6 September 2021 from Gareth in ListsSki areas

When thinking about winter sports, many people immediately think of Austria, France or Switzerland. But did you know that there are also beautiful ski resorts outside of Europe? In this article, we list some of the most beautiful ski resorts in the USA. In addition, we provide information about current entry restrictions and applying for an ESTA or visa.

Winter sports in the United States

Winter sports in America or Canada are a completely different experience to that in Europe. In North America, champagne powder snow falls, which is much lighter and drier than the snow we know in Europe. The snow is formed at extremely low temperatures, as clouds from the Pacific Ocean are pushed up a mountain range and compressed into an ice-cold cloud. The ice crystals then whirl over the area as light snowflakes and form an airy layer of snow. This champagne powder snow provides more grip and makes turns easier.

For many winter sports enthusiasts, a trip to the American state of Colorado is high on their bucket list. This state is also known as the ultimate winter sports location in America, with numerous famous ski resorts such as Aspen, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek and Vail. But other American states such as Utah, Montana and California are also suitable for a winter sports holiday. An additional advantage is that the pistes in America are generally much quieter than in Europe. The pistes are often wide and on some runs you will hardly meet other skiers. Would you like to try out one of the beautiful ski slopes in America? Then apply for an ESTA now!

Aspen Snowmass - Colorado

Aspen is definitely a household name among winter sports enthusiasts; it is perhaps the most famous ski resort in the world. It is located in the Rocky Mountains, in the state of Colorado. Aspen Snowmass consists of four skiing areas that are close to each other: Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass. Experienced skiers should go to Aspen Highlands, while Buttermilk is more suitable for beginners or families with children. Besides skiing, there are numerous other activities in the snow, such as ice skating, cross-country skiing or a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Aspen is about a four-hour drive from Denver International Airport. From the airport you can rent a car or take a shuttle bus.

Park City - Utah

The most famous ski resort in Utah is Park City. This is one of the largest ski areas in America with no less than 250 kilometres of slopes. The area consists of three ski resorts: Park City, Deer Valley and The Canyons. The area is suitable for both beginners and advanced skiers. In 2002, the Winter Olympics took place here, which means that the ski area is now easier to reach and has more accommodation. Park City is best reached from Salt Lake City, which is about 50 kilometres away.

Apply for a visa or ESTA

For a winter sports holiday in the USA, a visa or ESTA permit is required. Most British tourists are eligible for the ESTA and therefore do not need to visit the US embassy to apply for a visa. The ESTA is valid for two years, for a maximum stay of 90 days. Within this period of validity of 2 years, you may travel to the USA an unlimited number of times. This makes it possible to visit different ski resorts in America.

The ESTA can be applied for via an online form. After filling in the form and paying the fees, the application is processed. The ESTA will be sent to you by email within 3 days. The confirmation does not need to be printed, as the ESTA is automatically linked to your passport digitally.

Skiing was something that was sort of forced on me as a child. When my parents signed me up for the school ski trip when I was 11, I think I sulked for a whole month! However, I have no idea how to thank them as I haven’t looked back since!