Bigger Isn't Always Better for Family Ski Trips

LIKE IT OR not, megaresorts dominate the ski industry. And for families seeking a wide variety of terrain, extensive lift systems, and ample amenities, the big resorts make perfect sense. But families pining for a lower-key ski vacation have options too, among the smaller, easy-going mountains that are thriving despite the broader industry trend.

Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Idaho: Schweitzer might be the biggest ski mountain you’ve never heard of—2,900 acres of skiable terrain, a 2,400-foot vertical drop, and 10 lifts, along with 20 miles of cross-country ski trails and a snow-tubing park. The Idaho resort, tucked in the mountains north of Sandpoint, rarely draws a crowd and is compact enough that parents can let kids free-range with little worry. The 82-room Selkirk Lodge, in the resort’s base village, features memory-foam beds with Pendleton wool blankets, an outdoor pool and hot tubs, a stone fireplace in the lobby, two restaurants, and a movie theater. Ask for one of the 12 family-size rooms.

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