3. Sunday River

Sliding into third place was Sunday River, Maine. Although we were surprised an East Coast resort rated so high, for anyone who’s ridden there, it’s not a total shock. With terrain stretching across seven different peaks, it packs two full-length parks, three pipes, open cruisers, glades, steeps, and plenty of bumps.

But what earned the high scores from readers were snow quality and grooming. “Our number-one focus is snow quality. It’s our commodity, its what we’re selling,” says Jordan Ginsberg, Sunday River’s events and competition director. “All the mountain managers meet daily during the season to see how we can make the snow on every trail better.”

To support this cause, Sunday River has the largest snowmaking capacity in the East. “We pump more water and blow more snow than anyone else,” says Ginsberg.

Plans to move and lengthen the main pipe should improve the snowboard experience even more this year. Sunday River is also planning on buying a new superpipe cutter and will be hosting the USSA X-Nix Grand Prix Finals in late March.

The resort has sponsored its own snowboard crew (called the Ride On team) for several years, and two up-and-comers, Eric Cheney and Thomas Parsons, are standouts on the boardercross circuit. With a location in the boondocks of Maine, Sunday River is definitely off the beaten path. The lowest scores the resort earned were in accessibility, off-hill activities, and value.

–John Stouffer