The Best Patios for Après-Ski in North America

Newsroom Après The Best Patios for Après-Ski in North America

Spring is peak après-ski season, and there are few things better than topping off a day on the slopes with drinks, food and Vitamin D on a sun-drenched patio. Many of the really wonderful après-ski patios are somewhere up the mountain, and are generally attached to mid-mountain or summit restaurants where you can soak up the rays while indulging with a belly-busting burger and your favorite post-ski libation. Nonetheless, many great patios can be found at the base lodge or nearby village.

Below we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite ski resort patios around North America.

10 of the best ski resort patios in North America

Aspen, Colorado: The Sundeck

High atop Aspen Mountain, The Sundeck couldn’t be more aptly named. Operated by the Little Nell Hotel, one of the top ski resort hotels in the world, The Sundeck’s food, hospitality and views are unparalleled. Not to mention the scenic 15-minute gondola ride from the hotel. Once you arrive, The Sundeck’s spacious patio opens up to gorgeous views of 14,000-foot peaks. What’s more, The Sundeck’s building, located in a 23,000-square-foot day lodge perched on the edge of Forest Service boundaries, became the country’s first resort project awarded a LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy Efficient Design program.

The Sundeck Restaurant on Aspen Mountain - The Little Nell Hotel.
Sundeck Restaurant on Aspen Mountain ©The Little Nell Hotel

Vail, Colorado: Pepi’s Covered Patio

Pepi’s outdoor deck at the iconic Gastof Gramshammer provides some of the best outdoor experiences you’ll find in the Vail Valley. Pepi’s, named for the Austrian ski racer who established the Gastof, is a legendary eatery close to the slopes near Gondola One. It’s hailed as “the sunniest deck in Vail Village.” Pepi’s is a great spot for lunch, après-ski and dinner, so we won’t judge if you go twice in a day. But it’s not only great for spring since the heated covered patio section is open year-round.

Hotel Gasthof village at Vail Resorts, Pepi's Restaurant at dusk.
Pepi’s Restaurant and village at Vail Resorts ©Hotel Gasthof

Breckenridge, Colorado: Quandry Tequila Bistro

While many people rave about Breckenridge’s TBar, don’t sleep on the Quandry Tequila Bistro. This off-the-beaten path bistro in Breckenridge is often voted one of the best après-ski hot spots anywhere. Discover 12 beers on tap, cornhole and happy hour specials from 3-5 p.m. daily. Quandry’s sunny deck, overlooking Peak 9, Peak 10, and Maggie Pond, is huge, and makes for an ideal lunch or après-ski spot. The restaurant with its sunny patio is located where Main Street meets the mountain on the corner of South Park Ave. and Main Street, inside the Hyatt Main Street Station Plaza.

Breckenridge, CO.
TBar ©Breckenridge Ski Resort/Vail Resorts

Park City, Utah: Lookout Cabin

Lookout Cabin, located off the mid-station of the Orange Bubble Express lift, earns its name at Park City Mountain. Enjoy a nice lunch here while taking in the expansive views of the Wasatch. This is not your everyday ski resort food menu with menu items like pan seared diver scallops, braised short ribs and Bison Bolognese. Yet, you can still get classics like the chili and Wagyu Burger.

Lookout Cabin, Park City Mountain Resort.
The Lookout Cabin ©Park City Mountain Resort

Mammoth Mountain, California: The Outpost

The Outpost, located at the base of chair 14 at Mammoth, is touted for its gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and nice outdoor deck. Pair your grilled cheese with one of their soup selections, and a craft beer, while taking in the views. Located on the backside of Mammoth, The Outpost is a good starting point to get back to Eagle Lodge when you want to get a little bit more skiing in before calling it a day.

Palisades Tahoe, California: KT-22 Base Bar

KT-22 Base Bar is a particularly lively outdoor après-ski scene at the base of the famed KT-22 lift at Palisades Tahoe. Longtime Palisades skiers and riders will likely tell you there’s no better place to soak up the sun than on the KT Deck. Enjoy a refreshing cold one while watching skiers make their way down the fabled KT-22 run. The steep 8,200-foot slope was named when Sandy Poulsen, wife of the resort’s founder, hiked it and was intimidated. So, she traversed back and forth to descend, making 22 kick turns.

KT Base Bar Palisades-Tahoe friends apres ski.
Palisades-Tahoe ©KT-22 Base Bar

Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont: Cliff House

Atop the gondola on Stowe Mountain Resort’s Mount Mansfield, the Cliff House brings panoramic-view seating with floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the surrounding alpine peaks. While a popular spot in winter, spring means it’s time to grab a seat on Cliff House’s outdoor deck. Its chef serves regional American cuisine with a rustic Vermont flair. Needless to say, this is a step up from your typical après-ski meal.

Cliff House Restaurant at Stowe, night dusk.
Stowe Mountain Resort ©Cliff House Restaurant

Mt. Bachelor, Oregon: The Sun Bar

Few bars are so aptly named for our purposes here. The Sun Bar, located on the upper patio of Sunrise Lodge, is the place to be on those spring skiing afternoons at Mt. Bachelor. Bonus: Mt. Bachelor has one of the longest spring skiing seasons in North America. Kick back just steps from the slopes as skiers come down the mountain. The Sun Bar has a great selection of warm and cold craft cocktails, as well as a selection of beer and wine.

The Sun Bar at Mt. Bachelor, Oregon.
Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort ©The Sun Bar

Blue Mountains, Ontario, Canada: Rusty’s

Blue Mountain is one of Ontario’s most popular ski resorts, and once it’s time for après-ski, Rusty’s is the place to be. Rusty’s is a cornerstone of Blue’s spring skiing experience come March when you can drink in the sun on the patio then move onto the dance floor after dark. Go for the fish tacos, smoked brisket and nacho chips. The draft beer and cider are perfect post-skiing bevvys.

Sunshine Village, Banff, Canada: Mad Trapper’s

Recently we named Mad Trapper’s, at Sunshine Village, one of the best après-ski bars in Canada, and it’s for good reason. They’ve been slinging drinks here since 1928, and while the bar itself is an experience, Mad Trapper’s patio is just as good. Located in the Old Sunshine Lodge, Mad Trapper’s gets busy on a beautiful spring day, so get here early. Chow down on its great selection of chili, like the bison chili, and wash it down with a beer or Caesar from their Caesar menu.

Love is in the air, Valentine's Day 2022.
©Sean Hannah

Photo Header Credit: TBar ©McGuire/Breckenridge Ski Resort/Vail Resorts

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