Ski travel is unpredictable at best with monster storms and canceled flights. Pairing the right ski resort with the right airport eliminates missed connections, lengthy white-knuckle drives and disconcerting heart palpitations. Not to mention lessening the stress of life after baggage claim. Beat the ski travel blues by choosing ski resorts close to an airport with direct flights serviced by major airlines into and out of some of the country’s biggest markets.
1. Jackson Hole Airport (JAC)
Jackson Hole Airport, located at the base of the Teton mountain range, is approximately 20 miles from the resort and less than 10 miles from the town of Jackson, making it the closest airport to Jackson Hole Ski Resort. American, Delta and United Airlines offer direct flights to Jackson Hole and airport from Denver, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Newark, New York-JFK, Seattle and Los Angeles. You can often find cheap airfare to Jackson Hole, Wyoming if you book well in advance of your trip. Be sure to check for good deals from websites that search for cheap fares and handle all the booking for you.
2. Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
Flying into Salt Lake City International (SLC) puts skiers and riders within an hour’s drive of 11 ski areas, including Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley, Snowbird, Alta, Brighton and Solitude. Sundance is slightly over an hour. Major carriers operating into and out of SLC include United, Southwest, Delta, Alaska, jetBlue, Frontier and American Airlines. Salt Lake City can also be a great base for you to sample several of the areas on your vacation.
3. Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE)
Searching for where to fly in Colorado for skiing? If you’re looking to skip the two-hour-plus drive from Denver, catch a flight into Eagle County Regional via Air Canada, United, Delta or American Airlines. This convenient, high-elevation airport places skiers and riders within a 40-minute drive of both Beaver Creek and Vail ski areas and is just under an hour to Copper Mountain. It’s the closest airport to Beaver Creek, Copper and Vail. Eagle County Regional airport provides nonstop flights from 13 major markets during the winter, including San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York-JFK, Newark, Phoenix and Washington DC. There’s easy van service to your hotel, too. Fun fact: More than half of Colorado’s ski resorts are located within 325 miles of either a metropolitan or regional airport.
Located in the heart of cowboy country, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) is the closest airport to Big Sky and provides nonstop flights to and from 16 cities across the country, including Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Long Beach, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, New York-LaGuardia, Newark, Atlanta, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland and Seattle. The airport, which is serviced by Delta, Alaska, United and American Airlines, puts travelers approximately 40 miles from Bridger Bowl and 50 miles from Big Sky Resort. Cheap flights are available from here to Portland, Ore. and Seattle, Wash. giving access to many more Pacific Northwest ski resorts.
5. Burlington International Airport (BTV)
Fly direct into Vermont’s Burlington International Airport from 10 cities, including New York, Chicago, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Detroit, Washington DC and Toronto, and gain easy access to Smugglers’ Notch and Stowe Mountain Resort, located approximately one hour from Burlington International Airport. BTV is the closest airport to Vermont Ski resorts. BTV airport is serviced by Delta, jetBlue, Porter, American and United Airlines. Renting a car gives you access to other favorite Vermont resorts further south such as Bolton Valley, Sugarbush, Mad River and Killington in Central Vermont.
6. Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE)
The Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (also known as Sardy Field) is situated within 4 miles of Aspen’s world-class skiing and about 6 miles of the Snowmass Village. Major carriers like Delta, United and American Airlines provide nonstop service from some of the country’s biggest hubs. You can plan a direct flight to Aspen whether flying out of Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix, Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, or Denver. It’s sometimes an exciting flight over the Rockies, but well worth an occasional white knuckle.
7. Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO)
Hop aboard a Delta, Alaska, Frontier, Southwest, United or American Airlines flight from a number of hubs across the country and you’ll be skiing the Sierras in no time. Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows is located within a one-hour drive of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, which is the closest major airport to fly into for access to all Lake Tahoe ski resorts on either the north or south shores. More than 10 airlines service 130+ daily flights with nonstop flights from Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Denver, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, New York-JFK, Salt Lake City, Austin, Boise and many others. Consider making Reno your base for great hotel deals, lots of casinos and nightlife and driving the relatively short trips to the ski resorts ringing the lake. Flying into San Francisco International Airport puts you about 200 miles from Lake Tahoe.
8. Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN)
Alaska, Delta and United airlines offer direct service into Sun Valley’s Friedman Memorial Airport, putting skiers and riders within 15 miles of the famed Sun Valley ski slopes from a variety of major markets. Nonstop flights from Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle are available. Flying in makes lots of sense if you don’t live in Idaho or somewhat close to this World Class, historic resort.
9. Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH)
A flight into the Mammoth Yosemite Airport puts skiers and riders about 10 minutes from the town of Mammoth Lakes and right around 30 minutes from the base of Mammoth Mountain and about a 30 minute drive Mammoth’s charming “sister,” June Mt. Going to Yosemite National Park? Not so close. Watch your step as you exit the plane onto the tarmac of this tiny airport, the mountain views from this vantage point are breathtaking and hard to beat as a first impression. This is possibly the smallest regional airport of them all as most people drive to Mammoth and June, but it sure saves those long desert drives from the Southland. Fly direct to Mammoth from LAX via Alaska airlines year-round or hop aboard one of the new regular and seasonal United flights from Denver, San Fran or LA.
10. Montrose-Telluride Regional Airport (MTJ)
Telluride-bound skiers and riders have a few different flight options, and Montrose Regional Airport, dubbed the “runway to recreation,” is about as close as you can get with wings for a good-sized regional airport to the mountain (about an hour and 15 minutes away) and flight variety. United, American, Delta and Allegiant Air all offer winter service into MTJ from a variety of destinations across the U.S. For even quicker mountain access, Boutique Air recently announced year-round service from Denver International Airport into Telluride Regional Airport (TEX), which is located just 10 minutes from town and ski resort. There’s plenty of van access from Montrose.
11. Yampa Valley Regional Airport (HDN)
Fly here and you’re only about a 30-minute drive from Steamboat Resort (22 miles). There are non-stop flights from 12 major airports across the country on Alaska, American, JetBlue, Southwest and United during the winter season. Yampa Valley Airport is the place to go, not only for easy Steamboat access, but also for the towns of Hayden and Craig and the rest of this beautiful Valley.
12. Louisville Mohammed Ali International Airport (SFD/KSDF)
Most people will choose driving to Indiana’s Paoli Peaks and Perfect North ski resorts, but if you’re flying in, Louisville’s recently renamed Muhammad Ali International Airport is he closest bet 45-60 minutes from the ski areas. Plenty of airlines fly in from all over. The airport used to be called Standiford Field and the name change salutes the great fighter who hails from Louisville.
And a few more choices: Live in Texas? Fly to Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) and drive north to world-famous Taos Ski Valley (2.5 hours) or south to Ski Apache in the resort mountain town of Ruidoso (under three hours). Or, fly into any of the Colorado Metropolitan or Regional Airports described above. Flying into Los Angeles International Aiport? There’s closely local skiing at Snow Summit and Snow Valley or the SoCal snowboarding hotspot, Mountain High. Flying into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (and who doesn’t)? Ober-Gatlinburg is a four drive.