The water retention curve (WRC), which shows the relationship between the volumetric liquid water content, θ
v, and suction, h, is a fundamental part of the characterization of hydraulic properties. Therefore, the formulation of the WRC as a function of snow characteristics is essential for establishing a model of water movement through the snow cover. In this study, we measured the WRC of several snow samples, which had different characteristics (grain size, bulk dry density and grain type), using a gravity drainage column experiment and then analysed these data using the Van Genuchten soil physics model (VG model). The shape of the WRC depended strongly on both the sample grain size, d, and bulk dry density, ρ. Therefore, we introduced the parameter ρ/d to model the WRC of snow. The relationships between the parameters α and n of the VG model and ρ/d change with grain type. For melt forms, α, which is related to the inverse value of the air-entry suction, increases quickly as ρ/d decreases, whereas n, which is related to the gradient of θ
v vs h, increases with ρ/d. Conversely, neither of these parameters of the VG model for rounded grains showed obvious dependence on ρ/d. These results suggest that water movement through snow cover can be modelled using grain size, bulk dry density and grain type based on the soil physics model.