Skiing the Humble Hills: 5 Smaller Ski Hills that Pack a Big Punch

Man & Woman Downhill Skiing

We all know the names: Vail, Breckenridge, Park City, and Big Sky. While these ski resorts are indeed epic, sometimes you just want a more personal, tucked-away, local experience without sacrificing exceptional terrain. If this sounds like your MO this ski season, or in ski seasons to come, read on!

Eldora Mountain Resort, Colorado
Located near the funky town of Nederland, Colorado just 20 minutes west of Boulder, Eldora Mountain Resort is a local favorite and is undergoing some serious upgrades and rebranding. From its new high-speed lift, Alpenglow, to its effervescent presence on social media (#closertoyou), this family-friendly resort is certainly attempting to attract some big attention. With excellent beginner and intermediate terrain for kids, or adults who are brave enough to learn, and more advanced terrain that includes tight tree skiing and steeps that are sure to please, Eldora is perfect for anyone who desires a no-frills, all thrills, solid mountain experience.

Monarch Mountain Resort, Colorado
Located between Salida and Gunnison, Colorado at the apex of winding and scenic Monarch Pass, Monarch Mountain is a truly unique experience. Two terrain parks and over 50 trails ensure that there’s plenty of space to shred. However, this mountain’s crown jewel is Mirkwood: 130 acres of extreme double black diamond terrain with trees for days. If you’re looking for a place to hang your hat after a long day on the slopes, the Monarch Mountain Lodge is located just 3 miles from the resort and boasts a free shuttle to the mountain.

Grand Targhee Mountain Resort, Wyoming
The beautiful and underrated Grand Targhee Mountain Resort near Alta, Wyoming doesn’t just offer skiing. Snowshoeing, Nordic Touring, and dog sled rides are also popular on the hill. Perhaps the most notable feature of the hill is Grand Targhee’s tree skiing which allows skiers to dip into stashes of untracked powder. There’s also 1,000 skiable acres reserved for cat skiing which means you’ll be able to ditch the people and get into the backcountry with ease.

Teton Range viewed from Grand Targhee

Whitefish Ski Resort, Montana
Situated near Glacier National Park, Whitefish Ski Resort used to boast a ski-bum vibe. Now it’s now shifting into a more elegant, yet still local ski hill with new eateries and breweries popping up to entertain townies and tourists alike. Well-known for being family friendly, this resort boasts over 3,000 skiable acres which is plenty for the kids and ripping adults who want to go explore. Affordable lodging and minimal crowds makes this an excellent place for a family getaway

Solitude Mountain, Utah
True to its name, this quiet and affordable mountain offers a no-frills experience for people whose priority is to ski excellent terrain. Period. The bowl skiing is particularly exceptional with Honeycomb Canyon offering some of the best turns and panoramic bowl skiing in Utah. For those who do want a little “frill” in their life, Solitude Village offers exceptional dining opportunities and is a great place to retire for an apres-ski beverage after a day of hitting it hard. The Solitude community is inviting, laid back, and there’s no doubt that the locals will out ski you all the livelong day. Located just 30 miles from Salt Lake City, this is an accessible mountain for visitors who prefer to be close to a city and airport.