Spread all over the world and offering pillow-soft powder for snow boarders to shred, these cities are bonafide winter wonderlands. Whether you’re a snow bunny who like to play or a professional athlete who considers snowboarding to be in your blood, here are some cities that have more to offer snowboard enthusiasts than others.
Source: TravelChannel.com and Voices.Yahoo.com
Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada
After landing in Vancouver, drive up into the mountains and experience the wonder of the Pacific Northwest. It offers more than 8,000 acres and 200 trails for boarders to cruise, and also packs a ton of trick parks, big jumps, and lifts to take you all over the mountain. It is especially notable for its tree runs in which riders need to make sharp turns to avoid collision, adding another layer of thrill to the experience. The summit is a sight not to be missed, and Whistler is well known for its breathtaking beauty alongside its killer terrain.
Three Valleys, Chile
The Three Valleys (Tres Valles) is made up of three different ski resorts in the Andes Mountains: Valle Nevado, La Parva, and El Colorado-Farellones. Known for prime powder and a long season, the three resorts combine for more than 40 lifts, four separate villages, and massive vertical drops. Plus, you’ve got the breathtaking beauty of the Andes Mountains to rejuvenate you anytime you start to feel tired, which isn’t a bad perk.
Lake Tahoe, California, U.S.
Lake Tahoe has the bonus of being a summer and winter playground, but it’s the latter we’re concerned with here. With seven major resorts, there is a wide variety of options for beginners and experts to choose from in a mountain town. Kirkwood and Squaw Valley have particularly good powder as well as a good amount of jumping options, and nearby Northstar has one of the best terrain parks in the area. Tahoe is especially unique in that it’s one of the only places you can board in a T-shirt!
While Japan doesn’t normally come to mind when you think of snowy mountains, the island of Hokkaido in the north has an incredible amount to offer snowboarders. It experiences a near-constant snowfall, making for consistent fresh powder throughout the year. It is well equipped with terrain parks, snow bowls, and a wide variety of runs, and its lesser-known status means you won’t be crashing into people right and left while trying to get your ride on.
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Utah has some of the best snowboarding potential in the States, and Salt Lake City is widely considered the best of the best. With a wide variety of resorts (discounting the few narrow-minded places that actually ban snowboarders – the nerve!), riders can enjoy beautiful powder amidst some of the most incredible scenery. Snowbird, Solitude, and Brighton are among snowboarders’ favorites, and while it may be more crowded than other cities further off the beaten path, it’s definitely worth the visit.
Le Grand Serre Chevalier, France
Technically a mountain range, Le Grand Serre Chevalier is marked by several towns and villages at its base, including Briançon at one end and Le Monetier at the other. It has a huge amount of terrain that varies from tree-lined runs to open pistes, large vertical drops, awesome terrain and fun parks for an even bigger boost of adrenaline. Although it’s not the cheapest option for boarders, the variety and beauty of the area definitely make it worth it.
Wanaka, New Zealand
If you’re a bit wary of trees, New Zealand’s snowboarding options are ideal. There are hardly any trees in sight on top of its enormous, snowy mountain ranges. Wanaka has huge fields where riders can make their own trails, rather than following only established routes. It has numerous resorts to choose from. There are also local club fields that reject the notion of traditional resorts and instead offer homey cabins along the mountain and towropes or surface lifts to get you to the top (or you can get a real workout and hike!).
Davos combines the majesty of the Swiss Alps with a seriously cool time, as the massive town surrounding the ski/snowboard resort has something to offer everyone. The powder is notoriously deep and the resort associated with the town offers enormous half pipes and terrain parks, a boardercross circuit, long pistes, and excellent freeride options. It also has direct train service, which can definitely come in handy for those traveling without a car.
Aspen, Colorado, U.S.
Aspen is not just for the rich and famous – the huge amount of terrain can’t be beat, and the fantastic powder is a boarder’s dream. Filled with a wide variety of runs for both beginners and ultra-experts, and the great weather ensures near-constant perfect conditions. While it’s a bit more crowded than off-the-beaten-path places, Aspen represents some of the finest snowboarding opportunities in North America, and should not be missed.
St. Anton, Austria
Austria isn’t necessarily the first country most people think of for great snowboarding, but St. Anton has some of the best options for freeriders. With hundreds of meters of pistes, St. Anton offers marked paths and extensive off-roading opportunities. It’s also renowned as a party town, so prepare yourself to hit the snow with a bit of a hangover each morning (that will inevitably fade as you start your cruise down the mountain!).