Each year millions of skiers head to the slopes at such iconic mountain ranges as the Rockies and Alps. In addition to fabulous terrain, skiers can also expect to experience crowded conditions and prices as steep as the slopes themselves. As a pleasant alternative, these eight off-the-beaten-path ski areas will surprise skiers with excellent snow conditions along with terrain suited for beginners and experts alike. Here you’ll find a sense of solitude with plenty of elbow room on the trails along with ticket prices that will please most budgets.
When skiers normally think of Europe’s great mountain ranges, Scotland likely doesn’t come to mind. However, both the terrain and snow conditions compare very favorably to some of the world’s famous ski resorts. Glenshee, the largest in ski resort the UK, covers 2,000 acres with 25 miles of piste runs extending across four mountains and three valleys. Skiers experience a very modern Alpine feel at Glenshee, which features 21 lifts and a choice of 36 runs.
The rugged terrain around Kangaamiut, Greenland, offers descents of 6,000 feet to the water’s edge, including everything from long, flat glaciers to steep couloirs, perfect for relaxed skiers and extreme skiers alike. The unique cultural experience provided by heli skiing makes it an adventure that all skiers should consider.
With the state’s noted sunshine and temperatures that often reach 120 degrees, it’s hard to imagine that Arizona Snowbowl accumulates an average of 260 inches of snow each winter. Flagstaff has been Arizona’s winter sports city since the early 1900s, and Arizona Snowbowl is the state’s premier winter destination. Blessed with a vertical drop of 2,300 feet, skiers can carve their way down 45 runs and 777 acres of fun.
Winter is a great time to visit Hungary. Although Hungary isn’t famous for its ski resorts, the country offers a unique ski vacation. In fact, skiing has become one of the favorite pastimes in Hungary in recent years. Tourists as well as locals love to spend free time skiing in small mountains after some heavy snowfalls. Home to six resorts, Hungary provides varied terrain along with fabulous food and a festive apres ski scene. Nordica Skiarena is the largest ski center in Hungary with 16 slopes serviced by 44 snow cannons and plenty of ski instructors.