The Longest Ski Runs in North America

Newsroom Resort Features The Longest Ski Runs in North America

We all have different bragging rights and personal bests we’re after. For some skiers and snowboarders, it’s all about steep and deep. However, sometimes you want to ride to the top of the mountain, point yourself downhill, and cruise to the base. Skiing a particularly long run is satisfying whether you are a beginner, intermediate, advanced skier, or snowboarder. And it’s like the icing on the cake after a day on the mountain. So, let us help you find some of the longest ski runs in North America.

The longest ski runs in the East

The Polecat at Wildcat, New Hampshire, winds nearly 3 miles down the 2,100-foot drop from the top, meandering mildly down the mountain with pitch changes. Bonus: This ski run has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery, with close-up views of Mount Washington.

Wildcat Mountain ski run.
©Wildcat Mountain

In New York, long means Whiteface Mountain at Lake Placid, where the 2-mile Wilmington Trail is ideal for intermediates off Lookout Mountain. This long cruiser has gorgeous vistas, so look left after disembarking the lift for an extraordinary summit view. It starts with snowcapped trees on both trail sides and views of Lake Champlain beyond, and then the trail turns right with Adirondacks and Green Mountain views. It can be challenging with several headwalls and a narrow section. And remember, when it’s over, you get to enjoy the Olympic Village of Lake Placid.

Check out Lodging options at Wildcat Mountain and Whiteface Mountain.

The longest ski runs in the Rockies

If you really want some long ski runs, then head to Colorado. Start at Aspen/Snowmass, where Longshot is said to be the longest continuous ski run in Colorado at 5.3 miles. It is an intermediate leg-burner and an endurance challenge. Note: You’ll have to work for this one, as there’s a 5-minute hike to the run.

Female skier powder Aspen Snowmass.
©Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort

Vail’s old favorite is Riva Ridge, a 4-mile romp for advanced skiers. The oldest and longest ski run on the mountain, Riva features sections of steeps and bumps and is often only groomed once a week. Riva Ridge was named in honor of a significant World War II battle waged by members of the 10th Mountain Division, several of whom helped found Vail. The route offers breathtaking views of the Gore Range from the mountain crest to the base.

Nearby at Vail’s sister resort, Beaver Creek, you’ll find Centennial, the 2.5-mile World Championship downhill course. It starts atop the Cinch Express at 11,440 feet and runs along the spike of the mountain. It’s a beauty when groomed. Nearby at Breckenridge, the 4 O’Clock Run is accessed off the Colorado Super Chair on Peak 8. This is Breck’s longest trail, spanning 3.5 miles. If you’re up for it, it has a single black diamond at the top, blue in the middle, and green at the bottom. It’s a must-ski for aprés-ski bragging.

If you love corduroy, head for the 4.6-mile Galloping Goose at Telluride, located at 11,811 feet and accessed via the Prospect Bowl Express chairlift. Beginner skiers can take their time meandering down the run that drops beginner skiers off in front of Big Billie’s Restaurant. School Marm at Keystone is another terrific beginner cruiser, rolling 3.5 miles from the summit of Mt. Dercum to the Mountain House at the base. It has some fun drops broken up with flatter sections and feels like a highway cruise.

Skiing soft snow at Telluride
©Visit Telluride

Why Not is the name of the 3-mile green run from the top of the central mountain at Steamboat. Ride through the trees the whole way, or slip away for some variety as you come across more advanced terrain. Finally, Eldora Mountain, near Boulder, can send you down the 3-mile Muleshoe from the top of Corona via Way Back. Advanced skiers love it for all the changes in terrain.

Check out Lodging options in Colorado.

Once you’ve had your fill of long Colorado runs, head east to Wyoming, where Jackson Hole checks in with the 4,139-foot vertical drop that is Rendezvous Bowl. This is a fabled black diamond run off the peak (serviced by the Tram, a bus-sized funicular that goes from the base to the peak) and provides advanced skiers with a steep but manageable way from the very top. Rendezvous Bowl delivers the thrills of big mountain skiing without the panic of sheer drops and cliffs.

Rendezvous Bowl at Jackson Hole
The Rendezvous Bowl at Jackson Hole can only be accessed by tram ©Julie Weinberger.

Check out Elk Peak Ridge at Big Sky Resort in Montana, a 3.5-mile intermediate trail. Located off the backside of Andesite Mountain and accessed from the Ramcharger and Thunder Wolf lift, it offers a consistent, steep slope for riders to venture down.

Alta’s High Rustler, in Utah, is the longest continuous steep run in the United States, starting at a 45-degree angle. Known to locals as “High Boy,” this one will give you bragging rights for years to come. Enjoy the more than 1,000 vertical feet ride down to Wildcat Base, and another round on Collins lift. Be sure to buy the T-shirt to show off back home.

Alta, Utah, powder bluebird day.
©Lee Cohen / Alta Ski Area

Lastly, Park City Mountain Resort is where you’ll find the 3.5-mile green Home Run trail, a perfect roll for a smooth ride. As the North American leader in groomed resorts, Park City has an expansive grooming operation that lays fresh corduroy across the resort day in and day out.

Park City Mountain Resort - Vail Resort
©Park City Mountain Resort / Vail Resorts

Check out Lodging options in Park City.

The longest ski runs in the Far West

California checks in at Mammoth Mountain in the High Sierra with Road Runner, a scenic 3-mile ski run winding around the back side of the mountain to the Main Lodge. This is an intermediate run, so most skiers can relax and enjoy the scenery. The views of the Minaret Range are fantastic as you glide across the long, smooth terrain.

The Olympic Downhill is Heavenly’s longest ski trail on Lake Tahoe’s south shore, measuring 5.5 miles. Take a right off the top of Olympic Express and practice your carving turns on this consistently medium-steep pitch to the base of Stagecoach Express. You’ll have traveled nearly 2,000 vertical feet by the end of it.

Check out Lodging options at Mammoth and Heavenly.

The longest ski runs in Canada

Long in Whistler means Peak to Creek, a 7-mile thigh burner – the longest run on the mountain and one of the longest continuous trails in North America. Peak to Creek begins at the top of Whistler Mountain and ends at the Whistler Creekside gondola. Next door at Blackcomb, the Green Line Down is a 7-mile cruiser down Easy Out. Green Line begins at the top of the 7th Heaven Chair and traverses back and forth to the base of the mountain.

Finally, let’s end at Revelstoke, where the Last Spike ski run will keep you more than busy for 9.5 miles. The best news is beginners in good condition with solid ski legs can zig-zag down to the base. The Last Spike runs the length of two lifts, the Revelation gondola and the Upper Stoke chairlift, and is the longest ski run in North America.

Steep and powder skiing, Revelstoke, BC, Canada.
Revelstoke Ski Area ©Shutterstock

Check out Lodging options in Whistler and at Revelstoke.

Credit Header: ©Jack Affleck/Vail Resort

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