While not many of us will get the chance to visit every single ski resort we dream of, it can never hurt to add a few new destinations to that ever-expanding list! So here are five ski resorts you should definitely visit at least once before you join the great big ski resort in the sky. 

1. Park City Mountain

Besides being home to the essential oil company doTERRA, Utah also happens to lay claim to a surprising number of decent ski resorts. Park City Mountain is incredibly picturesque, with dazzling blue skies, sprawling Alpine slopes, and a colorful speckle of homes and hotels standing out cheerfully against the crisp, whiter-than-white snow. Breathing the exhilarating air and soaking in Park City Mountain’s natural beauty, you could easily be standing in an exclusive European ski resort. 

The Park City resort has over 7,000 acres of skiable terrain. Its Canyons trail network is ideal for skiing veterans, with very challenging and deceptive terrain laying in wait. But there’s also plenty there if you’re looking for something slightly less hair-raising. This place offers the complete ski resort experience, with plenty of great options from beginner to black level skiers. 

2. Zinal and Grementz

The Swiss may or may not have invented skiing, but they undoubtedly elevated the act of swishing over snow on a couple of planks to an art form. Zinal and Grimentz belong on any list of amazing ski resorts to visit because there’s just something timeless about the place. The moment you arrive you don’t want to leave, and it’s hard to separate the amazing skiing from the welcoming embrace of its beautiful little villages. 

Spending time in Grimentz is like holidaying in the past in the best possible way! And with its beautiful yet challenging slopes, if skiing is your thing, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to snow-covered heaven. 

3. Cerro Catedral

Cerro Catedral, the Pategonian region of South Argentina has the kind of stunning beauty that leaves you equal parts awestruck and terrified. 

No matter how many times you’ve stared down a dazzling snowy slope with ski poles in hand, it’s the kind of place where you’ll wonder for a moment if you’re up to the task. Your heart will race. You’ll feel impossibly small. 

Cerro Catedral has so much to offer the person who believes that adrenaline is a dish best served cold, but more than anything, its 3000 skiable acres spanning 1150 feet of vertical will make you feel alive. 

4. Portes du Soleil

Portes du Soleil in France is a huge skiing area, encompassing a dozen resorts all the way from Mont Blanc to Lake Geneva. While there are so many places to explore here, Avoriaz has to be one of your best bets. 

Guaranteed good snow, a ton of out of the way areas to explore and some of the most beautiful country you’ll find anywhere in the world are all great reasons to add Portes du Soleil to your skiing bucket list. Avoriaz is an especially good choice for a family vacation. Gentler slopes and an abundance of kid-friendly diversions mean that everyone in the family will have the time of their lives. 

5. Whistler Blackcomb

No surprise entry to any ski resort must-see list, Whistler Blackcomb represents the perfect fusion of amazing snow, high-energy slopes that can tax even a veteran skier, and an abundance of gentler experiences for skiers still finding their snow legs. We’re talking close to 8000 acres of prime skiing terrain with the last decade’s average annual snowfall creeping up on forty feet. 

There is world-class snow here, and services to match. Beautiful hotels, some great packages for the budget traveler and more places to eat, drink and be merry than you can shake a ski pole at. 

Skiing here is a lifestyle, and for as long as your stay at Whistler you’ll be surrounded and intoxicated by that thrill-seeking lifestyle. It’d be exhausting if it weren’t so completely relaxing!

Ultimately, that perfect ski resort isn’t just about the quality of the slopes, the deliciousness of the food or the excellence of its hospitality services. It’s about the complete experience you can find there, from the thrill of masterfully skiing that slope that terrified you at first, to the warm embrace of the camaraderie of being around like-minded people who share your passion.

These ski resorts may not be on everyone’s list, but they each offer something unique and unforgettable.