We’re all familiar with the top 10 lists that rank the best ski areas seen in magazines every year. And while these have gotten us a long way and are awesome in their own ways, you told us you wanted something new and different: a ranking system that is based on the opinions of skiers and snowboarders like yourself and doesn’t award the same resorts the same honors every year.

Well, we listened.

Announcing The Best in Snow Awards

Our research showed that lists where the same resorts win every year are not really helpful when trying to find new ski areas to experience. So, instead, we set out to find those ski areas with the most passionate customers, regardless of their size.

At Liftopia, we partner with more than 250 ski resorts across North America and we know that all ski areas, big and small, have their own unique soul and vibe. We hope the Best in Snow Awards help you discover something new and unique about a resort you may not have heard about before and help you add a few more new ski areas to your bucket list.

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10,000 Reviews + Liftopia’s Massive Data Set

The Best in Snow Awards combine thousands of reviews from real skiers and snowboarders with Liftopia’s massive dataset, the largest in the ski industry. Winners were chosen by region across a variety of categories that you told us were most important and helpful in your search for new ski and snowboard experiences: Best Overall, Most Beginner Friendly, Most Family Friendly, Least Crowded, Most Challenging, Best Value and Best Snow Consistency and Quality.

More on Best in Snow methodology.

We were excited to see in the results what we already believed to be true: skiers and snowboarders have amazing passion for ski areas of all sizes! Our list includes many smaller, independent ski areas that are beloved by locals for their accessibility, quality, value, friendliness and more. Below is a quick snapshot of the 2016-17 Best in Snow Awards winners in each category. Be sure to check out all the winners!

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1. Best Overall: Magic Mountain, VT

As one customer puts it: “Best kept secret in the North East. Low key, local mountain with retro lifts and an old school feel.”

See all winners for best overall ski areas.

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2. Best Beginner Friendly

#1 in the North East: Bretton Woods, NH

#1 in the High West: Eagle Point, UT

#1 in the South East: Canaan Valley, WV

#1 in the Midwest: Crystal Mountain, MI

#1 in the West Coast: Anthony Lakes, OR

See all winners for top beginner friendly ski areas.

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3. Best Family Friendly

#1 in the North East: Bretton Woods, NH

#1 in the High West: Sipapu, NM

#1 in the South East: Canaan Valley, WV

#1 in the Midwest: Crystal Mountain, MI

#1 in the West Coast: Tahoe Donner, CA

See all winners for top family friendly ski areas.

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4. Least Crowded

#1 in the North East: Big Squaw Mountain, ME

#1 in the High West: Soldier Mountain, ID

#1 in the South East: Canaan Valley, WV

#1 in the Midwest: Mount Bohemia, MI

#1 in the West Coast: Anthony Lakes, OR

See all winners for least crowded ski areas.

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5. Most Challenging

#1 in the North East: Magic Mountain, VT

#1 in the High West: Jackson Hole, WY

#1 in the South East: Canaan Valley, WV

#1 in the Midwest: Mount Bohemia, MI

#1 in the West Coast: Kirkwood, CA

See all winners for top most challenging ski areas.

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6. Best Value

#1 in the North East: Arrowhead, NH

#1 in the High West: Powder Mountain, UT

#1 in the South East: Canaan Valley, WV

#1 in the Midwest: Mount Bohemia, MI

#1 in the West Coast: Anthony Lakes, OR

See all winners for top ski areas for best value.

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7. Best Snow Consistency and Quality

#1 in the North East: Bretton Woods, NH

#1 in the High West: Alta, UT

#1 in the South East: Canaan Valley, WV

#1 in the Midwest: Crystal Mountain, MI

#1 in the West Coast: Kirkwood, CA

See all winners for top ski areas with best snow consistency and quality.

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Sub-Categories liftopia / More Snowsports / North America / Ski / Ski & Snowboard / Snowboard / Travel
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  • skwirrl

    DO YOU SEE THIS VAIL? Give KWood a lift into Thunder Bowl!

  • Stan Gordon

    What a bunch of horse shit

  • Stan Gordon

    Sunday River more challenging than Sunday River??? Not in this world.

  • Jim Murray

    Two of the least crowded resorts in the Northeast are closed, Hickory and Saddleback, that is why they aren’t crowded.