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.
You've heard of the resort, the 4,400 vertical feet of steep-and-deep, and Telluride's enormous backcountry – but you probably didn't know there is rarely a lift line. With 2,000 acres of terrain and a lift capacity of more than 22,000 skiers an hour, you can practically ski onto every lift, whether it's a holiday or not.
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