Cordova, Alaska
Credit: Richard Hallman / Getty Images

Alaska was the first place where Seth Wescott really got into backcountry snowboarding. For the past 11 seasons, he's returned every April. He's typically based in Cordova, a small fishing village on the east side of Prince William Sound. Besides being a warm, unpretentious community, Cordova offers easy access to the Chugach Mountains with Points North Heli-Adventures.

"Cordova has a different setup than, say, Valdez where there's a bunch of heli-operators," says Wescott. "In Cordova, it's 1,500 square miles of terrain and just one permit – it's awesome."

The Chugach Mountains rise 10,000 feet from the ocean and can get more than 50 feet of snow in one season. Wescott says he continues to find new lines there every year and that Points North makes for a formidable partner in his quest to ride new terrain. But the best thing about Cordova is the variety. "You can do superlong glacier runs that are relatively flat or get really crazy on the steeps, and everything in between," he says.