The Best Backcountry Skiing in the Rockies

The Best Backcountry Skiing in the Rockies
Pristine, untracked slopes await the experienced backcountry skier out to explore the hidden powder of the Rocky Mountains. Reserve one of Colorado's 10th Mountain Division Huts and spend the night in the backcountry or visit Utah's Wasatch Mountains or Wyoming's Tetons for easy accessibility to incredible terrain. The steep and rugged San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado will provide enough challenge for any expert skier. Remember that only skiers well educated in avalanche risk assessment and equipped with the proper safety gear should enter the backcountry.

Colorado's 10th Mountain Division Trail System

Colorado's backcountry ski terrain is accessible through the 10th Mountain Division Hut System, the largest trail and hut network in the United States. Hundreds of miles of trails connect the 29 huts that run between Aspen and Vail, Colorado. Carved into the Colorado Rocky Mountains are thousands of basins, bowls and arêtes that will fulfill any adventure skier's wildest dreams. The hut system is very popular, so plan on making your reservation up to a year before your desired trip date.

The Wasatch Mountains in Utah

The Wasatch Mountains form the western border of the Rocky Mountains in northern Utah. With more than 500 inches of snow annually and incredible terrain, these mountains offer some of the greatest backcountry skiing in North America. Not only is the terrain amazing, but it's easily accessible as well. Much killer terrain can be accessed from the lifts at Snowbird and Alta ski resorts, just a 40-minute drive from Salt Lake City. If you are new to ski touring and would like an introduction to backcountry skiing, try Utah's Interconnect Tour and ski six resorts on one day. Guides lead skiers through the backcountry that connects to each of these resorts.

Wyoming's Teton Pass

Wyoming's Teton Pass boasts the best backcountry skiing in the nation. Located near the Idaho-Wyoming border, Teton Pass is a highly accessible backcountry destination right off of Wyoming's Highway 22. Park at the public parking area at the highest point of the highway, then hike up the well-tracked path to the top of Mount Glory. From Mount Glory, you can descend thousands of feet of untracked powder back down to Highway 22, then hitch back up to your car and repeat.

Colorado's San Juan Mountains

The San Juan Mountains are a steep, craggy, and remote range located in the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Colorado. The San Juans provide the backdrop of the old mining towns of Silverton, Telluride and Ouray, and also host some of the best backcountry skiing in Colorado. Because of the steep and technical nature of the mountains, the San Juans are best suited for the expert skier.

Article Written By Wren Mcilroy

Based out of Salt Lake City, Wren Mcilroy has been writing outdoor recreation and travel-related articles for 3 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and biology from Winona State University in Minnesota.

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