Imagine taking a break from the traditional powder day to catch some serious air off a 22-foot Superpipe, or slide across a series of rails. At ski resorts across North America, terrain parks are getting bigger and better with each passing year. With improvements in technology and technique, resorts are building safer and better playgrounds for freestyle and slopestyle skiers and riders everywhere. Many resorts boast multiple parks that cater to all skill levels and abilities. Whether you're looking to conquer your first rail or are looking for a sponsorship, the top terrain parks in North America will have something for everyone.
As frequent winner of several awards, including many years of being rated the No. 1 terrain park in North America by Freeskier Magazine, it's no secret that Breckenridge is home to some truly epic shred zones. Boasting four parks, Breckenridge offers jumps, jibs, pipes and bonks for skiers and riders of all abilities. While the beginner terrain parks Bonanza and Trygve's are amazing, it's the advanced parks Park Lane and Freeway that give Breckenridge their award-winning status.
Park Lane and Freeway are located on Peak 8. While Park Lane is deemed "intermediate" by locals for their jumps ranging 20 to 45 feet, the adjacent Freeway is where the real pros hang out, and is where the 22-foot Superpipe calls home. Breckenridge's terrain parks are consistently littered with the world's best, and hosts many events, like the Winter Dew Tour.
Photo: Breckenridge Terrain Park
Utah is filled with ski resorts, but when it comes to terrain parks, Park City is the undisputed leader. Home to 8 terrain parks, Park City offers plenty of options to satisfy anyone, from the beginners to seasoned jumpers. Beginners can test the frozen waters and practice on a collection of wide boxes and small jumps at Pine Draw and Little Kings, or Neff Land if you are looking to broaden your bag of tricks. Intermediate riders can stick with Painted Horse, the park built with progression in mind.
Transitions is perfect for those who want to experience a little bit of everything while 3 Kings is the park of choice for those who are serious about freestyle progression. Serious and advanced skiers and riders will want to visit King's Crown, usually only open later in the season after large snowfalls. King's Crown is a regular venue for major slopestyle competitions like the Spring Grand Prix series, and should only be tackled by the most experienced.
Photo: Park City Terrain Park
Year after year, Snowmass' terrain parks are consistently rated at the top of TransWorld Snowboarding Magazine rankings. Snowmass boasts three parks with more than 100 features, including a 22-foot Zaugg-cut superpipe. Lowdown Park consists of beginner and low-intermediate features, including beginner halfpipe, while Makaha Park is for solid intermediate skiers and riders, with features ranging from medium to large in size. Experts will want to visit Snowmass Park, which has approximately 50 features and the 22-foot Superpipe.
Buttermilk is also home to award-winning terrain parks, and including X Park, home to the ESPN Winter X Games. The park houses over 25 advanced and expert features, including another 22-foot Zaugg-cut Superpipe. The three main park areas on Buttermilk are S3 Park, Buttermilk Main Park and Midway Avenue Park. Buttermilk Main Park stretches for two miles, and includes some of the best parks in the world.
Photo: Aspen Snowmass Terrain Park
A51 Terrain Park is another North American gem, featuring 60 acres and over 100 features. A51 has been honored with many awards, including the No. 2 terrain park by TransWorld Magazine and the No. 3 by Freeskier Magazine. Keystone believes freeskiing and slopestlye is for the people, so the park was designed by the people. The six terrain parks hold jibs, jumps and pipes for skiers and riders of all abilities.
Easy Street is the park for beginners, and starts with mellow ride-on features that help you progress to the last set of features, preparing you for I-70 and The Alley. Once you're ready to experience the next level, head over to Park Lane, I-70 or The Alley. Intermediates will start at I-70, where the jumps pick up where they left off at Easy Street before moving onto Park Lane, the perfect place for building confidence while dialing up your tricks. Last, you'll move on to The Alley, a true jibbers delight if you've been dreaming of hitting metal all day. For advanced and expert riders, Main Street is the place to be. Featuring the largest jump line, Main Street is the stomping ground for pro-level skiers and riders.
When it comes to terrain park programs, Unbound at Mammoth is arguably one of the best in North America. 13 terrain parks and over 100 features create areas that are catered to specific skill sets and levels. In fact, many of the features are changed daily, keeping skiers and riders on their toes and forcing them to get creative.
Beginners and low-intermediates will want to stay close to Forest Trail and Transition Park before making their way up to South Park, which houses 30% jumps, 70% jibs and an 18-foot halfpipe. Experts and pro-riders stick with Main Park, where you can earn your black belt with the immaculate jumps and jibs and the 22-foot halfpipe. Other parks include Jibs Galore, a park dedicated to nothing but metal and plastic protruding from the slope in all shapes and sizes, and smaller eight-foot and 10-foot halfpipes for beginners.
Photo: Mammoth Terrain Park
Five terrain parks split between two mountains make up the biggest, baddest terrain park in Canada. Visible from space via Google Earth, Whistler Blackcomb's terrain parks have over 150 features, 90 rails, 40-plus jumps, and one 18-foot Zaugg-cut halfpipe.
Big Easy Terrain Garden and Habitat Terrain Parks are perfect for beginners and low-intermediates. The parks contain inspired-by-nature tree jibs, bonks, rails, snow jumps and mini hits. Families and younger skiers can try The School Yard, a family-certified zone in the Learning Area on Whistler Mountain. Intermediate skiers and riders can tackle Terrain Park on Blackcomb Mountain, which is packed with intermediate and advanced features, serving as the stepping stone for the next level. Highest Level Park serves as a training ground for those with their eyes on the Olympics, and has massive jumps, spines, rails and jibs, designed for the expert rider.
Photo: Whistler Blackcomb Terrain Park
Northstar at Tahoe
Northstar is renowned for its terrain parks and pipes, featuring seven parks with a 12-foot and 18-foot pipes. Pros frequent Northstar for their large variety of jibs, jumps and snow features and award-winning Superpipe. Northstar is also home to The Stash, one of six natural featured terrain parks around the world, showcasing creative wooden features and artwork carved by chainsaws.
The Burton Progressive Park on Sidewinder is a great introduction to freestyle terrain, with features that are mini versions of the larger freestyle terrain features. For terrain park masters, The Straits is the spot to be. Pinball is one of the best all-around terrain parks in the country, repeatedly landing a Top 10 spot with TransWorld Magazine. For family-friendly visitors, Moonshine Park contains smaller table top jumps, banks and ride-on features, perfect for multi-level groups that want to stay together. Tiny skiers and riders can learn what it takes at Ripperoo Riglet Park, designed specifically for kids 4-6 years old.