If there is one thing North America does right, it is terrain parks. Built off of decades of progression from the top athletes, modern terrain parks are built to a standard never seen before. The parks know and ride today are like something out of SSX Tricky from 2001, if you can dream it, they will probably build it.
Snowbrains has compiled a list of the top 10 Terrain Parks in North America, so you don’t have to go out and test all the parks out there, you can just hit every one in the top 10.
Top 10 North American Terrain Parks:
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN, CA
Mammoth Mountain in California is home to arguably one of the best terrain park programs, Unbound Terrain Parks, in North America and the world. With 5 parks that are home to over 100 features at the peak of winter, many which get changed up on the daily, Unbound keeps you on your toes and pushes you to get creative. Unbound is about 40% jumps and 60% jib features, and is also home to both one 11 foot and one 22 foot half pipe. If you want to ride some of the worlds best terrain park features, Mammoth Mountain better be on your hit list this winter.
If a yellow and black rail comes to your head when you read the word Northstar, it’s because you’ve probably seen a plethora of videos from top pros shredding Northstar’s famously long terrain parks. Northstar has 7 parks open right now and often runs a 12 foot and 18 foot pipe. Parks are heavily jib and rail weighted at about 70%, and 30% in jump features. Northstar is also home to The Stash, one of 7 natural featured terrain parks around the world. If you’re looking for long rail lines, and huge variety, Northstar is the place for you.
Heading up across the 49th parallel, you find Whistler Backcomb, home to the biggest, baddest terrain park in Canada. Formerly known as the Nintendo Terrain Park, the Backcomb has long been home to some of Canada’s best shredders, and most meticulously groomed features. Large tables, big rail lines, and many other highly creative features. Whistler Backcomb is also home to many other terrain parks of many levels as well as an 18 foot halfpipe. There’s no question as to why Canada’s best slopestyle athletes flock here every winter for training.
Bear Mountain is also touted to be one top parks in North America because of its extensive selection of features and land mass area dedicated to terrain parks. With nearly 200 acres, and 174 features in 2016, Bear has the most terrain park by the numbers to offer on our list. Bear has four halfpipes: 8 foot, 13 foot, 18 foot and a jib pipe. Bear is also home to the Red Bull Plaza, an urban inspired rail section to give you that street feel on hill so you can ride everything from pipe to park to street.
Park City in Utah has been a staple in the terrain park category for many years, and the I Ride Park City program kept it in the top 10 in 2016. Park City is home to over 100 park features as well as a 13 foot pipe and 18 foot pipe. Jibs and rails takes up about 80% of park features leaving jumps and other snow features around 20%. Some of the best snowboarders call Park City home such as Zak Hale and Sage Kotsenburg, so you can expect the parks to be kept top notch and always pushing the limits.
Based in of Colorado, Keystone Resort is home to the top quality A51 Terrain Parks boasting over 100 features and two pipes. Keystone prides itself off of being well versed for all skill levels, having some of the best varieties of extra small to medium parks, but don’t let that fool you. The Main Street park seeing it’s fair share of pros throughout the season including Sherbets with Torstein Horgmo who make an annual stop for some laps.
Loon Mountain Parks is home to some of the best parks in Eastern North America. With 6 parks and two pipes, Loon has a ton of features for all skill levels. Loon is also known for the Whale Watchers event which is only a few years old; snowmaking mounds called “whales” are built up and ridden in a session style event like no other. If you’re out East and want a taste of what the snow scene has to offer, go hit up Loon!
Breckenridge in Colorado is known throughout the snow sports world as being on almost every top 10 terrain park list because of it’s Park Lane and Freeway terrain parks. Park Lane hosts some mid-sized jumps (20-45ft) and a huge selection of rails. Hit up Park Lane if you want to ride some solid features and really find your flow before heading over to the Freeway and sending the biggest features at Breckenridge. The Freeway is home to a superpipe and many larger than life jumps and rails, this is a serious park for serious skiers and boarders.
Aspen Snowmass peaks at over 130 terrain park features on 50 acres of terrain park land as well as two halfpipes. Aspen is known for hosting the Winter X Games and by no coincidence has the terrain parks to back it up. Huge tables and rail lines make Aspen a popular mountain for park rats to be coming back to year after year.
YOUR LOCAL PARK
There’s no debating that the best park is the one you’re riding, and we can all argue for our local resort and why it’s the best. May it be Mount Seymour in Vancouver, Boreal in Truckee or Stevens Spring in Pennsylvania, we all have our favourites to shred. Don’t forget to throw your local park staff a high five or jump in to help dig out a rail.