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The Best Ski Resorts in US & Canada: 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards

Surrounded by the rugged peaks of the San Juan Mountains, this Southwest Colorado resort, 25 miles north of Durango, is a unique blend of steep tree skiing and wide-open cruisers free of the I-70 corridor crowds. Families love perks like free skiing for all kids ages 12 and younger, and on-mountain activities like the mountain coaster and snow tubing. Experienced skiers and riders can take advantage of Purgatory Snowcat Adventures, Colorado’s largest cat skiing operation with access to over 35,000 acres of guided backcountry terrain. And non-skiers can enjoy snowcat dinners and tours. Beyond the slopes, take a guided snowshoe tour, visit the Nordic Center, or relax and rejuvenate at the newly reimagined Durango Hot Springs, just 10 minutes south of Purgatory on the San Juan Skyway.

Where to stay: Located at the base of Lift 1, Purgatory Resort Lodge has 2, 3, and 4-bedroom condos. Guests have access to the private Durango Mountain Club’s amenities, including a family game room, private dining room and bar, and a heated outdoor pool and hot tub. Top floor, two-story units, known as The Pinnacle, come with a private concierge.

Stats: 1,605 acres of skiable terrain, 107 trails, 11 lifts, four terrain parks, and a vertical drop of 2,029 feet. One-day lift tickets range from $29 to $159.