The North American Snowkite Tour (NAST) is an event that takes snowkiters all over the States and Canada, to a variety of terrains and conditions, to find out for sure who happens to be the best rider this side of anywhere. So, there’s no better place to look for the top 5 snowkiting spots in United States than to go through the list of stops for the NAST.
Although the NAST is obviously a reputable competition, the destinations chosen are due to their proximity to big towns, with large potential viewership, and with all the facilities to put on a event of this scale. It is also partly to do with where is available and where permits can be obtained. So these 5 destinations do not represent the top 5 snowkiting spots in United States, they represent the best 5 places to hold a snowkiting competition.
Eagle’s Nest Lake, New Mexico
New Mexico you say? Isn’t that some kind of a sandy wilderness where cowboy movies (and more recently Breaking Bad) were set? It is, but surprisingly there also happens to be a nice bit of snow, especially in Eagle’s Nest, which sits at a brisk elevation of nearly 3,000 metres.
The conditions are so good here, in fact, that a few tough lads have started up the Southwest Snowkite Festival. If this meet-up/competition based on a windswept stretch of tundra is considered good enough for the best snowkiters in the world, it’s probably good enough for us.
Dillon, Colorado is another corner of the Rockies that’s supporting snowkiting in all its forms. The Dillon Snowkite Open offers a chance for advanced riders to showcase their talents and for others to learn a few tricks of the trade.
Heavy snowfall is a fact of life in Dillon so expect back-to-back powder days and mind-blowing backcountry adventures.
Skyline Drive Utah is a paradise for snowkiters and snowkiters only. There’s not a sniff of a skilift in the area so when the powder falls it stays untouched until somebody pumps up a kite.
It offers plenty of deep snow, steep slopes and open bowls – with wind speeds ranging from full on five metre weather down to comfortable cruising on a seventeen. You can take it at your own pace.
Park City, Utah
Park City is home to the Sundance Film Festival and the United States Ski Team, and has hosted some of the most prestigious snowsports events in the US – and on top of all this it happens to be one of the NAST top 5 snowkiting spots in United States. The actual competition is held on some private farm land which is not accessible to the public.
However, Strawberry Reservoir just outside Park City, is one of the largest and most versatile snowkiting areas in the lower 48. The terrain goes on for miles with options for riders of all levels. Treeless snow covered mountains roll as far as the eye can see.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Hailed as one of the finest wintersports spots in the world, Jackson started its existence as an end-of-the-world kind of a place filled with mountain men and adventurers.
The skiers first came to this part of the Teton mountain range in the late 30s and it’s been growing since then thanks to its dry, deep snowfall, varied terrain and outlaw mentality. Today, snowkiters can find a mix of vast snowfields and jagged peaks that still abound with that frontier feel of old.