Vermont Ski Resorts: The Green Mountain StateSo Many Places to Play
Vermont ski resorts are one of the highlights of this small, but proud, state. It is, after all, on the Green Mountains where several of the biggest names in skiing got their start. In total, there are 15 major Vermont ski resorts with a large number of smaller ones scattered throughout the state. Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway, or you’re coming into Vermont from out-of-state for a weeklong ski-cation, we can help you find the right resort(s) to visit.
Vermont Ski Resorts
- Killington and Pico
- Smuggler’s Notch
- Middlebury College Snow Bowl
- Mount Snow and Haystack
- Jay Peak
- Bolton Valley
- Q Burke
- Magic Mountain
- Mad River Glen
- Quechee Lakes
- Suicide Six
Killington and Pico Mountain
Killington is located just south of the Green Mountain National Forest and sits high atop Killington Peak. The resort sprawls out across six peaks including Skye, Ramshead, Snowdon, Bear, Sunrise, and Pico. Although Pico is technically a resort all its own, a Killington lift ticket gets you access to Pico as well. The two resorts have a combined 1977 acres of skiable land with 212 total trails (155 at Killington, 57 at Pico). The vertical at Killington is an amazing 3050 feet, and even Pico has a 2802-foot drop from peak to base. If you’re after a terrain park, Bear Mountain has a halfpipe with 18-foot walls, and there are nine other terrain parks scattered across the mountain. If you’re wondering about lines, Pico never has lines at the lifts, and Killington’s wait is never bad with 22 lifts in service.
Smugglers’ Notch is located on VT-108 between Jeffersonville and Stowe. There are 1000 skiable acres with a vertical rise of 2610 feet. Smuggs has 78 total trails, 13 easy, 40 intermediate, and 25 expert spread out over three mountains, as well as 14 glades and 5 terrain parks. It’s also known as one of the most family-friendly of all the Vermont ski resorts. Over the 2014-2015 season, Smugglers’ Notch was voted the #1 Kid Friendly Resort by SKI magazine. With quality family entertainment and a ski/snowboard school for kids as young as 2 and 1/2, this resort excels when it comes to providing the little touches for families. Childcare is available at their fully licensed center for infants as young as 6-weeks old.
The skiing at Stratton Mountain began in 1961 on the northeast slopes and has grown into one of the premier Vermont ski resorts. This destination has 670 acres of skiable land with a 2003 foot vertical. The average annual snowfall is 180 inches, but in case nature isn’t forthcoming, Stratton has snowmaking coverage over 475 acres of land. There are 97 trails at Stratton with a total trail length of over 38 miles. The longest trail is three miles long, an easy rated run that starts at the peak and follows Mike’s Way to the Upper West Meadow and down through the Wanderer. There are 160 acres of glades for skiing as well as five terrain parks. In addition, with the 11 lifts and more than 33,000 skiers per hour capacity, Stratton will keep you on the slopes.
Okemo Mountain Resort has the highest vertical in southern Vermont at 2200 feet. With 655 acres spread across two peaks, Okomo is one of the largest resorts as well. There are 121 trails with 20 lifts servicing the mountains. The trails are an almost even split in difficulties, with 39 easy, 44 intermediate, and 37 expert runs. Additionally, there are 12 glades and 7 terrain parks with a full halfpipe. For beginner skiers, there is a dedicated learning section near the Mountain Lodge near Okemo Village with two quad lifts dedicated to the seven beginner runs located there. Okemo has plans to expand its housing to provide another base area on the South face in the next few years, adding to the fun and value of the resort.
Middlebury College Snow Bowl
Even though Middlebury College Snow Bowl only has 17 marked trails, this resort deserves some attention for its other aspects, namely its more than 600 skiable acres and 1050 foot vertical. The Snowbowl made the decision to open up most of the wooded areas within the resort for skiing. This quickly transformed the Snow Bowl into Vermont’s place to go for tree skiing. When you enter the massive glades, there are no lines or grooming to limit you, you just point your skis and go. Keep in mind that this type of skiing is for experts only, as the wooded areas are not maintained or patrolled. However, if you are experienced enough, a weekend at Middlebury will provide enough ski memories to last you for at least another year.
Mount Snow and Haystack
Mount Snow is the closest Vermont ski resort to Boston or New York City. This means that it attracts its fair share of snow hungry metropolitans who are looking to spend a weekend on the slopes. This park is heavily weighted toward intermediate difficulty runs, hosting 54 of them. There are 12 easy and 14 expert trails as well. The entire resort encompasses 589 total skiable acres across four distinct park sections with an overall vertical of 1700 feet. The main face contains four glades and a variety of intermediate and beginner runs as well as the ski school and day care. If you’re looking for terrain parks, Carinthia is the place to be with 10 of them in that section. Expert skiers should head to the north face where 10 expert runs and three glades await. Sunbrook, on the south face, has some short intermediate cruisers that take advantage of a steeper slope for some fun skiing.
Sugarbush is arguably the most famous of the Vermont ski resorts, with 578 acres of skiing over two mountains. Sugarbush has six peaks that provide a vertical of 2600 feet at their highest. Lincoln Peak is the center of all the action with a 2400-foot vertical and arguably one of the best expert cruisers anywhere. Gadd Peak is pure chutes and glades with a vertical of 1575 feet, but that steep pitch will leave you breathless as you push in. Castlerock Peak is next to Lincoln and features double and single black diamond cruisers that send you whistling down into the base. North Lynx Peak has two elevations. The mid-mountain stop lets intermediate and beginners enjoy this part of the mountain, while those who head all the way up will get a terrific glade. Mount Ellen and Inverness are separated from the rest by Slide Brook Basin, but connected easily by an Express Quad lift. From the peak of Mt. Ellen, there are several expert and intermediate runs down the mountain. There are also several glades and two terrain parks near the base. Along with an average snowfall of 22 feet per year, there are a total of 111 trails at Sugarbush with 21 glades and 21 lifts ferrying skiers all across the mountain.
Stowe is found north of Montpelier nestled on Mt. Mansfield and is split up into six diverse areas of skiing. With 485 acres of skiable land, there are 116 trails with 19 easy, 68 intermediate, and 29 expert. Stowe also features six terrain parks and six glades for tree skiing. The overall vertical is 2360 feet from Mansfield Peak (Vermont’s tallest mountain) and 2035 feet from its sister, Spruce Peak. Getting from one peak to the other is done via the Poma ten-passenger standing gondola that crosses over VT-108. The longest run at Stowe clocks in at just a tad over 4 miles, along the Toll Road trail. Stowe also has the longest average trail length for Vermont ski resorts—or anywhere in New England—at 3603 feet.
Jay Peak has a policy when it comes to skiing in bounds. Pretty much anything goes. Virtually every wooded area is a glade open to an adventurous skier. With 24 separate glades, six of which are intermediate, there is plenty of tree skiing to be had. There are also 4 terrain parks and 78 trails, 15 easy, 30 intermediate, and 31 expert. 8 lifts and 1 tram ferry skiers up the mountain which has a stunning 2153 foot drop. There are 385 skiable acres with snowmaking coverage over 308 acres, although with the annual snowfall of 251 inches, it’s rarely used for more than just touch-ups.
Bolton Valley is located just east of Burlington. 71 trails spread out over 300 acres offer a mix of challenges, albeit slanted toward novice and intermediate skiers. This means that the resort is often passed over as more advanced skiers rush on to Sugarbush or Killington. For people looking for nonexistent lift lines leading to long gentle blue and green trails, Bolton is a wonderful destination. Bolton Valley has three primary peaks, Timberline, Wilderness, and Vista. Vista and Wilderness are all accessible from the main base lodge, while Timberline requires a short ski from the top of the Snowflake lift to the Timberline Lodge. Beginner and intermediate skiers will love the long gently sloping runs down the mountain. If you are an expert skier, you may find the black diamond trails here a little lacking. If that’s the case, head to the peaks and try the glade skiing. If you’re looking for Vermont ski resorts with unique challenges, Cobras Woods off Vista Peak have some required air that locals refer to as “Jacob’s Ladder.”
Burke Mountain has a summit elevation of 3267 feet with a vertical of 2011 feet. The resort is divided into two distinct portions. From Mid-Burke to the Sherburne base lodge are the beginner’s trails, terrain parks, and the famed Burke Mountain Academy. Uphill from the midpoint at Mid-Burke Lodge to the summit are the expert and upper intermediate trails that have forged legendary skiers like 2014 gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin and 33 other Olympians. The majority of the trails at this resort are classic New England trails: narrow, winding, and mostly ungroomed. There are a few wider trails, such as Deer Run and The Big Dipper for those who favor that style of skiing. Two quad lifts service the upper mountain with a Poma surface lift taking skiers about 3/4 of the way up. On the lower mountain a single high speed lift ferries skiers and boarders up to Mid-Burke, while a dedicated J-Bar ferries novice skiers around the learning area.
Magic Mountain is located near Londonderry and has 195 acres of skiing with 43 marked trails. One of the remarkable things about Magic is that if the land is inside the outer boundaries, you can ski it. This lets you take full advantage of that 1700 foot vertical and go off-piste wherever you like. Keep in mind that glade skiing is difficult, so be sure your skills are up to the challenge. The longest marked trail at Magic is 1.6 miles. The Wizard is an intermediate trail divided into two halves, upper and lower. There are two primary lifts that ferry skiers to the peak. The Red Chair leads to novice and intermediate trails, while the Black Chair leads to the advanced and expert trails. There is a single terrain park on Hocus Pocus, right underneath the Black Chair lift and a shallow learning area on the right side of the park.
Bromley Ski Resort prides itself on being one of the most family-friendly Vermont ski resorts, especially in the southern part of the state. Located on Bromley Mountain, this is the only ski mountain that faces south. So when you go there, pack your sunglasses and your sunscreen, because it may be sunny all day. There are 47 trails with a difficulty ratio of 14:17:16 (easy:intermediate:expert) and three terrain parks. For tree skiers, there are six glades scattered all over the mountain, from the intermediate Snow Ranger to the expert Avalanche Glade. For kids, there is a dedicated learning zone where kids from 5 to 14 spend all day learning how to feel comfortable on their skis. For kids from 2 1/2 to 6, there is a daycare option that includes four different levels of instruction depending on your children’s comfort level.
Mad River Glen
Mad River has been around since 1948. In 1995, the ski area was in danger of being closed, but skiers around Vermont came together and formed the Mad River Glen Cooperative, purchasing the ski resort. They continue to make improvements and are dedicated to keeping the mountain pristine. Mad River Glen is the only major mountain resort owned entirely by skiers in the United States. They have also kept the single chair lift that runs up to Stark’s Nest (the only single chair lift left in the United States), which gives Mad River a 2037 foot vertical. There are 45 total trails that lead from Stark’s or the neighboring Warming Hut (with a 1500-foot vertical) down to the base. Also of note is that Mad River Glen does not allow snowboarders on the mountain, so if you board, you’ll have to go to one of the other Vermont ski resorts. For skiers, however, the runs are epic, mostly ungroomed and wild. The mountain gets an average of 250 inches per year, so when the powder is fresh, this ski destination is one you’ll remember.
Offering visitors peace and tranquility, this beautiful resort provides one and all with the majestic slopes that welcome them. Families from all over come to this resort to spend their time, have some fun and enjoy all the skiing that Vermont has to offer. Enjoy more from the resort when you extend your stay for a weekend, or an entire week.
When you’re looking for a resort that provides exhilarating slopes, and fun twists and turns then the Suicide Six Ski Resort is for you. Rated one of the most fun places to bring your skis and snowboards and let loose, the resorts provide you with an exciting adventure that is awaiting you. When going on vacation, you can ensure to find the best accommodations, places to eat and fun within the Suicide Six, Vermont area.