While the chilling winter temps might keep away the faint of heart, Jackson Hole's powder-laden slopes beckon to avid skiers and snowboarders. Though Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is the preferred spot, downhill devotees can also hit Snow King and Grand Targhee.
Lake Tahoe is beautiful from any vantage point, but it's quite stunning from the slopes. Ski areas like Heavenly, Squaw Valley and Northstar-at-Tahoe lure powder hounds from around the U.S. For affordable digs, make reservations in advance or stay in nearby Reno.
Salt Lake City
In 2002, all eyes were on Utah's snowy slopes as the world's best competed for gold in the Olympic Games. You can still watch the pros tackle the jumps at Utah Olympic Park before strapping on your own skis at Snowbird Ski Resort or at one of Park City's ski spots.
This tried-and-true winter destination caters to all skill levels with four major ski areas — Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands. And for backcountry gliders, the White River National Forest provides plenty of cross-country trails.
Vail is one of the country's most popular wintertime destinations thanks to its two primo ski areas: Vail Ski Resort and Beaver Creek Ski Resort. And the nearby mountain ranges feature plenty of cross-country paths. But be prepared to splurge; lodging here isn't cheap.