You don't have to own a car with four-wheel drive to hit the slopes. Head to one of these ski resorts by train this winter and enjoy a scenic and leisurely ride to the mountains.
The destination: Perched over 6,000 feet above sea level and overlooking Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley is beloved among skiers and snowboarders of all levels for its consistent snowfall, progressive terrain and dramatic alpine scenery. The destination was home to the 1960 Winter Olympics, making it one of only three U.S. mountains to have hosted the games, and visitors taking a break from the slopes can take a trip back in time at the Olympic Museum to view some of the memorabilia and authentic Team USA uniforms. Guests can complete their trip with a ride on the Aerial Tram, a 10-minute ride offering 360 views and panoramic vistas of Lake Tahoe.
By Train: Amtrak’s California Zephyr, which stops at major cities including Chicago, Omaha, Denver, Salt Lake City and Oakland, stop daily at the Truckee Station in Truckee, CA, about 15 minutes away from the final destination.
The destination: Home to enormous peaks, jaw-dropping views, and easy access to unspoiled wilderness, Winter Park Resort is Colorado’s longest continually operated ski resort and was voted the #1 Ski Resort in North America by USA Today readers. The resort has something to offer for every type of skier, featuring seven distinct territories, from black diamonds in the Winter Park Territory, to panoramic bowl skiing in the Parsenn Bowl Territory. For a truly spectacular dining experience, visitors can take advantage of the Sunspot Lodge, offering them access to panoramic views of the Continental Divide.
The destination: Nicknamed “The Beast”, Killington Resort is the biggest resort in Eastern North America (1,500+ skiable acres), with terrain ranging from groomers for beginners, to steep mogul runs for advanced skiers. Adventure-seekers will delight in the snowmobile tours, while travelers looking to unwind can treat themselves to a Killington Grand Spa treatment of their signature full-body, maple-sugar scrub with pure Vermont maple sugar.
By train: Passengers traveling between New York and Vermont can take the Ethan Allen Express through upstate New York past he miles of wilderness and the Hudson River Valley to Rutland, Vermont, where they can hop on a half-hour shuttle departs to Killington.
Steamboat Ski Resort
The destination: Located outside of Denver in Steamboat Springs, CO, Steamboat redefines luxury by offering high-end travelers a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere without the pretentious crowds. Famous for its trademarked Champagne Powder® snow and for producing more winter Olympians than any other town in America, Steamboat encompasses 165 trails and nearly 3,000 skiable acres. Beyond the slopes, Steamboat offers a diverse portfolio of programming and activities, including world-class hot springs, an adrenaline-inducing mountain coaster, and unique dining including the snowcat-turned-food truck Taco Beast.
By train: Amtrak’s California Zephyr route, known as one of the most beautiful train trips in North America, runs daily between Chicago and San Francisco. Passengers can experience a picturesque journey through the Rockies before arriving at Denver Union Station, where the surrounding area and nearby resorts, including Steamboat, can be explored by car.
The destination: Originally opened in 1947, Whitefish Mountain Resort has drawn generations of ski and snowboard enthusiasts to the slopes. Known as the “Big Mountain,” Whitefish offers 3,000 acres perfect for taking on a variety of different terrains and night skiing. Beginners can hone their skills with the Learn to Ski or Ride package, which includes two days of equipment rentals, beginner-area lift tickets and half-day lessons. Visitors would be remiss not to complete their trip with a visit to the jaw-dropping Glacier National Park, just 31 miles away, to take in the stunning vistas, glacial fields, crystal clear lakes and abundant wildlife.
By train: Amtrak’s Empire Builder brings passengers along on a journey through the rugged splendor of the American West, traveling between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest, past major portions of the Lewis and Clark trail and Montana’s Big Sky country. The route stops directly in Whitefish, Montana, about 15 minutes from the resort.
The destination: Located in the iconic mountain town of Park City, Utah, Deer Valley offers ideal snow conditions among six peaks and 2,000 acres of wide-open terrain. The resort’s award-winning ski school offers customized lessons based on guest’s individual abilities and goals, including private lessons, adult group lessons, a variety of courses for kids aged 3 and up, and more. Visitors can complete their trip by treating themselves to the resort’s extraordinary dining, including The Mariposa in the Silver Lake Lodge, which was rated the #1 restaurant in Utah by the Zagat Restaurant Guide.
By train: The California Zephyr route stops conveniently in the Utah state capital of Salt Lake City, a short 40 minutes away from the resort.