Vermont is the skiing destination of Northeast America with enough terrain to challenge skiers and boarders. Skiing has been a popular winter sport in these parts for decades with some of the best ski resorts in Vermont being pioneers in promoting skiing and snowboarding.
Although the ski resorts in Vermont may not have the high altitudes and long runs like the ski resorts in Colorado or Utah, state-of-the-art snowmaking and grooming equipment and great off-mountain facilities give the western resorts good competition. Many of the ski resorts are four-season resorts that offer a variety of activities and accommodation options throughout the year.
Vermont has the distinction of having more winter Olympians per capita than any other state in the United States which means that winter sports are definitely top-notch here. You can be certain that many of the top athletes have learned their skills in one of the best ski resorts in Vermont.
The Resort: Skiing in Magic Mountain is all about the vertical drop combined with boundary-to-boundary tree-skiing. The terrain is what makes Magic Mountain stand out from others in the region as it has remained the same since the 1960s. There is an old-world charm to skiing here.
Although you won’t find many off-slope amenities and activities that larger ski resorts offer, you’ll find a well-equipped base lodge. Magic Mountain is a great place for beginners as the class numbers at the ski school are small, which means that learners get a lot of individual attention.
The Terrain: Magic Mountain is renowned for its vertical terrain with 26% of the terrain suited to experts. However, there is enough for all levels of skiers with 24% beginner, 32% intermediate, and 18% advanced terrain. You also find over 11 glades from expert to intermediate level.
Although the natural snow conditions are pretty good, the resort has two groomers that provide some of the best and longest-lasting groomed conditions. There are also six lifts in total located at the base area. The terrain park was expanded two years ago to triple its size.
The Town: There is no town as such at Magic Mountain but you’ll find decent accommodation in the town of Peru and Londonderry. The Black Line Tavern at the base of the mountain is a popular hangout after a day on the slopes.
- Good terrain for all levels
- Excellent service
- Two groomers provide long-lasting conditions
- Well-equipped base lodge
- Snow tubing hill
- No ski-village
- A no-frills resort
Opening and Closing: The projected opening date is in the first week of December and closing in the first week of April.
Where to Stay: You’ll find a few accommodation options near the base of the mountain. However, if you’re looking for wider options, you could try the nearby town of Peru or Londonderry.
The Resort: Bolton Valley is one of the best ski resorts in Vermont for families. A short drive from Burlington will bring you to this small Alpine-style village that sits high in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Bolton Valley boasts the highest base elevation in the area. Visitors to the resort will enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains.
From skiing, snowboarding night skiing and riding to backcountry skiing and split boarding, there’s plenty to lure avid skiers to Bolton Valley. Besides winter activities, Bolton Valley is a popular destination in the summer too. The resort has gained a name for itself with its award-winning environmental initiatives such as using wind power as an energy source.
The Terrain: Bolton Valley receives about 300 inches of annual snowfall and also has a powerful snowmaking system to enhance the skiing experience. Their snowmaking facility is also ‘green’ keeping the resort’s commitment to the environment. 71 trails evenly split between different levels spread over 300 acres of ski-able terrain are accessible via 6 lifts. Bolton Valley also has 13 glades and three terrain parks. Visitors in winter can also enjoy 62 miles of Nordic and backcountry trails.
The Town: The Alpine-style village at the base is not a sprawling area but has enough to keep you busy off the slopes too. A general store, cafeteria, and two restaurants are popular with visitors. As is the Jacuzzi and heated pool at the Sports Center. The Bolton Valley Ski and Snowboard School is also a great place for all levels of skiers. Tailor-made lessons cater to everyone.
- Numerous winter and summer activities
- 71 trails spread over 300 acres of ski-able areas
- Surrounded by 5,000 pristine forest area
- Heated pool, Jacuzzi and sauna at the Sports Center
- Small village
- Limited accommodation
Opening and Closing: Bolton Valley offers a season of 11 weeks from the end of November till the first week of April.
Where to Stay: You’ll find a variety of lodging at the base with most offering ski-in ski-out options.
The Resort: Having the distinction of being the only ski resort in New England that faces south, Bromley Mountain Resort is warmer and has more sunny days than the other ski resorts in Vermont. It’s no wonder then that it’s referred to as ‘ The Sun Mountain.’ Although not as big as the other resorts, Bromley is also one of the best ski resorts in Vermont for families. The great thing about the variety of terrain here is that it all leads to one base area which means that there are minimal chances of getting lost.
Opened in 1938 as Little Bromley Ski Area, the resort has since expanded but is still a very affordable skiing venue. During summer, Bromley is active because of its Mountain Adventure Park.
The Terrain: The resort comprises forty-seven trails that are spread over 178 of Bromley’s 300 acres. All abilities of skiers can enjoy Bromley’s terrain with evenly spread trails for beginners, intermediates, and experts. The terrain is easily accessible via nine lifts which include a high-speed detachable quad. Bromley was one of the first resorts to introduce grooming and still excels in this area. It has a great snowmaking service too.
The Town: Bromley Village at the base of the mountain has plenty of accommodation options for year-round living. A full-service shuttle bus operates between Bromley Village and the Base Lodge. Guests at the village also have access to the Clubhouse that has several facilities.
- Terrain suited to all levels of skiers
- Sunny slopes even in winter
- Well-groomed ski area
- Good for day skiers too
- Quite small compared to other resorts in the area
Opening and Closing: Winter season is tentatively scheduled for the Friday after Thanksgiving and will continue till the first weekend of April.
Where to Stay: Whilst there are quite a few lodging options in Bromley Village with ski-in/ski-out facilities, nearby Manchester offers a wider choice.
The Resort: Smuggler’s Notch often sits right at the top of the lists of the best family ski resorts in Vermont. This family-owned and operated resort is renowned for its great service, especially geared toward children. It has outstanding child care facilities, a children’s ski, and snowboard school as well as plenty of activities to keep the family entertained off the slopes. Though Smuggs is farther north than many of the other resorts, it is the closest major ski resort to an airport.
The Terrain: The ski area is spread over three mountains; Morse, Madonna, and Sterling, covering 360 skiable acres and 78 trails. There are 40 intermediate trails and 25 expert trails plus 14 glades and six terrain parks. Morse Mountain has plenty of green runs and is reserved for beginners. It also has a new banked slalom course on Madonna Mountain. The 800-meter vertical drop is the fourth largest in New England. Smuggs receives about 320 inches of snowfall annually.
The Town: The resort village was envisioned by Tom Watson, Jr. who wanted to create a village on the lines of those found in Europe. You’ll find plenty of amenities at the village such as restaurants, a child care center, a country store, a sports shop, and a massage spa. When the lifts close, bonfires and roasting marshmallows take over. Non-skiers will also find enough to keep them busy here with zip line canopy tours, snowmobiles, and workshops. For those just looking to relax, massages and yoga classes are a big draw.
- One of the best ski resorts for families with young children
- Plenty of amenities at the village
- Fat Bike rental and access to an expansive MTB terrain
- Guided snowshoe nature hikes
- Close to a commercial airport
- Far from New York and Boston
- Some of the accommodations are a bit dated
Opening and Closing: The projected opening is in the last week of November until the first week of April.
Where to Stay: You’ll find plenty of accommodation options in the village. The Village Community at the base of Morse Mountain has some good staying options that are an easy walk to the Village Center. Alternatively, you could stay at the Highlands Hill Community higher up the mountain or at the West Hill Community mid-way up the mountain.
The Resort: Located in the beautiful Mad River Valley, Sugarbush Resort gives you a taste of authentic Vermont skiing. Spread across two mountains, Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen it is one of the largest ski resorts in New England. It offers the East’s only CAT skiing experience and also has three terrain parks and a half-pipe for snowboarders.
Once known as the home of the ‘Jet Set,’ Sugarbush has a lively après-ski scene with casual and fine dining. Off-season also Sugarbush is quite active with its 18-hole par 71 golf course and hiking trails.
The Terrain: Three terrain parks, sixteen lifts, 28 wooded areas and 111 trails spread over two mountains with the 2,000-acre Slide Brook Basin make up Sugarbush ski resort. The mountains are connected via a chairlift and shuttle bus. Mt. Ellen the third highest peak in Vermont has some great intermediate terrain with wide-open cruisers and steeps. The Riemergasse Terrain Park, the venue for a number of events and competitions is located on Mt. Ellen. Lincoln Peak, on the other hand, has an extensive beginner terrain. It also has the legendary Castlerock Peak terrain for experts.
The Town: Lincoln Peak Village is a full-service resort village that includes accommodation as well as restaurants with casual and elegant dining. You’ll also find a general store as well as a Schoolhouse for children’s ski-and-ride programs. The Farmhouse is another popular learning venue with its Ski & Ride School. The base area at Mt. Ellen on the other hand is a no-frills experience with a classic lodge.
- Good lift system that provides easy access to slopes
- Lincoln Village has some good amenities to keep you occupied off the slopes
- Great variety of terrain spread over two mountains
- No nightlife
- Restaurants are usually crowded
Opening and Closing: Sugarbush usually opens in the last week of November and closes by the first week of May.
Where to Stay: There are plenty of accommodation options at the village or slopeside to suit different budgets.
The Resort: Mount Snow is one of the most popular ski resorts in Vermont given its proximity to many of the cities in the Northeast. It’s a four-hour drive from New York City and a two and a half-hour drive from Boston to Mount Snow. This proximity, however, results in the resort getting a large crowd on weekends and during vacations.
However, despite the crowds, the large number of lifts ensure that you won’t have to wait long to get on the slopes. Mount Snow also has the first six-passenger bubble lift in the East, the Bluebird Express. This bubble chairlift whisks you from the base are to the summit in 7.5 minutes.
Mount Snow is also a big draw in the summer where activities like golf, mountain biking, outdoor camps, and a Naturespa bring in quite a few visitors. In 2019, the owners, Peak Resorts, entered a merger agreement with Vail Resorts and has its Epic Pass.
The Terrain: Mount Snow offers the big mountain skiing experience with 600 ski-able acres. 85 trails run across four mountain faces with a varied terrain that is more suited to intermediate skiers. There are 54 trails earmarked for intermediates, 14 for experts, and 12 for beginners. Snowboarders are in their element here with 100 acres of terrain parks loaded with jumps, rails and creative lines, and a monster superpipe.
Mount Snow sticks true to its name with over 250 high output fan guns as well as 645 new low-energy snow guns. It has one of the most powerful snowmaking systems in the Northeast with its 120 million gallon snowmaking pond.
The Town: Mount Snow has a bustling ski village with a variety of dining and retail options. Visitors can also indulge in an array of spa services at the Naturespa in the Grand Summit Resort Hotel. Non-skiers will also find plenty to do here with activities like snowmobiling, dog sledding, shopping, and sleigh rides.
- Great for intermediates with a large terrain earmarked for intermediates
- 100 acres of terrain parks loaded with rails, jumps and a monster superpipe
- Good on-mountain dining options
- Not too far from New York City and Boston
- Pulls in a large crowd on holidays and weekends
- Lodging is quite expensive
Opening and Closing: The winter season usually begins mid November and continues till mid April.
Where to Stay: There is a wide range of lodging to choose from all across Mount Snow Valley to suit all budgets. Lodging on the slope side, however, is usually more expensive.
The Resort: Referred to as the ‘Beast of the East,’ Killington Resort is considered one of the best ski resorts in Vermont that appeal to a younger crowd. It has a vibrant après-ski scene that brings in a large crowd of young boarders and skiers. With 1,509 skiable acres spread over seven mountains, Killington Resort is the largest ski resort in Vermont. It also has the longest ski season in Vermont.
When the snow melts, Killington still attracts the crowds with its huge line up of events. Bands, competitions, festivals, and an 18-hole championship golf course make Killington a popular destination. It also features the largest bike park on the East Coast.
The Terrain: Skiers of all abilities will find their comfort zone along the 155 trails of the park. Moguls, steeps, open groomed cruisers, narrow classic New England runs, and steep drops. It has the largest vertical drop in New England at 930 meters. The huge terrain also includes more expert terrain than any other mountain.
Snowboarders too have plenty of choices with six terrain parks. The Stash is the highlight of the snowboarding experience here. This all-natural terrain park has over 50 features including a 500-foot long Superpipe with 18-foot walls.
The Town: There is no ski village at the base of the mountain despite the resort’s size. However, Killington town has plenty of good restaurants and legendary nightlife. You’ll also find some great spa treatments and shopping in the town.
- Largest ski resort in the East
- Varied terrain to suit all levels of learners
- 22 lifts which include two express gondolas
- Plenty of upgrades in the infrastructure since 2019
- The longest ski season in Vermont
- Jam-packed event schedule during ski season
- The trail and layout of the lifts can be difficult to navigate
- No ski village at the base
Opening and Closing: The resort usually opens at the end of October or early November and closes by mid May.
Where to Stay: You’ll find most of the accommodation along Killington Road with some lodging close to the slopes. However, ski-in/ski-out options are quite limited. More affordable options are available in Rutland which is about a 25-minute drive from the resort. Woodstock is also another good base.
The Resort: East of Manchester lies the highest peak in Southern Vermont on which Stratton Mountain Resort extends. Stratton has a little of something for everyone with crisp corduroy groomers, powder days, moguls and glades. Boarders also flock to Stratton because of the wide variety of terrain parks. No wonder the resort is ranked as one of the best ski resorts in Vermont.
Besides skiing and boarding, you can also enjoy other winter activities such as ice skating, tubing, sleigh rides, and dogsled tours. The resort offers some great activities in the summer also. Stratton has been the recipient of eight National Ski Areas Association Safety Awards including the terrain park Safety Education Session.
The Terrain: Stratton has 670 acres of ski-able terrain with 99 trails and 15 glades. A higher percentage of the trails here are geared towards beginners. However, there is a good balance of intermediate and expert terrain too. 11 lifts including a Gondola provide easy access to the terrain. The resort receives an average annual snowfall of 180 inches. However, Stratton has a snowmaking system that covers 95% of the mountain.
The terrain park includes Tyrolienne, the progression park, Big Ben the more advanced terrain park and the boarder course, East Byrnes Side.
The Town: The ski village at the base is a bustling area with plenty of restaurants and pretty shops. There’s always something interesting happening here throughout the year with a long list of events. Stratton Mountain Club is a popular place off the slopes with a great après-ski scene. Finding accommodation in the village is also pretty easy.
- 670 acres of skiable terrain
- 95% of the resort is covered by a snowmaking system
- 4 terrain parks
- Good ski village at the base
- Plenty to do off the slopes
- The instructors at the ski school are also pretty good
- It gets too crowded on weekends and holidays
- There is often ice on the trails which can be an issue
Opening and Closing: Stratton is generally open for skiing and riding from mid-November until mid-April depending on the weather conditions.
Where to Stay: You’ll find accommodation that suits all kinds of budgets in the village. However, if you’re looking for great value options check out Stratton’s mid-week packages. Another good option for accommodation is at Manchester which is a short drive away.
The Resort: Between the Village of Jay and Montgomery Center, you’ll the fifth largest ski resort in Vermont. Located about 6.5km south of the Canada-United States border, Jay Peak Resort sees a variety of skiers from either side. The resort has a French-Canadian flavor as many skiers here are from Montreal and the eastern townships of Quebec.
Jay Peak is popular for its snow as it receives the largest average annual snowfall in the East. It’s a favorite destination for advanced skiers and riders.
The Terrain: Jay Peak has some amazing terrain that is located in and around the ski area. It offers some of the best tree/off-piste skiing in the east. Tree glades, long groomed trails, and abundant natural snowfall make up the 385 acres of skiable terrain. Added to this, 80% of the terrain is also enhanced by manmade snow. The 81 runs are evenly distributed between Intermediate and Advance runs with a small percentage for novices. Many experts are drawn by the backcountry skiing that Jay offers. The longest trail is Ullr’s Dream which runs for 3 miles.
The Town: There is a full-service resort at the base of the mountain with a variety of amenities. You’ll find plenty of dining and lodging options here. Jay Village also has a village store, a league-sized hockey rink, and a water park.
- Receives the most amount of snowfall in the East
- Fully serviced resort town at the base
- Indoor water park
- Ice skating rink
- 385 acres of skiable terrain with a good mix of intermediate and advanced runs
- Ski area is relatively small
- The gondola is the only lift to the peak so it can be a long wait
Opening and Closing: The winter season usually begins in the last week of November and continues till the first week of May
Where to Stay: You’ll find plenty of lodging in the village at the base to suit all budgets. Accommodations range from hotel suites, single-family homes or condominiums and townhouses. Most of the lodging is ski-in/ski-out or at an easy walking distance to the nearest lift.
The Resort: Stowe is one of the country’s earliest ski resort towns, having been in operation since the 1940s. Often referred to as the ‘Ski Capital of the East,’ it sits at the top of the rankings of the best ski resorts in Vermont. It not only offers top-quality skiing and riding for all levels but has great activities off the slopes too. Stowe is an internationally acclaimed four-season resort area with luxurious accommodation and fine dining.
Non-skiers will also find plenty to do in Stowe from exploring the historic village to relaxing in a luxury spa. There are also plenty of activities such as indoor rock climbing, winter hiking, and ice-skating.
The Terrain: Stowe comprises 485 acres of skiable terrain with 116 runs spread over two mountains, Mt. Mansfield and Spruce Peak. The majority of the runs are designed for intermediates. However, there are a few expert and beginner runs too plus three terrain parks for boarders. These are serviced by 13 lifts that include 3 hi-speed quads and an inter-mountain transfer gondola connecting the two mountains. If you’re an advanced skier looking to avoid the crowds, it’s a good idea to stick with the trails off the Fourrunner Quad.
The Town: Stowe is the quintessential image of Vermont with its white spired church, covered bridge, and weathered barns. Its picture-perfect image makes it Vermont’s most pristine ski town. You’ll find plenty of luxury resorts, restaurants, shops, and galleries to keep you busy off the mountain.
- 468 acres of skiable terrain with well-updated lifts
- 436 snowmaking areas
- Great base facilities
- Stowe has plenty of activities to keep you occupied off slopes
- More expensive than most other resorts in the East
- Crowded on weekends
Opening and Closing: Stowe’s winter season usually begins in the third week of November and runs till mid April.
Where to Stay: Stowe Village is the quintessential New England town that offers a variety of accommodation options ranging from budget to luxury. You’ll also find plenty of country inns, cabins and luxury resorts along the road from the mountain to the village.
The Resort: Okemo Mountain Resort was a family-operated four-season resort before Vail Resorts acquired it. The resort which rises above the village of Ludlow is also consistently ranked as one of the top ski resorts in Vermont. It’s a big achievement for a place that was once a small community-run ski hill. Okemo has the highest snowmaking efficiency amongst the ski resorts in Vermont with 98% of covered terrain. The ski trails provide you with idyllic views of Vermont’s Green Mountains.
Okemo is a great place for families because of its excellent ski school and magic carpet area plus childcare facilities. The condos at Jackson Gore are also at a convenient distance from everything. There are a lot of off-mountain activities to keep you occupied such as riding the mountain coaster, spas, hiking, ice skating, snowcat excursion, and much more.
The Terrain: Okemo’s 121 trails run across 632 acres of skiable terrain that are divided into five main areas. These trails are evenly distributed to suit all levels of skiers. Long uninterrupted blue trails run from the summit to the base whilst ungroomed trails and glades for expert riders are found everywhere. Okemo is renowned for maintaining some of the best ski conditions in the East.
Besides this, Okemo also has seven terrain parks and the longest superpipe in the East that lures boarders. The OMS Crazy Train Park is a great venue for expert boarders with its challenging terrain. Accessing the terrain is easy via 20 lifts which include a high speed detachable 6-pack chair with protective bubbles and heated seats. This innovative ride is more energy efficient as it pulls the chairs with its drive mechanism instead of pushing them.
The Town: Okemo has two base areas connected by lifts and trails. The town of Ludlow at the base of the mountain is where most people head after a day on the slopes. The town has a main street and five blocks of shops and restaurants that are accessible via snowmobiles and ski lifts. There are plenty of restaurants and accommodation options here. Jackson Gore Village is also a popular destination with its variety of lodging options.
- Evenly distributed trails to suit all levels of skiers
- Seven terrain parks
- Has the longest superpipe in the East
- Highest snowmaking efficiency among ski resorts in Vermont
- Great vibe for families
- The good town at the base
- Skiing here can be a little heavy on the wallet
- Like most ski resorts in the area, it can get a little too crowded on weekends
Opening and Closing: Like many of the ski resorts in Vermont, Okemo usually opens in the third week of November and runs till mid April.
Where to Stay: Finding a good place to stay in Okemo is quite simple as there are plenty of options available in Ludlow and Jackson Gore Village. If you’re looking to stay slope-side then Solitude Village located mid-mountain is a good option.