Inexpensive accommodations are available this winter near many popular ski resorts in the United States and Canada.
In the United States there are more than 30 hostels close to popular ski areas operated by American Youth Hostels. Beds cost an average of $15-$25 per person, per night for members of Hostelling International. Some hostels will let non-members stay if they pay an additional $3 per night.
In California's Sierra Nevada mountains, halfway between Yosemite and Death Valley, is the 22-bed Hilton Creek Hostel, telephone (619) 935-4989. Guests can ski Mammoth Mountain or take advantage of the hostel's "Introduction to Ski Touring" program.
In Ludlow, Vt., near the Okemo Mountain ski area and within 25 miles of nine other ski areas (including Killington and Stratton Mountain), is the 18-bed Trojan Horse hostel, tel. (802) 228-5244.
This winter there are six hostels open in Colorado.
* The Fireside Inn, tel. (303) 453-6456, is a 12-bed supplementary facility near Breckenridge. It's in a National Historic District. Guests can ski at the Breckenridge Ski Area or Copper Mountain Ski Resort and have access to a free ski bus.
* The 25-bed Glenwood Springs Hostel, tel. (303) 945-8545, is in a large Victorian building near Sunlight, Aspen and Snowmass ski areas. Guests are offered discounts at Vail and Aspen.
* Skiers who are registered at the Grand Junctions Hostel, tel. (800) 430-4555, are given discounts on ski packages and ground transportation at the Powderhorn and Aspen ski areas.
* The 64-bed Silverthorne Alpen Hutte hostel, tel. (303) 468-6336, was designed to look like a European alpine hut. It's within 14 miles of four world-class ski areas, including Copper Mountain and Vail.
* The 32-bed Winter Park hostel, tel. (303) 726-5356, is at the Winter Park Mary Jane Ski Area where there are 113 trails and 20 lifts. Guests are eligible for a discount on ski rentals.
Other states that have hostels in ski areas include: Alaska, Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin.
For further information on winter hostel locations, contact American Youth Hostels at (202) 783-6161.