Kirkwood, Calif.

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Kirkwood, Calif.

Blue sky and boarding

Darryl Leniuk/Getty Images

Kirkwood, covering 2,300 acres (9.3 square kilometers), is home to four terrain parks that are ideal for boarders of all experience levels. This resort in the Tahoe region of California is isolated in the southwest ranges of Tahoe over Carson Pass, so it requires a little extra effort to get there, but the fresh powder and dynamic boarding scene make it worth it.

At the Adventure Land Beginner Park, snowboarders can learn the ropes, and even kids can learn the sport. At the Rip Curl Playground, intermediate snowboarders check out jumps, boxes and a halfpipe. At the expert-level Rip Curl/ Stomping Grounds, advanced snowboarders can try out even more jumps and rails.

The season lasts from November to April, and the average annual snowfall is about 480 inches (12 meters). The Kirkwood Resort's highest peak towers at 9,800 feet (2,987 meters).

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