Nothing makes you feel more like a little kid again quite like tree skiing. There’s something truly magical about gliding through quiet pine forests or linking your turns around white aspen or birch trees. Here are some of the best spots on the planet for tree skiing.
Japan Tree Skiing
Niseko, Rusutsu, and Furano are a few resorts that allow guests to take to the backcountry. These trees are often avoided by the locals, leaving plenty of room for international visitors to explore beyond the groomers. Avalanche danger is present in Niseko, but the resort closely monitors the conditions and will open or close gates depending on the circumstances. While Rusutsu allows backcountry skiing, they have plenty of in-bounds trails that offer plenty of notable tree skiing.
Aspen Snowmass Tree Skiing
Three of the Aspen Snowmass ski areas, Snowmass, Aspen Mountain and Highlands, offer terrific, advanced to expert tree skiing. Buttermilk also provides a perfect venue for beginner and intermediate tree skiing.
Aspen Mountain has a great deal of tree runs, including Bingo Glades, Gentleman’s Ridge, The Dumps and Bell Mountain trails. If you are up for a hike, head up to the top of the Highland’s Bowl at Aspen Highlands. The summit of the bowl accesses the famed Northwoods trees, while a short hike from the snowcat pickup makes it easy to drop in to the tree-skiing haven of Mushroom Bowl and Hyde Park. Over on Snowmass, take the Cirque lift up to the Cirque Headwall or take the High Alpine lift and float through the Dikes and into Buckskin. Intermediate tree skiers will want to hike over to Longshot, a blue run that drops down to the Two Creeks area and is accessed from the top of the Elk Camp chair.
Check out Aspen Snowmass trail maps to find these zones →
Jackson Hole Tree Skiing
A big part of Jackson Hole’s appeal is the variety of tree-skiing options. Most of the mountain is covered in widely spaced trees as well as a few tight tree sections for those looking for a challenge. Experts craving steep trees will want to head to Woodsey Woods (off Bridget Gondola), Saratoga Bowl (off Apres Vous lift) or Moran Face (off Teton Quad). There’s also no shortage of fun tree routes under the Sublette Chair, particulalr between Bird In The Hand and Table Rock.
Check out the Jackson Hole trail map to find these zones →
Whistler Blackcomb Tree Skiing
While Whistler Blackcomb is renowned for its above-treeline, Alps-style terrain, it also has plenty of world-class glades—which often get skied less than the upper reaches of the resort. On the Blackcomb side, the 7th Heaven Express drops skiers above several blue cruisers with easy access to the glades in-between. The Crystal Ridge Chair—also on Blackcomb—is another great spot for tree skiing that offers a variety of blue and black run options.
Check out Whistler Blackcomb trail maps to find these zones →
Solitude Tree Skiing
Solitude is a mountain made up of 40 percent intermediate terrain and 50 percent advanced and expert terrain. The mountain offers both widely set tree runs and tight tree runs several places on the mountain. At the top of the Summit Express lift, skiers and riders can hike up 437 feet to the highest point on the mountain of what is called Fantasy Ridge. With Honeycomb Canyon below, visitors are able to ski a top to bottom run that spans 2,467 feet with several options for unforgettable glades.
Check out Solitude’s trail map to find these zones →
Crested Butte Tree Skiing
There is plenty of tree skiing open for those traveling to Crested Butte. Bordering the mountain is a host of extreme terrain hiding powdery glades. Take the North Face Lift up to Fredo’s trees and filter down into the 19 different bowls and glades below. The High Lift, which deposits skiers and riders just above the North Face Lift, not only has amazing views of the valley below but also has many gullies, glades and chutes. The Silver Queen Express Lift transports skiers and riders next to Banana Peel, a steep chute-like run with excellent tree terrain below.
Check out Crested Butte trail map to find these zones →
Steamboat Tree Skiing
Steamboat tree seekers will want to head to Triangle Trees, accessed from Buddy Run. The terrain is steep at the top, but levels out at the bottom for a bit of widely spaced tree skiing and hidden powder stashes. In addition, the black runs just below Four Point Lodge: Hurricane, Nelsons Twister and Tornado are three fun tree runs not to be missed. Sundown Express lift drops skiers at the top of Sunshine Peak that feed down to Shadows and Closets, two popular tree runs.
Check out Steamboat trail map to find these zones →
Telluride Tree Skiing
Telluride has plenty of options to cut off the groomed runs and pop into the glades all over the mountain. Plunge run off the Plunge lift offers advanced skiers access to the trees on Log Pile and Satisfaction. Also accessible from the Plunge Lift is the black diamond trail, Captain Jack’s which can be accessed where See Forever and Lookout intersect. The Prospect Lift drops skiers at the top of the Prospect Woods which leads into four double black runs, Prospect Creek, The Roll, Rock & Roll and Rockslide.
Check out Telluride trail map to find these zones →
Red Mountain Tree Skiing
Doug’s Run, Coolers and Beer Belly are three must do runs when visiting Red Mountain. These black-diamond glades are located on Granite Ridge and are accessed using the Motherlode Chair.
Check out Red Mountain trail map to find these zones →
Director of SEO + Content
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now living in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com as Director of SEO + Content, I've been able to combine a litany of skills, passions and interests. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.