You want to ski at Vail in Colorado:
Buck Hill in Burnsville
When it comes to terrain, no place—we repeat, no place—can hold a candle to Vail; especially not tiny little Buck Hill. But though Vail might be the unofficial home of the US Ski Team, Buck makes the most of its mini vertical drop by cultivating the premier ski racing team in the state and a handful of Olympian alums like Kristina Koznick and Lindsey Vonn.
You want to ski at Big Sky in Montana:
Giants Ridge in Biwabik
A twangy out-of-the-way spot with a mix of long runs, wind-swept open faces, and off-piste tree skiing, Giants Ridge is as close to the experience of isolated big-mountain skiing in Big Sky as you can get in a state that doesn’t have any actual isolated big mountains.
You want to ski at Aspen in Colorado:
Hyland in Bloomington
We’re not even going to pretend this one’s about comparing the skiing at Aspen to Hyland (Aspen boasts 3,267 vertical feet over 675 acres, while Hyland is just slightly bigger than a suburban backyard). They are similar in that Hyland is just a stone’s throw from The Galleria in Edina with some of the nattiest shopping this side of, well, Aspen.
You want to ski at Heavenly in Lake Tahoe:
Lutsen Mountains on Lake Superior
Of the 10-plus resorts circling Lake Tahoe, the experience of skiing Heavenly is singular: Every run has spectacular views of Lake Tahoe. And while Lutsen doesn’t provide quite the same vertical drop (825 to 3,500 vertical feet), it is perched on a similarly singular vista of an equally spectacular lake.