Skiing the Humble Hills: Five 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 are 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 are plen­ty for the kids and rip­ping adults who want to go explore. Afford­able lodg­ing and min­i­mal crowds make 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.