Defining the oldest U.S. ski areas can be a little challenging. The sport’s pioneers would often just gather to trudge up a local hill and then slide down. They were too busy skiing to write down when they first gathered. Plus, reports of exact dates for an area’s first rope tow installation and such sometimes vary by a few years.

Nevertheless, according to the National Ski Areas Association at least, the places listed below are the country’s oldest ski areas that are still in operation.

1. Howelsen Hill (1915)

What are the OLDEST ski areas in the U.S.?

PHOTO CREDIT: Howelsen Hill

Steamboat Resort may the destination resort in the neighborhood, but Howelsen Hill directly above downtown Steamboat Springs, Colorado, has seniority. Along with skiing and boarding, ski jumping is a big part of the ski area’s history.

2. Eaglebrook School (1922)

What are the OLDEST ski areas in the U.S.?

PHOTO CREDIT: Eaglebrook School

This Massachusetts private boys school has its own ski area that boasts snowmaking and a chairlift. Not surprisingly, the ski racing team is a popular activity.

3. Granlibakken Tahoe (1927)

What are the OLDEST ski areas in the U.S.?

PHOTO CREDIT: Granlibakken Tahoe

Now on the grounds of the Granlibakken conference center and lodge, this place to ski was originally called “Olympic Hill.” Now a platter pull is the way to climb the 300 vertical feet to the top of this tiny ski hill on the California side of Lake Tahoe.

4. Mount Hood (1927/1928)

What are the OLDEST ski areas in the U.S.?

PHOTO CREDIT: Mount Hood Meadows

Three ski areas on or near the 11.250-foot Oregon volcano opened right around the same time. Opened in 1927 on Mount Hood itself, Summit and Cooper Spur are both very small areas catering to beginners. Across the way, the much more expansive Mt. Hood Skibowl officially dates back to 1928. Now, the 960-acre resort is best known for its night skiing.

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Sub-Categories liftopia / Ski & Snowboard / The Industry

2 responses to “What are the oldest ski areas in the U.S.?”

  1. Andrew Langley says:

    You have missed one, Storrs Hill Ski Area in Lebanon NH. Documented skiing with a lift since 1923. A public/private venture. Managed by the Not for profit Lebanon Outing Club. The hill has night skiing, snowmaking , grooming, 2 trails and a large freestyle/board park. Includes 3 ski jumps of 10, 25 and 50 meters.

  2. cliff mossey says:

    ” Est. 1935 the first overhead cable lift in our country was installed on Black Mt. in Jackson, New Hampshire ”
    from an antique poster in the lodge.

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