We’re all familiar with the top 10 lists that rank the best ski areas seen in magazines every year. And while these have gotten us a long way and are awesome in their own ways, both our customers and resort partners told us they wanted something new and different: a ranking system that is based on the opinions of skiers and snowboarders that doesn’t award the same resorts the same honors every year.

Well, we listened.

Announcing The Best in Snow Awards

Our research showed that lists, where the same resorts win every year, are not really helpful when people are trying to find new ski areas to experience. So, instead, we set out to find those ski areas with the most passionate customers, regardless of their size.

At Liftopia, we partner with more than 250 ski resorts across North America and we know that all ski areas, big and small, have their own unique soul and vibe. We hope the Best in Snow Awards help skiers and snowboarders discover something new and unique about a resort they may not have heard about before and help them add a few more new ski areas to their bucket list.

10,000 Reviews + Liftopia’s Massive Data Set

The Best in Snow Awards combine thousands of reviews from real skiers and snowboarders with Liftopia’s massive dataset, the largest in the ski industry. Winners were chosen by region across a variety of categories that you told us were most important and helpful in your search for new ski and snowboard experiences: Best Overall, Most Beginner Friendly, Most Family Friendly, Least Crowded, Most Challenging, Best Value and Best Snow Consistency and Quality.

More on Best in Snow methodology.

We were excited to see in the results what we already believed to be true: skiers and snowboarders have amazing passion for ski areas of all sizes! Our list includes many smaller, independent ski areas that are beloved by locals for their accessibility, quality, value, friendliness and more. Below is a quick snapshot of the 2016-17 Best in Snow Awards winners in each category. Be sure to check out all the winners!

1. Best Overall: Magic Mountain, VT

As one customer puts it: “Best kept secret in the North East. Low key, local mountain with retro lifts and an old school feel.”

See all winners for best overall ski areas.

2. Beginner Friendly

#1 in the North East: Bretton Woods, NH

#1 in the High West: Eagle Point, UT

#1 in the South East: Canaan Valley, WV

#1 in the Midwest: Crystal Mountain, MI

#1 in the West Coast: Anthony Lakes, OR

See all winners for top beginner friendly ski areas.

3. Family Friendly

#1 in the North East: Bretton Woods, NH

#1 in the High West: Sipapu, NM

#1 in the South East: Canaan Valley, WV

#1 in the Midwest: Crystal Mountain, MI

#1 in the West Coast: Tahoe Donner, CA

See all winners for top family friendly ski areas.

4. Least Crowded

#1 in the North East: Big Squaw Mountain, ME

#1 in the High West: Soldier Mountain, ID

#1 in the South East: Canaan Valley, WV

#1 in the Midwest: Mount Bohemia, MI

#1 in the West Coast: Anthony Lakes, OR

See all winners for least crowded ski areas.

5. Most Challenging

#1 in the North East: Magic Mountain, VT

#1 in the High West: Jackson Hole, WY

#1 in the South East: Canaan Valley, WV

#1 in the Midwest: Mount Bohemia, MI

#1 in the West Coast: Kirkwood, CA

See all winners for top most challenging ski areas.

6. Best Value

#1 in the North East: Arrowhead, NH

#1 in the High West: Powder Mountain, UT

#1 in the South East: Canaan Valley, WV

#1 in the Midwest: Mount Bohemia, MI

#1 in the West Coast: Anthony Lakes, OR

See all winners for top ski areas for best value.

7. Best Snow Consistency and Quality

#1 in the North East: Bretton Woods, NH

#1 in the High West: Alta, UT

#1 in the South East: Canaan Valley, WV

#1 in the Midwest: Crystal Mountain, MI

#1 in the West Coast: Kirkwood, CA

See all winners for top ski areas with best snow consistency and quality.