6 Heli-Skiing Destinations in North America

Heli-skiing is about as exhilarating as winter sports get. The helicopter ride in itself is a rush, but to have full access to miles of pristine, unconquered terrain is an experience worth adding to the bucket list. Yet, heli-skiing isn’t for everyone. It requires a high-level technical expertise and physical demand. For those who know are capable of handling potential waste deep untracked powder, here are six well known destinations.

Telluride, Colorado
Telluride, located at 8,750 feet in elevation in the San Juan Range of the Rockies, is known for the best slopes for intermediate skiers. Helicopters can drop you off at points as high as 13,000 feet in elevation with runs dropping as much as 4,000 feet.  Heli-skiing Tour Company, Helitrax, is known to be Colorado’s premier heli-ski company. In operation since 1982, Helitrax features single and multi day events. Single day bookings start at $1,199 per day per person.  www.helitrax.com

Mazama, Washington
Mazama is located in the North Cascades of Washington State. Also known as, “The American Alps”, are the most glaciated peaks in the United States. North Cascade Heli flies skiers to various locations across the 300,000-acre permit area in the Okanogan- Wenatchee National Forest. Runs start between 7,000 – 9,000 feet with drops between 1,500 – 4,000 feet. Terrain includes open bowls, steep glades and tree skiing. The three-day package includes a minimum of 21 runs guaranteed and is $2,700 per guest. www.heli-ski.com

Valdez, Alaska
Alaska is known for outdoor adventure, and that includes Heli-skiing in the Chugach Range. Soar amongst jagged snow peaks, hidden glaciers and the Prince William Sound with the H20 Guides. H20’s permit has access amongst 2.6 million acres of terrain throughout the Chugach National Forest. This tour company is owned and operated by world champion skier, Dean Cummings. Days are packed with six runs averaging 20,000 feet in drops. Three day / Five night packages start at $4,710 per single adult. www.alaskahelicopterskiing.com

Lamoille, Nevada
Cow pastureland, Lamoille, is the gateway to the amazing Ruby Mountains.  This range is 60 miles long, and features 10 peaks over 11,000 feet in elevation, which includes the 11,387-foot Ruby Mountain.  Heli-skiers enjoy open bowls, fall lines and alpine glaciers with the Ruby Mountain Heli-Experience. One and three day packages are available. Single day packages start at $1,375 per person, which includes six runs. www.helicopterskiing.com

Bella Coola Valley, British Columbia, Canada
Located in Western BC in the Coast Range is famous Bella Coola. Known for the on-site location for various ski movies, Bella Coola is blessed with an average snowfall of 65 to 100 feet. Bella Coola Heli Sports’ permit has access to 2.64 million acres and provides their heli-skiers with epic 3,000-5,000 feet descents. The longest drop recorded was 6,000 feet. Packages run from three to seven night trips. Group rates for the exquisite Pantheon Heli-skiing start at $109,880 for a maximum of eight people. www.bellacoolaheliskiing.com

Golden, British Columbia, Canada
Located in Golden BC is tour operator, Purcell Helicopter Skiing LTD. Golden is situated where the Rockies and Purcell Mountains begin. With access to 250 runs of various terrains, heli-skiers are exposed to open bowls, sub-alpine forest and open cut blocks.    As their permit range lies in the interior ranges of British Columbia, the snow is fresh, light and dry. Intermediate to advance skill-set is recommended for these runs. Single day to multi-day packages are available. Three run packages start at $770 per person. www.purcelheliskiing.com

 

 

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