Just a hop, skip and a gondola ride from I-90, Silver Mountain offers skiers and snowboarders a dizzying array of snow-laden glades, shreddable steeps and lengthy ridge runs. The resort's 1,600-plus acres rack up an average of 340 inches of snow annually, and a whopping 50 acres of night skiing keep the turns coming well after the sun slips behind Wardner Peak. Speaking of Wardner, a short skin or boot-pack up Silver's southwestern boundary grants thrillseekers access to a particularly tasty collection of mountaintop trees accessible strictly to those willing to work for it. Such a climb can make for sore muscles, which makes the resort's indoor water park in the gondola village all the more enticing.
What's new: Snowsports newbies are set for a top-notch season at Silver with the addition of a covered, double-wide magic carpet on the beginner hill. And according to marketing associate Siobhan Ebel, the new Silver Inn will offer guests a lower-cost alternative to the village's Morning Star Lodge. On the COVID-19 front, Silver is still hammering out the details, but Ebel says the season will likely see limitations on day tickets during weekends and holidays. Masks will be required indoors in keeping with local health protocols, and lodge tables will be spaced to meet the necessary 6 feet for social distancing. The water park is subject to face-covering requirements and capacity limits as well. Ebel recommends people check Silver's website for up-to-date info, and encourages those looking to book rentals or ski lessons to do so in advance. There will be no on-mountain day care this season.
Making the most of it: There's no wrong way to ride Silver. That said, Ebel's best tip for maximizing the Silver Mountain Resort experience is to plot a midweek getaway and book a stay through Silver's Save Big promotion before Jan. 4. "It is $58 per person per night in a deluxe studio, and that includes water park access, lift tickets and lodging," Ebel says. "It's probably our best deal we offer during the year."