The Best Heliskiing Destinations in North America

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Heliskiing is a truly unparalleled experience. The fresh mountain air, sweeping views, and untouched remote terrain all combine for a day of fresh tracks that you can’t just have anywhere. Heliskiing is the ultimate winter experience for many skiers and riders.

Some may be surprised, however, to learn that heliskiing has been around for decades. The first heliskiing excursion was led in 1964 by Hans Gmoser, a renowned Austrian mountain guide and the founder of Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) in British Columbia. Inspired by what he referred to as “One of the most impressive days in all my years skiing in the mountains,” Gmoser vowed to make it more accessible for his guests. Fast-forward to now, and heliskiing is an experience that skiers and riders can enjoy in some of the most beautiful mountains across North America. Many skiers and riders would go as far as saying that it’s the best skiing you can get.

So we’ve put together a list of some of the best heliskiing adventures in North America, from one-run heliskiing adventures for less than $200 to week-long luxury experiences.

8 of the Best Heliskiing Destinations and Experiences in North America

CMH heliskiing, British Columbia, Canada

CMH is the first and largest heliskiing operation in the world. At more than 3 million acres, the total CMH riding area is roughly one-third the size of Switzerland and 23 times larger than all the skiable terrain of every resort in North America combined. From its head office in Banff, Alberta, CMH operates 11 destinations in the Bugaboo, Cariboo, Monashee, Purcell, and Selkirk ranges of British Columbia.

Among the benefits of access to so much terrain is that CMH can offer heliskiing experiences for so many different types of skiers and riders. CMH’s Powder Intro is for the strong intermediate to advanced resort skier or snowboarder who has never ridden in the backcountry. Steep Shots & Pillow Drops instruct advanced skiers how to navigate a pillow line. Powder Masters is for the experienced heli rider who seeks out quality snow. Touring & Fusion focuses on bushwhacking terrain, with its high alpine runs, glaciated landscapes, and sub-alpine bowls. Finally, Family Trips offers an introduction to wilderness conditions for family members 12 and up. This trip gives kids a taste of powder while letting them fully unplug.

CMH varies in cost and trip duration. One-day trips from Golden, British Columbia start at $2,115 CAD per day (approximately $1,560). On the flip side, the pinnacle of an exclusive luxury trip is CMH Valemont, beginning at $250,000 CAD (approximately $185,000). Every detail at Valemont has been crafted, from your own ski guides to a massive selection of private terrain to a Bell 212 helicopter that’s on call. At Valemont its fly where you want, ski what you want, whenever you want.

CMH heli skiing, British Columbia Canada, skiers on mountain.
©CMH heliskiing Photography by Grant Gunderson

Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, Alaska

Luxury, adventure, and wildlife combine at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, which has it all. Guests spend their days heliskiing and heliboarding through the Alaskan backcountry, taking in panoramic views of Denali and volcanic summits, and then spend their nights at the picturesque lakeview lodge where they can marvel at the Northern Lights.

Wes Wylie, an experienced guide at Tordrillo, says that what makes Tordrillo Mountain Lodge especially unique is its total seclusion. “Most heliski operations have access by roads,” says Wylie. As he continues, “Tordrillo flies guests from Anchorage to a remote glacier in the Alaskan wilderness, where guests feel like they are staying on the edge of the earth.” Tordrillo attracts a diverse group from around the world, seeking adventure and a customized, five-star experience. “We show every guest the time of their life, irrespective of their skiing ability,” says Wylie.

Tordrillo’s all-inclusive week-long package includes a hotel stay in Anchorage, round-trip flight to the lodge, 7-day heliskiing adventures, gourmet meals, and access to snowshoes and fat bikes. Prices start at $18,000 per person from mid-February to late April. Visit during the summer months for their unique Kings & Corn experience, where guests can heliski in the morning, and fish for Alaska salmon at night during 22 hours of daylight.

Tordrillo Mountain Lodge heli skiing Alaska vista.
©Tordrillo Mountain Lodge

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada

As North America’s largest ski resort, Whistler Blackcomb has it all, from five-star luxury accommodations to award-winning restaurants to thousands of feet of vertical to a hopping après-ski scene. What visitors may not realize is that you can heliski right from the base of the mountain, accessing heliski terrain that is 50 times the size of the main resort, covering 432,000 acres and 173 glaciers. Whistler has several outfitters to choose from, making it easier than ever to access British Columbia’s incredible backcountry.

Whistler heliskiing day packages start at $1,136 per person for 3 runs and $1,493 for a full day of 6 runs, while those with an Epic Pass receive an additional 20% discount. Phantom Heli Skiing offers a 6-run package starting at $1,330, while you can add overnight accommodations by staying at the Belmont Estate heliski access chalet. Both outfitters provide guests with round-trip transportation to and from their accommodations.

Whistler Blackcomb glacier skiing, BC, Canada.

Sun Valley Heli Ski, Idaho

While Sun Valley Resort is recognized for its quiet slopes, long runs, and jaw-dropping views, some people may be surprised to discover that they can go heliskiing from the iconic Sun Valley Lodge. Jay Levine, the owner of Sun Valley Heli Ski, shares that what makes their operation unique is that it offers the most skiable backcountry terrain in the lower 48. Guests have exclusive pick of Idaho’s Smoky, Pioneer, Soldier, and Boulder mountain ranges.

A typical heliskiing day with Sun Valley Heli Ski begins at 7:15 a.m. with a video briefing, and then an hour of training and safety protocols. Take-off is at 9:30 am with a small guest-to-guide ratio of 4:1. A full day consists of 6 runs, with rates starting at $1,900. Guests also have the option to extend their heliski experience by staying in Sun Valley or at the remote Smoky Mountain Lodge. The exclusive Smoky Mountain Lodge comes complete with a private chef, with rates starting at $64,000 for a group of eight. Visitors can fly directly into Sun Valley, or it’s a little over a three-hour drive from Boise Airport.

Sun Valley Heli Ski.
©Sun Valley Heli Ski

High MTN Heli, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

High MTN Heli lives up to its motto, “It’s Powder Time,” considering the 500 inches of snowfall that the region receives on average every year. Servicing an area south of Jackson Hole Resort since 1974, High MTN Heli takes skiers and snowboarders to open bowls, thick forests, and stunning scenery. Helicopters fly into the Palisades and Snake River mountain ranges, as well as portions of Teton and Gros Ventre.

Expert guides lead day trips for $1,900 and 3-day excursions for $5,400. The exclusive A-star option, which allows guests to customize their group size, runs, and length of time skiing, is $7,500 per hour. High MTN Heli is based at the Snake River Sporting Club, located 13 miles south of Jackson, and on the west side of the mountains at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa near Victor, Idaho.

High Mtn Heli, Jackson Hole, WY snowboarders, helicopter.
©High MTN Heli

Powderbird, Snowbird Resort, Utah

Just beyond Utah’s world-famous ski resorts is incredible heliskiing on The Greatest Snow on Earth®. Heliskiing doesn’t get much more convenient then with Powderbird, located a 45-minute drive from Salt Lake City International Airport. Departing right from a heliport at Snowbird Resort, Powderbird has been leading heliskiing trips in Utah’s Wasatch since 1973. While the “Cottonwoods,” as locals call it, often get winter storms that bring several feet of powder, it’s those bluebird days that provide optimal ski conditions and the ideal weather for helicopters.

Powderbird’s experienced ski guides group riders according to ability. Terrain ranges from classic advanced intermediate runs to aggressive expert slopes. The price for a full-day individual seat is $2,000, while packages for 3 days of heliskiing and 4 nights at the Cliff Lodge start at $8,000. Powderbird also offers excursions to Argentina and Greenland throughout the season.

Powderbird Heli Ski at Snowbird.
©Noah Wetzel / Powderbird

Silverton Mountain Heliskiing, Colorado

Any hardcore skier in Colorado knows Silverton Mountain, with its hike-only, technical runs on over 26,000 ungroomed acres. Silverton Heliskiing lives up to the mountain’s expert reputation, serving vertical runs and narrow chutes that challenge even the most daring riders. Although heliskiing here is predominantly on advanced terrain, they also serve intermediate riders in private groups.

Silverton has one of the most affordable entries into heliskiing, with a single run starting at $184 with the purchase of a mountain lift ticket. For those who want to go all out, skiers and riders can rent the entire helicopter for $13,000 on weekdays and $20,000 on the weekends. Silverton Heliskiing is located just one hour north of Durango or one hour south of Montrose. The base of the operation is a few miles outside the historic mining town, or hop on heli transport from Telluride starting at $3,000. 

Silverton Mountain, top of peak, snowboarders.

Chugach Powder Guides at Alyeska Resort, Alaska

Alyeska Resort, located less than an hour from Anchorage, is known for its expansive 1,610 skiable acres and staggering 650″ of average annual snowfall. Yet it’s also the gateway to the Chugach Mountains, home to some of the best backcountry skiing and heliskiing experiences in the world. Chugach Powder Guides are your heliskiing experts here, offering some of the most awe-inspiring and accessible heliski experiences you’ll find with its basecamp in Girdwood, located just 40 miles from Anchorage International Airport. They offer access to an astounding one million acres of heliski terrain, spanning the Talkeetna Mountains to the Seward area.

Dan Starr, the marketing manager and a guide for Chugach, says that in order to ski big Alaska lines, the weather, snowpack, stability, and your skiing or riding ability all have to align. However, a benefit of their operation is that clients can either heliski or use snowcats to access remote terrain. Starr says, “Riders can ski every day, regardless of inclement weather.” The heliski season runs from February 1 through April 30. Prices start at $1,695 for a full day during peak season and can go up to $19,000 for a private charter.

After you’ve bagged all the dream lines your legs can handle, settle into world-class accommodations at Alyeska Resort. Enjoy a gourmet meal at one of the resort’s eight restaurants. We named Seven Glaciers one of the best ski resort restaurants with a view in North America. Then cap off the day with a hydrotherapy treatment at the Alyeska Nordic Spa.

Alyeska Resort, Chugah Powder Guides, wide mountain view heli-skiing Alaska.
©Dan Starr / Chugach Powder Guides

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all of the great places to go heliskiing in North America. We’d be remiss not to mention iconic heliskiing destinations like Revelstoke, Canada, where Selkirk Tangiers has been guiding trips for decades. In Colorado, Telluride Heli Trax provides heliskiing and snowboarding access to more than 200 square miles of terrain in the San Juan Mountains surrounding Telluride.

Header image: ©Tordrillo Mountain Lodge

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