Snowiest Places in United States
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.
|Crater Lake Park Headquarters, Oregon||463.1||1176.3|
|Soda Springs, California||445.0||1130.3|
|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|
|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|
|Winter Park, Colorado||214.0||543.6|
|Cooke City, Montana||213.1||541.3|
|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.
|Mt Washington, New Hampshire||124|
|Climax Mine, Colorado||103|
|Crater Lake Park Headquarters, Oregon||101|
|Yellowstone Park South Entrance, Wyoming||92|
|Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming||92|
|Cooke City, Montana||91|
|Mathewson State Forest, Vermont||88|
|Mount Mansfield Peak, Vermont||87|
|Otsego Lake, Michigan||83|
|Saint Paul Island, Alaska||83|
|Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan||81|
|Lookout State Forest, Copenhagen, New York||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.
|Crater Lake Park Headquarters, Oregon||37|
|Soda Springs, California||29|
|Yellowstone Park South Entrance, Wyoming||21|
|Climax Mine, Colorado||20|
|Holden Village, Washington||20|
|Main Bay, Alaska||19|
|Skyline Mine, Scofield, Utah||18|
|Haines Highway border crossing, Alaska||17|
|Government Camp, Oregon||17|
|Sherman, New York||16|
|Lemolo Lake, Oregon||16|
|Mt Washington, New Hampshire||15|
NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Climate Normals.