If you're rightfully envious of those who have taken advantage of this winter wonderland, fear not. Check out this list of eight resorts and start sharing your own stories of tackling double black diamonds.
Jackson HoleWyoming 1 of 9
The legendary resort set among the Grand Tetons is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding. With several lift upgrades the past few years and a permanent place as one of the best North American resorts for variety, steeps and scenery, visiting Jackson Hole during its anniversary year is a must.
Mt. BachelorOregon 2 of 9
The lack of a mountain village and no slopeside lodging or ski-in ski-out homes separates this iconic mountain from other big national resorts. For some that might be a negative but for others, it offers pristine vistas and serenity among the natural beauty of the Willamette National Forest. Set in the volcanic Cascade Range, Mt. Bachelor is a Stratovolcano (cone-shape) on top of a shield volcano. If that doesn't get your blood flowing like lava, nothing will.
TaosNew Mexico 3 of 9
(Photo Credit: Ryan Heffernan)
Last year's much-awaited opening of the new Kachina Peak Lift didn't happen until mid-February and a general lack of snow out West for the season meant a dearth of epic days enjoying the new easier accessibility. While Kachina Peak has been a long-time playground for those willing to make the 40-minute hike, the addition of the lift increased Taos's advanced and expert lift-serviced terrain by 50 percent. The lift's sophomore year is one that you might not want to miss.
Park City & Canyons4 of 9
All eyes are on Park City this season after its purchase by Vail Resorts last September ended the short-lived but highly-visible drama over the resort's lease. New owner Vail Resorts moved quickly in its first off-season as owners and this summer formally combined Park City and Canyons into one mega-resort. They put in the new Quicksilver Gondola to connect the two, whisking passengers in both directions from the base of the existing Silverlode Express at Park City to the Flatiron Lift at Canyons. They also added a new mountain restaurant.
KillingtonVermont 5 of 9
(Photo Credit: Chandler Burgess/Killington Resort)
The granddaddy of East Coast skiing was open through Memorial Day last spring and already opened its runs for very limited skiing October 18, giving it a chance at a seven-month ski season this winter. While some lament the frequent frigid temperatures of Central Vermont, it means more snowmaking and better snow. So bundle up and enjoy.
Squaw ValleyCalifornia 6 of 9
(Photo Credit: Trevor Clark)
The steeps of Squaw Valley are legendary but the purchase of Alpine Meadows and subsequent merger into Squaw Alpine a few years ago gives vacationing families another option for intermediate and easier runs that Squaw lacked in the past. The mountain has announced plans for a gondola connector but that could be years away. For now, a bus connects the two. And with double the historic average of snowpack in the Sierra Nevadas this year, you have one of the best combinations of beauty, challenge and skiing variety in America.
Sun ValleyIdaho 7 of 9
(Photo Credit: Sun Valley Resorts)
The country's first destination ski resort skis much bigger than it looks and long runs under the Challenger lift that feature over 3,100 of vertical can burn the thighs as much as the challenging bowls from the top of Mt. Baldy. When the ski day is over, the picture-postcard town of Ketchum boasts casual, stylish and Western-style shops and restaurants all the same. And this winter, you can catch America's best skiers at the 2016 U.S. Alpine Championships hosted at Sun Valley in March.
Powder MountainUtah 8 of 9
(Photo Credit: Ian Matteson)
This resort, founded on an old sheep ranch in the 1970s was purchased by new Generation X owners over two years ago with big plans to reinvent the ski village experience. It may be many years before their vision comes to fruition, but Powder is undeniably a mountain with incredible stashes and terrain worth checking out before the crowds start flocking. Until then, it will continue to be a hidden gem— overshadowed by Utah's more famous resorts further south.