Ski and snowboard resorts ranked by elevation

If you’re looking for long trips down the mountain on your snowboard, you may find yourself high in the mountains, or “at elevation.” The greatest concentration of high-elevation snowboarding and skiing is in Colorado, particularly in the aptly named Summit County.

 

Mountain State
Base (ft)
A-Basin CO 10,789
Loveland CO 10,600
Copper CO 9,712
Breckenridge CO 9,600
Crested Butte CO 9,375
Keystone CO 9,280
Winter Park CO 9,000

Other mountains, both in and outside Colorado, put you more than a mile above sea level.

 

Mountain State
Base (ft)
Durango CO 8,793
Telluride CO 8,735
Solitude UT 8,175
Vail CO 8,120
Snowmass CO 8,104
Beaver Creek CO 8,100
Mammoth CA 7,953
Aspen CO 7,945
Snowbird UT 7,760
Big Sky MT 7,500
Heavenly CA 7,200
Moonlight Basin MT 7,000
Steamboat CO 6,900
Park City UT 6,900
The Canyons UT 6,800
Sierra at Tahoe CA 6,640
Jackson Hole WY 6,311
Mt. Bachelor OR 6,300
Squaw Valley CA 6,200
Bridger Bowl MT 6,100
Snowbasin UT 5,850
Sun Valley ID 5,750

Most Americans aren’t used to living at such high altitude, as you can see from this list of American cities.

 

City State
Elevation (ft)
Miami FL 11
Boston MA 20
New York NY 30
Philadelphia PA 40
Portland OR 50
Baltimore MD 100
Los Angeles CA 330
Seattle WA 350
Dallas TX 463
St. Louis MO 465
Chicago IL 596
Cleveland OH 690
Nashville TN 700
Pittsburgh PA 770
Minneapolis MN 820
Kansas city MO 882
Atlanta GA 1,050
Phoenix AZ 1,085
Las Vegas NV 2,000
Boise ID 2,730
Salt Lake City UT 4,266
Albuquerque NM 4,950
Denver CO 5,277

So if you are (statistically) the average American, you may have some trouble adjusting to the higher elevation. If you are especially vulnerable to altitude sickness, pay attention, when you plan your snowboarding trip, to the base elevation of the resort. That’s where you will sleep. You might find the following lists useful. They contains all U.S. ski areas with good-length trails (a vertical drop of 2,000 feet or more) but base areas of less than 5,280 feet (one mile).

You’ll find more choices in the eastern U.S.

Mountain State
Base (ft)
Saddleback ME 2,120
SugarLoaf ME 1,417
Sunday River ME 800
Cannon NH 2000
Loon NH 950
Waterville NH 1,984
Wildcat NH 4,062
Burke VT 1,267
Jay Peak VT 1,815
Killington VT 1,150
Okemo VT 1,194
Smugglers Notch VT 1,030
Stowe VT 1,280
Stratton VT 3,960
Sugarbush VT 1,483
Gore NY 1,500
Whiteface NY 1,220

The list is shorter for the west.

Mountain State
Base (ft)
Alyeska AK 250
Whistler BC 2,214
Mt. Spokane WA 4,200
Crystal WA 4,400
Mission Ridge WA 4,570
Timberline Lodge OR 4,850
Mt. Hood Meadows OR 4,523
Silver ID 4,100
Montana Snowbowl MT 5,000
Whitefish MT 4,500
Turner MT 3,842

You might also consider several resorts in the Salt Lake City area. Though their base elevations are more than a mile high, you can sleep in Salt Lake City (elevation 4,266) and make day trips to the mountains. You can even take a city bus (denoted by *) to the slopes rather than drive.

Mountain State
Base (ft)
Solitude* UT 8,175
Snowbird* UT 7,760
Park City UT 6,900
The Canyons UT 6,800
Snowbasin UT 5,850

(Not on the list: Brighton*, with a vertical drop of 1,745, and two resorts–Alta and Deer Valley–that do not allow snowboarding.)

(Data for cities comes from City-data.com. See Geology.Com for some interesting facts, including a list of the highest elevation in each state.)

Leave a Reply