1. Ogden, Utah
Ogden lies only 40 miles north of Salt Lake City’s International airport and its two primary mountains – Snowbasin and Powder Mountain. Spread across the lower flanks of the popular Wasatch Range, Ogden has recently become a key Mountain hub for the outdoor industry. Head 30 minutes into the Wasatch for your choice of skiing styles on two sprawling mountains. Snowbasin underwent major renovation for the 2002 Winter Olympics and has elegant base lodges with state of the art lifts, including a tram and two gondolas. It boasts expert terrain rivaling anything in Utah. Powder Mountain is a throwback hill with simple lodges and non-high-speed chairlifts. Both areas are shockingly very less crowded.
2. Reno, Nevada
Before its reinvention as an outdoorsy city filled with university students and skiers, Reno was a gambling mecca in the 20th century. Reno sits at the northern end of Lake Tahoe that has the thickest concentration of ski resorts in North America. Within 100 miles of Reno’s international airport, 18 resorts are located. At a 20-minute drive from the downtown there is Mount Rose. While it might not be the biggest ski area around, it is definitely economical and offers an excellent beginner program. In addition to that, it has the highest base elevation in the Tahoe region (8,260 ft.) that helps escape the rains that can spoil the area’s snow pack. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been put in to revamp the city and that has resulted in the sprouting of many cafes and galleries.