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For many people, snowboarding is absolutely the best thing that the winter season has to offer. Regardless of your skill level, America’s top ski and snowboard resorts offer a little something for everyone. Beginners and kids can take lessons, adrenaline junkies can work on their speed and tricks, and everyone can venture out to explore the luxurious lodges and quaint ski towns.
Snowboarding is an ideal activity to combine with a road trip with a group of friends or for a weekend excursion with the whole family. It’s also a great way to beat the winter blues and get some exercise during the cold weather months. America’s top resorts can be compared in terms of terrain, mountain stats, snow reports, price, number of lifts, and nearby accommodations. This winter, make sure to check out at least a couple of the best ski and snowboard resorts in the U.S.
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Vail is consistently one of the highest-rated ski and snowboard resorts. Winter sports enthusiasts from all over the world have dreamt of Vail, and the resort enjoys about 350 inches of snow each year. This is an enormous resort that can be a little overwhelming for beginners and travelers from out of town. Lift tickets here tend to cost a little more than at the neighboring resorts, but the splurge is well worth it. With over 5,300 acres of skiable terrain, you certainly won’t get bored. Having hosted the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships many times, it’s no surprise that snowboarders love it here. You can find lots of prominent hotel names, like Ritz Carlton, around Vail Resort.
Although Snowmass sometimes gets overshadowed by other resorts in Colorado, it’s one of the best options for families and those seeking ski-in/ski-out lodging. This resort truly does have something for everyone, with beginner slopes for kids, terrain runs for advanced riders and everything in between. With three terrain parks, two halfpipes, and 100 features varying in difficulty, riders of all levels are able to have fun. There’s also the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center that has a child care center, ski school, and cafeteria. Snowmass is about 12 miles from Aspen, Colorado and has lots of upscale hotels and condos nearby.
A top winter vacation in Colorado, Telluride is one of the most iconic ski resorts in Colorado, a state known for its superior skiing and snowboarding opportunities. This is a great resort to spend a week or more because there is a lot to do onsite and you don’t even need a car to get around and be entertained. If you’re the type of person who’s just as excited about the resort lifestyle as the actual slopes, Telluride is an excellent winter destination pick. Almost all the lodging options are located in the historic town or in the mid-mountain village, both of which have ski-in/ski-out privileges and are conveniently connected by a gondola.
Because of its proximity to the Salt Lake City airport, one of the most accessible ski and snowboard areas in Utah is the Snowbird. This resort is often compared to Jackson Hole in Wyoming because of its stunning terrain, excellent ski lifts, and consistent snowfall. Snowbird is a great option if you only have a couple of days to spend on the slopes since it’s slightly smaller than some of the nearby resorts. One of the best places to stay here is the attractively rustic Cliff Lodge.
One of the best ski resorts in the United States, Utah’s Park City Mountain Resort spans 7,300 acres and has over 330 trails for skiers and snowboarders to play on. Park City was the snowboarding location for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games, so it has plenty of challenges for experienced athletes. This is an excellent resort for winter sports enthusiasts to practice their tricks because there are eight terrain parks and two halfpipes, including the Eagle Superpipe which played host to the Olympics, the FIS World Championships, and numerous Grand Prix events.
The state of Wyoming is known for its low population density, but certainly not around Jackson Hole during ski season. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a top-destination resort that has ideal snow patterns and some of the best winter sports activities in the country. You can now catch non-stop flights to Jackson Hole from over a dozen different major cities, making the resort much more accessible than it used to be. Jackson Hole is known to be a resort for experts and powder fiends, but there are some good slopes for beginners too. One popular place to stay is in Teton Village, where you can rent out an affordable condo for a weekend or longer.
If you’re looking to ski in the Lake Tahoe area, Squaw Valley is the place to visit this winter. Although there are quite a few places to ski along the western coast of the United States, the terrain and diversity here are unbeatable. You’ll often find some of the best skiers in the world cruising down these slopes and riding up the wide variety of ski lifts at Squaw Valley. Keep in mind that this resort typically gets very crowded because of its proximity to the Bay Area and other popular tourist destinations.
Another amazing snowboarding spot in California is Mammoth Mountain; however, it’s more of a local favorite than a long-distance travel destination. Specifically, this is a favorite resort of skiers and snowboarders traveling from Los Angeles. You can find lots of great terrain here, and one of the most unique factors is Mammoth’s elevation. Mammoth’s slopes top out at over 11,000 feet, which is much higher than the peaks at Squaw Valley.
Everything in Montana just looks and feels larger than life. Head to Big Sky’s Lone Peak to escape the long ski lift lines of Colorado resorts and bask in the glory of 11,000 foot high peaks. Here you can find extreme 40 and 50-degree descents and treeless terrain for speed skiing. The scenery is only matched by the local Montana culture that you can explore when you venture outside the resort and into nearby towns.
Although almost all of the top ski and snowboard destinations are in the west, Vermont’s Stratton Mountain represents the East Coast with competitive terrain parks and slopes. Stratton is also credited as being the birthplace of snowboarding, having opened the first Burton Snowboard School, so this is definitely a favorite spot for nostalgic boarders from around the world.