Ryan Barrick fell in love with skiing at a young age. At 20 years young, he realized a normal life wasn't for him. He now travels and skis all over North America, living out of his 2013 Thor Motor Coach Ace 27.1 Class A Motorcoach and chasing his dreams.
A Guide to Skiing North America All Year
I grew up near Roundtop Mountain in Pennsylvania, and I’ve always spent my time on the slopes. I started off trying to snowboard, but I never got very good at it, and it wasn’t until I tried on a friend’s pair of skis that I realized snowboarding wasn’t for me. Within a month of my first time skiing, I was attempting tricks and seeking out ramps and rails. It was the only thing I ever wanted to do. Eventually I was able to put all that passion and practice together so that I could make a career out of skiing.
Now, I live out of my Thor Motor Coach Ace 27.1 RV and travel around North America, stretching the ski season as long as I can. I partnered with Deviation Ski and Snowboard Works, taking a job demonstrating their products at ski resorts from coast to coast. That means I’ve gotten to know some of the best locations for snow sports, hands down.
These are my favorite places to ski across North America:
1. Timberline Resort: Mt. Hood, OR
I call Mt. Hood my home base. Oregon is such a beautiful state, and the Mt. Hood area may be the best of it all. The mountain is surrounded by protected forest land, and has a peaceful vibe that makes camping here both restful and restorative. There are also a ton of RV campgrounds to choose from, and each one seems nicer and cleaner than the last. The competition is stiff because so many RVers are drawn here, where the woods are old, the air is fresh and the sunsets are some of the best around.
Timberline Resort offers a never-ending ski season. They’re the only resort in the U.S. that is open all 12 months of the year. And with 3,690 vertical feet on a mountain that’s technically an active volcano, it’s one of the coolest ski spots around. They typically offer a Spring Pass, allowing you to ski from the beginning of March to the end of May, for between $100-140. It’s the best deal of the year for a resort with more than 40 trails and 1,400-plus acres of skiable terrain. And since they still get snow storms in May and June, there’s plenty of fresh powder amid the sunny days.
2. Roundtop Mountain Resort: Lewisberry, PA
Mt. Hood may be my home base, but Lewisberry, Pennsylvania was my hometown. The nearby Roundtop Mountain Resort is modest in size, but it’s got a variety of slopes for all kinds of skiing. Their season typically runs from late November to early April, but they help stretch it out by keeping slopes open as late as 10 p.m., with well-lit hills for night runs. They have nine chairlifts and twenty trails to choose from across two parks.
At the end of January each year, they have a big air event. The best freestyle skiers and snowboarders from the area attend to show off increasingly daring trips and flips off a huge jump, while there’s a fireworks show in the background. And with more than 5,000 people attending to watch the jumps, it’s one epic party, perfect for the whole family.
3. Revelstoke Mountain Resort: Revelstoke, BC
Around six hours northeast of Vancouver and five hours west of Calgary, there’s a newer ski resort in British Columbia. Revelstoke Mountain Resort has some of the best snow I’ve ever skied in my life, and it’s maintained its status as a hidden gem since it opened in 2007.
They operate late November to mid-April, and offer 5,620 vertical feet, making it North America’s best. With nearly 35 feet of snow every year, this place is easy to love. I’ve skied days after a big storm and still found untracked snow on some of the trails here, and it never gets old. They average 45 percent intermediate runs and they have a really fun terrain park, which makes it a safe bet for friends or families of varying ski abilities.
The town itself is still pretty chill; it hasn’t been taken over by too many tourists yet, even at peak season. There are a few RV campgrounds you can choose from within close proximity to the mountain for both summer and winter camping.
4. Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort: Mammoth Lakes, CA
On the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, Mammoth Lakes gets an average of 300 days of sunshine a year. When you add legendary snowfall averaging 33 feet a year, 25 lifts and 150 trails, you’ve got the recipe for a perfect ski season.
Mammoth Mountain is known for its incredible terrain and numerous, massive terrain parks. It’s the only place I’ve ever been where you can ski through a cave. The season generally stretches from November to June, and although there’s only one RV park in the area, there are tons of national forest camping spots that open up in the spring. The resort even has a coworking space you can use right in the main lodge, making it so easy to work remotely that you really have no excuse not to ski between meetings.
5. Copper Mountain: Summit County, CO
West of Denver off I-70, tucked within the confines of the White River National Forest, Copper Mountain is one of the most enjoyable ski resorts around. I’ve gone to Copper nearly every year since I started skiing, and it never gets old. With 23 lifts servicing 140-plus runs, it’s definitely the kind of place you’ll want to spend at least a few days exploring.
The resort is well known for its terrain parks, but also for the Woodward Barn. It’s the central action sports hub on Copper Mountain, offering multiple skate, scooter and BMX zones, foam pits for practicing tricks, Olympic-grade trampolines, ski training tools and more, this is the place to be when you need to warm up inside.
The Woodward Barn is at the bottom of the slopes in Copper Village, where you’ll also find tons of restaurants, coffee shops and bars to relax after a long day on the slopes.
Plan this trip yourself:
See all the locations mentioned above and start planning your road trip.