Chasing Powder: Where to Find the Best Snow in the West

From the Rockies' and Tahoe to Whistler Blackcomb, these are the top resorts to find unparalleled powder skiing.

Sara Nidblock Snowboarding Powder near Whistler Village GOndola

Go West Powderhounds! 

It only takes one powder day on the slopes to forever change your attitude about winter. Those bottomless-powder type of days are for skiers and snowboarders what the “perfect wave” is to surfers—and “out west” is where you find these types of days.

The combination of dry air, high altitude, consistent and abundant snowfall, and varied mountainous terrain creates the perfect recipe for the light, fluffy, and powdery snow.

The Rocky Mountains, Lake Tahoe area, and British Columbia all benefit from a unique climate that produces dry snow. As moist air from the Pacific Ocean moves eastward and reaches the mountains, it rises and cools, losing its humidity, resulting in the light and dry snow known common in the area.  

The Rockies: Powder to Spare  

In the heart of the West, the Rockies rise as kings of winter, offering some of the most consistent and noteworthy snow conditions. From late December through the plentiful spring storms of March, the Rockies get deep, with mid-winter months often bringing in the majority of the volume. Here are a few destinations known by powderhounds worldwide:

Vail: Spanning over 5,300 acres, with an impressive annual snowfall averaging 300", Vail is truly like no place on earth. Renowned for its Legendary Back Bowls and light, fluffy "blower powder," Vail epitomizes the Colorado skiing experience.

Beaver Creek: Famed for its luxury approach and welcoming ambiance, Beaver Creek sits in prime powder zone, with its summit reaching 11,440 feet. With about 325 inches of annual snowfall, Beaver Creek is a powder seeker’s paradise, offering wide open terrain and enchanting gladed areas to leave your first tracks in.

Park City, Utah: While Park City Mountain is known as the largest ski resorts in the U.S.—boasting 7,300 acres—it is also known for an average snowfall of 360 inches. Penned by the state of Utah as “the Greatest Snow on Earth*," the odds are high that if you’re looking for powder, you'll find it in Utah.


Lake Tahoe: Deep Snow in the Sierra Nevadas 

Lake Tahoe, nestled in the Sierra Nevadas on the California-Nevada border, is celebrated for its deep, fluffy snow—ideal for powder skiing.  Its elevation contributes to colder temperatures, while its proximity to the Pacific Ocean brings moist air up, which cools and drops significant amounts of snow.

The Untamed Powder of Kirkwood

Averaging an astonishing 600 inches annually, Kirkwood consistently delivers an unparalleled powder experience. It’s higher elevation and location on the Sierra Crest create a natural trap for storms—making it one of the most consistent in the Tahoe region.  Covering 2,300 acres, Kirkwood offers varied terrain that includes wide-open bowls, steep chutes, and serene glades. Not to mention, Kirkwood's relatively secluded setting contributes to less crowded slopes, ensuring that fresh tracks last longer after a snowfall.

The Coastal Mountains of British Columbia

The northern coastal climate and high elevation results in a snowpack that is known for its quality and quantity—making it deep, light, fluffy and perfect for powder skiing.

Whistler Blackcomb: Canadian Powder Champion

Crossing into Canada, Whistler Blackcomb lives in its own realm of winter wonder. With its legendary snowfall of up to 34 feet per year, this extensive resort covers 8,171 acres of terrain that unfolds like a skier's dream—from the wide, open alpine bowls to the secretive, tree-lined secluded runs. It’s a world of endless snowscapes where adventure calls at every turn.

Make Your Powder Day Dreams Come True

There is no doubt: the West is home to some of the best powder in the world—and your best powder day ever is waiting for you to ski it. Whether it’s the deep, dry powder of the Rockies, or the snow-loaded coastal slopes of Tahoe or Whistler, there’s a world of knee-deep snow adventures ready to be skied.   

Now all you have to do is ski them: book a resort, pack your gear, and go West!