Steamboat’s oft-touted "Champagne powder” is the real thing; sitting in an especially dry pocket of northern Colorado, the resort’s nearly 3,000 acres of terrain does indeed get blanketed with some of the driest, fluffiest powder in the world. Even better, Steamboats 18 lifts, strung over seven peaks in the Park Range, deliver you to 165 runs that are mostly intermediate, which means its 3,600 feet of vertical is much more fun than frightening (you won’t find a single double black here). On a powder day, this is the mountain to come to for floaty low-angle glade skiing; the best tree shots of your life, on trails like Closet and Shadows; or slashing huge turns in Morningside Bowl. Then, come back for more — snow this dry holds up for days after a storm. Lift tickets are $126.
Where to Stay: Base yourself slopeside at the stone and timber Steamboat Grand hotel so you can make first chair in the morning. But spend your evenings in Steamboat Springs. Just 10 minutes from the ski area, this historic cowboy town has experienced something of a makeover recently, with forty new restaurants and bars opening over the last five years, while maintaining a cool Western feel.
Insider Tip: Steamboat has produced more Olympians than any other city in America (88 so far) and many still live here. Every Sunday at 1pm, you can join Olympic Bronze Medalist Nelson Carmichael (1992 Moguls) for a free clinic. Meet him at the top of his namesake run: Nelson’s Run.