Snowboard friendly ski resorts in the United States number in the hundreds. You could snowboard US style every day at a different mountain, and not visit them all in one season. Lucky for you we’ve put together 13 of the best USA snowboarding destinations.
So what does it mean to snowboard US style?
For a mountain to make this list, it’s got to be a friendly, with a fun vibe, and the smirk of adventure written across its face. We don’t want to go to a stuck up resort where snowboarders are looked down on, or somewhere whee rules outnumber riders.
To decide the 13 best USA snowboarding destinations I have taken into account many factors. The most important being, quality of pow, terrain variance, tree riding fun, off-piste accessibility and of course snowparks. I have also considered unexpected rad secrets and resort personality.
This top 13 is in no particular order! Please remember this is from my experience and is where I would recommend as the best places to snowboard US style. I have not been everywhere and I am sure your top 13 will differ greatly!
Besides raising the most Olympic athletes in North America, Steamboat is famous for something else –champagne powder. The term itself was actually coined here.
The pow has a diehard following that never tire of it’s float. Trails are secondary: locals use the piste just to get to the trees and access the backcountry. If you go backcountry, make sure you go with a local or you might not get back at all.
Overlooked by diehards, Beaver Creek has some of the best riding in North America. The heated sidewalks, tall escalators and complimentary warm chocolate chip cookies are a nice little bonus. But the reason Beaver Creek makes this list is the big mountain riding.
The World Cup trails, complete lack of traverses, fun tree stashes and non existent crowds mean this mountain rocks. After a powder dump other mountains track out in hours but here you can still find open trail freshies the next day.
Grand Targhee is what powder hounds dream of. Open terrain, fun trees, untracked bowls, few people, 602 acres of snowcat access, and an abundance of the white stuff. This place, forgotten by the droves that flock to Jackson Hole, has deeper snow which makes for epic pow days.
If you get here on the daytrip bus, stock up on booze at the General Store as the bus ride home can turn into one of the best happy hours you have ever been to! For me easily one of the best USA snowboarding destinations to snowboard US style!
Jay Peak gets the most snow in the east and has a snow record that surpasses many western resorts. With a free ride policy unique to most eastern resorts, Jay Peak is the closest to going west without actually going west.
Due to its proximity to the Canadian border, it has more of a European vibe so perhaps not a place to snowboard US style in the strictest sense…. Accommodation is plentiful, and the base was recently re-built with an indoor water park. What is important though is the mountain – it is truly epic.
Many riders prefer Utah to Colorado and it’s easy to see why. The mountains are practically on top of each other, there is tons of fresh, dry fluffy snow, the airport is close and it is less expensive.
If you only have a weekend, go to The Canyons. It is just 35 minutes from the airport and Park City is a great ski town. There are frequent lodging deals and the vibe is silly. one of the best USA snowboarding destinations because it is a big pow celebration almost everyday.
Once a mining town, Telluride is now a ski resort that ranks high on most top 10 snowboarding resorts in US. Deep snow, great terrain (including three bowls), no crowds, happy locals, a fun town and endless adventure.
Be careful, as this place is wild and most things are unmarked here. Rip through the trees but always look 20 steps ahead so you don’t free fall off a cliff. This is no joke it almost happened to me – so snowboard US style preferably with a local.
Breckenridge has a super solid reputation and it has something for everyone. The town has a party atmosphere, it is a huge mountain, there is great food options and abundant sunshine. All of which make it one of the best USA snowboarding destinations.
Added to that the town of Breck is layer upon layer of fun and you will always find trouble to get into here! Accommodation is diverse and even a solo snowboarder can still find a bed. My favourite is a little hostel called The Fireside Inn which has down duvets on all beds, even bunks!
As much as the website insists that Jackson Hole is a great place to learn to snowboard, don’t believe it. It will make a newbie cry. If you want to experience true wild west, “Yeehaw” steeps, this is the place to snowboard US style.
Famous for one of the highest vertical drops in North America, America’s steepest ski slope (Corbet’s Couloir) and off-piste vertical that snowboarders around the world flock to its undoubtable one of the best USA snowboarding destinations. While here be sure to grab a cold one at The Mangy Moose.
Snowbird is just another excuse to go to Utah. One of ski industries long time favourites it has a great record of dry, fluffy snow the ‘winter wonderland’ here is pow-fully consistent.
Not being prey to Elk migration patterns, like many other western resorts, allows Snowbird to be flexible with closing dates and seasons can extend to July. The joint pass between Snowbird and Alta is a perk, but you will need to leave your snowboard at home as Alter is a ski only mountain – BOOO.
Vail has it all. Cliffs, bowls, knee and waste deep powder, steeps, the view of distant vistas and trees. If you want the big mountain Colorado experience, Vail is a good place to start and definitely one of the best USA snowboarding destinations.
In Vail week days are best days and first tracks are best tracks. The mountain’s base was built to look like a European ski town and you will find endless mountain style restaurants and cuisine options from all over the world.
If you want easy access, controlled conditions, modern amenities, great food and fast lifts then don’t go to Powder Mountain. However if you want huge pow, zero crowds, plentiful inbound hike to terrain, off piste terrain, cat ride acreage, rustic amenities and heli access then powder Mountain might be your place.
If making the virgin trip to Powder Mountain my tip is don’t rely on the limited ski lifts. The “ride with a local,” advice is paramount- hire a guide to find the best powder both inbound and backcountry.
California’s highest ski resort just happens to sit on a volcano. Technically inactive, it has not erupted in thousands of years but at times it still emits gaseous fumes.
With a long season, (November- June) Mammoth hosts the world’s top skiers and riders for spring training after most ski seasons have ended. Mammoth has dry desert snows, which rank it high on the pow factor.
Belleayre is the Catskills biggest old school and free ride secret – they want you to ride the trees here. Although the snowpack doesn’t add up to the west, this place is fun and only those in the know hang out here.
History runs deep, as New York State’s very first chair lift was installed here in 1949. Although is has only 55 trails and 8 lifts, Belleayre is one of the few places in the east that offers cat skiing.
That is it for my 13 best USA snowboarding destinations. Please feel free to leave a comment about your top resorts. If you want to snowboard US style, then check out our United States snowboarding discounts.