As challenging as snowboarding is, the culture surrounding the winter sport is filled with helpful, enthusiastic individuals who just want to get in tune with nature and hit the slopes. The vast number of riders has led to renewed efforts to create and maintain slopes all across the country. Here are just a handful of the best places to snowboard in the United States.
Mammoth Mountain, California
People usually associate California with sandy beaches, Hollywood glitz, and perfect weather, but it also happens to be home to one of the most welcoming snowboarding venues in the country. With a good average snow record, Mammoth promises excellent boarding conditions well into June and is one of the largest resorts in America, featuring over 150 trails scattered around the dormant volcano.
Thanks to recent corporate investments, Mammoth Mountain has seen a lot of new installations and improvements, including massive terrain parks, a fast lift system, and extra snowboard stores. The most notable addition: a village resort, complete with gondola to get you to and from the Canyon Lodge in style.
Mount Bachelor, Oregon
Nestled in the Cascade Mountains and just 20 miles north of Bend, a booming resort city, Mount Bachelor sees an average 370 inches of snowfall each year. Couple that with several acres of terrain and you have a perfect natural snowboarding venue to enjoy.
Mount Bachelor is unique in its conical shape that has been carved by lava flows of the past. Seven chairlifts give you complete, 360 degree access to all parts of the mountain.
Vail is one of the most prestigious ski resorts in the nation, which can be off-putting to the grassroots snowboarder. The city is expensive, features heated roads, and centers around the resort. Women and men’s snowboard gear is available from numerous stores in the area.
Still, despite its potentially snobbish exterior, Vail presents a ton of attractions for the average snowboarder. Over 5,000 acres give way to a huge terrain park and several runs and pistes.
Mount Baker, Washington
Mount Baker has a long running history with snowboarding. Where other ski resorts banned and rejected snowboarding, Mount Baker welcomed the sport with open arms and continues to uphold the same standards with an excellent snow record.
Mount Baker is slightly isolated, so it doesn’t attract large groups of day-tripping skiers, leaving you with bare slopes and nonexistent lift queues. The slopes include two mountains: Panorama Dome and Mount Shuskan, both of which offer a wide range of slopes and pistes for all riding styles and levels.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Located in a large valley 10 to 40 miles wide and 50 miles long, Jackson Hole is a high-peaked mountain resort featuring saloon bars, cowboys, and a uniquely American atmosphere.
You’ll want to tighten up your snowboard bindings if you want to visit this resort. Jackson Hole appeals to snowboarders that enjoy a bit of a challenge, boasting terrain that is almost entirely rated black, featuring steep slopes, long chutes, and plenty of trees. Backcountry riding is also highly popular with specialist operators offering daily tours.