From parks, pipes and ideal terrain to the overall vibe, many factors go into a resort’s snowboard-friendliness. To help every type of rider, from brand-new beginner to master shredder, enjoy their piece of one-plank paradise, we comprised a list of the best resorts for snowboarding.
Best resorts for adults to learn to snowboard
You’re never too old to learn to ride with Aspen Snowmass‘ Adult Beginner’s Magic. This three-day accelerated course helps first-timers develop confidence with instruction covering mountain awareness, turning, stopping and more. Beginner’s Magic is located in the comfort of Elk Camp Meadows, Snowmass’ kids-free learning zone, or at Buttermilk’s base-area bunny slope. Steamboat also offers an adults-only learning zone—Promenade and Ski Time Square—where beginners can gain confidence and skills among their peers.
Burton Learn to Ride programs treat first-timers to the most up-to-date beginner-friendly snowboards, boots and bindings and a small student-to-teacher ratio with specially trained instructors.
Resorts with Burton Learn to Ride or Burton Experience programs: Alyeska, Jay Peak, Killington, Lake Louise, Loon Mountain Resort, Mount Snow, Okemo, Stowe Mountain Resort, Mont Tremblant and Winter Park.
Best resorts for kids’ snowboarding lessons
Some resorts, like Aspen Snowmass and Telluride, start toddlers on skis as young as 2.5 years, though most resorts require a minimum age of three for ski lessons, and older for snowboard school. For little ones who want to start on one plank instead of two, Burton Riglet Parks are designed for shredders-in-waiting as young as three. Riglet Parks feature tot-size features, including gentle berms and rollers, accessed by a Riglet Reel tow cable. Burton Learn to Ride programs offer patient coaching and small terrain features for kids ages six and older.
At Keystone, kids snowboarding lessons are all about putting the fun into fundamentals, from riding the beginner chairlift to linking turns with rhythm and speed. Intermediate through expert lessons help little ones refine technique and develop tactics for conquering the entire mountain. Plus, Keystone’s Kidtopia offers daily events and activities like playing in the giant Snow Fort, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, face painting, fireworks, parades, ice skating, snow tubing and complimentary cookies.
Best resorts for terrain parks and freestyle-snowboarding lessons
Woodward at Copper, an indoor freestyle center, is the place for kids and adults to learn and refine park and pipe skills before hitting Copper Mountain’s terrain parks and pipes. The resort provides a variety of progressive features sizes in its Eagle Jib Park, Lower and Upper Playground Parks, 13-foot Mini Pipe and 22-foot Main Vein Super Pipe.
Steamboat’s freestyle-snowboarding lessons take place on Lil’ Rodeo and the resort’s four other terrain parks, with a five-student maximum for kids, teens and adult classes. If you have some experience under your belt, you can learn to ride the 18-foot Mavericks superpipe under the guidance of Steamboat’s PSIA/AASI- and in-house trained freestyle instructors.
Park City Mountain Resort is home to 3 Kings, a three-run park stuffed with beginner, intermediate and advanced jumps. For experienced park riders seeking big air, Kings Crown’s large jumps offer the chance to defy gravity, for a few seconds anyway. Fun for kids and adults, Neff Land is a sweet candy-themed mini park with great views and small to large features—perfect for video ops.
Burton Stash Parks, with stashed-in-the-woods organically flowing features, like stumps, rocks and logs, encourage the kind of creative riding that’s reminiscent of freestyle’s early days. Natural and man-made features constructed from locally harvested timber make for a unique, ever-changing park experience that’s more in-tune with the environment. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort boasts four Stash Parks—look for the Stash symbol on the trail map. Killington boasts the East Coast’s only Stash Park, home to 65-plus features, including “giant shreddie” chainsaw carvings. Northstar’s Stash Park has road jumps, jibs, slides and more, all tucked in the glades.
Resorts with women’s-specific snowboarding lessons
For women who want to learn alongside other women, Stowe Mountain has a no-guys-allowed Women’s Learn to Ride center.
Women’s Edge, Aspen Snowmass’ group snowboarding lessons, offer four days of instruction for intermediate through expert riders 18 and older. After your last day of lessons, celebrate your newly gained skills with your cohorts at an après-ski soiree hosted by Aspen Snowmass.
Northstar’s ladies snowboard lessons combine up to four women with a female coach, allowing plenty of personalized feedback. All levels are welcome, and ladies can opt to focus on adventure, learning or guiding.
Best resorts for snowboarding: intermediate and advanced riders
One of the resorts that put snowboarding on the map, Breckenridge caters to riders with four world-renowned terrain parks and a 22-foot halfpipe, surrounded by 14,000-foot mountain views. The 2013 addition of Peak 6 brought new lift-serviced and hike-to bowl- and high-alpine riding, suitable for intermediates and up. Experienced riders will want to check out Peak 8’s steep Lake Chutes, the three bowls accessed from the Imperial Express Superchair and Peak 10’s trees.
Lake Tahoe is home to two top snowboarding resorts: Heavenly, which is ideally suited to intermediates, and Squaw Valley, perfect for advanced and expert riders. Heavenly’s highlights include top-to-bottom blues, the perfectly gladed Powderbowl Woods and, for experts, hike-to canyon terrain. Squaw Valley’s six peaks include steeps, chutes, big cliffs, trees, cornices and other expert terrain.
From riding late under the lights to shredding the award-winning A51 terrain park, Keystone has long been a snowboarders’ favorite. Three peaks, a handful of bowls and six terrain parks comprise Keystone, with 86 percent of the resort’s 3,100-plus acres suited for intermediates and advanced riders. Feeling lazy? Skip the hike and ride the cat to access Wapiti Peak’s dual bowls—it costs $10.
Located in birthplace of Burton, the world’s first snowboard brand, Vermont’s Killington offers 4,200 acres of carve-worthy slopes spread over seven peaks. The“Beast of the East,” as it’s nicknamed, also has six terrain parks, including Bear Mountain’s technical rail garden and an 18-foot-tall, 500-foot-long halfpipe.
Mammoth Mountain’s 3,500 of terrain offers a sampling of everything snowboarders lust after, from wide-open bowls and tree-riding to the award-winning Unbound Terrain Parks—nine of them, in fact. Boasting one of North America’s longest terrain-park seasons, Mammoth has for decades been a breeding ground for park pros. The latest addition, Transition Park, introduced hundreds more intermediate and advanced skate-park style features into the resort’s already stacked collection.
Whistler Blackcomb’s two peaks are outstanding in both their terrain parks and variety. The proof is in the resort’s 16 intermediate bowls, above-treeline trails with eye-candy scenery, big-mountain freeskiing and gladed tree-skiing. Of course the resort is also home to leg-burners like the seven-mile Peak to Creek run. Plus, you can shred Whistler Blackcomb practically year-round, which extends the season earlier and later than most resorts’ opening and closing dates.
If you want to learn to snowboard or become a better rider at one of the best resorts for snowboarding, our 65+ Mountain Travel Experts can set you up with everything you need for your perfect snowboarding trip. Get started with a free custom quote or call 800-610-8911 for complimentary advice and booking services.