Top 5 Best Ski Resorts in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a small state, but there are quite a few ski resorts here. These offer excellent opportunities to play in the snow for anyone living in or visiting the New England region. 

I’ve been skiing for nearly my entire life and have been lucky to explore many different resorts in the US and beyond. I’ve been to New Hampshire several times and know what to look for in the best resorts in the area. 

This post will take a look at the best ski resorts in New Hampshire. I’ll provide you with some key details for a handful of resorts, like when the average opening day is and what type of terrain and amenities each has. 

Let’s get to it. 

1. Bretton Woods

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 20 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 15 (Average) 
  • Best Known For: The largest resort in NH, epic glade skiing, modern amenities

Bretton Woods is probably the top ski resort in New Hampshire. It’s also the largest and offers 464 acres of skiable terrain. When you visit here, you’ll have access to 63 trails and 35 glades, which offer some of the best skiing in New England. 

Bretton Woods also has some of the best amenities and accommodations in the state. If you are looking for a more upscale skiing experience and want to take advantage of a bit of luxury, you are sure to find that here. 

The Omni Mount Washington Resort gives you lodging nearby the ski lifts, and you can enjoy a spa treatment and delicious food just outside the slopes. There are a handful of other good places to stay nearby as well. 

The mountain has good conditions when the snow falls, and it also does a solid job of keeping the base up with an extensive snowmaking program. You can expect to have groomed or fresh snow conditions for much of the season. 

Bretton Mountain can feel crowded when there are a lot of skiers here, and this is especially true on the weekends. It’s not a resort to visit if you want to get away from busy slopes and long lift lines. 

2. Cranmore Mountain

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: December 9 (Average) 
  • Closing Day: March 21 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Storied history, shopping options, affordable

Another top skiing destination in New Hampshire is Cranmore Mountain. This resort has been around since the 1930s and has a storied history that is pretty interesting. People have been skiing here for nearly 100 years, and winter is a big part of life in the area. 

Cranmore Mountain offers a variety of terrain that is suitable for skiers of all ability levels. There are over 200 acres of skiable terrain with many beginner, intermediate, and advanced runs. 

The views here are also fantastic, and it’s a very scenic location that makes for epic photo opportunities while you ski. Sunsets from the slopes are worth sticking around for. Ski lessons and rentals are readily available right at the base area.  

There are also a number of excellent outlet stores in the nearby town of North Conway. These are popular with visitors, and you can find some affordable goods if you want to shop during your ski trip. The resort itself is also very affordable. 

Cranmore Mountain doesn’t always have the best snow conditions, so you’ll want to be prepared for just about anything. But the resort does a good job of keeping things groomed to avoid icy conditions as best as possible. 

3. Loon Mountain

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 22 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 15 (Average) 
  • Best Known For: Easy access, decent vertical drop, terrain parks

Loon Mountain is one of the most accessible ski resorts in New Hampshire and is only about ten minutes away from a major interstate. This makes it a popular destination with locals and visitors alike. 

The mountain boasts over 2,000 feet of vertical drop, which is pretty considerable for out East. This gives you enough drop to hit high speeds and spread out without getting caught on flat sections or in the crowd. 

Thanks to the north-facing slopes and a good snowmaking program, Loon Mountain also has a pretty long season. This leads to more early and late season skiing opportunities than most other New Hampshire resorts. 

There are also several solid lodging options right at the base area. These offer ski-in/ski-out rooms, which is the best way to do a ski trip if you ask me. There are a few excellent restaurants scattered around the village as well. 

Conditions can get a little icy here, which is typical for the East Coast, but something to know before you visit. And the easy access can make it pretty crowded, especially on weekends. 

4. Cannon Mountain 

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: December 1 (Average) 
  • Closing Day: April 10 (Average) 
  • Best Known For: Technical terrain, upgraded lifts

If you are an experienced skier looking for challenging runs, Cannon Mountain has the most technical terrain you will find at a New Hampshire ski resort. The ski area is well known for having some of the steepest in-bounds runs in the region. 

This location isn’t just for expert skiers, and there is a family area that offers mellow greens and groomers for anyone who just wants a casual day on the slopes. But the resort is more famous for its technical trails than anything else. 

Cannon Mountain upgraded its lifts over the last few years, and that was a welcome improvement. These upgrades increased the speed of the lifts and made them more modern to keep up with the competition. 

At the top of the mountain, you’ll find a good lodge where you can grab a bite to eat or go warm up. You can also get rental equipment in the base area or enjoy a bite to eat at the food court in the Peabody Base Lodge. 

There aren’t any lodging options directly at the mountain, so you’ll need to go to the nearest town to find a place to stay for the night. 

5. King Pine

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: December 15 (Average)
  • Closing Day: March 20 (Average) 
  • Best Known For: Family-friendly, tree skiing, good snowmaking

King Pine is a small but super family-friendly ski resort in New Hampshire. If you have kids or want a location with a mellow vibe, this is a great spot to check out. It has a little bit of something for everyone. 

And even though it’s a small resort, it claims to have the steepest trail in New Hampshire. I haven’t skied it yet, but Jack Pine is a double black diamond that is supposed to be a lot of fun! There are easier runs for beginner and intermediate skiers here as well. 

Another great aspect of King Pine is that it is very rarely crowded. You won’t have to wait in long lift lines or navigate through a bunch of other people on the mountain. This keeps everyone happy and friendly while they ski. 

King Pine also has a variety of food and lodging options, so you can stay at the resort and have just about everything you’ll need for a memorable ski trip. The ski lesson program is also solid if you want to learn something new. 

The runs here are short, and you only have a 500-foot vertical drop. This translates into pretty limited terrain, which isn’t ideal for skiers who like to cruise or go fast. 

Additional Tips for Skiing in New Hampshire

Skiing in New Hampshire can be a lot of fun, but it’s a pretty popular activity in the winter months for locals. You’ll want to book your lodging and other accommodations well ahead of time to ensure you get set up with everything you are looking for. 

Since New Hampshire sits at a pretty high latitude, the days can be really short during December and January. If you want to make the most of your trip, be sure to get out on the slopes early, so you don’t waste any daylight. 

Final Words

The ski resorts on this list are the best destinations to find fun runs and quality accommodations in New Hampshire. They are a little different from one another, but they are all worth checking out during the winter months. 

Remember to be prepared for variable weather and snow conditions here, so be sure to bring extra layers and a change of goggle lenses. 

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