President's Day weekend, February 15–17, is the peak of the ski season, which usually amounts to chaos on the slopes. With an 11 percent spike in visits last year in the United States – totaling 56.6 million people – and good snow so far in the Rockies, February 17 will be D-day for lift lines. Skip the crowds and hit these top resorts; even if you have to travel a bit farther, it's a small price to pay for first tracks.
Grand Targhee, Wyoming
The quiet side of the Tetons is known for two things: more snow than Jackson Hole and fewer people. With Stetson-wearing chairlift operators, 2,200 vertical feet of runs, and 500 inches of snow annually, Targhee is the local's choice on a busy powder day. "Skiing inbounds here feels like lift-serviced backcountry," Targhee local and Powder magazine editor Matt Hansen says.
Credit: Courtesy Grand Targhee Resort