Skiing and snowboarding are by far the top winter sports in the country. That’s evident from the number of people that tune into the Winter Olympics and X-Games, and by the hordes of people you see on the slopes any given day during winter. It might not officially be winter yet, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start planning your winter ski or snowboard trip! In fact, even though it’s not winter, some of these mountains are already blanketed in the perfect coat of powder. Whether you’re looking to plan a week long adventure or check out a slope near you for a day, these are the top spots in the U.S. for skiing and snowboarding.
There is no way around it, Colorado is the skiing and snowboarding mecca of the country. That’s why there are five Colorado destinations on this list. Breckenridge is the cream of the crop. Located 80 miles from Denver—which means it’s cheap and easy to get to!—Breckenridge provides almost 3,000 acres of skiable and boardable terrain. With annual snowfall amassing 25 feet every year, you can be assured that the conditions will be tremendous while you’re skiing or boarding on the impressive 187 trails offered at Breckenridge.
Lake Tahoe, CA
When you think of California, the last thing you probably picture is a top notch skiing resort. You’d be wrong because Lake Tahoe is actually one of the top snowboarding and skiing destinations in the U.S. Located in Northern California—which is why it makes sense that there’s snow—you can check out Squaw Valley, Northstar California, and Heavenly for some prime powder.
If you are looking for the top places to ski and snowboard in the U.S. then Aspen, Colorado should certainly make the list. Located in the Colorado Rockies, this snowboarding mecca boasts four main ski areas, including Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk. There’s even some great backcountry skiing for those interested in cross country skiing at White River National Forest.
Park City, UT
Park City didn’t host the 2002 Winter Olympics for no good reason. This Utah ski site hosted the Olympics because they’re one of the prime skiing and snowboarding destinations in the entire country. Located just 30 miles from Salt Lake City, Park City has two prime resorts. There’s Deer Valley and Park City Mountain. Here you can find everything from free rides to half pipes for snowboarders.
Vail is one of the best known skiing and snowboarding places in the country. Both Vail Ski Resort and Beaver Creek Ski Resort offer tremendous trails to explore. Plus, you can take advantage of the nearby cross country paths on the local mountain ranges if you’re interested in that. Keep in mind that Vail is prime ski destination, so it’s not going to be cheap.
Telluride is another top snowboarding destination in the United States. The town boasts over 2,000 acres of trails, with the most popular resort being Telluride Ski Resort. This impressive U.S. ski resort has over 148 trails and a jaw-dropping 4,425 foot vertical drop. It’s also a great destination because Mountain Village is a neat little ski town to explore when you’re done boarding or skiing for the day.
Jackson Hole, WY
Jackson Hole in Wyoming is actually a nature lover’s paradise no matter what the time of year is. That being said, Jackson Hole is also a top ski destination in the U.S. and a great destination for snowboarders. It’s fairly easy to get there and these powdery slopes and chilly temperatures create the perfect conditions for skiers and boarders. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has the best trails in the area, but you can also check out Grand Targhee and Snow King for more options.
Steamboat Springs, CO
Oh look, it’s another Colorado ski destination sneaking onto our list! No big surprise here because Steamboat Springs is comprised of an impressive six peaks and boasts 3,000 acres of trails. The trials offer a large variety of skill levels and there are even kid-friendly areas if you’re apt to bring the whole family. The three terrain parks also make this a top snowboarding destination in the U.S.
Finger Lakes / Adirondack Mountains, NY
Most of our list—okay, all of it so far—has been heavy on the west coast and the central U.S. but there are some great east coast ski destinations as well. The Finger Lakes area, namely the Adirondack Mountains in New York, is one of them. These 11 glacial lakes not only have some of the best wineries around—a perfect activity after a day of boarding or skiing—but they also have miles of trails and some parks that are great for cross country skiing.
For those on the east coast, Stowe, Vermont is another top east coast ski destination. This luxury resort boasts trails for all skill levels, even children so you can bring the whole family. Both Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak are connected via an inter-mountain transfer lift so you can explore the whole area quite easily. With 483 acres of skiable terrain, 116 runs, and a run lasting 3.7 miles you can spend the whole weekend at Stowe.
So, where are you heading this winter? Are you going to the mecca of snowboarding and take a trip to Colorado? Or, are you going to enjoy a local slope and save your money to splurge on a winter beach trip instead? Whatever you choose, have fun out there!