The Best Ski Trips from Las Vegas

While you might not be able to ski in the desert, Sin City is a convenient drive from multiple ski and snowboarding destinations.

Too much sand. Not enough snow. That's the problem if you want to go skiing in Las Vegas. Fortunately, our neon-soaked desert community is just a short (or short-ish) drive from a variety of ski destinations, where snow falls gently over high elevation… or is manufactured by the best technology in the biz. So get ready to take a road trip this winter. The following ski resorts are perfect for a snow-filled getaway.

Lee Canyon
Photo courtesy of Lee Canyon

Mt. Charleston, NV
Distance: 40 minutes by car from Las Vegas
Lee Canyon, formerly known as the Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort, is less than an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, with a base elevation of more than 8,500 feet on Mt. Charleson. The convenience makes it easy to hang out for the day, enjoy the scenery of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, and return home before sundown. The resort is celebrating 60 years of operation in 2023 and now includes nearly 30 trails on 445 acres of terrain for skiing and snowboarding. More casual sledding areas are available outside the resort. Lee Canyon is family-friendly, with free group coaching offered to beginners (ages 13 and up). The two-level Hillside Lodge adds a modern touch to Mt. Charleston with a heated terrace, patio areas, and table service at the Bighorn Grill or Bristlecone, with grab-and-go bites and coffee from the Brewin Burro.
How to book: Check,, or Airbnb for local lodging options.

Brian Head Resort
Brian Head | Photo by Chris Pearson for Ski Utah

Brian Head, Utah
Distance:Three-hour drive from Las Vegas
Brian Head Resort has a base elevation of 9,600 feet, the highest for a ski resort in Utah. You've got more than 70 runs on about 650 acres over two connected mountains. Mojave is for less experienced skiers (with lessons that take beginners from magic carpet conveyor belts to chair lifts within just a couple hours) plus a few fun intermediate runs. Giant Steps is more advanced with steeper drops and rugged terrain. Take the Giant Steps Express to a 1,200-foot vertical and zip over to the Last Chair Grill & Brews near the base. The outdoor deck is the busiest spot in town for apres-ski socializing. On clear days, skiers can appreciate the surrounding Mars-like desert landscapes. The resort, which dates back to 1965, is a place families have visited for generations as the town of Brian Head grew slowly around it.
How to book:Check, or Airbnb for local lodging options.

Big Bear Mountain Resort
Big Bear Mountain Resort

Big Bear Lake, California
Distance: 3.5-hour drive from Las Vegas
Snow Summit and Bear Mountain make up the Big Bear Mountain Resort in the San Bernardino mountains, and the short drive makes it the closest California ski resort to Vegas. Bear Mountain is one big terrain park. Snowboarders love the jumps and the only superpipe in Southern California. Snow Summit is more suited for downhill skiing. It's popular for families, although it doesn't have a lot of beginner runs. The resort invested heavily in some remodels over the summer. Laybacks Bar has a whole new look with heated indoor and outdoor spaces, while the Patty Shack replaced Driftwood BBQ as a casual restaurant to load up on flame-grilled Wagyu burgers. Of course, the views of Big Bear Lake are a nice bonus.
How to book: Check,, or Airbnb for local lodging options.

Photo courtesy of Arizona Snowbowl

Flagstaff, Arizona
Distance: Four-hour drive from Las Vegas
Snowbowl is located north of Flagstaff on the San Francisco Peaks, which includes Humphreys Peak, Arizona's tallest mountain at 12,367 feet. The 777-acre terrain offers wide appeal for experienced skiers, although beginners and intermediates will also appreciate the ample dry powder. A fancy new gondola, introduced less than two years ago, takes just seven minutes to climb 2,000 feet and includes views of Sedona's colorful rock formations and even the Grand Canyon on a clear day. Four terrain parks allow skiers of all levels to perfect their skills, while offering the largest amount of beginner-level terrain in the Southwest. The burgers are nearly as good as the views at the Agassiz Lodge Restaurant.
How to book: Stay on property in a cabin or take your pick of hotels in Flagstaff. The area also happens to be a great base for planning a trip to the Grand Canyon or the wine-rich Verde Valley.

Eagle Point
Photo by Jay Dash Photography for Eagle Point

Beaver, Utah
Distance: 3.5-hour drive from Las Vegas
Eagle Point is a little further away from Las Vegas than Brian Head, but drive the extra hour and you'll be rewarded with smaller crowds, less expensive prices, and better terrain—including steeper runs. It doesn't have the luxury elements and social scene of the ski resorts up north by Park City, but it has plenty of charm to balance out the "lost in the middle of nowhere" feel. The runs near Skyline Lodge are best suited for beginner and intermediate skiers with a chao-free environment for private lessons. Advanced skiers love the series of steep, tree-lined Black Diamond runs near the Canyonside Lodge. A ski-through tunnel connects both areas, which once operated as separate resorts. Either way, the low-moisture content of the snow adds up to beautifully soft powder. A few condos and cabins have ski-in, ski-out accessibility, and the restaurant inside Canyonside Lodge serves up hearty dinner items within a quaint, cozy atmosphere.
How to book: Check, or Airbnb for local lodging options.

Mammoth Mountain
Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Lakes, California
Distance: Five-hour drive from Las Vegas
You're looking at a hefty drive from Sin City, but the payoff is one of the longest ski seasons in the country, sometimes stretching into June. And who doesn't want to play in the snow when it's 110 degrees back in Vegas? The place is huge—with plenty of options for lodging and dining. Make a point to experience the German food and family-owned charm of Austria Hof, an old ski lodge converted into a restaurant. Skiers of all levels have plenty of options between 150 runs over 3,500 acres, not to mention at least a half-dozen terrain parks, snowmobile rides, tubing, and more. While in the area, pay a visit to Devil's Postpile National Monument to check out some trippy rock formations and the calming beauty of Rainbow Falls.
How to book: Book a room, condo, cabin, or home directly via Mammoth Mountain’s lodging collection.

Heavenly Ski Resort
Heavenly Ski Resort

Lake Tahoe, California
Distance: 7.5-hour drive from Las Vegas
Out of all the resorts on the list, this one is the farthest from Las Vegas, but worth including since Lake Tahoe is such a popular getaway for Nevadans. With nearly 5,000 skiable acres, 3,500 vertical feet, and more than 10,000 feet in elevation, Heavenly is the largest and highest ski resort among the many that surround the alpine lake. A gondola lifts off from Heavenly Village in the heart of South Lake Tahoe, where it's easy to explore shops and restaurants—or casinos, if you happen to wander over the Nevada state line. Between the lake and the endless pine trees, it's hard to beat the views. Expect large crowds during the peak winter season. 
How to book: Search for local lodging on Heavenly’s website.

Sunrise Park Resort
Sunrise Park Resort

Greer, Arizona
Distance: Seven-hour drive from Las Vegas
Another remote destination, but if you want to get lost in the scenic White Mountains of Eastern Arizona, this is your spot. Sunrise Park is a lot more lowkey and casual than Snowbowl, with 65 runs on three mountains, most of which are dedicated to green and blue options for beginner and intermediate skiers. It's also easy to stay busy with sleigh rides, sledding, ice fishing, and zip lines. Night skiing is available on select nights. Enjoy food at one of seven restaurants. The Apache Peak Lounge, known for its barbecue, is the highest restaurant in Arizona with a perch of more than 11,100 feet.
How to book: Book a night at the Sunrise Park Lodge. Otherwise, the nearest accommodations could be at least a half-hour drive away.

Deer Valley
Photo by Scott Markewitz for Deer Valley

Park City, Utah
Distance: 6.5-hour drive from Las Vegas
Deer Valley is all about luxury skiing—with close proximity to the charm of downtown Park City. It's a skiers-only resort that doesn't have much in the way of terrain parks (if that's your scene, or if you prefer to snowboard, Park City Mountain Resort will be more up your alley). However, Deer Valley has incredibly manicured slopes and exceptional tree skiing. The place even hosted events at the 2002 Winter Olympics. There's more than 100 runs on 2,000 acres with a peak elevation that exceeds 9,500 feet. Passes are limited to prevent overcrowding. The perks range from ski valets and a killer ski school to upscale shops and fine dining restaurants. 
How to book: Deer Valley has dozens of opportunities for lodging on property, including upscale hotels like the Montage and St. Regis.  

Mountain High
Mountain High

Wrightwood, California
Distance: 3.5-hour drive from Las Vegas
Mountain High isn't as expansive and engaging as Big Bear Mountain, but it's more convenient if you want to plan a ski getaway closer to Los Angeles. The drive there is calm and easy with no sharp mountain curves. Beginner, intermediate, or advanced skiers have their own respective areas, which could make things more or less convenient, depending on your situation. Not much in the way of steep drops, but the night skiing is fun. Mountain High can get crowded on weekends with visitors pouring in from LA and the surrounding suburbs, but a lot of families will just be happy to ice skate, take the kids sledding at Yeti's Snow Play, or warm up with drinks by the fireplace at the Bullwheel Bar and Grill. The chair rides offer gorgeous views of the Mojave Desert.
How to book: Check,, or Airbnb for local lodging options.

Photo by Marc Piscotty for Snowbird

Snowbird, Utah
Distance: Six-hour drive from Las Vegas
Snowbird is between Salt Lake City and Park City–an expansive 2,500-acre resort with 3,200 feet of vertical terrain to challenge experienced skiers. Hop on a conveyor belt that actually passes through a mountain between the Peruvian Gulch and the fine powder of Mineral Basin. The 600-foot ride is a museum of sorts with images dedicated to the mining history of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The Snowbird Aerial Tram to the 11,000-foot summit of Hidden Peak is an even more rewarding journey, lasting about 10 minutes. Dining options range from casual (like the new Gadzooks food trailer for burgers and dogs) to upscale (especially the Steak Pit, which serves prime cuts alongside fresh seafood). Snowbird is next to the less-crowded Alta, which has similar terrain, but is skiers-only and doesn't have the same social scene. Ski both resorts with the same Altabird pass.
How to book: Explore local lodging options on Snowbird’s website.

Sundance Mountain Resort
Photo courtesy of Sundance Mountain Resort

Provo, Utah
Distance: Six-hour drive from Las Vegas
Sundance Mountain Resort is in Provo, making it slightly more in reach for Nevada travelers than Utah ski resorts further north in Park City, Cottonwood Canyons, and Ogden. The property, founded by Robert Redford in 1969, has evolved into a rustic, luxurious escape over the years with 550 acres of terrain generously divided between beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiers. The main lift was upgraded last year (cutting down down the time to mid-mountain from 20 minutes to seven minutes) and a new Wildwood Lift is being introduced this season—a fixed-grip quad that opens up 40 acres of additional terrain and 10 new runs. Enjoy the apres-ski culture to the fullest with dinner in the Tree Room, decorated with Native American artwork from Redford's own collection, and drinks at the Owl Bar, featuring a bar top reclaimed from a Wyoming saloon that according to legend, was a favorite of Butch Cassidy in the 1890s.
How to book: Reserve a choice of lodging online.

Ruby Mountains Heli-Experience
Ruby Mountains Heli-Experience | Photo by Matt Bansak Photography

Lamoille, Nevada
Distance: 6.5-hour drive from Las Vegas
The Ruby Mountains are among the most beautiful places in Nevada—near Elko, which is a long drive from Vegas, but one that's worth it if you want to ski with a helicopter instead of a chair lift. The Ruby Mountains Heli-Experience is a family-owned operation that's been around since 1977, granted access by the U.S. Forest Service to 200,000 skiable acres with at least 50 peaks higher than 10,000 feet. The aircraft transports groups of up to four skiers and a guide to one of roughly 400 different landing zones, taking advantage of the beautiful backcountry terrain with wide-open bowls and miles of aspen and white bark pine trees. Despite common misconceptions, you don't have to be an expert skier to take part. Visitors of all levels are welcome. Book a single or three-day all-inclusive experience with meals, guide service, and accommodation in the Ruby 360 Lodge. You're guaranteed six runs a day. If the weather gets too rough for the helicopter, a Snowcat is brought out to take skiers to their next slope.
How to book: Book a package online.

Mt Baldy Resort
Mt Baldy Resort

San Bernardino County, California
Distance: Four-hour drive from Las Vegas
Mt. Baldy was once a hideaway for gambling and booze during Prohibition, but now operates as a family-friendly ski resort with 800 acres of terrain, the most in Southern California. It also has the most natural snow and steepest drop (2,100 vertical feet). Take one of four ski lifts to a choice of nearly 30 runs, with skill level identified by color code. If skiing or snowboarding isn't your thing, Mt. Baldy has the Top of the Notch Restaurant and a snow play area at 7,800 feet, where tubing and sledding are popular. If that wasn't enough, there's also a zipline that can handle four people at a time.
How to book: Reserve a cabin at the Mt. Baldy Lodge.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Rob Kachelriess has been writing about Las Vegas in Thrillist for more than eight years. In addition, his work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Leafly, Supercall, Modern Luxury, and Luxury Estates International's seasonal publication. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.