The Best Off-The-Beaten-Path Ski/Snowboard Resorts

Think about your last trip to the mountains, was it more deep woods, powder adventure, roaring fire, drinks at the cabin awesome or hoards of Griswold-types on doomed family vacations on overhyped slopes that cost an entire paycheck. Yeah, we thought so. Why not avoid the Jordan crying meme situations and pack up and head for a better getaway this year, somewhere off the beaten path. Whether you’re a skier, snowboarder or just like to keep warm (read: get drunk) at the snow lodge, a trip to the mountains can easily crumble like an avalanche if you don’t put the in the research. No matter where you decide, make sure to be honest about what kind of adventure you’re looking for before you lay down the plastic. To help you off on your next adventure, we searched far and wide for some sick under-the-radar ski resorts just begging to be taken.

Lake Louise Ski Resort In Alberta, Canada
Considering it’s so close to the US border, skiing and snowboarding addicts should pay more attention to the winter sports scene in Canada. As far as perfect ski resorts go, Lake Louise has ridiculously amazing views of the Canadian Rockies, 4,200 acres of skiable terrain and a wide variation of slopes, plus you can break out your “Strange Brew” quotes without judgement. There’s a wide variety of apres-ski activities including gondola rides, grizzly bear viewing (non-Revenant style), outstanding resorts, and exceedingly polite Canadian women.

Grand Targhee Ski Resort In Idaho/Wyoming
When you think of skiing in Idaho, you might only think Sun Valley, celebrities, or “Idaho?”. But Idaho is more than that. Mountain diehards know it as one of the best spots to check out if you want to avoid the crowds and are a fan of dependable conditions. Grand Targhee boasts the highest annual snowfall out of anywhere else in the Gem State and it lies right on the border of mountain-filled Wyoming which means more flexibility for your travel plans. As far as the crowds, this is the spot to go if you’re not amped on spending your vacation with swarms of families clogging up the slopes and delaying the sky lifts. It’s also located within close proximity of Yellowstone National Park and a ton of outdoor activities from mountain biking to hiking, and snowmobiling. Let’s face it, few things can top hauling ass across an incredible winter landscape on a snowmobile with nothing more on tap than a few beers at the lodge in the afternoon.

Bridger Bowl in Bozeman, Montana
While Colorado and Utah might get all the flash and press, Montana has quietly become one of the country’s best ski/snowboard destinations, all while drawing a fraction of the tourists. While Big Sky and Moonlight Basin are great (and far more developed), the local flavor and hip deep powder of Bozeman and Bridger Bowl are where we’re headed. Miles of open terrain, diehard locals, and an awesome town with a fun, college vibe (and bars and restaurants to match) make this a destination worth seeking out.

Oukaimeden Ski Resort In Morocco
Yes, it’s more than possible to ski in Morocco. For those seeking a wild and truly off-the-beaten-path adventure, not to mention the ability to casually drop a humblebrag like “yeah, I’ve skied in Africa”, Oukaimeden is your move. Sure, this isn't your average snow adventure, it definitely takes some planning and sense of exploration. Since they don’t make artificial snow here, you’ll need to book way ahead. While Oukaimeden is the premier skiing resort in Africa (which sounds like being the classiest Kardashian) it's still an old fashioned, no-frills resort. Sure, it does the trick at $10 dollars a day and a high peak of 3,528 thousand meters, but don’t expect modern amenities like shuttles (they use donkeys). Still, a bumpy ride on the mogul-heavy course and that damn donkey is worth it.

Gulmarg Ski Resort In India
Gulmarg should be on any thrill-seeker's bucket list. The terrain is 100% backcountry and border disputes with Pakistan add a hint of danger to the trip (IED jumping, yeah brah!). At 2,600 meters, the resort avoids the thick heat of the country and provides insanely gorgeous views from one of the tallest peaks in the world, Kongdoori Mountain. Throw in legendary white powder (not the Colombian kind) and real deal Indian food on deck and you’ve got yourself a once-in-a-lifetime trip that’s more than worth the long journey. Just imagine the snapchat and tinder profile pic opportunities...