Snowiest Places in United States

Heaviest Snowfall

Five weather stations that recorded snowfall in the United States from 1991 to 2020, report annual totals that average over 300 inches or 25 feet (7.6 metres). At the top of the list for deep snow is Oregon's Crater Lake, which averages 463 inches, or nearly 39 feet of fresh snow a year. That snowfall was measured at 6,485 feet (1,977 metres) elevation near the south rim of Crater Lake.

Many extremely snowy places are in remote, uninhabited locations like the peak of Mt Washington in New Hampshire or the South Entrance to Yellowstone Park in Wyoming.

Towns where it snows a lot include, not surprisingly, mountain ski resorts such as Alta in Utah and Winter Park in Colorado. Other really snowy small communities are scattered from Alaska to California to New York. Examples are Valdez, a little seaside city on the Alaskan panhandle. Another, Truckee, California sits high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. And Sherman is a rural village tucked between Lake Erie and Chautauqua Lake in New York state.

Average annual snowfall for places that receive over 200 inches of snow a year
Location Inch­es Cen­ti­me­tres
Crater Lake Park Headquarters, Oregon 463.1 1176.3
Alta, Utah 458.3 1164.1
Soda Springs, California 445.0 1130.3
Gothic, Colorado 389.0 988.1
Valdez, Alaska 325.3 826.3
Climax Mine, Colorado 294.7 748.5
Yellowstone Park South Entrance, Wyoming 293.6 745.7
Mt Washington, New Hampshire 281.8 715.8
Holden Village, Washington 273.7 695.2
Whittier, Alaska 268.2 681.2
Main Bay, Alaska 261.8 665.0
Haines Highway border crossing, Alaska 245.1 622.6
Mount Mansfield Peak, Vermont 234.9 596.6
Government Camp, Oregon 232.5 590.6
Lookout State Forest, Copenhagen, New York 227.7 578.4
Skyline Mine, Scofield, Utah 225.4 572.5
Sherman, New York 224.5 570.2
Lodgepole, California 220.4 559.8
Alyeska, Alaska 214.5 544.8
Winter Park, Colorado 214.0 543.6
Cooke City, Montana 213.1 541.3
Herman, Michigan 207.8 527.8
Truckee, California 206.6 524.8
West Turin, New York 203.1 515.9
Crested Butte, Colorado 203.0 515.6

Links in the table take you to more detailed information on snowfall, snowstorms and snow accumulation for the location.

The snowfall data here are compiled from 5,659 weather stations in the US that contributed quality data over the 30-year-period from 1991 to 2020 for NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

Yet many exceptionally snowy places don't have any official recording of the amount of snow they get. An indication of how snowy some extreme places really are can be gleaned from older data collected on Mount Rainier in Washington state. While the Paradise Ranger Station located near alpine on the south flank of Rainier hasn't measured snow more recently, it does have records for 1981 to 2010. That's when snowfall on the mountain averaged 671 inches (1,704 centimetres) a year. Some years during that time barely received 400 inches while others had double that. The snowiest year on record at the Paradise Station was 1971, when it snowed an enormous 1,105.5 inches, that's 92 feet or 28 metres.

Most Days With Fresh Snow

The places where it snows most often typically see over 90 days a year with new snow. Topping the list is Mt Washington in New Hampshire where the summit averages 124 days annually with at least a dusting of new snow.

Average number of days a year with at least 0.1 inches (0.25 centimetres) snowfall
Place Days
Mt Washington, New Hampshire 124
Gothic, Colorado 106
Climax Mine, Colorado 103
Crater Lake Park Headquarters, Oregon 101
Negaunee, Michigan 93
Utqiagvik, Alaska 92
Yellowstone Park South Entrance, Wyoming 92
Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming 92
Cooke City, Montana 91
Leadville, Colorado 90
Mathewson State Forest, Vermont 88
Mount Mansfield Peak, Vermont 87
Sidnaw, Michigan 87
Herman, Michigan 86
Alta, Utah 85
Valdez, Alaska 84
Otsego Lake, Michigan 83
Saint Paul Island, Alaska 83
Bergland, Michigan 83
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan 81
Lookout State Forest, Copenhagen, New York 81
Breckenridge, Colorado 81
Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado 80

Most Frequent Snowstorms

Of course the snowiest places experience an unusual number of heavy snowstorms. Crater Lake, Oregon and Alta, Utah both average 37 days a year when 5 inches or more of snow falls on the landscape. In a typical year the new snow amounts to at least 10 inches on 11 of those days at Crater Lake and on 15 days at Alta.

Average number of days a year with at least 5 inches (12.7 centimetres) snowfall
Place Days
Alta, Utah 37
Crater Lake Park Headquarters, Oregon 37
Soda Springs, California 29
Gothic, Colorado 28
Valdez, Alaska 23
Yellowstone Park South Entrance, Wyoming 21
Climax Mine, Colorado 20
Holden Village, Washington 20
Main Bay, Alaska 19
Whittier, Alaska 18
Skyline Mine, Scofield, Utah 18
Haines Highway border crossing, Alaska 17
Lodgepole, California 17
Government Camp, Oregon 17
Sherman, New York 16
Truckee, California 16
Lemolo Lake, Oregon 16
Mt Washington, New Hampshire 15

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Climate Normals.

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