Snowbird, tucked away in Utah's Little Cottonwood Canyon, takes home the 2012 OnTheSnow Visitors' Choice Award for Best Overall Resort. Located just 29 miles from Salt Lake City International Airport, visitors can easily fly and ski "the Bird" on the same day. Although famous for its abundance of dry Utah powder and steep runs, Snowbird offers a wide variety of terrain (27% Beginner, 38% Intermediate, 35% Advanced) that caters to all ability levels. Its 125-person Aerial Tram whisks visitors an impressive 2,900 vertical feet from base to summit in only seven minutes. Off the slopes, guests have four slopeside lodging options, as well as plentiful dining and nightlife opportunities. Even so, Snowbird didn't win this award for its village; OnTheSnow readers chose it best overall because there's nothing quite like a week in the canyon, with nothing to do except enjoy great snow, great skiing, a nice meal and a soak in the hot tub.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2012/2013: Snowbird replaced the original Little Cloud Chairlift in the summer of 2012 with a new high-speed quad that whisks skiers and riders up 1,100 vertical feet in just 3.5 minutes. From the summit of the Little Cloud chair, guests can access a ton of challenging terrain located just below Hidden Peak.
APRÉS SPOTS: The Aerie restaurant, located in the Cliff Lodge and Spa, serves up modern-American cuisine, while focusing on local and seasonal ingredients. The Aerie even features what they call “Whiskey Wednesday” specials. Sports fans can hit up The Tram Club, where 13 big screen TVs array the walls and visitors can enjoy darts, pool and foosball.
WHERE TO SKI: Take the Aerial Tram up to the 11,000-foot Hidden Peak for some of the most challenging terrain that North America has to offer. Intermediate to advanced skiers and riders can take laps on the Gadzoom High-Speed Quad for a wide variety of terrain difficulty, and beginners can improve their skiing via the Mid-Gad Lift.