As a beginner just starting to ski, it can be hard to figure out exactly where to go. The best ski mountains for beginners offer lessons and a large variety of slopes for beginners to practice their skills on. Below are a couple of mountains that are great for first time and beginner skiers looking to take a trip for a great skiing experience.
Arizona Snowbowl, Arizona
Featuring the largest beginner terrain in the southwest, the Arizona Snowbowl is a great place for first time skiers to get their start. Located near Flagstaff, Arizona and featuring over 10 beginner rated trails, riders have plenty of variety to keep them entertained as they progress. If you are thinking about taking lessons, Arizona Snowbowl uses the nationally acclaimed terrain based learning system to help beginners quickly progress. As a beginner, you will want to head to the terrain outside of the Hart Praire Lodge to get your start.
Big Sky, Montana
Home of the "Biggest Skiing in the US", Big Sky is most famous for its bowls and advanced terrain. They certainly don’t overlook beginner skiers though. Big Sky features one of the largest numbers of ski in ski out condos and homes making it a great destination for beginners who want to make their first ski vacation as simple and memorable as possible. They offer more than 882 acres of beginner skiing and have world class professionals on hand to give lessons. As a beginner, you will want to take the Explorer lift and check out all of the green runs the mountain has to offer.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Located in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, beginner skiers will have a blast learning how to ski while taking in the gorgeous Rocky Mountain views. With more than 165 trails and nearly 3,000 skiable acres, this resort offers a variety of terrain for beginners to experts. Nearly 15% of the mountain is marked as beginner trails. Once you start feeling more comfortable in your skis, you can explore some of the easier intermediate trails. One of the best things about Steamboat Springs is the length of the runs. This resort features several gentle slopes that are nearly 3 miles long which provides beginners with plenty of time to practice while also taking in the magnificent scenery.
Deer Valley, Utah
The Deer Valley ski resort is located in Park City, Utah and features more than 2,000 acres perfect for skiing. Of the entire mountain, nearly 30% of the slopes are marked as beginner and riders are specifically warned to ride slow in those areas. To prevent crowding, Deer Valley limits the number of lift tickets sold daily. Adding to that, Deer Valley features nationally acclaimed private and small group lessons. As one of the most popular skiing destinations, Deer Valley is host to a number of the best ski instructors in the world. If you choose to stay on the resort, expect to have great customer service as well. Among other services, Deer Valley offers a ski valet service where they will take your skis from your hotel room right to the base of the slope so you don't have to awkwardly carry them.
Park City, Utah
Best known as the training ground for the US Ski team, past Winter Olympic destination, and home to many of the best free ride snowboarders and skiers, Park City is certainly a popular destination. While the flashy shots of the pros get a lot of attention, Park City also offers great services for beginners. This ski resort is well known for its family friendly atmosphere and offers an extensive suite of group and private lessons. Of all of the trails on the mountain, 17% are marked as beginner friendly. Park City is also host to the one of the longest beginner ski trails in the entire state of Utah. The trail name is Home Run and it is approximately 3.5 miles long.
Sunday River, Maine
Sunday River features 8 different peaks and over 870 skiable acres making it one of the largest ski resorts in Maine. Of that, nearly one third are beginner slopes providing an easy way for you to explore the mountain. There are more than a dozen beginner trails along with two easy terrain parks if you want to try your hand at some tricks.
Powder Mountain, Utah
Many skiers refer to Powder Mountain, located east of Eden, Utah, as one of the best kept secrets among Utah ski resorts. Powder Mountain features more than 8,450 skiable acres making it one of the larger ski resorts in the United States. This helps spread out the crowd which is especially relevant on the beginner slopes. On the green lines, you'll feel safe and comfortable on Powder Mountain without the fear of running into or being knocked over by another person.
A family favorite of East Coast skiers, Okemo is located in the Green Mountains of Southern Vermont. Many visitors come to it by way of Boston or New York City which are major travel hubs. Okemo is best known for its family friendly atmosphere and high-quality learning programs. Of its 667 skiable acres, over 32% are marked as beginner friendly. While there are 5 distinct areas to the resort, many beginners will want to stay near the Jackson Gore Inn which is where many of the beginner trails are located. Okemo also features a unique 6 person enclosed and heated chairlift which is perfect for warming you up during a cold day outside. After a long day of skiing, you can relax in the hot tub or indoor pool with a waterslide for the kids.
Your Local Ski Resort
While most of this list has been destination mountains, you shouldn't forget about your local resorts. Check out the local resorts near you to see what they offer in terms of beginner terrain, lessons, and packages. Local ski resorts are a great option if you want to spend a weekend or even do a day trip.
Best Skiing Resorts to Check Out: Overall Recommendations
When you're looking for where to ski or snowboard, consider what the resort offers in terms of lodging, trails, and learning. As a beginner, you want a resort that has a large amount of beginner friendly terrain and the resources to help you quickly learn and develop your skills.