November 14, 2018

Header courtesy The City of Toronto

It’s time! Whether you’re a pro or a self-proclaimed bunny-slope badass, winter’s here and the call of the powder-white playground cannot be resisted. Slopes must be shred. But which U.S.-based locales offer fresh tracks early in the season

Welllll, since you asked (or since we asked on your behalf), we’re here today with six of our favorite early-season snowboarding spots. Get ready to carve your legacy—or bust your ass trying!

 

1. Mammoth Mountain, California

Opening Date: OPEN NOW (Open as of November 10)

We figured, “Why not start off close to home?” As anyone in the San Diego area will tell you, Mammoth offers sensational snowboarding very early in the season each year. Its high base elevation (7,953 feet) and proximity to the Pacific Ocean means it gets dope doses of fresh pow as early as November. And, sure enough, Mammoth is already open!

 

2. Alta, Utah

Projected Opening Date: November 23

Natural snow in November is commonplace for Alta—they average about 77 inches in that month alone each year! While its expert slopes tend to not open super early (dry snow), most of its expanse will be available at the end of this month. The bases are deep as a result of storms settling in over the canyon. We’ll take it!

 

3. Sunday River, Maine

Photo credit: ChrisRy5

Opening Date: OPEN NOW (Open as of October 19)

Sunday River tends to open early AF (as you can see above). The trick? They have one of the most badass snowmaking systems on the East coast. In fact, they drop a cool $2.5 million a year covering 552 acres for the sake of your snowboarding needs.

 

4. Arapahoe Basin, Colorado

Photo credit: Andrew Parnell

Opening Date: OPEN NOW (Open as of October 19)

ANOTHER boarding destination already open! Arapahoe’s mostly north- to northeast-facing slopes are nestled near Denver, meaning we’re talking about a high elevation that promotes early snow. A-Basin, in particular, gifts ya some steep terrain to shred (2,270-foot vertical drop). There are 109 runs and an average snowfall of 350 inches.

 

5. Grand Targhee, Wyoming

Photo courtesy of grandtarghee.com

Projected Opening Date: November 16

Grand Targhee doesn’t screw around. Located on the west side of the Tetons, annual average snowfall hits about 500 inches (500!!) and its modest pitch tends to get covered almost exclusively by natural pow. Lift lines aren’t bad, either, and Peaked Mountain offers 602 acres of area and a 2,180-foot vertical drop!

 

6. Timberline Lodge, Oregon

Photo credit: Another Believer

Projected Opening Date: November 17

Timberline features the longest North American ski season available and a big part of that is how dang early it opens. It consistently has available slopes as of mid-November on the glaciers of Mt. Hood, the tallest mountain in Oregon. With 41 trails and the most inbounds elevation in the Pacific Northwest (3,690 feet), there’s a lot to love about this classic destination.