Step into the world of snowboarding travels with this ultimate guide to the best slopes and shredding experiences around the world.
From North America’s powdery terrain to Europe’s charming apres-ski spots, and all the way to the pristine landscapes of Asia and the secret snowboarding havens in South America, this guide has it all covered. The adrenaline-pumping journey starts here, so strap on your boots, grab your board, and let’s dive in.
1. North America: From Whistler to Colorado
Hold onto your beanie, and wax that board, because we’re headed to North America. The continent is home to the most famous snowboarding destinations in the world. From the majestic mountains of Whistler to the winter wonderland of Colorado, we’ll show you where to carve some of the best slopes and refine your skills. Get ready to hit the slopes and experience the ultimate shred fest in North America.
Whistler Mountain, Canada
Whistler Mountain, Canada – a snowboarder’s fantasy land. This terrain is a utopia for adventurous powder-seekers. It’s an exciting and extreme place to be, with countless possibilities to enjoy a mix of steep slopes, long runs and incredible backcountry experience. You can’t miss the highest lift-access in North America, with a 5,020-foot vertical drop and over 8,100-acres of skiable terrain. To start, hop on the Peak2Peak Gondola, a record-breaking 4.4-kilometer ride that delivers spellbinding panoramic views to take your breath away. You’ll discover a world of possibilities for everyone, from beginners to advanced riders. The resort is split into two contrasting sites: Whistler Creekside and Whistler Village. Whistler Village is the most popular because of its stunning scenery, diverse restaurants, lively bars and nightlife and chic boutiques featuring the latest snowboarding trends. This place attracts international snowboard enthusiasts, and this only adds to the excitement in the atmosphere. The backcountry snowboarding areas are a must-try for adrenaline hunters, so be sure to ask the locals or professional riders about them. One thing to note is that, like every resort, it can get crowded, so consider hitting the slopes early in the morning or late in the afternoon if you want to avoid the crowds.
Squaw Valley, USA
Squaw Valley is a mecca for snowboarders located in Northern California. The terrain is just as challenging as it is beautiful. Whether you’re an expert or a beginner, this place has something for you. The picturesque views and varied terrain make Squaw Valley a snowboarder’s paradise.
One of the best things about Squaw Valley is that it’s one of the largest ski resorts in the United States with over 6,000 acres of skiable terrain. Its sheer size makes it impossible to ride every run in just one day. The mountain has 29 chairlifts that will take you to some of the best runs in the region. And if you’re an adrenaline junkie, you’ll love Squaw Valley’s extreme terrain with steep chutes and cliffs for expert riders.
Squaw Valley is also renowned for hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics, making it one of the most iconic resorts in the world. The history and legacy of the Olympics are a significant part of the area’s identity. You can still see the torch that was lit for the opening ceremony and the Olympic rings at the base of the mountain.
If you’re looking for a unique experience, check out the High Camp hot tubs, which offer stunning views of the snowy terrain. There’s nothing like relaxing in a steaming hot tub while surrounded by the breathtaking Sierras.
Overall, Squaw Valley is a must-ride destination for any serious snowboarder. The varied terrain and stunning views make it an unforgettable experience you won’t want to miss. With so much to explore, at this resort, you’ll want to return year after year.
Breckenridge, USA: a gem of a ski town tucked away in the Rocky Mountains. There’s just something about snowboarding here that makes you feel alive, as if you’re one with the mountain. The crisp air, the serene snow-covered trees, the thrill of carving down the slope – it all adds up to an unforgettable experience.
The ski resort boasts an impressive 5 peaks and 2,908 acres of skiable terrain, so there’s always a new line to discover. The highest peak, known as the Imperial Express SuperChair, sits at a towering 12,998 feet in elevation. That’s some serious altitude for adrenaline junkies.
But it’s not just about the skiing and snowboarding here. The town itself is charming, with Victorian-era architecture, cozy coffee shops, and buzzing apres-ski bars. There’s a bustling energy in the air, whether you’re exploring the local shops or catching a live music show.
One highlight of Breckenridge is the annual Ullr Fest, a weeklong winter festival in January that celebrates the Norse god of snow. Think Viking helmets, parades, and lots of drinking – it’s a party you won’t forget.
In short, Breckenridge is a snowboarder’s paradise. With killer slopes, a lively town, and fun events, it’s worth adding to any snowboarding travel bucket list.
2. Europe: The Best Slopes and Apres-Ski Spots
Europe has some of the most epic slopes and apres-ski spots in the world. From the charming villages of Val Thorens in France, to the glamorous atmosphere of St. Anton am Arlberg in Austria, to the majestic peaks of Zermatt in Switzerland, there’s something for every shred-loving traveler. Join us as we explore the best slopes and apres-ski experiences that Europe has to offer.
Val Thorens, France
Val Thorens is a snowboarder’s paradise, boasting some of the highest slopes in Europe, with peaks reaching up to 3,230 meters. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced level snowboarder, there’s something here for everyone. From the stunning scenery to the impeccable snow, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into another world.
Val Thorens is known for its vast interconnected slopes, making it the largest ski area in the world. With over 600km of pistes to explore, you’ll never get bored. One of the finest runs here is the Combe de Caron, which offers a challenging, winding descent with an amazing panoramic view.
For the more adventurous snowboarders, Val Thorens boasts some of the best off-piste routes in Europe. With guides and instructors available to take you down the untouched slopes, you can experience the rush of carving through pristine powder.
When you’re done carving it up on the slopes, the resort has a lively aprés-ski scene. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from, ranging from cozy dives to upscale locales. Indulge in the local fare and sip on some warming wine while you take in the breathtaking views.
Overall, Val Thorens offers an incomparable snowboarding experience in the heart of the French Alps. It’s a must-visit for any avid snowboarder looking for an unforgettable adventure.
St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria
St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria – the name alone sounds like something straight out of a fairy tale, but in actuality, it’s a haven for snowboarders. This charming Austrian village boasts one of the largest interconnected ski areas in the world, with over 305 km of ski runs and nearly 90 lifts. And while skiing is certainly a big draw here, snowboarders will also feel right at home on the slopes.
One of the unique things about St. Anton is the variety of terrain available. The Rendl area is perfect for beginners and intermediate riders, while the Galzig side is where the real experts can unleash their skills. The challenging terrain park is also worth checking out, with a variety of jumps, rails and boxes.
Of course, it’s not just the snowboarding that makes St. Anton a must-visit destination. The village itself is filled with charming, traditional Austrian architecture and plenty of spots to grab a hot drink or a cold beer. Après-ski is practically a way of life here, with plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from.
Don’t miss the chance to try one of St. Anton’s most beloved traditions – ski touring. You can hike up to some of the most breathtaking views in the area and then carve your way down untouched powder.
Whether you’re a seasoned snowboarder or just starting out, St. Anton am Arlberg is a destination that truly has it all. From jaw-dropping scenery to some of the best runs in Europe, this is a snowboarding trip you won’t soon forget.
Zermatt, Switzerland is another destination that every snowboarder should have on their bucket list. With stunning mountainous landscapes, this resort provides access to over 200 miles of slopes, and boasts Europe’s highest lifts that will give you an experience unlike any other.
One of the things that make Zermatt so unique is its charming Alpine villages. There’s an undeniable sense of history and tradition here that’s sure to delight anyone. Whether you’re exploring the car-free cobbled streets of the town or taking in the views across the mountains, Zermatt has a unique atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else.
But what sets Zermatt apart from many other resorts is its abundance of off-piste terrain. This vast expanse of wild, untracked snow makes for some of the best free-riding in the world. And if that’s not enough to get your adrenaline pumping, there are plenty of steep runs and challenging black diamonds to test yourself on as well.
If you’re looking for something a little more relaxed, don’t worry, Zermatt has plenty to offer. There are numerous bars and restaurants, serving up a range of delicious food and drink. You can unwind in a spa or take a leisurely stroll through the quaint streets and take in the stunning scenery.
Overall, Zermatt is a fabulous place to snowboard, and it has something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned pro looking for extreme challenges or a beginner looking to hit the slopes for the first time, this resort has everything you need for an amazing snowboarding experience.
3. Asia: Riding Powder in Japan
If you’re looking for powder galore and the ultimate snowboarding experience, Japan should definitely be on your list. The country’s chilly winters, breathtaking scenery, and perfect powder make it one of the most sought-after destinations for snowboarders. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at two of Japan’s top snowboarding spots: Niseko in Hokkaido and Hakuba in Nagano. Get ready to ride through Japow and experience snowboarding nirvana!
Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan
I must say, snowboarding in Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan is an experience that every snowboarder should have at least once in their lifetime. The place is a winter wonderland, but for snowboarders. The slopes are so perfect that it feels like they were designed especially for snowboarding.
Niseko is also known for its abundant powder snow, a dream come true for freeriding enthusiasts. Just imagine, hovering on top of a blanket of fluffy white snow and preparing to descend down a mountain surrounded by stunning scenery. It’s like being in a different world, where time stands still and you can let loose and carve up the mountain without a care in the world.
Another perk of Niseko is the culture. Japan is known for its hospitality and their unique way of making visitors feel welcome in their country. The locals are friendly, happy to help and it’s very easy to navigate the place, even if you’re not familiar with the language. The food is also amazing, it’s a mix of familiar and interesting dishes, and let’s not forget about the Sake.
I highly recommend visiting Niseko in January, where the snow is the most abundant. It’s the perfect time to plan a trip with family or friends and create unforgettable experiences together. So, if you’re a snowboarder and you’re looking for the ultimate snowboarding experience, make sure Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan is on your list.
Hakuba, Nagano, Japan
Hakuba, Nagano, Japan is a powder lover’s paradise. The resort offers over 200 runs with plenty of snowboarding terrain, including groomed pistes, tree runs, and backcountry slopes. The snowfall in Hakuba is consistent, receiving more than 10 meters of snow annually. You can access the slopes via the Hakuba Valley Resort which includes ten ski areas.
One thing that sets Hakuba apart from other Japanese ski resorts is its range of accommodations. You can stay in traditional Japanese inns called Ryokans, or opt for Western-style hotels. The cuisine in Hakuba is also phenomenal, with plenty of local Japanese dishes to indulge in.
For night owls, Hakuba boasts a lively après-ski scene with several bars and clubs. Check out the hot springs, or onsens, to relax and soak in Japan’s natural hot waters after a long day of shredding.
If you want to take a break from snowboarding, you can visit the snow monkeys in the local hot springs or explore the nearby area of Nagano which was the host city for the 1998 Winter Olympics.
Overall, Hakuba is an excellent destination for snowboarding enthusiasts who want to experience Japan’s unique culture and outstanding powder. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there’s something for everyone here.
4. South America: The Best Kept Secret for Snowboarding
South America may not be the first place that comes to mind when planning a snowboarding trip, but it certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. With plenty of powder, breathtaking views, and the coolest slopes around, it’s no secret that this destination is a hidden gem. Here are the best spots to hit in South America: Cerro Catedral in Argentina and Valle Nevado in Chile. Get ready for an unforgettable ride!
Cerro Catedral, Argentina
As far as hidden gems go, Cerro Catedral is up there with the best of them. Nestled in the foothills of Argentina’s Andes Mountains, this place is a Mecca for snow sports enthusiasts. The range of pistes here is mind-boggling, with over 120 kilometres of runs to explore, ranging from beginner-friendly gentle slopes to challenging freeride routes. And the fact that it’s located in Patagonia only adds to its appeal, with stunning natural landscapes stretching out in every direction. This is the perfect spot for those who want a unique snowboarding experience, away from the crowds and the noise. You can truly disconnect from the world here, enjoying the pure thrill of boarding down the slopes and the breathtaking views beyond. And with plenty of affordable accommodation options nearby, it’s a no-brainer to make Cerro Catedral your next snowboarding destination.
Valle Nevado, Chile
The Andes Mountains offer some incredible snowboarding experiences, and Valle Nevado in Chile is no exception. The resort offers a unique blend of South American culture and world-class snowboarding. The runs are wide, long and there’s plenty of fresh powder.
The terrain at Valle Nevado is varied and suitable for all levels of snowboarders, from beginner to advanced. For those who want to progress, there are a few terrain parks available, but if you’re just looking for fresh, untouched snow, you won’t be disappointed either.
The views at Valle Nevado are simply stunning. With snow-capped peaks and a clear blue sky, it’s a picture-perfect snowboarding destination. The resort also offers many off-slope activities, including horse riding, hot tubs, and Chilean wine tastings.
Valle Nevado has some great options for accommodation. Whether you’d like to stay in a hotel room, apartment or rent a private chalet, there are plenty of options available to suit all budgets.
One of the most appealing things about Valle Nevado is its location. It’s just a short drive from Santiago, the bustling capital of Chile. This means you can spend a few days in the city and then head up to the mountains for some snowboarding.
All in all, Valle Nevado is a fantastic destination for snowboarders looking for a unique and unforgettable experience. With world-class runs, breathtaking views, and a cultural experience like no other, it’s a must-visit destination on any snowboarding travel list.
Tips and Tricks for an Epic Snowboarding Experience
Are you ready to take your snowboarding game to the next level? Here are some tips and tricks that will help you have an epic snowboarding experience:
-Get in shape: Snowboarding is a physically demanding sport, so it’s important to get in shape before you hit the slopes. Focus on building strength and endurance in the muscles you’ll use while snowboarding.
-Dress appropriately: Make sure you dress in layers so that you can regulate your body temperature as needed. Be sure to wear a waterproof and breathable jacket and pants to keep you comfortable and dry.
-Stay hydrated: You’ll be sweating and breathing heavily while snowboarding, so it’s important to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
-Protect your head: Always wear a helmet while snowboarding. It can save your life in the event of a fall or collision.
-Warm up before hitting the slopes: Take some time to stretch and warm up before you start snowboarding to prevent injury.
-Know your limits: Don’t push yourself too hard, too fast. Take breaks as needed and don’t attempt runs that are beyond your skill level.
-Find a good instructor: If you’re new to snowboarding, invest in a good instructor. They can help you improve your technique and make your overall experience more enjoyable.
-Be aware of your surroundings: Pay attention to other people on the slopes and stick to designated trails. Be aware of weather conditions and potential hazards.
By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to having an epic snowboarding experience. Stay safe, have fun, and shred on!