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How Walkable Are Your Favorite Ski Towns? Walk Score Lists the Best Ones

If you make a regular habit of urban walking like I do, you may have heard of Walk Score. This website and app—it’s especially popular with home-shoppers and real-estate pros—offers a fun and useful tool that rates the walkability of cities and neighborhoods. I love it and the whole healthy-living philosophy that’s behind it.

Walk Score’s latest interesting report compares the walkability of North America’s top ski towns.

walkable telluride

The top 6 most walkable ski towns on their list:

  • Telluride, Colorado
  • Whistler, British Columbia
  • Sun Valley, Idaho
  • Vail, Colorado
  • Aspen, Colorado
  • Mammoth Lakes, California

I’ve only skied at 3 of these locations, so I can’t comment on all of the entries, but I was surprised that one of my faves, Mammoth Lakes, Calif., made the list. I had always thought of this town—developed largely since the 1970s for car-loving Southern Californians—as the ultimate in auto-dependent resorts. (Note: The relatively recent Mammoth Village area is a welcome exception.)

"We recognize ski towns are relatively car-dependent areas," notes Jocelyn Milici Ceder, community manager at Walk Score. "But since skiing tends to be a carpool and shuttle-friendly activity (with health benefits of exercise), we wanted to call attention to ski towns that are more walkable than others."

So what factors caused Mammoth Lakes to rate so well? Jocelyn says that the Walk Score algorithm is based in part on the distance to amenities such as restaurants and stores.

Ski break at Telluride

Photo courtesy of Telluride Ski Resort.

"We pulled the Walk Score for each ski town based on an intersection in the middle/walkable part of each village," she says, "then compared each to capture the most walkable." Thus, the Walk Score reflects a single geographical point rather than a rating of an entire city.

Jocelyn goes on to point out, "This is not an official walkable ranking, but a measure of highly walkable ski areas. Many resorts on the East Coast such as Stowe and Killington, Vt., had a relatively low Walk Score for the entire town. We chose ski towns that had a minimum Walk Score of 70 and then found the most walkable point in each town's center." Ah, good to know.

One other interesting tidbit: the Walk Score algorithm does not consider aesthetics. Jocelyn says, "We measure how easy it is to live a car-lite lifestyle—not how pretty the area is for walking."

Walk Score is continually upgrading their algorithms, and has supplemented Walk Score with Bike Score, Transit Score, apartment search enhancements and more. Your upgrade suggestions are always welcome.

What are your favorite ski towns? Did they make the Walk Score list?

Posted on at 9:45 AM

Tagged: Snowboarding, Walk Score, skiing and walking

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