Where to hop on a sleigh, lace up your skates, ski deep powder, or just cozy up

Sunset  – October 7, 2009 | Updated December 3, 2019

The West—where high-altitude towns get blanketed in winter, ski resorts are some of the best in the world, and snow days just serve as excuses to get out and play—excels at snowy vacations. Whether you’re a non-skier or a die-hard powderhound, the region’s chilliest destinations stock enough variety to entertain everyone in your crew. From frosty wonderlands in Colorado perfect for couples to the rugged backcountry of California’s Sierras, these locales embrace cold weather. Families find Olympic-level snowshoeing and kid-friendly events in Park City. Friend groups can stretch out and branch out in under-the-radar ski areas in Durango, Big Bear Valley, and Mt. Hood. And, solo travelers easily make new friends in locals’-only snow towns like Frisco, CO, and Hailey, ID. So, pack your warm clothes and gear, and get ready to hit the road. Your winter getaway forecast calls for bluebird days on the trails, wildlife spotting galore, cozy nights in front of the fire, and plenty of powder.