Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Always a favorite of the traditional (read: advanced) big-mountain skiing crowd, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort represents wild, sprawling Wyoming in the same way Breckenridge represents accessible, family-friendly Colorado. With 116 named trails and more than 3,000 acres of backcountry access, it's the perfect mountain for the expert-level skier or boarder who enjoys world-class groomers but isn't afraid to huck a few gaps in the backcountry or take to the mountain at night. For the extreme crowd, Jackson also offers some of the world's best heli-skiing, with multiple tour companies at the ready and a lengthy menu of terrain options running the gamut from long distance touring lines to treacherously steep descents.
Versatile, aggressive, and featuring over 4,000 feet of vertical, there's a reason why the world's best skiers and riders – such as legendary big-mountain boarder Jeremy Jones – make regular pilgrimages to the Tetons. Access, the chief drawback to Jackson, which is a five-hour drive from the closest major airport, is about to get better. As of this year, skiers can fly direct to tiny Jackson Airport from 12 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Dallas on Delta.