Skiers who want to be alone on the mountain are paying top dollar for exclusive experiences.

By Paul Brady
December 27, 2020
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Editor’s Note: Travel might be complicated right now, but use our inspirational trip ideas to plan ahead for your next bucket list adventure.

Those still planning to hit the piste will be searching for seclusion and space. At least, that’s the expectation at Cimarron Mountain Club, a private resort near Telluride, Colorado, that launched in 2018. Rather than sell lift tickets or season passes, Cimarron offers members 35-acre lots on which buyers can build vacation homes; prices start at $3 million.

Each parcel comes with access to 1,000 acres of private, skiable terrain and additional room to snowshoe, snowmobile, and pursue other outdoor activities. So far, nine of the 13 spots are spoken for, says founder Jim Aronstein. (Since this story went to press, a rep for Cimarron says, all 13 sites have sold. “The demand was insane this year and the waitlist is growing,” she adds.)

Other resorts are placing a similar premium on privacy — albeit at a more approachable price point. Brush Creek Ranch ($950 per person per night, all-inclusive), a T+L reader favorite in Wyoming, has 620 acres of private slopes at Green Mountain. The resort allows just 12 people at a time on the trails, including a new-this-season stretch for advanced skiers. (Last season, the mountain was reserved exclusively for ranch guests, but this winter Brush Creek is opening the slopes to nonguest buyouts.)

Meanwhile, the six-room Scarp Ridge Lodge ($15,700 per night, full buyouts only), in Crested Butte, Colorado, has access to 1,000 virtually untouched acres, including U.S. Forest Service lands reachable from the front door via Sno-Cat. “It’s in the former Croatian Hall, where miners would gather for drinking and dancing during the silver mining heyday in Crested Butte,” a spokesperson says. “It purposefully lives like a home.”

A version of this story first appeared in the December 2020 issue of Travel + Leisure under the headline Fresh Tracks.