All of these Snowfall records occurred in the Western USA. We suspect there are some pretty big numbers coming out of Alaska, but there’s no one there to record ‘em.



Greatest Snowfall Records of All-Time



Truckee, CA. Not a record, but a lot of snow in 2011.  photo:  garner white

All of these Snowfall records occurred in the Western USA.  We suspect there are some pretty big numbers coming out of Alaska, but there’s no one there to record ‘em.

Single Day Snowfall Record = 76 inches (6+ feet)


Sliver Lake, Colorado

= 76  inches (6+ feet) in Sliver Lake, Colorado

– This storm didn’t stop after 24 hours, it raged for 32.5 hours straight and ultimately left 95 inches (8 feet) of snow, which is the record for one continuous snowfall.

– Silver Lake is at 10,220 feet and about 40 miles west of Denver.

– This record storm began at 2:30pm on April 14, 1921.


12-Month Snowfall Record = 1,225 inches (102 feet)

Mount Rainier is on the beach

= 1,225 inches (102 feet) at Paradise (5,400 feet) on Mount Rainer, WA from Feb. 19, 1971 – Feb. 18, 1972.

 – Mount Rainer is 14,411 feet tall and averages 635 inches (53 feet) per year

– Minimum annual snowfall was 313  inches (26 feet)in 1939-40 (that is more than most ski resorts average)

– Maximum snowpack 357 feet (30 feet) in March 1955

– Heaviest snow occurs between 5,000 & 8,000 feet

– It snows every month of every year on this mountain

– Paradise on Mount Rainier is the snowiest place on Earth

– Stratovolcano 54 miles east of Seattle that is the most topographically prominent mountain in the lower 48

– Gonna blow up soon and is on the “Decade Volcano List” and is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world

– 26 major glaciers that are fed by the copious amounts of snowfall


Snow Depth Record = 454 inches (38 feet)

Tamarack, CA

= 454 inches (38 feet) in Tamarack, California

– USA single month snow record of 390 inches (32.5 feet) in January 1911

– Sierra Nevada annual snowfall record at 884 inches (74 feet) in 1906-1907

– Tamarack sits at 6,913 feet near Bear Valley ski resort

Map of all 3 locations: Mount Rainier, WA, Tamarack, CA, & Silver Lake, CO

  • Bryan

    I’m thinking the St Elias Mountains or thereabouts in AK might have the World’s heaviest snowfalls, but as mentioned above, there is no one to measure it. Also mountains in southern Chile have some fairly similar climate to SE Alaska. The Olympic Mountains in Washington get enough snow to produce glaciers at surprisingly low elevation, and could be a contender for heaviest snowfall. Lake Helen, Lassen National Park has the highest recorded snowfall in CA as measured by sensors with around 640″ annually, although I think drifting could be suspect for an accurate average. It does have the highest April 1st average in CA, though, as measured by 10 plots.

    I know at Squaw Valley ski area they measure the daily snowfall at 8000′ by using three separate snow stakes separated by several feet. Of coarse, due to drifting the measurements vary, but they always use the highest number to figure the seasonal total. This is easy to figure out by looking at the snowfall history and adding up the numbers. Not to knock Squaw, though, as most ski areas have their fudge factors whether it be snowfall ,vertical drop, acreage, or longest run.

    When I read Matley’s comment above, I didn’t catch the joke at first….does SWAG stand for “Snowfall wild ass guess”?

  • Mattly Trent

    If you haven’t heard of the S.W.A.G. guidelines then you are missing some important info on how to report/collect snowfall data. I’ve had the good fortune to be involved in this work for the last 20 years and by the guidelines in S.W.A.G. it explains how to accurately collect this type of data.
    We here at Bear Valley Ski Patrol collect accurate numbers which I post on our website everyday through out the winter operations. Our marketing department believes in Patrols accuracy and it’s why we don’t pad our totals. If you want to measure the snow outside these guidelines then you are producing numbers only for guests to be amazed by an in affect you are duping your customers. Ask any Ski Patrol and they will have the correct numbers. If you rely on marketing alone you will find almost always those numbers are padded. Sure the wind will deposit more here but it takes away from there. 6″ of fallen snow can mean 18″ when driven by wind and redeposited elsewhere. Anyone can put a ruler on the picnic table or railing outside the office door and report that.
    So I ask, do we as Skiers/Riders want the truth or exaggerated totals?

  • Will

    – Gonna blow up soon and is on the “Decade Volcano List“ and is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world

    this is so wrong. Rainer is inactive, and is literally falling apart. It’s old as shit and no where near active. Mt. Baker, on the other hand, is 10,000 years over due of an eruption, and in the 80’s was exhibiting clear warning signs of an eruption, but has since calmed down. You guys always fuck up your reporting, get it right for once PLEASE!!!!

  • Anonymous

    These are all RECORDS. There are plenty of places in the northwest above 4000ft that receive over 1000 inches of snow but is there any one around to record it? Alyeska Resort outside of anchorage has gotten more than 960 inches at 2700ft and Mt Baker has gotten 1100inches at 5000ft. The Juneau ice field has also been estimated to receive over 1500inches annually. In the northwest, snow depends on how close you are to the pacific, how far above treeline you are and proximity to a weather station.

  • Holy Shit


    I only clicked on this for the comments. you yet again have not let me down.

    summer is here and the SUPERNERDS have taken over!

  • joel

    You should have seen that house in Truckee (actually on Donner Summit Road) prior to the driveway being plowed. I’ve seen that driveway full up to the top of the garage doors from storms.

    • Anonymous

      U sir are right, but there are plenty of places in Colorado and Utah that get lots of snow. Like wolf creek in co that gets about 430 in a year, Loveland in co that gets 420 a year. Also lots of places in Utah get 500 or more in a year like snowbird, alta, brighton, solitude, and powder mountain.

    • kirkwood son

      and yes 2 incehs is not considered white out from where im from …..maybe for all u gapers out there like dude….

  • Jim Scott

    The west gets the most consistent snow but where I grew up has set the record for rate of snowfall. In CA 2 inches an hour is a ‘whiteout’. Try 8+ inches an hour, you can not see your hand in-front of your face. Its hard to breathe, lake effect is no joke. 96 inches in 24hrs.

  • Jerry

    In the early 70’s I used to go with my brother (who was a meteroligist)to Tamarack to seed storms for the Mokelumne and american river basin. I saw the pictures and knew its relevance.Little did I know that we were seeding storms directly headed for Kirkwood, my second home now. I posted this last year during the big winter. As a crow fly’s, Tamarack is about 15 miles almostly directly southwest of KW.

  • jeff williams

    i saw that pic you have labeled tamarack, ca last year somewhere else and it said it was meyers, ca sometime in early 80s i think

    • Anonymous

      all you have to do is ask ski patrol. They record every bit of snow. Theres no science to this it is what it is. God brought the snow and it fell on Mt. Baker.

      • Zo O

        Really? How so? Mt. Baker is not a destination resort, there is no lodging, no real facilities. It’s just a special place that is in one of the snowiest places on the planet….

      • Tina

        Maybe not exactly marketing numbers, but it wasn’t executed by snow scientists, just ski patrol.

      • Zo O

        @Tina – I guess it was too much to click on a link that was posted, so I cut and pasted from the link that states who validated the number:

        “The Mt. Baker Ski Area in northwestern Washington State reported 1,140 inches of snowfall for the 1998-99 snowfall season. The figure was scrutinized by the National Climate Extremes Committee, which is responsible for evaluating potential national record-setting extreme events. The committee, composed of experts from NOAA, the American Association of State Climatologists, and a regional expert from the Western Regional Climate Center, made a unanimous recommendation to the director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center to accept the figure.”

        I don’t see the mention of “ski patrol” but I do see NOAA and other government agencies that validated and approved the number…so I must ask where did you get your information from?

      • Tina

        Z, yes, yes! If the government says it, it must be true! You are clearly an extremely intelligent human being who has been well trained to obey. Obey away.

        Where do I get my information? From my own deduction. Or do you think Mt. Baker Ski Area has the budget to hire snow scientist to drive the 1.5 hours from Bellingham come and give them once a day snow totals? Or do they just have the scientists on staff full time? Maybe they fly them in from Canada?

      • Zo O

        @Tina – You’re hilarious and impressive simultaneously! Yes indeed your “deduction” theory far exceeds my meager intellect, it is you that is an ‘extremely intelligent human being’. I mean seriously, it must be because I just accept what the government says, even though other sources validate the claim including Guinness World Records, but I digress, your overwhelming points of reference and sources to support you claim are all evident to see here right? Maybe you do know something secret, maybe you are a part of an underground eco-watch dog group that has secret information. After all because you ‘say it’s so’ it must be true, I just obey because I made my claims with a reference point…

      • Kp

        Wow, great argument Tina. I guess it wasn’t true cause Tina chooses not to believe ANYTHING on the Internet. Dumb ass, get the fuck out. Let’s all just chose to be cynical about everything. None of this ever happened.


      • michael

        Ok first of all I skied Baker that year and with 30+ foot snow banks on the side of the road. Marked line 20ft higher than an average year, which is #1 in the country Tina. And they happen to have multiple telemetry stations on the mt Tina. So maybe you should check your stats again. And yes there were more than one day closed due to needing to clear chairs, as did many of the Washington mts that year. We closed with over a 300″ BASE. More than most resorts get in total snowfall. Oh and I don’t work for the mtn.

      • snowball

        Didn’t Baker have to close down for a couple of days that year to shovel out behind a couple of towers, and if I remember correctly they had to shovel out more than one chair line for clearance. That is clearance of skis on the feet, not over head.

      • Jeff

        I was living in a van at Crystal Mtn in Washington that year. It snowed for something like 60 days straight. We had to shovel snow to move the vans about every 3 days. It was a record year at Crystal. There was no marketing hype involved. We were shoveling Chair 6 out to keep it running on a daily basis. Skis were dragging on the snow for several hundred feet at a time.

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