Despite what you might think, skiing doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, three of the most affordable skiing and riding destinations, according to TripAdvisor, are right here in New England. From gear to food to beer, here are the top 10 most affordable ski destinations in the United States. Next
1. Durango, Colo.
"Once a frontier mining town, Durango draws thousands of tourists year-round for the myriad outdoor recreational activities and scenic beauty. Mountain bikers, rafters, kayakers, horseback riders, rock climbers, hikers, campers, hunters and fishermen are drawn to the 2-million-acre San Juan National Forest and to the San Juan mountains, the largest range in the Rockies. But the city's biggest tourist draw is a nine-hour historic train ride in a vintage steam locomotive. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which hauled precious metals in the 1880s, now takes tourists for a 47-mile, open-air journey through mountains and forests and past abandoned mines to historic Silverton and back. Children and train buffs will relish the chance to climb into a locomotive and pore over railroad memorabilia at the railroad's museum. Skiers flock to the Durango Mountain Resort in winter, which also offers hiking, fishing, rafting and horseback riding in warmer months. Slow down your pace with a stroll past splendidly restored Victorian buildings in historic Downtown Durango and wind up a very active weekend in a local brewpub or saloon." Next
2. Bend, Ore.
"Outdoor adventurers flock to Bend for its dramatic terrain and flamboyant scenery. Nestled in the foothills of the majestic Cascades, Bend provides a natural playground for sporty travelers. Monolithic Mt. Bachelor offers up powdered slopes for skiers and snowboarders, while South Sister makes for a challenging summit climb. The mighty Deschutes River draws rafters, while mountain lakes provide serene surrounds for kayaking and canoeing. Hikers escape to miles of backcountry trails in the area." Next
3. Taos, N.M.
"A rolling mesa at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos has a magical quality. Its rugged beauty, majestic mountains, wild Rio Grande river and unique blend of cultures—Spanish, Native American and Anglo—have historically drawn artists and photographers, evidenced by the plentiful galleries, museums and festivals. To experience the Native American culture here, explore Taos Pueblo, where the Tiwa Native Americans have practiced their traditions for centuries. Finally, the Anglo influence is prevalent in the business district, with its shops, art galleries and some of the finest restaurants in New Mexico. Skiing is also a major draw, but the challenging slopes are geared to the more advanced crowd. There's no rat race here; a fair share of non-mainstreamers have made this laid-back, low-key mecca their home. You, too, may not want to leave its tranquility and natural beauty." Next
4. Kingfield, Maine
" Although you can take another trail from Carribou Ponds Road to the top to avoid the ski trails I decided I wanted to hike the trails as Sugarloaf (4250') was my favorite ski resort through College in Maine. The ski trails are also easy to follow up and down in case you hike both peaks in the late afternoon as I did. From the top of Sugarloaf walk over to the backside and scan the treeline for the trail that continues on to Spaulding. Use the track as guidance. The trail over the ridge isn't in wonderful shape but will get you there just fine. There are not many views from Spaulding (3988')" Next
5. Salt Lake City, Utah
"The Winter Olympics made Salt Lake City a prime travel destination in 2002. Although the athletes have departed, the revitalization done in preparation for the Games is still very much a part of the area, making a visit quite enjoyable. Salt Lake City is the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and many major tourist attractions focus on LDS history. Yet with its gorgeous setting between the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City is also a prime destination for travelers interested in outdoor sports. In the winter, skiing is the most popular sport, but during the remainder of the year, visitors can enjoy some great hiking, biking and climbing just outside the city." Next
6. North Conway, N.H.
"North Conway, part of New Hampshire's scenic Mount Washington Valley, has been dubbed the offspring of a quintessential New England village and a Gap outlet. Historic buildings, quaint antique shops, bookstores and bakeries coexist peacefully with big name outlet stores like J. Jill, Nike and Dansk. For seasoned shoppers, it represents the best of worlds, part old-country charm, part new-world bargains. Plagued for years by busy routes and traffic jams, the new North-South road has made it somewhat easier to get around and enjoy all the area has to offer. In addition to shopping, visitors will find ample opportunities for hiking, biking, skiing and rock climbing in the majestic White Mountains. In fact, North Conway is home to the renowned International Mountain Climbing School, which attracts climbers from around the world. Accommodations range from cozy inns and historic bed and breakfasts, to full-service resorts, ensuring a comfortable haven for all tastes and budgets" Next
7. Whitefish, Mont.
"Whitefish serves up a heaping helping of rustic charm amid the rugged beauty of the Rockies. Nestled at the foot of Big Mountain and within a short distance of Glacier National Park and the Canadian border, the area offers no shortage of outdoor activities for all seasons, from skiing Whitefish Mountain Resort in the winter to cycling, horseback riding and whitewater rafting in summer. The town's historic railroad depot and quaint Central Avenue charm visitors with a taste of historic Montana." Next
8. Jackson Hole, Wyo.
"During the winter, Jackson Hole is a wonderland of snow skiing, snowmobiling and ice-skating. Summer in Jackson Hole is all about hiking, whitewater rafting, golfing and horseback riding. When you come down off the slopes, you can choose from recreation options like dog sled tours, sleigh rides and wildlife and nature tours. During the summer, you better get your energy level up because kayaking, hang gliding, hot air ballooning, mountain biking and stagecoach rides are just a few of the many options available.
For climbers, hikers and nature lovers, the nearby Grand Teton National Park is an absolute nirvana. The towering mountains of the Teton Range stretch 40 miles, and include eight mountains over 12,000 feet. Keep in mind, too, that Yellowstone National Park’s South Entrance is only 90 minutes away, and another 45 minutes or so to reach Old Faithful. If you’re looking for some serious, fast-paced family fun in Jackson Hole, try the Alpine Slide, where you slide down 2,500 feet of Snow King Mountain in a bobsled. For a calmer experience, enjoy the Bridger Gondola, which takes tram riders from the Teton Village to heights of 10,000 feet.
Golf enthusiasts have access to some great golf with tee opportunities at Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club, a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design and Teton Pines Resort Golf Course, designed by Arnold Palmer." Next
9. Banff, Alberta
"Flanked on all sides by the Rockies, Banff offers an irresistible combination of perfect powder, luxury lodges, fine dining and lively nightlife. A thriving arts scene and proximity to Lake Louise and Kananaskis County add to its allure. Don’t miss the hoodoos, intriguing rock spires, in Banff National Park." Next
10. Stowe, Vt.
"Not the sporting type? You’ll still enjoy a trip to Stowe—just plan on hitting the spa instead of the slopes or the golf course. The area’s big ski resorts offer huge spas with pretty much any treatment you can think of — try all of them and pick your favorite." Back to the beginning
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