There are a few towns in the United States that go above and beyond the typical ski resort town. A major draw of these snow-capped cities is that they are not designed specifically for tourists who come and go. Nor are they outrageously expensive! Instead, these ski towns are inhabited year-round by strong and close-knit mountain communities.
For individuals who love to ski and snowboard, or even live in the serenity of snowy and remote mountains, these are the most livable ski towns in the United States.
Winter Park, CO
The town of Winter Park, Colorado is a cozy resort town located in the Rocky Mountains. It is nearly 70 miles north of Denver in the snow-capped peaks just west of the Continental Divide. Winter Park, Colorado is home to the famed Winter Park Resort, a ski resort with 3,081 acres. The resort It has 143 trails and 1,212 additional acres of off-trail terrain for skiers to enjoy.
Winter Park also offers plenty in the way of off-season activities. During the summer months, residents hike, kayak, bike and swim through the Colorado wilderness and enjoy festivals and music concerts in the nearby valley. It’s a very livable ski town in Colorado.
Ogden, Utah is one of the more well-known towns on the list, and certainly the most recognizable. After all, it’s breath-taking mountain scenery has been used as a backdrop in films like The Sandlot and popular TV show Everwood.
Ogden sits conveniently near Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, and Nordic Valley. These popular ski and snowboard spots make the small towns location ideal for winter sports enthusiasts. There are nearly 40 parks nearby, making the spot ideal for hiking, biking, kayaking and more in the summer and fall. The ideal snow conditions make for plenty of skis runs as well. In fact, 3 events were hosted here during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Not only is Bozeman a fantastic town for ski lovers, being under an hour away from prominent Montana ski resorts Big Sky Resort and Bridger Bowl, it’s another mountain community that is perfect for the outdoor enthusiast. Mountain biking and hiking are popular sports here, although the summer months can be pretty short. Winters tend to stretch to seven months long in this area.
While you’re enjoying the waist-deep powder skiing the area is known for, you’ll also enjoy the strong sense of community in this small-town feeling city. Strangers smile and wave frequently whether you’re pulling out of your driveway or enjoying one of the local breweries.
Jackson, Wyoming is one of the countries greatest ski towns and with good reason. Teton County features the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, as well a the world-famous Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Living in Jackson tends to be a quiet experience, as most homeowners enjoy their Jackson properties as second or third homes. However, the community that lives there year-round is lively, especially for hiking, mountain biking, and snow sport adventurers.
Another very livable ski town is Bend, Oregon which has seen an infusion of young families and young outdoorsy types, making both the arts and culture and nightlife scene more active. Boating, fishing, skiing, hiking, biking and more are popular activities in this area, and the wilderness to do all of it is right in your backyard!
Bend is located in a desert, which makes summers sunny and warm and winters particularly frosty and cold. The summers tend to stretch on a bit, and the winters can see about two feet of snow on average. However, if you’re cooped up indoors you can always enjoy Deschutes Brewery. The local brewery started in Bend and has grown to be one of the fifth-largest craft breweries in the world.
Truckee is located on the California-Nevada border, right next door to the famed Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe is America’s largest alpine lake, and the ski resorts in the surrounding mountains are world famous. In addition, Truckee residents can enjoy Donner beach at Donner Lake, and hiking, camping, and horseback riding through the Donner Memorial State Park nearby.
Boca Dam and Reservoir also has unparalleled salmon and trout fishing, making Truckee a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts who love to have nature right in their backyard.