Some of our favorite smaller, less-expensive U.S. ski resorts to visit this winter

News broke last week that Grouse Mountain — one of British Columbia’s most popular ski resorts — is being put up for sale after four decades of being owned and operated by the Vancouver-based McLaughlin family.

Grouse is just the latest example of a family-owned ski resort going on the market.

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Major ski resort companies are rapidly snatching up ski properties across the globe and, in many places, daily lift ticket prices skyrocketing.

But across the U.S. there still exist small-scale ski resorts that haven’t given into corporate pressures and still offer low prices, small lift lines and toned-down charm.

Here are four of our favorites:

Wolf Creek Ski Area: Pagosa Springs, CO

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Located in Southern Colorado, Wolf Creek regularly receives the most snow of any resort in the state with OnTheSnow saying they get an annual average of 430 inches of the white stuff.

Owned and operated by the Pitcher family, the resort has nine lifts that service over 1,600 acres of pristine skiing, and a full-day ticket at the resort only costs $66, which is a bargain compared to other Colorado resorts.

Brundage Mountain Resort: McCall, ID

Fresh fluffy powder. #foreverwinter #skiidaho #idahome #bestsnowinidaho

A photo posted by Brundage Mountain (@brundagemtn) on

The best bang for your buck in Idaho might be the Brundage Mountain Resort in the small town of McCall.

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With 1,800 feet of vertical drop and over 1,900 acres of skiable terrain accessible from its five chair lifts, Brundage caters to skiers of all skill levels.

With adult single-day passes going for $62, Brundage is a great alternative for those looking to avoid lift lines and save some coin.

Magic Mountain: Londonberry, VT

Located in Southern Vermont, Magic Mountain has suffered as much as any mountain in the Northeast due to unpredictable Northeast weather patterns.

While it has had a long history of financial problems (it famously closed for six years in the 1990s) the mountain was just purchased by a group of local skiers who have pledged to spend as much as $1 million in renovations to the mountain and its decaying snowmaking system.

With 1,700 feet of vertical drop and some of the steepest terrain in the Northeast, Magic Mountain offers incredible skiing when there’s actually snow on its slopes. Full-day lift tickets at Magic go for as little as $49.

Donner Ski Ranch: Norden, CA

With many of the ski resorts in California’s Lake Tahoe area sometimes charging over $100 for a single-day lift ticket, finding a spot where you can ski in the Golden State without breaking the bank can feel difficult.

Donner Ski Ranch is located 12 miles west of Truckee, and proudly boasts on its website that it is California’s last family-owned and operated ski resort.

While its terrain won’t blow you away (the mountain only features 750 feet of vertical drop) it’s a wonderful resort for families and does offer some more challenging stuff.

Plus, the mountain has an historical average of just under 400 inches of annual snowfall and offers adult full-day lift tickets for $59.

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