Top 7 Best Ski Resorts in New England

New England has some of the best skiing destinations in the Eastern United States, with resorts dotting many of the smaller states in this region. The snow might not be as good as out west, but there are still plenty of territories to explore. 

I’m a lifelong skier who loves everything about the sport. I’ve traveled all over the world to get on the snow, and I’ve spent plenty of time in New England. I know the top resorts in this region and have skied at many of them. 

This post will highlight all of the best ski resorts in New England. I’ll provide you with some important information, such as how big the resort is, what type of amenities are available, and lodging and dining options. 

Let’s get started. 

1. Killington

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 5 (Average)
  • Closing Day: May 15 (Average) 
  • Best Known For: Large size for East Coast resort, long ski season

Killington is consistently one of the top ski resorts in New England and is one of the largest ski areas in the region. It gets the nickname “The Beast of the East” for having the most skiable terrain of any resort on the East Coast. 

Killington also gets plenty of natural snow to allow for consistent skiing all season long. The resort also has an excellent snowmaking plan that creates a supplemental base, allowing for a longer ski season than many other New England locations. 

In addition to some solid terrain and good snow conditions, Killington also has a wide variety of dining and lodging options to explore. This makes it a great family destination or an excellent weekend getaway for skiers of all kinds. 

Killington is made up of several different mountains, so you’ll need to take a shuttle bus or drive to access all of the terrains. The resort has a good transportation system, but it can take a minute to get from place to place. 

2. Okemo Mountain

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 20 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 4 (Average) 
  • Best Known For: Family-friendly atmosphere, beginner terrain access

If you are looking for a family-friendly New England ski resort, they don’t get much better than Okemo Mountain. This welcoming resort has plenty of beginner terrain access, making it a lot of fun for skiers of all ability levels. 

Okemo Mountain is located in southern Vermont, and it gets about 200 inches of snow every year – which is pretty solid for the East Coast. This resort is a lot of fun to ski and has diverse terrain to keep you satisfied all season long. 

The 20 lifts that run at Okemo will give you access to everything from groomed runs to powder to the terrain park. There is something for everyone here, and that’s why it’s considered so family-friendly. 

There is also plenty of lodging and dining options here, but you’ll want to make reservations well ahead of time to make sure you get a spot. They fill up quickly, and the resort is pretty small, considering how many people like to visit. 

3. Stowe

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 20 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 15 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Plenty of intermediate terrain, the birthplace of Alpine skiing in Vermont

Stowe is another fantastic ski resort in Vermont and a top option in the New England area. This resort has been around for 85 years and claims to be the birthplace of Alpine skiing in Vermont. This storied history makes for a skier’s dream. 

Stowe is made up of two mountains that give you access to a wide variety of terrain. You can ski groomers, steeps, the terrain park, or the trees, and the resort is well known for offering some of the best intermediate terrains in the region. 

The lodging options here are also solid, and you can easily find a place to get cozy at the traditional New England village-like atmosphere in the base and surrounding areas. There are also food options to keep you well-fueled for a fun day on the slopes.

Parking can be an issue at Stowe because of how many people come to ski here. If you visit on the weekend, you’ll want to arrive early to make sure you have a spot to park close to the base. The lift lines can also get pretty crowded. 

4. Sugarbush

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 25 (Average)
  • Closing Day: May 5 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Epic views, steep terrain for advanced skiers

Sugarbush might be the prettiest ski resort in New England, with amazing views that are always stunning. It also has a lot of solid advanced terrain, including a few legendary steeps that expert skiers are sure to appreciate.

The food is also terrific here, and you can find some seriously delicious grub after a long day on the mountain. There are several excellent restaurants on the mountain and many more to choose from in the surrounding area. 

This is the prime skiing location for steep terrain in New England. Castlerock is a right of passage run for many East Coast skiers and well worth trying if you have the skills to tackle it. There are plenty of intermediate runs if you want to warm up beforehand. 

For all of the great things that Sugarbush has going for it, it is somewhat tricky to get to. Even though the drive here is scenic, you’ll be in the car for a least a few hours from the nearest city center or airport. 

5. Loon Mountain

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 22 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 15 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Easy to access, good vertical drop for East Coast

Located in New Hampshire, Loon Mountain is another one of the best ski resorts in New England. This resort is easy to access, making it a good option for skiers who don’t want to travel too far from the major cities in the region. 

Loon Mountain also has a decent vertical drop for an East Coast ski area. A 2,100-foot drop gives you time to reach top speeds and explore all the resort has to offer. It also boasts terrain suitable for all ability levels, so it’s a family-friendly option as well.

It’s not the most extensive resort in the region, but you still get access to over 300 acres of skiable terrain. And lift tickets and season passes are pretty affordable compared to the larger corporate resorts in New England. 

While there is access to equipment rentals and dining here, the resort doesn’t offer lodging. That makes it more of a day-trip destination than a week-long ski trip spot. But this does help to keep the crowds down. 

6. Bretton Woods

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 20 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 15 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Largest resort in New Hampshire, pretty epic glade skiing

Bretton Woods is the largest ski resort in New Hampshire and another great skiing destination to explore in New England. The views and terrain here are stunning, and it has a variety of terrain suitable for most skiers. 

The resort boasts 464 skiable acres (large for the East) and has 35 glade runs. The glades allow you to bounce through the trees on fresh snow and really get a good taste of what New England skiing is all about. 

December and January are probably the best months to ski here, and this is when you’ll have the best chance for fresh snow. The resort offers extensive snowmaking to keep good coverage on the ground even when skies are blue. 

There are a lot of groomed runs at Bretton Woods, making it a good place for beginner and intermediate skiers to improve their skills. But this also can make the runs feel really crowded, especially on the weekends. 

7. Mount Snow

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 20 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 16 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Easy access to nearby cities, great terrain park

Mount Snow is one of the most accessible ski resorts in Vermont, and it’s an easy drive from many of the major cities in New England. This resort also has a great terrain park, so it is a favorite spot for freestyle skiers who live for high-flying maneuvers. 

Twenty lifts give you access to over 600 acres of skiable terrain here. There are plenty of groomers for beginners, steeper runs for intermediates, and more difficult blacks for skiers who know what they are doing. 

The base area hosts many events during the ski season and stays open for the summer months. You can enjoy anything from live music to club events here while also finding great food when you need to refuel. 

Mount Snow only averages 156 inches of snow a year, which is not that much. Powder days are few and far between here, so don’t get your hopes up. But active snowmaking keeps the runs open all season long, regardless of how much real snow is falling. 

Additional Tips for Skiing in New England

If you have never skied in New England before, you need to be prepared for icy and hardpack conditions. While fresh snow is possible, you will be skiing in less-than-ideal conditions most of the time. 

Having sharp edges and properly fitting boots are important for maintaining control on icy slopes. Be sure to get your skis tuned up and ready for action before you head out on a New England ski vacation.

You’ll probably want to sharpen your edges after a day or two of skiing, so purchasing a pocket stone is highly recommended.  

Check out the video below for some tips on sharpening your edges. 

Another thing to remember is that New England ski resorts can get pretty crowded. This is especially true on weekends and holidays during the ski season. If you want to secure lodging or dining, make sure to make reservations well ahead of time. 

Skiing safe is always important, but icy conditions and crowds make for somewhat sketchy ski conditions. Always stay alert and ski in control to limit the chance of accidents that could ruin your ski day or season. 

Final Words

If you want to ski in New England, all of the resorts on this list are well worth checking out. East Coast skiing can sometimes be hit or miss, but all of the resorts described above give you the best opportunity for good snow and quality terrain. 

One thing many people like about skiing in New England is the proximity of the resorts to major city centers like Boston and New York. You can find great skiing and still take advantage of everything these great cities offer when skiing in this region.

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