5 Ski Resorts for Varied Abilities

snowboarder marcus culver at whistler in the powder

Find­ing a ski resort that appeals to every­one can often­times be dif­fi­cult. The choices are much sim­pler when every­one in the group is at a sim­i­lar skill level, but there are a good num­ber of resorts that have some­thing for every­one — from bunny hills to the steep and deep and every­thing in between.

The resorts on this list have cen­trally located meet-up spots so that peo­ple can go skiing/riding on runs that match their abil­ity lev­els and still be able to meet up with oth­ers in their group for lunch or some après–ski beverages.


Heav­enly is a ski area that will pro­vide a com­plete ski vaca­tion for any­one inter­ested. It strad­dles two states, allow­ing you to ski between Cal­i­for­nia and Nevada when­ever you want. There are ample rolling hills that give begin­ners and inter­me­di­ates plenty of room to push them­selves fur­ther in rel­a­tive com­fort. Experts can try their skills at Mott and Kille­brew Canyons, where the snow stays deep and the ter­rain is steep. The gon­dola enables easy access from town, where there are ample enter­tain­ment options.


Breck is one of the most under­rated expe­ri­ences for any moun­tain resort, any­where. It’s often over­shad­owed by Vail but that doesn’t bother many of the locals since it means less tourists crowd­ing up their hill. The tourists that do visit this Old Western-style min­ing town will be delighted to find trails that suit all abil­i­ties. With one of the best ter­rain parks in the U.S., you can progress your freestyle skills while your newb siblings/friends are just tak­ing it easy in the greens at the base of Peaks 8 and 9.

Artur Staszewski
Artur Staszewski


This gem in East­ern Canada is an excel­lent des­ti­na­tion for East-Coasters look­ing for a quick escape. It has a purpose-built vil­lage that will keep even non-skiers enter­tained. For those who do wish to brave the slopes, you’ll find all but the most insane runs, as well as plenty of wide runs to keep begin­ners enter­tained before every­one ren­dezvous at Place St. Bernard on the South Side. One dis­claimer: It can get very cold and icy (as with all other East Coast resorts), so begin­ners take caution.


Close to Salt Lake City up Lit­tle Cot­ton­wood Canyon, “The Bird” is one of those places that every skier and boarder should see more than once, because the more you improve, the more you will enjoy it. Even the pros are chal­lenged each year dur­ing the Big-Mountain freeski­ing com­pe­ti­tions, and don’t get us started on Mount Baldy on the back­side. But say you’re with some newbs? Head to Baby Thun­der lift, where your friends can play on the bunny hills while you enjoy the largely ignored blacks like Tiny Tiger. Some­times, the snow­fall is best on that side of the moun­tain so while every­one else is crust­ing it up in Min­eral Basin, you’ll be on fresh tracks near Creekside.


Whistler is known for the steep chutes, pil­low lines, cliff drops, and the world-famous Olympic down­hill run. What many peo­ple don’t know is that it also has some of the longest green and blue runs any­where. So while the young’ins are in ski school, the cool kids can be rip­ping up the ter­rain park or head­ing to the peak. And Mom and Pop can cruise hap­pily along the cor­duroy, with every­one meet­ing up con­ve­niently at lunch. At night the vil­lage comes alive with plenty of enter­tain­ment, leav­ing Whistler as one of the best resorts on the planet.