6 Of The Best Terrain Parks In North America

Check ‘em out
BY KADE KRICHKO

It wasn’t long ago that terrain parks were an exotic beast – a place where adventurous skiers and snowboarders could spend time testing gravity and sliding their boards and skis down the occasional hand rail.

Nowadays, terrain parks are all but a required part of any mountain resort, a prerequisite for visitors from near or far. With such a variety of options, it can be hard to separate the real from the pretender, especially when the kickers get bigger and rail setups a little spicier.

So who is doing it right? For all of the senders and jibbers in your crew, here are five of the best terrain parks in North America.

Mammoth Mountain, California

When it comes to terrain parks, there is nothing quite like Mammoth Mountain. With a season that stretches nearly eight months, Mammoth’s Unbound Terrain Parks are nothing short of legendary in ski and snowboard circles.

The Southern California gem has been perfecting its craft over 20-plus years, serving up a variety of parks and three halfpipes over 100 acres of terrain. Typically featuring over 100 jibs and 50 jumps, Unbound’s sheer variety keeps freestyle faithful coming back year after year.

For those that are ready to rub shoulders with the best in the business, head directly to Main Park. For the rest of us, don’t fret, we can watch all of the action from the safety of the chair, as the Unbound Express passes directly overhead.

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

When one of your terrain parks’ “claim to fame” is that it can be seen from space (okay, from space via Google Earth) you know you’re onto something. With five parks spread across its two main peaks, Whistler Blackcomb covers some serious area (99 acres to be exact) and has nearly 200 features to play on.

Perhaps more impressive, however, is the length of Blackcomb’s main terrain park, measuring 1,020 vertical feet from top to bottom.

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado

Home to the X GamesAspen Snowmass knows a thing or two about quality terrain parks. While most of the televised action goes down over at Buttermilk, Aspen locals head to Snowmass, where innovation and precision make for one of the most recognized terrain parks in the region.

In addition to over 100 features and a 22-foot-tall Superpipe, these terrain parks have witnessed some of the most iconic moments in action sports, including Mark McMorris‘ first-ever triple cork 1440 and Shaun White‘s perfect-100 at the Snowmass Grand Prix. But don’t be intimidated, Snowmass is also home an introductory and intermediate park perfect for young groms and beginner jibbers alike.

Park City Mountain, Utah

If you’ve seen an insane terrain park edit in the last few years, chances are pretty good that you’ve already seen Park City Mountain‘s terrain parks in action. Perfectly shaped step-downs and some of the biggest, most creative rail setups in North America are just a few of the factors that draw some of the most talented skiers and riders (and their filmers) to the sunny slopes of Park City Mountain.

But Park City isn’t just for the pros. In fact, the area has a diverse progression of parks, from its kid parks to more intermediate Pick Axe Park.

Park City nearly doubled its freestyle terrain after merging with the former Canyons Resort, offering eight terrain parks and two halfpipes.

Mount Snow, Vermont

Ever since Carinthia Parks took over Mount Snow‘s Carinthia Peak nearly a decade ago, it has been the ultimate terrain park reference for East Coast skiers and snowboarders.

Over 100 acres of jibs, rails, jumps and natural terrain, topped off with one of the region’s only competition Superpipe, Carinthia is ground zero for local talent and a perfect proving ground for beginners and experts.

If the park itself isn’t enough, Carinthia also hosts the Peace Pipe Rail Jam and Carinthia Classic competitions each year, bringing the entire Ice Coast freestyle community to one place. This year Carinthia opened up its brand-new Carinthia Base Lodge, offering eats and drinks after a long day of hill-banging.

Breckenridge, Colorado

Many a terrain park enthusiast would lose their lid not seeing Breckenridge on the terrain park list, and for good reason. The Colorado staple is the main stomping grounds for the deep Boulder and Denver freestyle crowd, featuring four parks that can all compete with some of the best in the game.

The Freeway is labeled a “pro” park for good reason, as you are likely to bump into a pro or two in the rail line.

Breck’s biggest knock is the crowds, as these jib-friendly slopes get packed out quick, especially on weekends.

03 Snowboarding & Suicide Series: How I Used Snowboarding As A Framework To Effectively Set Goals.

Can anyone relate to the feeling of having a semblance of structure in your life but if we’re being real it is a fucking shitshow? You want to improve but deciding where to start is so overwhelming that you just freeze, get back in bed and turn on the TV and tell yourself tomorrow you’ll figure it out.

Every single resource you read about setting goals and effectively executing them will say not to overwhelm yourself with a million new changes at once. This is something that I 100% agree with, but it doesn’t change the fact that I am someone with constant anxiety who overthinks every goddamn thing that comes my way and I was lost as to where to start.

One day, it hit me. This is the beginning of the journey I am on that showed me that snowboarding is my therapy, my rehabilitation while I learn how to want to be alive again.

Here is how it started. I hate exercising and don’t at all devote energy to it unless I decide to take my pup on a walk. When I was younger, I was involved in sports but as I got older it just didn’t matter to me. I was naturally thin and a stoner with a good metabolism so I have the best of both words. Snowboarding is the one thing I actually will push my body to get up & grind for. I always had the goal of going snowboarding more every year, but I was either living in New Orleans during undergrad, or living on Cape Cod where the closest mountains are 2.5-3 hours away.

Now, I live in Portland, Oregon. Mount Hood is an hour to an hour and a half away, open YEAR ROUND, has lift ticket deals regularly, and suddenly I really had no excuse to NOT try to actually do what I have been saying I would for years, and hit the slopes more. I was happy at this realization but then it hit me that while it took days to come up with, and sort of randomly came to me one day, the concept itself seemed easy enough to be able to relay to others.

I am not trying to become a pro snowboarder//
*Rather, snowboarding is what clears my mind & is a healthy hobby that I can focus on for FUN, happiness, and a foundation for my goals.

So, I started with the fact that I have a shitload of things in my life I would like to improve. From health & wellness, to diet, finances, being more organized, exploring Oregon more, creativity, relationships, self-care the list goes on… it was a lot. When I decided that SNOWBOARDING would be the sort of “umbrella term” on my goal planning strategy, all of the other aspects fell into place.

If you choose an umbrella term type goal like I did, one that takes a little more effort than just doing 4 minutes of jogging a day (which is still an accomplishment, don’t get me wrong, just not enough to set up a blueprint for a life changed by reaching your goals.

If I accomplish my goal of going to the mountain more & improving my skills on a snowboard, I would have to do a few things to do it well and efficiently, and these things happen to fall under the categories that I wanted to improve in overall.

For instance:
1) Health/Wellness/Fitness: If I was going to be able to snowboard more frequently & improve my skills then I would need to be both healthy & improve my physical strength & stamina.
2) Diet & Nutrition: How can I be healthy, fit, and well without a healthy and nutritious diet?
3) Finances: I can’t waste money on delivery & late night Amazon prime shopping if I am budgeting for this new healthy goal plan.
4) Organization: Checking & keeping track of days with reduced lift ticket prices and ensure I clear my schedule that day. If it is a set day of the week, I must be sure to request work off and get my gear ready.
5) Exploring Oregon: There are three different resort sites within 2 hours of my house – that’s exploring in my book!
6) Relationships: I can see if any friends want to join me, or make some friends at the lodge because if all goes as planned, I will be there often!
7) Self-Care: I have been looking for a healthy and exciting way to practice self-care and since the ONLY FREAKING SINGULAR TIME I can shut the overthinking off and be in the moment is on the mountain, this is a perfect fit!!!
8) Creativity: I started this blog because of how much inspiration I felt when snowboarding became the impetus to me jumpstarting my life. I have already begun to integrate riskier little tricks and things on the mountain, which I hope to continue. Lastly, my love of photography has become a part of my life again since the views are insane up there.

By finding one activity that brings me joy, something I already had the gear and experience for, and something that is completely possible with just slight tweaks and positive changes to accomplish, I was able to hit all of my categories of goals without feeling stressed out.

I know that snowboarding won’t be everyone’s thing, but I encourage y’all to give it a thought for a second. I have to say the moment this thought became clearer to me I truly felt a weight lift off my shoulders and I finally felt like I had a direction to head in.

Stay Weird Guys 🙂