Any list of the nation's largest and most famous ski resorts should include Stowe and Killington in Vermont; Aspen and Vail in the Colorado Rockies; and Heavenly Valley in the Sierras of northern California.
But how about the not-so-famous resorts? There are many fine ski mountains that are less heralded -- some of them a bit remote, it's true -- where the quality of skiing rivals that of the big-name places.
Among the best of them:
*Telluride, Colorado: A one-time mining town that really hasn't changed very much, rustic Telluride is tucked into an isolated Rocky Mountain valley. But the trip is worth it for spectacular skiing among the pines.
*Grand Targhee, Wyoming: Ski Magazine cites Grand Targhee as one of the best mountains in the country for powder skiing. On its wide, uncrowded slopes, there's room to make first tracks in a fresh snowfall.
*Sundance, Utah: There's only limited lodging at the resort (find rooms in nearby Provo), but the scenery beneath the peak of 11,000-foot Mount Timpanogos is superb. And for star-struck skiers, one of the owners is the Sundance Kid himself, actor Robert Redford.
*Big Sky, Montana: A mountain hideaway with polish, it's a family resort with big-time facilities, including two gondola lifts that climb 11,000-foot Lone Mountain.
*Northstar at Tahoe, California: Nevada's gaming resorts are nearby if you are interested, but Northstar sits aloof from the glittery hubbub on 8,600-foot Mount Pluto. It's an uncrowded family resort with a brand-new six-passenger gondola.
*Sugarloaf, Maine: "A skier's mountain" is how Sugarloaf describes itself, and some eastern skiers consider it the best in New England. It's big, beautiful, inexpensive and -- not surprising so far north -- sometimes cold.