“Getting there is half the fun” doesn’t usually apply to skiing.
Unless you add in, say, a helicopter.
Catch a chopper to remote mountaintops has been old hat in Alaska, Canada and parts of Europe for decades. But most U.S. options involve a long drive from a remote hotel to an even more remote helipad.
Until now. Natural Retreats Teton Springs Lodge & Spa in Victor, Idaho, just launched a heli-ski option that takes off directly from the hotel; it's only the second locale in the lower 48 that can make that claim.
According to the Lodge (which U.S. News has designated the #1 hotel and spa in Idaho four years running), heli-skiers have room-to-mountain access on 305,000 acres of virgin snow in the Snake River and Palisades mountain ranges. You get six runs per day, with around 12-15K feet of vertical and trained guides along for the ride.
Bonus: at Teton, you’re near both the Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee ski resorts, as well as Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
Not Idaho bound? Here are a few other chopper-friendly ski runs.
Mike Wiegle Helicopter Skiing
Blue River, BC
Wiegle & co. are serious about their choppers, having been in the game since 1970. Heli-skiing isn’t a sideshow at this resort, it’s the raison d’etre.
Telluride Helitrax is the premier heli-skiing outfit in Mountain Village. And they partner with many resorts in and around Telluride should staying in their luxe homebase at the Peaks Resort not be your thing.
The degree of luxury at the private Bighorn chalet is unparalleled. Guests take off from a private helipad and zoom down the tallest ski hill in North America by day, relax with a movie in their own private cinema by night.
Ruby Mountains Heli-Experience
It’s easy to forget that Nevada is not all desert, but this lodge in the Ruby Mountains will change your perspective. Big shout out to Francy Royer, the Ruby Mountains matriarch who cooks for lodgers every day before and after they hit the slopes.