Going The Distance: Longest Trails At American Resorts
Tired of riding the lift? Then find the longest way down the mountain and treat yourself to a break from the bumps and trees and deep pow'. Mostly green, sometimes blue, these runs cool out the day – and they provide some of the best scenic views of the mountain.
Take a look at what SnoCountry found:
Toll Road at Stowe goes on forever. You can catch it off any of the three main quads, and start to wind down the mountain for more than four miles. Top is blue through evergreens, lower two-thirds through hardwoods. Treat: The quiet. Much of Toll Road is out away from other trails.
At Sugarloaf, the 3.5-mile Tote Road begins at the summit as an intermediate groomer. About halfway down, it takes a big swing to the right and turns green for a lounging, wide-open cruise to the bottom. Treat: Rest stop. Take a break at top of West Mountain chair to enjoy the scenery.
Work your way to the top of the Elk Run chair at Snowmass, take a short hike and get onto one of the longest blue runs around – the five-mile Long Shot. Skiers and rides get the thickly forested section of Burnt Mountain to themselves. Treat: Intermittent glades. Several sections have open glades.
Big Sky is a big mountain. You can easily cobble together a six-mile-plus run from the summit of the tram. The longest single run is Elk Park Ridge off Thunder Ridge 4 quad on Andesite Mountain. Treat: Plenty of space. Elk Ridge Park run is wide, wide open yet well below tree line to avoid some of Montana's tough weather.
One of the most famous trails in America, Riva Ridge, is also one of the first runs cut on Vail Mountain. Kicking off at the summit patrol shack from Mountain Top or Northwoods express lift, Riva shares with several trails before banking left into the lower forest for a four-mile shot to the bottom. Treat: Steep sections. Though mostly blue, Riva Ridge has two black sections to challenge skiers and riders.