In Search of Powder Days: Every U.S. State’s Snowiest Ski Resort (Infographic)

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"Boston just got five feet of snow," a long time trip partner of mine lamented a few weeks ago, "and at Fernie, they're reporting the worst conditions in 20 years." If you're into skiing and snowboarding, you know you're often at the mercy of Mother Nature. On a trip to Revelstoke Mountain Resort several years ago, my trip mates and I found more snow than we knew what to do with. The same year, we left Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks after a few hours of skiing because the majority of our favorite runs were, at best, steeply sloping skating rinks.

Seriously can't beat the view, or the snow...at least, most of the time!

Some years, the fluffy white stuff falls freely at just the right time, and other years, all we can do is make the best of what we've got, or rely on mad-made snow. If you frequently travel in search of powder days, though snowfall is unpredictable, there are states and resorts in those states that get more snowfall than others. Suburban Chicago-based Williams Ski and Patio compiled data around natural snowfall totals for states that get enough inches of snow to tally. They also looked at the snowiest resorts across the country, and here's what they found.*



Things that didn't surprise me? Alaska tops the charts with 735 inches of snow annually on average, and the snow in the majority of the wester states clearly exceeds the amount of snow across the midwest and the east. Vermont and New Hampshire lead the east in snowfall, and it's clear you're taking a risk if you're planning a ski trip to Rhode Island or Indiana.

Things that did surprise me? Alaska gets a ton of snow, but most of it falls in the earlier part of the season. The opposite is true for Utah, which is good to know for trip planning. New Mexico gets 305 inches annually while my current state (Pennsylvania) gets 86 inches and my home state (New York) gets 194 inches. Utah gets less snow on average annually than Washington and Oregon, and Arizona gets more snow than the majority of the midwestern states.

It's important to note that this infographic only accounts for natural snow. I visited Killington Resort and Stratton Mountain Resort in early January, and though there wasn't enough natural snow to open any of the glade runs, there was still plenty of natural and man-made snow to cover a good bit of terrain.  But if you're in search of the real stuff while you're trip planning, stats on the average snowfall for each state is a good place to start.

Huge thanks to Williams Ski and Patio for sponsoring this post, and for creating the infographic. Did any of these statistics surprise you? How many of these resorts have you been to? Are there resorts you expected to see at the top of the charts and didn't? We'd love to hear from you.

*From Williams and Patio: "Our snowfall data came largely from meteorological stations, but for some resorts (especially those not close to a station) we used data from On the Snow, which is accurate but only goes back for about five years, leading to a little bit of deviation."

2 comments :

Heather Balogh said...

For the record, Wolf Creek is the pass I was stuck on this weekend for a snow storm :)

Katie L said...

Ha! Well, I guess it lived up to its position as the #1 snowiest resort in Colorado! So glad you made it home in one piece!