Drop-dead scenery, dead-if-you-fall drops, cold-smoke snow, and a smokin'-hot party scene are reason enough to land Sunshine on this list. But there's more: A new gondola, for one thing, has uncorked the gridlock once plugging the base station. There's also Delirium Dive, 800 acres of super-steep steeps.
Top elevation: 8,954 feet
Vertical drop: 3,514 feet
Snowfall: 236 inches (7,028')
Skiable Acres: 3,168
Warm up on the 40-degree Steel Pipe in Delirium Dive before braving the 50-degree entrance into Bre-X.
Sitting on the Continental Divide, Sunshine receives nearly twice the snowfall of neighboring hills. Most of it comes between early November and January, making for a reliable early season.
Compact but cosmopolitan, Banff has dozens of eateries and taverns. At the Rose & Crown, Thursday is Jug Night (the 16-ounce Kokanees are a steal).