Winter travel is unpredictable at best with surprise storms and canceled flights. Pairing the right ski resort with the right airport eliminates missed connections, lengthy white-knuckle drives and travel stress. Not to mention hoping the baggage and equipment got there when you did. Beat the ski travel blues by choosing ski resorts close to an airport with direct flights serviced by major airlines into and out of some of the country’s biggest markets.
1. Jackson Hole Airport (JAC)
Jackson Hole Airport, located at the base of the Teton mountain range, is approximately 20 miles from the resort and less than 10 miles from the town of Jackson, making it the closest airport to Jackson Hole Ski Resort. American, Delta, United and Alaska Airlines offer direct flights to Jackson Hole from Denver, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Newark, New York-JFK, Seattle, San Diego, San Jose and Los Angeles. They don’t all operate from every airport. You can often find cheaper airfare to Jackson Hole if you book well in advance of your trip. Be sure to check for good deals from websites that search for cheap fares and handle all the booking for you.
2. Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
Flying into Salt Lake City International (SLC) puts skiers and riders within an hour’s drive of 11 ski areas, including Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley, Snowbird, Alta, Brighton, Solitude and Sundance. Ten airlines and their affiliates serve Salt Lake City International Airport(SLC): AeroMexico, Alaska Airlines, American, Delta Air Lines, Frontier, JetBlue, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, SkyWest, Southwest and United. SLC is a major hub for Delta Air Lines with about 70 percent of total traffic. Salt Lake City and all it offers is also be a great base for you to sample several of the areas on your vacation. You can see the mountains from your hotel window.
3. Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE)
Searching for where to fly in Colorado for skiing? If you’re looking to skip the long, sometimes traffic or snowy drive from Denver, catch a winter season flight into Eagle County Regional Airport via Air Canada, United, Delta or American Airlines. This convenient, high-elevation airport places skiers and riders within a 40-minute drive of both Beaver Creek and Vail ski areas and is just under an hour to Copper Mountain. It’s the closest airport to Beaver Creek, Copper and Vail. Eagle County Regional airport provides nonstop service from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Denver. There’s easy van service to your hotel, too. Fun fact: More than half of Colorado’s ski resorts are located within 325 miles of either a metropolitan or regional airport.
Located in the heart of cowboy country, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) is the closest airport to Big Sky and provides nonstop flights to and from 16 cities across the country, including Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Long Beach, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, New York-LaGuardia, Newark, Atlanta, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland and Seattle. The airport, which is serviced by Delta, Allegiant, Avelo, Alaska, United and American Airlines, puts travelers approximately 40 miles from Bridger Bowl and 50 miles from Big Sky Resort.
5. Burlington International Airport (BTV)
Fly direct into Vermont’s Burlington International Airport from 10 cities, including New York, Chicago, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Detroit, Washington DC and Toronto, and gain easy access to Smugglers’ Notch and Stowe Mountain Resort, located approximately one hour from Burlington International Airport. BTV is the closest airport to Vermont Ski resorts. BTV airport is serviced by Delta, jetBlue, American and United Airlines. Renting a car gives you access to other favorite Vermont resorts further south such as Bolton Valley, Sugarbush, Mad River and Killington in Central Vermont and across there state to N.H.
6. Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE)
The Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (also known as Sardy Field) is situated within 10 minutes of Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Village. Major carriers like Delta, United and American Airlines provide nonstop service from some of the country’s biggest hubs. You can plan a direct flight to Aspen (or just to Denver and connect) whether flying out of Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix, Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, or Denver. It’s sometimes an exciting flight over the Rockies, but well worth an occasional white knuckle.
7. Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO)
Hop aboard a Delta, Alaska, Allegiant, Frontier, Southwest, JetBlue, United or American Airlines flight from a number of hubs across the country and you’ll be skiing the Sierras in no time. Palisades Tahoe (formerly Squaw Valley) is located within a one-hour drive of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, which is the closest major airport to fly into for access to all Lake Tahoe ski resorts on either the north or south shores. There are more than 130 daily flights with many of them being non-stop. Consider making Reno your base for great hotel deals, lots of casinos and nightlife and driving the relatively short trips to the ski resorts ringing the lake.
8. Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN)
Alaska, Delta Connection and United Express Airlines offer direct service into Sun Valley’s Friedman Memorial Airport, putting skiers and riders within 15 miles of the fabled Sun Valley ski slopes from a variety of major markets. Nonstop flights from Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle are available. Flying in makes lots of sense if you don’t live in Idaho or relatively to this World Class, historic resort.
9. Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH) / Bishop Airport (BIH)
Air travel to Mammoth Lakes and Mammoth Mountain, the third most-visited ski resort in the United States, has gotten a whole lot easier. United Airlines is now offering daily service to Bishop (BIH) airport from Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), and Denver (DEN).
The BIH flights replaced daily United service to Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH), making winter air travel to California’s most popular mountain resort more accessible and opening the door for expanded flight routes and access to Mammoth Lakes in the near future.
Shuttle and rental car services from Bishop to Mammoth Lakes are available to visitors on each flight (including those that are delayed). Drive time from Bishop to Mammoth Lakes is about 45 minutes and with free and regular bus service throughout Mammoth Lakes, it’s easy to get around without a car.
In addition, there’s new Advance Air service into MMH. Advanced Air is now offering regional service to and from Burbank (BUR), Hawthorne (HHR), and Carlsbad (CLD) airports. Advanced Air flights also have the advantage of being able to land at BIH in the event of inclement weather in Mammoth Lakes.
10. Montrose-Telluride Regional Airport (MTJ)
Telluride-bound skiers and riders have a few different flight options, and Montrose Regional Airport, dubbed the “runway to recreation,” is about as close as you can get with wings for a good-sized regional airport to the mountain (about an hour and 15 scenic minutes away) and flight variety. You can fly into Montrose non-stop from 10 hubs. New service from Phoenix has been added for this season via Colorado Flight Alliance. For even quicker mountain access, Boutique Air offers year-round service from Denver International Airport into Telluride Regional Airport (TEX), which is located just 10 minutes from town and ski resort. They say “fly private at the cost of commercial.”There’s plenty of van access from Montrose.
11. Yampa Valley Regional Airport (HDN)
Fly here and you’re only about a 30-minute drive from Steamboat Resort (22 miles). There are non-stop flights from 12 major airports across the country on Alaska, American, JetBlue, Southwest and United during the winter season. Yampa Valley Airport is the place to go, not only for easy Steamboat access, but also for the towns of Hayden and Craig and the rest of this beautiful Valley.
12. Louisville Mohammed Ali International Airport (SFD/KSDF)
Most people will choose driving to Indiana’s Paoli Peaks and Perfect North ski resorts, but if you’re flying in, Louisville’s recently renamed Muhammad Ali International Airport is he closest bet 45-60 minutes from the ski areas. Plenty of airlines fly in from all over. The airport used to be called Standiford Field and the name change salutes the late, great fighter who hails from Louisville.
And a few more choices
Live in Texas? Fly to Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) and drive north to world-famous Taos Ski Valley (2.5 hours) or south to Ski Apache in the resort mountain town of Ruidoso (under three hours). Or, fly into any of the Colorado Metropolitan or Regional Airports described above. Flying into Los Angeles International Aiport? There’s closeby local skiing at Snow Summit and Snow Valley or the SoCal snowboarding hotspot, Mountain High. Flying into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (and who doesn’t)? Ober-Gatlinburg is a four drive.