Think Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has rad terrain? The resort's backcountry accessible right from the ski area will blow your mind. And it's not just Jackson Hole—resorts across the country are opening the boundaries of their ski areas to give powder-hungry skiers access to a playground beyond the ropes. The growing trend is great news for experienced skiers wanting to challenge themselves and find untracked lines in lift-serviced backcountry terrain, but it bears remembering: there's no ski patrol or avalanche control beyond the gates, so know before you go.
1. Jackson Hole, Wyo.
One of the first resorts to swing open its gates, Jackson Hole led the charge on resort-accessed backcountry terrain and is still the Holy Grail today. Don't venture into the classic zones of No Name Peak of Cody Peak (nor anywhere else on this list) without the skills, equipment, or, if needed, a guide.
2. Jay Peak, Vt.
Touring into the wilderness of Big Jay Peak feels so remote, it's hard to believe the resort is so close. With steep pitches, natural obstacles, and super-tight trees, this is Eastern backcountry at its finest.
3. Powder Mountain, Utah
Ease into the out-of-bounds on a guided backcountry experience into Pow Mow's challenging Wolf Creek terrain. Full-day tours provide up to six 3,000-vertical-foot runs into this zone known for its steep pitches and abundant snow.
4. Stevens Pass, Wash.
Walks from the peaks of Big Chief and Cowboy mountains reward skiers with a sampling of Stevens Pass' abundant and varied backcountry offerings. Be prepared to hike back along Route 2.
5. Stowe, Vt.
There are many options but we're partial to the Teardrop Trail, a Mt. Mansfield classic chock-full of natural obstacles, glades, and cut-backs, ending in a double fall line that will challenge the most confident of skiers.
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