The 5 Best Ski Resorts in Maine

The 5 Best Ski Resorts in Maine
Jack Taylor
Written by Jack Taylor / Photos by Jack Lee
Last updated October 9, 2020
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High up in the northeastern corner of the United States, Maine enjoys stacks of snow during the winter months and has some impressive mountains to ski. The Appalachians run through the west side of the Pine Tree State, where ski resorts take full advantage of the steep verticals on offer!

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Known for

Maine’s biggest winter sports resort and the only to offer lift-serviced ski terrain above the treeline

Highlights

  • Huge amount of diversity across this 1,240 ac ski area
  • Excellent average annual snow record of 200 in
  • Lots of ski-in/ski-out lodgings available
  • Remote position makes it a long way from the nearest airport or city

Closest airports

Portland Intl. Jetport - 120 mi (2.5 hour drive)
Mount Washington Regional Airport - 130 mi (3 hour drive)
Sugarloaf is our favorite ski resort in Maine! (Photo credit: Sugarloaf)

Sugarloaf is one of the top ski resorts across the entire American East, so it’s no surprise that it takes first place in Maine. From the 4,237 ft summit you’ll enjoy stunning views over the Carrabassett Valley, along with access to the high-alpine Snowfields that are lined with double black diamond trails if you're up for a challenge! There’s also cat skiing in the steep side country of Burnt Mountain and six terrain parks scattered across the resort. The ski village might be small but it's well-equipped, with winter gear stores, decent restaurants, and a slope-side hotel complete with an outdoor hot tub big enough for 30 people!

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Known for

Family-friendly ski destination featuring lots of wide groomers across eight interconnected peaks

Highlights

  • 53 mi of trails to explore plus 300 ac of inbounds tree skiing
  • Home to the Chondola, half gondola half chairlift!
  • Fun winter activities like ice skating, ski biking, and snow tubing to try
  • Lift tickets are on the expensive side

Closest airports

Portland Intl. Jetport - 75 mi (1.5 hour drive)
Plenty of gentle green trails for beginners (Photo credit: Sunday River)

An excellent full-service ski resort with fast lifts and meticulous grooming, Sunday River is hard to fault. Green trails connect up across the majority of this 870 ac ski area, so even beginners can go exploring without the worry of advanced slopes getting in the way! That said, if you want to test how fast you can really go on skis then give the White Heat run a try. Expect plenty to do after skiing too, with theatre shows, ten-pin bowling, and spa treatments on offer in the village, not to mention regular firework displays! Accommodation options include upscale hotels, slope-side condos, a youth lodge for groups, and an economical mountain inn.

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Known for

Steep chutes and deep-powder glades to keep experts happy at this newly-renovated ski resort

Highlights

  • 4,120 ft summit with an impressive 2,000 ft vertical drop
  • Slopes are often quiet and lift queues are rare
  • Updated base lodge offers modern amenities
  • Most beginner trails are at the bottom of the mountain

Closest airports

Boston Logan Intl. Airport - 224 mi (4 hour drive)
Saddleback Mountain is making a comeback! (Photo credit: Saddleback)

After a 5-year hiatus, Saddleback is finally making a comeback for the 2020/21 winter season! This much-loved ski mountain now features a new high-speed quad chairlift that whisks you to the top in just 4 minutes. Confident skiers will find a whole section of the mountain dedicated to advanced terrain, with the Muleskinner trail and Casablanca glades not to be missed. There are townhouses and condos to rent next to the slopes, or for better value lodgings head down to the lakeside town of Rangeley, a 15-minute drive away. Take a wander around and you’ll discover a handful of casual restaurants and fun pubs for evening après-ski entertainment.

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Known for

Popular local ski hill with epic views over the Atlantic Ocean and an exhilarating toboggan chute

Highlights

  • Trails for all abilities, from gentle greens to challenging blacks
  • Lift tickets are excellent value for money
  • Plenty of entertainment for non-skiers in nearby Camden and Rockport
  • Exposed to bad weather so it can get very windy!

Closest airports

Portland Intl. Jetport - 89 mi (1.5 hour drive)
Ski the groomers on Ragged Mountain (Photo credit: Camden Snow Bowl)

Camden Snow Bowl offers a very different experience to the other Maine ski resorts on this list, owing largely to the fact that it’s located right next to the coast. Skiing here comes with a sea view! Situated on Ragged Mountain, there are 20 groomed trails to ski plus 45 ac of untouched glades, with some hike-to terrain for experts too. And don’t miss a ride on the 400 ft toboggan chute, which hosts the U.S. National Toboggan Championships each year. The resort is just 4 mi from Camden Harbor, where you can find plenty of traditional inns and apartment rentals, plus there’s beer tasting at the Sea Dog Brewing Co. to enjoy!

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Known for

Learner-friendly slopes and extensive night skiing at the longest operating ski resort in the state

Highlights

  • 98% of the trails are covered by snowmaking
  • Modern ski lifts get you up the mountain quickly
  • Just a one hour drive from Portland
  • At 249 ac it’s quite a small ski area

Closest airports

Portland Intl. Jetport - 43 mi (1 hour drive)
The perfect resort to hone your skiing skills (Photo credit: Shawnee Peak)

Skiers have been schussing down the slopes at Shawnee Peak for over 80 years already, and this well-run resort offers all the essential amenities for a fun ski vacation. Three-quarters of the trails here are classed as beginner and intermediate, which makes it a fantastic place to hone your skiing skills. You can also keep practising after dark because half the slopes stay open for night skiing every day apart from Sunday. The resort offers unique ski-in/ski-out accommodation at the top of the mountain in their North Ridge Yurt and Tuckermans Cabin, along with larger lodges that are perfect for groups at the base areas.

The 5 Best Ski Resorts in Maine
Sugarloaf
Sunday River
Saddleback
Camden Snow Bowl
Shawnee Peak
Sugarloaf