The Best Ski Resorts for First-Timers

If you're reading this article then congratulations, you've taken the first step into booking your first ski trip. Skiing for the first time can certainly be a scary and daunting experience, but get it right and you’ll be booking your next trip before you know it. While you can learn to ski at almost any resort, some make the process a little easier and less frightening than others, ensuring you're among fellow-beginners and providing you with plenty novice slopes to craft your new trade.

1. Winter Park Resort, Colorado

Winter Park is great for beginners because of its family friendly atmosphere and well known ski school. 24% of Winter Park’s slopes are for beginners, so if you’re just starting out you’ll feel right at home. There’s also ample entertainment for young children, such as alpine sliding, bungee jumping, and art fairs. Winter park is proud of its wide groomers and cruisers, so much so that it even displays a map specifically for easy trails on its website. Beginners can rent ski clothing and goggles at a 20% discount when they pre-book their gear and can also rent skis that are tailored to their skill level. Suggested first timer mountains include the Parsenn bowl, which is great for new skiers and advanced athletes. The Parsenn bowl has the best view in the park at 12,060 feet above sea level.

2. Steamboat Resort, Colorado

Steamboat Resort is welcoming and open to all ski levels. 42% of the resort’s runs are intermediate, and its recently redesigned beginner slopes are known for giving new skiers confidence before they try out more challenging trails. Many of Steamboat’s trails are tree liners or moghuls, as opposed to black diamond runs. A suggested trail is the Why Not, which is the resort’s longest beginner trail at 3 miles long. Mini Mav, a super pipe with eight-foot walls, is tailored for easy fun. Not up for skiing? Try out wild west-themed horseback riding or hot springs!

3. Breckenridge Resort, Colorado

With sprawling beginner acres, Breckenridge ski resort is well-tailored to the first-time skier. High speed lifts and supervised ski patrol let any newbie feel comfortable and safe. The QuikSilver Super Six is the USA’s highest capacity chair lift, with double loading technology and a 1,706 meter incline. At Breck, one of the best beginner trails to try out is 4’o o'clock run. Although this trail is 3 miles long and divided into advanced, intermediate, and beginner, the longest part of the trail is gentle, wide, and relaxing. 4 O’clock run even leads straight into the town of Breckenridge!

4. Park City Mountain Resort, Utah

17% of Park City’s trails are designed for beginners and the resort specifically has two ski areas for first time skiers. To reach slow and easy trails, take the First Time Lift or the Payday express. Park City’s Home run trail is 3.5 miles through a scenic tree line, with lots of signs for more experienced skiers to slow down so that the less experienced can take their time. Multiple high speed lifts swing you up the mountain, even coming from attached Canyons Village, so you’ll be on the snow in no time. This is much less stressful if you’re not used to using lifts and getting up a big mountain. If you’re looking for a night on the town, Canyon Village is directly accessible from from Park City Mountain and has plenty of things to do at night, including bobsledding.

5. Beaver Creek Resort, Colorado

Beaver Creek is great for beginners because of its laid back atmosphere. It’s small on the crowds, but big on helping you get acclimated. The resort is known for its world-class ski school. Beaver Creek's signature BEAVO youth skiing program, which runs for twelve sessions, focuses on developing children’s and young adults’ important mountain skills as well as teamwork and inclusivity. A low altitude of 3,000 meters also makes Beaver Creek well-tailored if you’re first starting out. Often, ski novices have difficulty with dehydration and breathing at high altitudes, but at Beaver Creek the inexperienced won’t have to worry.