Vail’s 5,200 acres of skiable terrain and large terrain park attracts athletes from all over the world—and that includes some of the best boarders. From seemingly endless bowls on the back of the mountain to the three halfpipes and 12 runs in the terrain park, Vail has something for boarders of every level, regardless of their riding style.
Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows
The snowboard-friendly resort offers incredible views of Lake Tahoe. There are also many easily accessible slopes for everyone’s skill level. About a quarter of the terrain is for novices, 40 percent for the more advanced, and a third for experts. With more than 100 trails across 2,400 acres, mountain quests await at every bump.
Quality snow, well-maintained trails and several terrain parks make Stratton a top pick for boarders. One of the best and biggest in Vermont, Stratton was the first mountain to allow snowboarders in 1983 and the mountain was also the first to offer snowboarding lessons. Stratton has been called the birthplace of snowboarding. Even three decades after initially opening the slopes to boarders, Stratton is a snowboarding haven full of history.
For many Bend locals, skiing or snowboarding Mt. Bachelor is their raison d’etre. The dry climate almost guarantees about 462 inches of annual snowfall. The snow is light and fluffy, perfect for carving flawless S turns or learning to ski or snowboard. The resort offers over 4,300 acres of terrain, 3,365 feet of vertical drop and almost 100 runs ranging from double black diamonds to easy green runs for first-timers.
The largest ski resort in Idaho is among the best on the continent for boarders. Chutes and bowls abound on 2,900 acres, enjoy some of the best tree skiing in the country and a view that is almost as stellar as the terrain. Overlooking Lake Pend Oreille, Schweitzer is in a prime spot to collect 300 inches of snow annually and the powder doesn’t just serve the downhill boarders. The 50-acre Stomping Grounds Terrain Park has something for every level rider.
From shredding the A51 Terrain Park to cat-riding the Bergman, Erikson and Independence Bowls, there is no shortage of adventurous terrain at Keystone. The resort spread across three mountain peaks has 20 lifts and two gondolas shuttling boarders to more than 3,000 acres of terrain. As an added bonus, Keystone is only an hour-and-a-half ride from Denver International Airport, so you can spend more time riding and less time traveling.
The resort boasts 2,500 acres (1,012 hectares) of skiing terrain, 169 runs serviced by 13 lifts, one of which is the famous Snowbird tram, according to PowderHounds. Located in Little Cottonwood Canyon, everywhere is a potential line, and that includes the many small cliffs for hucking. The resort includes 3,240 feet (987 metres) of vertical, the most in the state.
Mammoth is a snowboarder’s mecca. The tallest ski mountain in California is home to 3,500 acres of snow covered terrain, and though the mountain is great for beginners, you won’t have to look hard for challenging trails. If the park is your scene, Mammoth is the place to be. An astounding total of nine terrain parks sprawl out over 100 acres. Those parks are home to three different sized halfpipes, one of which is among the biggest in the world—no other resort in North America has a better variety of halfpipes.
Set in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, this mountain is as wild as its roots. With an average annual snowfall of over 640 inches, Mt. Baker is one of the snowiest mountains in the world—a major draw for powder hounds. The no-frills mountain also hosts an epic snowboard race; the Legendary Banked Slalom is a must-see international competition held in February.
Located in Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole is every winter fan’s dream, especially boarders who are looking for exceptional backcountry freeriding. The resort is home to the legendary Corbet’s Couloir, an expert run that begins with a 30-foot drop and draws daredevils. It’s famous for super-steep terrain—half of its trails are rated expert, but it is also starting to build a reputation for attracting families.
The terrain just north of Yellowstone is the largest in the state - 3,832 acres. The vertical drop is 4,366 feet, one of the biggest in the country and North America. Some call the resort “the biggest place you’ve never skied.” It’s fairly remote and quiet. Go to the Challenger lift bordering Moonlight Basin if the line is long.
Most of the terrain is suitable for beginners. Mount Hood Meadows can be described as a “full-on freerider’s resort.” It prides itself in crowd-free slopes. Meadows was voted by Oregonians for having the best cruising intermediate terrain in the state, offering a total of more than 2,150 acres. Bonus: The resort is just 90 minutes away from Portland.
Telluride Ski Resort
Boarders like the resort because of its wide slopes and lack of crowds. Beginners love it because about half of the terrain is for them. Runs are marked, easy to maneuver, wide open, and groomed, even at higher peaks. The other half is for intermediate and advanced skiers and boarders. The ski area is more than 2,000 acres (810 hectares) in size.
Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows
It was voted as North America's best ski resort in 2016. Considering also that it was the host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, the Squaw Valley legacy has maintained a vibrant ski culture. The area offers freeriders steep lines to blaze down. There is also terrain for beginners but most runs favor skilled riders. The longest mountain run is 3.2 miles. The terrain is similar to that of Alpine’s but with more vertical rise. Skilled boarders compete in the Snowboard King of the Mountain competition each winter – a huge draw for fans of the sport.
Four terrain parks, two halfpipes and 187 trails lie within Breck’s 2,908 acres of skiable terrain. Boarders can expect plenty of intermediate and expert terrain on this classic Colorado mountain, and when the riding is done for the night the après scene has its own gems to offer.