Although partaking in the best extreme outdoor adventures in America and walking the best hiking trailers in America might get your adrenaline pumping, there is something about winter that calls for snow to be part and parcel of your daily routine. Head to the best places to go snowboarding in America and do the season right on both smooth and more difficult slopes. And, if snowboarding just isn’t your thing, stick to the classics and visit the best ski resorts in America instead.
Best places to go snowboarding in America
Mammoth Mountain, California
With 300 days of sunshine and 400 inches of snowfall per year, Mammoth Mountain is truly the ideal snowy playground that snowboarders dream of. Situated at 11,053 feet above sea level, the winter wonderland has 3,500 acres of snowboarding terrain and a season stretches into July (yup, July!). Off the snowboard, there’s tons to do here, including fun snowmobile rides, gondola rides offering awe-inspiring views, snowcat tours, bowling and indoor golf.
10001 Minaret Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 93546, (800) 626-6684
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 US Open Snowboarding Championships at Vail’s Golden Peak Terrain Park. With two half pipes, nine jumps (that go as high as 50 feet!) and 30 jibs, it’s no wonder riders love the terrain park. And did we mention Vail’s famous back bowls? In between boarding sessions, you can catch some zzzs at The Lodge at Vail and warm up by the fire at the hotel’s Cucina restaurant.
Mt. Bachelor, Oregon
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 the 4,318 acres of terrain that ranges from the easy to the extreme.
13000 SW Century Drive, Bend, OR, 97702, (800) 829-2442Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Amy Meredith
Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, California
Stunning views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains are just two of the reasons snowboarders from all over flock to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows come wintertime. Other reasons to love the area: 450 inches 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?.
1960 Squaw Valley Road, Olympic Valley, CA, 96146, (800) 403-0206
Whiteface Mountain, New York
Whiteface Mountain has hosted the Olympic Winter Games not once but twice (in 1932 and 1980)—one of the many facts you will learn while visiting the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. Just a five-hour road trip from the big city, Whiteface is where New Yorkers go to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and hit the lush slopes. The snow here is divine thanks to the mountain’s jaw-droppingly 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.
2634 Main Street, Lake Placid, NY, 12946, (518) 946-2223
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).
5 Village Lodge Road, Stratton Mountain, VT, 05155, (800) 787-2886
Telluride Ski Resort, Colorado
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 13,000-foot 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 more room for you to enjoy. Once you’re all snowboarded out, make your way to Alpino Vino—touted as the highest elevation restaurant in North America at just under 12,000 feet—to nosh on gourmet grilled cheese and gorgonzola tomato soup. Or head to the outdoor-only Bon Vivant restaurant for some French country fare while you take in the awe-inspiring views of the powdery Palmyra and Wilson range.
565 Mountain Village Blvd., Telluride, CO, 81435, (866) 754-8355
Park City Mountain Resort, Utah
Touted as the largest ski resort in the country, Park City is just a short drive away from Salt Lake City. In addition to two base areas, nine hotels and lots of restaurants, the majestic mountain resort boasts over 7,300 acres of terrain complete with more than 330 trails, 14 bowls, an Olympic-sized halfpipe and eight terrain parks. Can you say snowboarder’s 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.
1345 Lowell Avenue, Park City, UT, 84060, (435) 658-9457
Big Sky Resort, Montana
This sprawling Montana resort sees an average of 400 inches of snow every year. Boarders will dig the seven terrain parks, 4,350 vertical feet and 5,800 acres of varied terrain. We’re talking glades, fast groomers, high-alpine steeps, an epic 11,166-foot Lone Peak Summit and the experts-only Headwaters rocky ridge.
50 Big Sky Resort Road, Big Sky, MT, 59716, (406) 995-5820
Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon
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 down gladed tree runs, 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 18-foot superpipe.
1202 NW 17th Ave., Portland, OR, 97209, (503) 337-2222