The Best 8 Terrain Parks in the United States
Snowboarding Expert Gaelen Mast lists his top 8 can't miss terrain parks for any park skier or snowboarder to put on their list for this upcoming season!
If you’re a freestyle snowboarder or skier, exploring new terrain parks is probably one of your favorite things to do whenever visiting a new ski resort. While most mountains have terrain parks, not all of them are built equally! This is why we’re taking a look at the best of the best; the biggest, raddest, and most creative terrain parks the United States have to offer. So without further ado, here are eight of the best terrain parks (in no particular order) that every jibber should put on their bucket list to shred at least once!
1. Carinthia Parks at Mt. Snow, Vermont
Carinthia Parks has been a northeast powerhouse for the last decade, and the park scene just gets better every year! Carinthia takes up a whole face of the mountain resort and has nine different parks when running at full capacity. Each park has its own unique style, and with the park crew doing frequent updates, you can be sure there’s always something new to ride each time you go!
One of their most notable terrain parks is Prospector—a park filled with entirely wooden features, such as rails made from logs and a large wooden wallride. Carinthia also boasts the legendary Inferno, a park with jumps so large it was deemed fit to host the 2000 Winter X-Games.
2. Mammoth Mountain, California
destination for park riders and skiers across the country. With over 1,500 acres of terrain parks and a single park that’s 0.75 miles long, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all your options when riding here! Mammoth provides riders with well over 100 rails and jibs and typically 40 jumps ranging in size and style. The variety is everything at this mountain and with so many options, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find park features that excite you no matter your ability or style.
Mammoth also has one of the longest seasons in the U.S. (typically November through June), ensuring you’ll be able to stay on snow and dial your tricks in for most of the year!
3. Woodward at Copper, Colorado
Woodward is well-known in the action sports community for building some of the best facilities in the world! Such is the case at Copper Mountain, which has partnered with Woodward to bring the public some of the most amazing terrain park experiences that North America has to offer.
With eight public parks, Woodward emphasizes inclusion and progression, building various parks to accommodate everyone’s abilities while also providing a clear progression flow from park to park as riders improve and take on more enormous obstacles. Nowhere is this better accentuated than in their halfpipe department. This mountain boasts not only a massive 22’ superpipe, but it also has a less aggressive 13’ halfpipe for all those who want to get into halfpipe riding but aren’t ready to throw down on the professional-level pipe.
4. Timberline Mount Hood, Oregon
While Timberline might not be the biggest or the most extreme terrain park out there, it’s got one major advantage over other parks on this list; it’s one of the few terrain parks you can shred in July! Timberline freestyle is part of the year-round snowboarding experience that takes place on Mount Hood, the highest summit in Oregon. Riders can hit jumps, jibs, and rails above the clouds all summer long and well into September.
While most of the summer terrain is reserved for private summer camps, there is still some public terrain park access during these months, and let’s be honest here, any opportunity to shred natural snow during the blistering summer is going to be an amazing and unique experience!
5. Park City, Utah
With the name “Park City”, you’d better believe this mountain has some amazing freestyle terrain! While this mountain might not have as many obstacles as other resorts on this list, the features they do have are done properly and every one of their six parks and two halfpipes is full of opportunities to progress your skills!
One of their most notable parks, Pickaxe, is inspired by the mining heritage of the area. This specific park is said to offer endless possibilities for creativity and is one of the “flowiest” parks out west! It’s filled with medium-sized jump lines, rails, and jibs (including a giant rideable pickaxe) that flow into each other and provide effortless line combinations!
6. Loon Mountain, New Hampshire
Another heavy hitter on the East Coast, Loon Mountain has an amazing park scene and has been the stomping grounds for numerous professional snowboarders such as Scott Stevens, Pat Moore, and Mike Rav! With four fully-loaded parks and signature features such as their massive wallride and superpipe, this place is an East Coast jibber’s dream!
The mountain also host’s the legendary “Last Call” freestyle ski and snowboard event every year in late March where the park crew builds a contest-only terrain park for the event that’s good enough to attract snowboarders from all over the country!
7. Northstar Parks, California
Northstar resort has won numerous awards for its terrain parks, even being ranked the second-best terrain park experience in North America by Transworld Snowboarding! Northstar has some of the most creative and intriguing features you’ll find in any terrain park, including “Z” shaped rails, spring rails (yes that’s a rail with springs for legs), and “The Stash” which is their natural-features-only terrain park developed by the late Jake Burton.
One of the best parts about Northstar parks that keep riders coming back is the park crew’s dedication to keeping things fresh. They’ve been known to swap out features almost every night of the week and even redo the entire flow of their parks on a bi-weekly basis. This constant change in the terrain parks provides a dynamic experience where riders and skiers never know what they might encounter the next time they head to Northstar!
8. Hyland Hills, Minnesota
You probably weren’t expecting a terrain park from a mountain in Minnesota to show up on this list, and I don’t blame you! Hyland Hills Ski Area is very, very small! With just 12 trails and a city skyline in place of the typical mountain-range backdrop at most ski resorts, this place is quite unsuspecting. However, Hyland Hills proves that you don’t need a huge amount of space to make an epic park, you just need a dedicated park crew and the fastest rope tow in the Midwest!
Since the mountain (if you can even call it that) is small, the terrain park is tightly compacted and not for the faint of heart. Instead of opting to space features out like many traditional parks, the park crew crams as many features as possible into the space they have to work with. This means rails come up on you fast, and as soon as you land a trick, you need to set up to hit the next feature you’re hurtling towards. Since it is a smaller space, the park mainly consists of rails and other jibs, but they still have a large and medium line for those who prefer catching air over sliding metal. The rope tow is what pulls this place together—it’s extremely fast for endless high-speed park laps and it stops for no one!
Hopefully, by this point, you’re even more excited about riding park than you were when you started, and maybe you’ve even added a few new terrain parks to the bucket list! While not every terrain park can be as glorious as the eight you just read about, there’s a good chance that there’s some sort of park scene at whatever mountain you frequent. Make sure you’re well prepared with a freestyle snowboard and get after it! If you’re newer to the world of freestyle or just want a fresh park board, feel free to chat with a Snowboard Expert here on Curated and get some free advice on what board might be right for you to conquer your freestyle dreams!