Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
Everyone has their favorite resort, and it's probably fair to say that Taos, located high in New Mexico's Sangre de Christo Mountain range, is on a lot of lists. It's easy to see why: While it was sold last winter to billionaire conservationist Louis Bacon, it was run for 59 years by the family that started it — and still has that family-owned feel. It has some of the best steeps in all of the country, with hike-to terrain that accesses some burly lines. Things are changing with the ownership change, namely the resort completed its long-held plan to install a lift to the top of 12,481-foot Kachina Peak — and skiers will, for the first time, be able to make lap after lap on the massive face, rather than hike to it — but the resort should keep that down-home feel for years to come.