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The 20 best snowboarding resorts in the US

At the best snowboarding resorts in the USA, you'll be cruisin’ in no time

Written by
Shoshi Parks
Jessica Estrada
Sarah Medina

Regardless of whether you're an expert boarder or just a beginner, the sensation of breathing in the fresh, freezing mountain air is invigorating and speeding down the snow-covered slopes is exhilarating. But if you're planning to explore some new slopes this winter, it's worth taking a moment to remember that the best ski resorts aren’t always the best snowboarding resorts.

It’s not just that certain US destinations are for skiers only (we see you, Alta), it’s that some mountains just happen to have better boarding culture than the rest – whether it’s a history of snowboard competitions, perfect powder conditions, or next-level terrain parks.

You'll find many of the best places to snowboard west of the Rockies (or smack dab in the middle of them at places like Telluride, Crested Butte, Sun Valley, and Park City) where the peaks are tall and the elevations record-breaking. But don't rule out the East Coast completely — Whiteface Mountain, Hunter and Vermont's Stratton made our list, too. 

If snowboarding will just be one of the activities you're planning for this season, check out our best winter vacation and family vacation ideas for other ideal destinations. 

RECOMMENDED: The coziest Airbnb cabins in the US to rent this winter

Best snowboarding resorts

Just 90 minutes away from Portland, Mt. Hood Meadows boasts 2,150 acres and 2,777 vertical feet of mountain fun. Experienced riders can plunge down Heather canyon or venture through glades, while beginners can hone their skills on the smoother slopes. Meadows also features a variety of snowboard terrain parks that are worth checking out, especially the 18ft superpipe.

Touted as the largest ski resort in the country, Park City boasts over 7,300 acres of terrain complete with more than 330 trails, 14 bowls, an Olympic-sized halfpipe and eight terrain parks. Did somebody just say…snowboarding paradise? Although the majority of the terrain here is best suited for intermediate and expert boarders, novices are also welcome to hone their skills at the Ski and Snowboard School, which offers private and group lessons for boarders of all levels.


With 300 days of sunshine and 400in of snowfall per year, Mammoth Mountain is truly the snowy playground of any snowboarder’s dreams. Situated at 11,05ft above sea level, the winter wonderland has 3,500 acres of snowboarding terrain and a season that stretches into July (yup, July). There’s plenty to do off the snowboard, too, including fun snowmobile rides, gondola rides with awe-inspiring views, snowcat tours, bowling, and indoor golf. 

Tucked away in Colorado, Telluride offers varied terrain ideal for beginners and seasoned snowboarders alike. Advanced riders can blaze down the Plunge or hike to the extreme terrain of the 13,000ft Palmyra Peak while newbies can practice their skills on the gentle slopes of Ute Park or Prospect Bowl. Don’t expect big crowds here: the slopes are pretty quiet, which means there’s more room for you to enjoy. 


Stunning views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains are just two of the reasons snowboarders from all over flock to Palisades Tahoe (formerly Squaw Valley) and Alpine Meadows come wintertime. Other reasons to love the area: 45in of annual snowfall, 271 sunny days a year, 4,000 acres of open bowl riding, six peaks, 29 lifts, six parks, and a halfpipe. Need we say more?


If you’re new to snowboarding, Jackson Hole probably isn't the best place to vacation (although the setting is impossible to resist). For expert riders, however, it’s a magical wonderland with 90 percent of trails suited for intermediate and advanced snowboarders. Expect 2,500 acres of in-bound terrain with a whopping 4,139ft vertical drop and, as if that wasn’t enough, a halfpipe and two terrain parks to boot.


At the edge of Glacier National Park in Montana's Rocky Mountain range lies a lively little town called Whitefish and the adjacent Whitefish Mountain Resort, just a few minutes drive northwards. Over 3,000 acres of the great outdoors are accessible with breathtaking views over mountains, forests, lakes and rivers. The runs themselves are lovely and wide and there are enough on offer to keep even the most enthusiastic of amateur snowboarders happy. Plus there's a free shuttlebus service between the town and the resort so you can make your way back after a hard day on the slopes and enjoy a well-earned meal and a drink at one of the many restaurants and bars in town.

Get your camera ready because Mt. Bachelor offers some of the best views you’ve ever seen. It’s completely surrounded by the spectacular Deschutes National Forest (two million acres of it, to be exact) so there’s nothing but wilderness in sight. Unlike your typical mountain resort, there’s no on-mountain lodging or base village, but that’s exactly what makes it so special. Snowboarders will feel completely immersed in nature as they’re sliding down 4,318 acres of terrain that ranges from the easy to extreme.



Southeast of Seattle in the mighty Cascades, Crystal Mountain treats snowboarders to some of the West Coast's best powder. The resort, the state's largest ski and snowboarding retreat, has more than 50 runs spread across 2,600 acres, each with an unobstructed view of Mount Rainer, one of the largest active volcanos in the country. Plus, there are four different freestyle terrain parks for getting the air you crave. If you can tear yourself away from the slopes for a few minutes, you'll find plenty of other activities on Crystal Mountain, too, including snowshoe trails, mountainside restaurants, and a gondola that travels 2,400 vertical feet to the summit.


Sun Valley lures snowboarders from around the country with not one mountain but two — as the name suggests, both are frequently drenched in sunshine. Beginners can swoosh down the smooth, open runs of Dollar Mountain or have fun at the terrain park complete with 76 trails and a 22ft high superpipe (the largest in the Northwest). Meanwhile, Bald Mountain has everything advanced riders crave, including groomers, glades, and a dramatic 3,400ft drop.


A sprawling Montana resort, Big Sky sees an average of 400 inches of snow every year. Boarders will dig the seven terrain parks sprinkled throughout 4,350 vertical feet and 5,800 acres of varied terrain. We’re talking glades, fast groomers, high-alpine steeps, an epic 11,166ft Lone Peak Summit, and the experts-only Headwaters rocky ridge.


Whiteface Mountain has hosted the Olympic Winter Games not once but twice (in 1932 and 1980), just one of the many facts you will learn while visiting the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. The snow here is divine thanks to the mountain’s insanely high vertical drop (the highest east of the Rockies). With 86 trails covering 22 powdery miles, there’s a little something for every snowboarder here, including dramatic glades for adrenaline junkies and smooth slopes for those who just want to cruise.



There’s no denying it: Vail is the place to be for snowboarding. Just ask the pro riders from around the globe who fly in for the annual Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships at Vail’s Golden Peak Terrain Park. With two half pipes, nine jumps (that go as high as 50ft) and 30 jibs, it’s no wonder riders love the terrain park. And did we mention Vail’s famous back bowls?


For more than 60 years now, snowboarders from all over have flocked to Taos. The snowy northern New Mexico resort — replete with over 110 trails and a freestyle terrain park — sees an average of 305in of snowfall and more than 300 sunshine-filled days every year. About half of Taos’ terrain, like the 12,481-foot tall Kachina Peak, is for adrenaline junkies who crave a challenge (and we have a feeling snowboarders are up for the challenge).



Although over half of the mountain’s 1,547 acres of terrain is for advanced riders only, Crested Butte is fun for the whole family. Those new to the snow sport can spend their time cruising down the groomed runs from the top of Paradise Express Lift, practicing at one of three terrain parks complete with boxes, rails, and jibs, or they can explore Crested Butte via zipline, snowshoes, or snowbike. 

Everyone knows that upstate New York has some of the best and most beautiful countryside on the eastern seaboard...and come the holiday season, it transforms into a winter wonderland offering all manner of snow-coated shenanigans. Hunter Mountain isn't particularly big and it's definitely not as technically challenging as most European runs, or even as ridiculously wide as Mammoth or Whistler for example, but what it is, is cozy and fun and if you stay at the Hunter Mountain Sanctuary, you can kick your boots off, enjoy a roaring open fire, a glass of mulled wine and gaze back at the mountain and the very runs you've just carved up.


Breckenridge is one of the most popular ski resorts in Colorado due to all-abilities terrain, amazing snow and its proximity to Denver. This combination means that Breckenridge is often congested and competitive on the weekends, but it’s worth it if you can stand the crowds. Our advice is to slide into town during the week and then you’ll find a more relaxed, laid-back vibe. The real draw however, is the charming town, which features the most varied nightlife you’ll find in Colorado’s ski towns. The bars range from upscale to dives, and the cuisine runs a similar gamut. It’s a safe bet that there’s a party going on somewhere almost every night of the week.

Of course given the state of Colorado's unique geographical attributes, it's bound to offer good winter sports activities and the snowboarding opportunities are some of the very best in the country. Denver isn't called the Mile High City, for nothing. (The 13th step on the west side of the State Capitol Building is exactly 5,280ft above sea level — one mile high.) Consequently, in Colorado's rarified air, golf balls travel further as do alcoholic drinks and the snowboarding is glorious. The downside sadly, is that you have to travel a little further afield to avoid the crowds...but Steamboat Springs is well worth it. After a day of shredding knee-deep powder, there are also plenty of serene spots to kick your feet up. The town offers two hot springs, the Strawberry Park Natural Springs and Old Town Hot Springs, the latter of which features waterslides.


Located right on the border of California and Nevada, the dreamy Heavenly Ski Resort offers a view of the dazzling cobalt-waters of Lake Tahoe that just can’t be beat. Expect 97 trails and two terrain parks that cater to a range of skill levels. Beginners can practice their tricks at Groove Park, while experienced riders looking for a challenge can find it at High Roller Park.


For novice snowboarders who really want to step up their game, Stratton is where it’s at. Known as the first ski resort to embrace snowboarding, this powdery Vermont spot features 97 trails spread across 670 snow-covered acres of terrain, 40 percent of which is ideal for beginners. As if the majestic mountain wasn’t enough, the resort also has its own Stratton Mountain School where you can learn how to ride like a pro from Olympic bronze medalist Ross Powers (alumni include Olympic snowboarders Linsdey Jacobellis and Danny Davis).



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