Are you ready? It’s going to be epic! Colorado’s terrain parks are prepping now for an unbelievable season. And as host to the nation's four largest halfpipe contests — Aspen's X Games, Breckenridge's Dew Tour, Copper Mountain's Grand Prix and the debut of the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships in Vail in 2013 — you know Colorado is ground zero for snowboarders.
Check the resorts' websites to get the latest terrain conditions and updates on features before you hit these parks.
Riders are always amped when they experience the creative rails and jibs dreamed up by Buttermilk’s crew. Buttermilk, one of the four mountains that make up Aspen/Snowmass, is in constant evolution and has more than 100 features including a 22-foot superpipe. ESPN’s Winter X Games has made its home in Aspen/Snowmass for 12 consecutive years.
There’s always buzz around Area 51, Keystone’s terrain park, that impresses seasoned boarders, but the park has enough beginner features to ensure you don’t have to go big all at once. A dedicated chair lift means you never have to leave the park.
Breckenridge Ski Resort
Five terrain parks and two halfpipes mean jibbers and shredders have more than enough variety to keep them coming back. The resort has a 20-year snowboarding tradition and the climate is perfect for creating ideal terrain park conditions.
Winter Park Resort
After a banner 2010/2011 season, when Winter Park introduced 20 new rails and was voted into the Transworld Snowboarding Top 10 Resorts, we can’t wait to shred it this year. From the Bouncer to the Rail Yard, the areas in the terrain park are named to honor the railroad history of the area.
It’s usually the 5,000 acres of terrain and the Back Bowls that gets everybody’s attention at Vail. But we’d like to suggest dropping in at Vail’s Golden Peak, Bwana or Pride terrain parks to experience awesome, well-kept features and lots of space to attempt knarly tricks.
Telluride Ski & Golf Resort
Telluride expanded its snowmaking infrastructure for the 2011/2012 season to make more snow in less time. That results in more variety and expanded features for the terrain park. After a day of fun in the park, the laid-back vibe in the town of Telluride makes it perfect for off-mountain revelry.
With the highest advanced terrain park in North America, Treeline, and a progressive park perfect for newbies, the High Divide, Arapahoe Basin is always a legendary experience for any skill level.
In an exclusive partnership, Woodward at Copper maintains and runs the terrain park at Copper Mountain that includes The Catalyst. The award-winning manager is formerly of Keystone, so we’re expecting the park to be sick this season. The Barn, a 19,400-square-foot indoor facility with foam pits, trampolines, simulated snow and more allow riders to test their skills before launching outdoors.
Steamboat Ski Resort
With four parks including Mavericks, a 14-acre playground with its own chair lift; Mavericks Superpipe, a 450-foot-long beast; Rabbit Ears for intermediates and Lil’ Rodeo Park for beginners, Steamboat has adrenaline-pumping terrain for everyone.