3 Ski Resorts That Don’t Allow Snowboarding (And Why!)

by Fraser

Thanks to the groundbreaking work of some of snowboarding’s most influential figures, most ski resorts now accept snowboarders. 

But there are still 3 ski resorts in America living in the past. Fearing change. Shunning poor, misunderstood snowboarders. 

Here are the 3 ski resorts that don’t allow snowboarding:

  1. Alta Ski Resort, Salt Lake County, Utah
  2. Deer Valley, Park City, Utah
  3. Mad River Glen, Vermont

In this article, I will talk about these snowboard-intolerant resorts and why they refuse to let us play. Some of their reason’s for banning us might surprise you!

ski resorts that don't allow snowboarding

Ski Resorts That Don't Allow Snowboarding

Skiing is historically a middle class venture, allowing rich folk to network, conspire and presumably, laugh at our expense. 

When snowboarding arrived on the scene, an army of unruly, rebellious teens began turning up at ski resorts. 

This terrified skiers. 

“What if those dirty youths were to touch my mink coat?”

Thankfully, most resorts have since grown to love accept us. But some resorts have chosen to instead cling to their elitist roots. 

Alta perfectly embodies this.

1. Alta Ski Resort, Utah

The Alta Ski Area is one of the only three resorts in North America to still ban snowboarding.

Believe it or not, mono-skiing is still allowed. It’s only when you’re standing sideways that they see it as a threat. 

Bless their fragile souls. 

According to Alta management, snowboarders are a public safety hazard.

Alta’s large majority of rich skier clients prefer the slopes to be snowboarder free, hence the ban. This controversial move put snowboard justice vigilantes Wasatch Equality on Alta’s back.

Wasatch Equality Campaign Poster

After a multi-year legal battle against the “unconstitutional and discriminatory” ban against Snowboarders, Alta was allowed to retain the ban. 

Alta 1, Snowboarders 0.

Although the resort operates on public land under the U.S Forest Service, the court concluded that “Alta’s policy to single-out snowboarders didn’t classify as discrimination in the eyes of the law”.

The giant NO SNOWBOARDS sign on every Alta ticket office does look a little like discrimination to me.

However, even this doesn’t stop snowboarders from poaching the mountain. 

“Poaching” refers to the act of snowboarding in an area where it is otherwise banned.

Basically, snowboarders will hike the entire mountain, just to prove a point. Here’s a great example:

Alta 1, Snowboarders 1. 

Perhaps the most famous example of poaching would be Burtons Snowboards’ 2008 Sabotage Stupidity contest.

Jake Burton, the late founder of Burton Snowboards, offered a $5,000 reward for the best poaching footage recorded at the Deer Valley, Alta, or Mad River Glen resorts.

This attempt at retaliation went down as a legendary feat within the snowboarding community.

2. Deer Valley, Utah

The second ski resort that doesn’t allow snowboarding is Deer Valley.

Unfortunately, the resort is incredible and even hosted four skiing events during the 2022 Winter Olympics. It just refuses to host snowboarders.


Deer Valley, much like Alta, has been under constant public scrutiny for its ban on snowboarding. There have been many peaceful protests surrounding Deer Valley, including organised poaching events. 

Even after everything, Deer Valley still maintains the ban. The resort management even likes to call it “a business move.”

Shredders have since (telepathically) decided that we’re alright with being excluded from DV. It honestly doesn’t have the best snowboarding terrain anyway.

3. Mad River Glen, Vermont

Mad River Glen in Vermont is the last resort on this draconian list.

Located in Fayston, Mad River Glen falls within the scenic Green Mountains. It offers one of the most scenic and challenging terrains in New England.

The terrain is particularly difficult for snowboarders, mainly because they’re not allowed to step onto it!

Bizarrely, Mad River Glen started as one of the first resorts to allow snowboarding in the 80’s. Clearly it has since fallen to the dark side. 

Mad River Glen has probably the most irrational reason for their ban:

Legend has it that a 1993 grocery store skirmish between then-owner Betsy Pratt and some local boarders pushed her to ban all snowboarders from the resort.

MRG’s website explicitly states their Snowboard Policy. They intend to retain the ban unless a shareholder vote invalidates it… The last recorded vote was in 1995.

Final Thoughts

Luckily, there are only 3 ski resorts that don’t allow snowboarding.

Perhaps one day the remaining bans will be lifted. Skiers and snowboarders might even join hands to fight a common enemy–climate change.

However, until then, I recommend skiers put down their skis, pick up a board, and have some fun. There are no snowboard-only resorts so even if you want to ski together, let’s ride!

Check out the best ski resorts in the world. They all allow snowboarding!

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Sandy Zetlan 15/12/2022 - 2:58 am

I’ve been skiing for 25 years. I’ve never knocked anyone over or been knocked over, except by my own mistakes. Today at AZ Snowbowl I was overtaken and knocked down on 2 runs by 2 different snowboarders. Another screamed, “on your right”, squeezing between me and the snow wall without enough room and banging into me as he “passed”. It’s not snowboards. It’s snowboardERs that don’t bother to follow the rules. Snowboarding is no more rebellious than skiing. It’s the attitude of those snowboarders who think they can ignore slope etiquette. Skiing and snowboarding are not contact sports.

Fraser 15/12/2022 - 4:15 pm

Ah, sorry to hear that Sandy! Obviously we don’t stand for that sort of riding here. It unfortunately does happen – from skiers as well I would point out. Hope you’re well and un-injured. Best wishes


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