Giant saw-toothed peaks on the eastern edge of Utah's urban centers, these forested slopes provide a popular haven. The Wasatch Mountain Range is nature's playground year-round, but in winter a fabulous low-density, low-moisture snowfall – 300in to 500in yearly – blankets the terrain. Perfect snow and thousands of acres of high-altitude slopes helped earn Utah the honor of hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics. Skiing in the Wasatch range is some of the best in North America.
Resort towns cluster near the peaks; Park City, on the eastern slopes, is the most well known and quasi-cosmopolitan. Salt Lake City resorts, on the western side, are easiest for townies to reach. Ogden is the sleeper hit and Sundance is known as much for its film festival as its ski trails. Most areas lie within an hour of the international airport: leave New York or Los Angeles in the morning to be skiing by noon.