Forget the Alps. If you want to go on a truly remarkable and unforgettable skiing trip, choose skiing destinations that are remote, unfrequented, inconspicuous or under the radar of most skiers. Click on this gallery to find the world’s most remote ski resorts, and you’ll be surprised to find them in the most unlikely places.
The Gulmarg Ski Resort in the Indian part of Kashmir opens you up to a different world — big Himalayan mountains, avalanches, monkeys, men with machine guns, poverty, chaos as well as cultural and culinary mysticism. Gulmarg is a big ski hill and guests are serviced by the gondola. Lodging and facilities are not top-rate or glitzy, and the slopes may be ungroomed — but remember this is Kashmir, not St. Moritz. However, the shortcomings are overcome by awesome, hinterland off-piste skiing as well as some of the finest powders you’ll ever encounter. If you’re looking for luxury and completely hassle-free skiing, you’ll never find them in Gulmarg. But if you’re a fearless and adventurous skier, then Gulmarg can be your next skiing destination.
A jewel that is far, far away from civilization, the Lizard Creek Lodge is situated into the rugged Lizard Range of the Canadian Rockies. This isolated and colorful slopeside village and mining town bring a whiff of luxury just a few steps away from the skiing trails. Lucky guests will be feeling snug, cozy and pampered in this lodge with oversized couches, fireplaces, heated pools, steam room, spa, and gourmet meals.
Want to get away from the overcrowded resorts? The Summit at the Big Sky in the Big Sky, Montana has a 3,600-acre property which makes you feel that you have all the mountains to yourself. Another great thing about The Summit is that it is near to the Yellowstone National Park. A luxurious ski resort, it has lovely penthouses all of which provides awesome views. Beautifully decorated rooms with full facilities and comfy furnishings. People who have found this The Summit at the Big Sky will thank themselves for finding this secluded gem.
Snow in the Middle East? That would have been improbable, but yes, there is — in Lebanon! The country has the biggest ski resort in the entire Middle East called Mzaar. Skiers can try various ranges from 1,850 meters to 2,465 meters, all with immaculate powders. It also has 80 kilometers of groomed trails that skiers can also enjoy. No wonder Mzaar is the skiing mecca, especially among Middle Easterners.
You’d think that the island of Tasmania is all about lush jungles and beautiful white-sand beaches? Not only that but it also mountains and other higher elevations that get snow-capped when the ideal Southern Hemisphere weather takes place (especially from June to November). This makes the Tasmanian mountains amenable for cross-country skiing. In case that snowfalls falter, in Ben Lomond, there are snowballs that are on standby. Since the ski resort is within the Ben Lomond National Park, you’ll enjoy picture-pretty landscapes while skiing down the off-piste slopes.
When you think of Morocco, the first things that come to mind are the hot deserts, crowded souks, glorious beaches, but not snows and skiing. Therefore, you may be going to miss out Oukaïmden, a ski resort just south of Marrakesh, in the Atlas Mountains. It is the highest ski resort in Africa, with its chairlifts (and sometimes donkeys) taking you to heights up to 3,258 meters, which is the peak of Jebel Attar. It has great pistes and some serious slopes, which attract more adventurous skiers.
Mt. Hermon’s location is unique (and a bit tricky) as it lies on the Israeli-Syrian border, probably the most disputed border on earth. Set within the Hermon nature reserve, Mt. Hermon is inundated with snow during the peak of the winter (usually January to March), making it ideal for skiing. It has 14 pistes and offers great areas for skiers of all levels. Mt. Hermon also offers other activities such as sledding. If you catch sight of the observation post patrolled by the Alpinist Unit (Israel’s defense forces) as well as closed minefields, just don’t mind them.
South Africa seems to offer the best of everything for the tourists: safaris, jungles, beaches, and skiing. Yes, skiing! It’s possible that you can any of these in South Africa in a day. The country has the one and only ski resort called Tiffindell which gets blanketed with snow, provided by 100 days of snowfall each year. Skiers will be taken to heights up to 2,270 meters (8,924 feet) on the south facing the slope of Ben Macdhui, Eastern Cape’s tallest peak. It also has a snow fun park.
Iran may have cooled its relations with the outside world, particularly the West. But their mountains are getting colder — just take the Alborz mountain range, for example, which has witnessed record snowfall in recent years. Alborz is the home of Dizin, one of Iran’s biggest and most developed ski resorts. The resort takes skiers up to 2,650 meters. Because of its high altitude, snow season in Dizin is longer compared even to several European ski resorts. And that’s splendid news for skiers who have never been to Dizin but plan to. What’s more, it’s only about a two-hour drive from the capital Tehran.
Bamiyan in Bamiyan Province in Afghanistan is home to the Buddha niches and has snowy slopes ideal for skiing. But this is no resort as it is totally undeveloped — no groomed trails, lifts, marked runs or chalets. Don’t tell the Afghan government that you’re going to ski as they will probably talk you out of it. Despite all these, they still won’t stop Bamiyan from becoming one the fastest-growing skiing destinations on the planet. A lot of adventure-seeking skiers arrive to test the virgin powders and receive a warm welcome of Afghan hospitality. Among all the other adventure tours Bamiyan offers, it is the annual Afghan Ski Challenge that seems to be the most attractive to a lot of competitive skiers.
When you think of Hawaii, you think of the beaches, the tropical forests, and the volcanoes. You’ll be in for a surprise, though. Mauna Kea, which means “white mountain” in the Hawaiian language, rises up to 14,000 feet (4,270 meters). So no wonder, the mountain gets a good deal of snow especially during the months of December and February. While it doesn’t have pistes, lifts or lodgings, Mauna Kea will offer skiers the best of the backcountry skiing with the purest snow. They may want to have their apres-ski cocktails by the gorgeous beaches — and they can only do that in Hawaii.
This may be the most deserted (and most controversial) ski resort on the planet. This nearly 3,460-acre property is located in the summit of Taehwa Peak and is North Korea’s very first luxury ski resort, which opened in 2014. However, Masikryong is still trying hard to attract patrons due to a number of obstacles — the lack of natural snow (snow cannons provide it), continuing poverty on its citizens and restrictions on tourists. So only a handful of brave skiers have the chance to enjoy 110 kilometers of empty piste, not to mention watch all-propaganda programs beamed by its giant screens.