Snowboarding and skiing: when is the best time of year to go?

Looking for information on when is the best time to ski or snowboard? In this article, I walk you through the best time to enjoy these snow sports in different regions around the world.

It’s no secret that Tom and I are into all things adventurous. Even though it scares us – (okay, mostly me), we give it a try anyway. From cliff jumping, wakeboarding to swimming with sharks, we’ve tried it all. We have gone to jungles, deserted beaches and even to the top of mountains, all in the name of adventure.

One of the things we both would love to do is snowboard and ski more. Admittedly, I’m much more inclined towards water sports compared to winter sports. I’ve learned the hard way that falling on snow is much harder than falling and crashing in water. Given my accident-prone nature, it’s much safer for me to stick to water sports.

Tom on the other hand LOVES snowboarding. If I left the travel plans up to him, he would book us in a mountainous village somewhere for a season of snowboarding and skiing. His fascination with this sport and his desire to do it more has us asking the question – When is the best time of year to go?

Since skiing and snowboarding is a popular activity that can be enjoyed in most countries around the world, these sports are definitely available all year round. So when is the best time of year to travel?

To answer this question, we divided it into different parts around the world. Of course, each winter season changes. Some parts have experienced leaner winters, causing the season to hold out in the opener, so the dates below are estimates based on previous years.

Related: What the hell does adventure mean?

The best time to snowboard and stand in North America

It’s no secret that there are plenty of great skiing and snowboarding locations in North America. In fact, you can enjoy these sports in nearly 39 states that have winter resort facilities. Typically, the ski and snowboard season in North America begins in late November and lasts until late April. Although the amount of snow is completely dependent on where you decide to go.

I went to Lake Tahoe two years ago to try snowboarding for the first time. The US had a particularly dry winter, so there wasn’t much snow, even though we were well into December at the time. The big snow resorts have artificial snow which is good enough for beginners to learn.

Looking for other adventure activities to do in North America?

When should you go? The best times: (late) November-April (some locations, depending on location extended and shut down until June)

Best places to go:

  1. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
  2. Snowbird Resort, Utah
  3. Whistler Mountain Black-comb, Canada

skiing usa snow

Looking for recommendations for the best ski equipment? Take a look at ours The ultimate winter packing list

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The best time for snowboarding and skiing in Europe

There is no doubt that Europe is home to many fantastic skiing and snowboarding locations due to its immense proximity. Countries such as France, Austria, Italy and Switzerland are popular places that people flock to, but the abundance of winter holiday destinations can be found in almost every country in Europe, stretching from Portugal, Slovakia and all the way to the UK.

During our recent trip to Europe we were unable to try skiing or snowboarding as Tom was still recovering from a knee injury. We were in the adventure capital of Interlaken, Switzerland mid December and the season had just started.

Many of the resorts were still closed so it was best to check your specific destination for the exact date of when it will open. There is certainly no shortage of good snowboarding and skiing locations in Europe. For tips on the best gear, check out our article on best snowboard boots for women as well as our review of best snowboard for kids.

When should you go? The best times: (late) November-May

Best places to go:

  1. Lech Zürs am Alberg, Austria
  2. Anton am Arlberg, Austria
  3. Zermatt, Switzerland

Skiing snowboarding European mountains

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The best time to snowboard and stand in Australia and New Zealand

Admittedly, I never even considered the possibility of skiing or snowboarding in Australia. To me Australia screams bikinis, beaches and surfing. But in some mountainous parts these activities are available during winter.

In Australia, snowboarding and skiing are often practiced in the areas of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, as well as in the Australian Capital Territory. New Zealand on the other hand is better known for its slopes, one of which is a vertical descent measuring 722 meters on the Turoa side of Mount Ruapehu. However, both places have comparable points and are worth checking out.

When should you go? The best times: (late) June-September (some locations in NZ are open until October)

Best places to go:


1. Mt. Noise

2. Mt. Hotham

3. Thredbo

New Zealand:

1. Craigieburn Valley

2. Treble cone

3. The notablesSnowboarding in New Zealand

The best time to snowboard and stand in South America

South America is home to some epic skiing and snowboarding locations, some of which I’ve been strangely obsessed with since I first saw the Red Bull movie, Art of Flight. Most of the spots can be found in the Andes Mountains, which naturally divide Argentina and Chile.

However, there is also a resort in Bolivia as well as guided ski tours in Columbia, Ecuador and Peru. Popular with keen riders from the US and Canada, people flock here during the Northern Hemisphere summer.

When should you go? The best times: Technically, the ski season starts from mid-June to October, but for the best conditions, go mid-July-September.

Best places to go:

  1. Cerro Catedral, Argentina
  2. Valle Nevado de las Tres Valles, Chile
  3. Las Leñas, Chile

South America snowboarding

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The best time to snowboard and ski in Japan

Japan is known for having some of the best powder skiing and snowboarding in the world. In fact, most ski resorts receive an average of 10-18 meters of snow each season. No artificial snow here – in fact, it’s all mostly powder!

Winter sports are very big in Japan, with almost 500 ski resorts to choose from. It’s pretty incredible since that’s almost as many as they have in the US, given the size of the country. Compared to Europe and North America, the prices to enjoy a few days on the slopes are also much cheaper.

When to Snowboard and Ski in Japan? The best times: December-May (or when the snow stops falling)

Best places to go:

  1. Sapporo
  2. Niseko
  3. Hakuba

snowboarding japan snow

So there you have it! An overview of where and when you can squeeze in some hill time – all over the world. If you are into winter sports, but also worry about getting injured abroad, you might consider looking into travel insurance.

Cover-More Travel Insurance is a company that actually covers sports injuries, which is great news if you’re an adrenaline junkie like us! So whether it’s chilly in the Andes of Chile and Argentina, or on the slopes of California, snowboarding is widely available all year round. Stay tuned with where our next snow vacation would be!

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