hero image for blog Compare 8 Of The Best Ski Towns To Buy A Second Home

Compare 8 Of The Best Ski Towns To Buy A Second Home

Photo: Wasatch Skiing by Cam McLeod

Author

Emily Primbs

Published

Sep 12, 2023

Updated

Feb 8, 2024

When it comes to the perfect winter getaway, there's nothing quite like a ski vacation in one of the picturesque towns of the American West. With breathtaking mountain vistas, world-class ski resorts and charming alpine communities, it's no wonder these destinations attract outdoor enthusiasts and snow lovers from all over the world in search of the best ski towns to buy a second home.

At Mountain Luxury, we know a thing or two (okay, a lot) about ski town living. We live and work in one of Utah's most beautiful mountain towns. As Ogden Valley's leading real estate brokerage and property management team, we excel at analyzing our local current home market trends and simplifying second home care.

We've also experienced most of these slopes and amenities firsthand and if we haven't, they're definitely going to be a part of the next trip we plan.

We've explored some of the best mountain towns for second homes, now join us as we embark on a journey through some of the best ski towns to buy a second home in the west. Plan an unforgettable ski trip and discover your next home base or real estate investment, because let's be honest, a winter getaway is never long enough. The mountains are always calling.

What To Consider When Comparing Ski Towns To Buy A Second Home

From the snow-capped peaks of Colorado, to the expansive terrain of Utah that boasts the "Best Snow on Earth", the west is home to a wide array of ski towns that cater to all levels of skiers and snowboarders.

Each town has its own unique character, diverse range of amenities, and its own potential for appreciation or rental income.

Follow along as this guide explores 8 of the best ski towns to buy a second home.

Aspen, Colorado

Aspen, Colorado

With over 300 days of sunshine each year and an average snowfall of 300 inches, Colorado boasts some of the best ski conditions in the country.

The majestic Rocky Mountains and its world-class ski resorts offer an abundance of activities for winter sports enthusiasts. While we are highlighting Aspen in this guide, know that there are other incredible Colorado ski towns like Breckenridge, Telluride, Steamboat and more.

Ski Resorts Near Aspen

Often referred to as the crown jewel of Colorado skiing, its renowned for its alluring atmosphere. From the challenging slopes of Aspen Mountain to the family-friendly runs of Buttermilk, a luxurious ski experience awaits.

Aspen Mountain

  • Average Snowfall: 300 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 3,267 ft.
  • Skiable Acres: 673
  • Runs: 76
  • Lifts: 8

Aspen Highlands

  • Average Snowfall: 300 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 3,635 ft.
  • Skiable Acres: 1,028
  • Runs: 131
  • Lifts: 5

Buttermilk

  • Average Snowfall: 200 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 2,030 ft.
  • Skiable Acres: 470
  • Runs: 44
  • Lifts: 8

Snowmass

  • Average Snowfall: 300 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 4,406 ft.
  • Skiable Acres: 3,342
  • Runs: 98
  • Lifts: 21

Local Après Ski Scene

Aspen Colorado is known for its lively atmosphere, French-alpine vibes and abundance of après ski options. Try the French Alpine Bistro and be transported to the French Alps, or the Ajax Tavern for lunch — it's mountain comfort food with a big side of glamour.

Ski Town Real Estate

Amongst the most expensive real estate markets worldwide, currently the median listing home price in Aspen, CO is $3.9M. The median listing price per sq. ft. is $2.5K. A ski in ski out property will cost $3.5M up to $38.5M.*

Park City, Utah by Weston Shirey

Park City, Utah

Utah receives an average of 500 inches of light fluffy powder each year and is often referred to as the "Ski Mecca of the West". The combination of plentiful snowfall, diverse terrain and state-of-the-art ski resorts make Utah a premier destination for winter sports.

Ski Resorts Near Park City

Park City has some of the best ski-only terrain at Deer Valley, Woodward's progressive action sports park, and the most expansive skiable acreage in the U.S. at Park City Mountain Resort.

Deer Valley Resort

  • Average Snowfall: 300 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 3,000 ft.
  • Skiable Acres: 2,026
  • Runs: 103
  • Lifts: 21

Park City Mountain Resort

  • Average Snowfall: 360 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 3,200 ft.
  • Skiable Acres: 7,300
  • Runs: 431
  • Lifts: 42

Woodward Park City

  • Average Snowfall: 150 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 349
  • Skiable Acres: 60
  • Runs: 11
  • Lifts: 4

Local Après Ski Scene

Park City comes alive at night with an abundance of lodges, bars, and casual eateries. Try Deer Valley's Fireside Dining for Swiss Alps-style roasted meat and raclette, or unwind with a small plate and fun cocktail at The Farm.

Ski Town Real Estate

Currently the median listing home price in Park City, UT is $2.1M. The median listing price per square foot is $896. With ski in ski out properties available from $4.5M to $12.5M.*

Eden, Utah

Eden, Utah

Now you have some idea of how epic Utah is as a ski destination, but we are about to let you in on one of the state's best kept secrets.

Ski Resorts Near Eden

These days, it's getting harder to find freshies that aren't tracked out. But in Eden, you'll benefit from Powder Mountain's unique policy of capping tickets and season passes and have an uncrowded, guest-first skiing/snowboarding experience that is unparalleled. It's also North America's largest ski resort by skiable terrain.

Can't get enough? A stones throw from Eden you'll find world-class Snowbasin in Huntsville, Utah — home to the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Games and ranked in the top 10% of most difficult ski resorts in the country, or Nordic Valley — a family mountain with night skiing and tubing.

Powder Mountain

  • Average Snowfall: 500 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 2,519 ft.
  • Skiable Acres: 8,464
  • Runs: 154
  • Lifts: 9

Snowbasin

  • Average Snowfall: 300 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 3,000 ft.
  • Skiable Acres: 3,000
  • Runs: 107
  • Lifts: 12

Nordic Valley

  • Average Snowfall: 300 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 1,700 ft.
  • Skiable Acres: 450
  • Runs: 40
  • Lifts: 5

Local Après Ski Scene

Eden has a small-town, rural and friendly vibe. Grab brunch at Peddlers in the Mountain Luxury Lodge, or stop at Carlos & Harley's for a Mango Habanero Margarita after an epic powder day. There are a lot of local stops and plenty more dining and shopping options with close proximity to downtown Ogden, Salt Lake City, Park City and Farmington.

Ski Town Real Estate

Currently the median listing home price in Eden, UT is $1.2M. The median listing price per square foot is $422. With ski in ski out properties available at Powder Mountain from $1.875M to $4M.**

Or live just 10 minutes away from Powder Mountain in Eden, or 10 minutes away from Snowbasin in Huntsville.

Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky, Montana

Known for its picturesque wilderness and natural beauty, Montana has hot springs, gushing geysers, and yes — some of the biggest skiing in the west.

Surrounded by the awe-inspiring Greater Yellowstone region, you'll find rugged mountain adventures and an escape from the daily grind.

Ski Resorts Near Big Sky

Big Sky Resort offers huge, uncrowded skiing with crazy advanced runs like the triple-diamond Big Couloir, as well as 2,300 acres of combined beginner and intermediate terrain.

Big Sky Resort

  • Average Snowfall: 400 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 4,350 ft.
  • Skiable Acres: 5,850
  • Runs: 300
  • Lifts: 38

Local Après Ski Scene

After a day on the slopes, there's nothing better than grabbing craft burgers and beers at Montana Jack or skiing into Everett's 8800 for a fireside cocktail. Off the resort, Mountain Village is now a bustling modern food hall with fireplaces, an array of food options, bar, and incredible views of Lone Peak.

Ski Town Real Estate

Currently the median listing home price in Big Sky, MT is $2.1M. The median listing price per square foot is $915. You're looking at about $6.75M to $17M for a ski in ski out property here.*

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

From the jagged peaks of the Teton Range to the vast expanses of the Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming averages 400 inches of snowfall each year. You'll find pristine powder, whether you prefer groomers or black diamonds.

Ski Resorts Near Jackson Hole

Terrain for all levels can be found in Jackson Hole. Take an unforgettable ride on the Cowboy Coaster, it's a unique way to see the inspiring Teton views at Jackson's town hill, Snow King. Or drop the kids off at Mountain Sports School at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and get the whole family in on the winter fun.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

  • Average Snowfall: 360 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 4,139 ft.
  • Skiable Acres: 2,500
  • Runs: 116
  • Lifts: 8 + the famous Big Red aerial tram

Snow King Mountain

  • Average Snowfall: 150 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 1,571 ft.
  • Skiable Acres: 500
  • Runs: 41
  • Lifts: 4

Local Après Ski Scene

Get ready for dancing and live music — there is a strong nightlife with high quality Western saloons like the Silver Dollar and the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. Walk around Jackson's Teton Village, full of rustic shops, art galleries and restaurants. And don't forget to set aside a day to take the 10 minute drive or scenic bike ride to the Grand Teton National Park and Jenny Lake.

Ski Town Real Estate

Currently the median listing home price in Jackson Hole, WY is $3M. The median listing price per square foot is $1.3K. There is currently no ski in ski out real estate for sale.*

Big Bear, California by John Amarillas

Big Bear, California

The Golden State is known for its diverse landscapes including the stunning shores of Lake Tahoe, the majestic peaks of Mammoth Lakes, and the alpine oasis Big Bear Lake.

Ski Resorts Near Big Bear

Amidst the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California, Big Bear Lake is a picturesque town that offers a delightful escape for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. You can't go wrong with stunning alpine scenery and year-round recreation.

If you're a thrill-seeker, you'll love the state-of-the-art terrain parks at Big Bear Mountain that cater to So Cal's "skateboard in the mountains" culture of snowboarding, or maybe you'll prefer a relaxed day of skiing at Snow Summit's gentle slopes with panoramic views.

Big Bear Mountain

  • Average Snowfall: 100 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 1,665 ft.
  • Skiable Acres: 748
  • Runs: 58
  • Lifts: 18

Snow Summit

  • Average Snowfall: 150 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 1,200 ft.
  • Skiable Acres: 240
  • Runs: 31
  • Lifts: 16

Local Après Ski Scene

The town exudes a rustic charm with cozy cabins, quaint shops and inviting restaurants. With its close proximity to Los Angeles, Big Bear Lake has become a popular weekend getaway destination for city dwellers seeking a refreshing change of scenery.

Ski Town Real Estate

Currently, the median listing home price in Big Bear, California is $665K. The median listing price per square foot is $469. There is currently no ski in ski out real estate for sale.*

Sun Valley, Idaho

Idaho often flies under the radar when it's compared to its more famous neighbors like Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and California. What Idaho lacks in name recognition, it more than makes up for it in the quality of its ski resorts. While we focus on Sun Valley today, remember the names of these captivating ski towns — McCall, Ketchum and Driggs, all must-visit destinations in their own right.

Ski Resorts Near Sun Valley

Sun Valley Ski Resort is one of the least crowded resorts in the country, boasting the Dollar Mountain, catering primarily to beginner and intermediate skiers, and Bald Mountain, or "Baldy" as locals affectionately call it, known for its advanced terrain.

Ready for a twofer? Snowbasin season pass holders can go between both resorts.

Sun Valley Ski Resort

  • Average Snowfall: 230 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 3400 ft.
  • Skiable Acres: 2,054
  • Runs: 121
  • Lifts: 18

Local Après Ski Scene

Located in central Idaho, Sun Valley is just a short drive from Boise. Visit Duchin Lounge for nightly dancing and live Jazz music or relax at first-run movies at the Sun Valley Opera House.

Ski Town Real Estate

Currently the median listing home price in Sun Valley, ID is $2.1M. The median listing price per square foot is $915. There is currently no ski in ski out real estate for sale.*

Taos, New Mexico

Taos, New Mexico

The Southwest may not be your first thought when you think of a snowy winter getaway, but New Mexico has over a dozen ski resorts scattered throughout the state.

Nestled between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and New Mexico's high desert, Taos has impressive vertical drops and pristine dry powder, not to mention its unique blend of Native, Spanish, and Anglo American influences.

Ski Resorts Near Taos

Taos Ski Valley attracts hardcore skiers and snowboarders from all over. With claims to often have even lighter powder than infamous Utah's, Taos makes the list with its steep chutes and glades to well-groomed cruisers.

Taos Ski Valley

  • Average Snowfall: 300 inches
  • Vertical Drop: 3,281 ft.
  • Skiable Acres: 1,294
  • Runs: 110
  • Lifts: 13

Local Après Ski Scene

Relax those tired muscles at one of the popular hot springs near Taos. Be advised that clothing is, well, optional at both Black Rock and Manby hot springs.

Check out the Taos Earthships or architectural landmarks that are rich with the history of the Pueblan people who built them over 1,000 years ago.

Ski Town Real Estate

Currently, the median listing home price in Taos, NM is $725K. The median listing price per square foot is $327. There is currently no ski in ski out real estate for sale.*

Wasatch Skiing by Cam McLeod

Final Thoughts

From large resorts with luxurious après ski scenes, to uncrowded mountains with close-knit communities and everything in between, these are some of the best ski towns to buy a second home.

Real estate in popular ski towns often appreciate over time, making your second home a potentially profitable investment as well as a personal basecamp for ski trips.

Ski towns often have a robust tourism industry, and could generate income during peak seasons as a rental if you're not using your second home full time.

We've given you a great starting point to choosing a ski town to settle down in. Now you're ready to pack your skis, grab your winter gear, and start planning your next big life adventure.

Ski Towns from Lowest $/SF

Ski Town Median Listing Home Price Median Listing Price Per SF Ski In Ski Out
Taos, New Mexico $599K $311 No
Eden, Utah $725K $336 Yes
Big Bear, California $675K $475 Yes
Sun Valley, Idaho $1.6M $878 No
Big Sky, Montana $2M $913 Yes
Park City, Utah $2.3M $913 Yes
Jackson Hole, Wyoming $2.9M $1,300 Yes
Aspen, Colorado $3M $2,200 Yes

Did Eden or Park City stand out to you as some of the best ski towns to buy a second home?

When you're ready, we can help you find your own snow paradise as a second home or vacation rental investment in Utah. As experts in our field, we can help you navigate the luxury real estate market.

Explore Eden, Utah luxury real estate and get ready to create lasting memories in the snowy wonderland of the west. Happy skiing!

* Current real estate market trends according to Realtor.com

** Current real estate market trends according to Mountain Luxury Real Estate

Similar Articles


Categories
Loading...

Subscribe To
the Blog

snowy background
LOVE THESE ARTICLES?

Subscribe to our blog and we'll email you evey time we hit publish.