as one of the world's top five all-around ski resorts. It offers 2140 hectares of skiable terrain with 174 trails, seven bowls and 30 speedy lifts, and there's plenty to do off the slopes ... dining, dancing, and snowmobiling and watching the beautiful people who flock to Vail.

Season: Early November to early May.

Snowbird-Alta, Utah

Plentiful snow has earned these linked resorts the names "powder capitals of the world" - they receive an average of 12 metres of snow a year. A lot of the slopes are left ungroomed so skiers can indulge in the fresh powder. Snowbird allows snowboarding but it's banned on Alta's slopes.

Season: Mid-November to late April.

Aspen, Colorado

As famous for the rich-listers and stars who frequent its village, Aspen is popular with advanced skiers who love their fast and furious runs. Make sure you check out (even if you can't afford to check in to) Little Nell and the Ritz-Carlton, two lavish hotels.

Season: Late November to mid-April.

Breckenridge, Colorado

If you're a beginner skier, Breckenridge offers fantastic nursery slopes. You'll love the forgiving long, wide, gentle run at the foot of Breckenridge's Peak 9 and once you're ready to progress, a fast six-seat chairlift accesses the longer runs with reliably good snow. This resort is at 3000 metres so it may pay to spend a day or two in Denver first to acclimatise after flying from NZ.

Season: November through to April.

FURTHER INFORMATION

For more on the USA's best winter activities, see DiscoverAmerica.com or try the 'Trip Tuner' for more travel inspiration.

- NZ Herald

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