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The 10 Best Ski Resorts on the East Coast

The 10 Best Ski Resorts on the East Coast – UPDATED 2021/22
Bryan Woods
Written by Bryan Woods / Photos by Greg Burke
Last updated October 1, 2021
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You’re probably thinking, ‘why on earth would I ski on the East Coast?’ Well, East Coast ski resorts actually stack up pretty well against their competitors in the West! It's true the snow is wetter and there's more ice but less-than-perfect conditions have kept the soul of skiing strong in the East.

Updates to East Coast 21/22 ski season:
To protect the health and safety of staff and guests, once at your destination ski area, please keep six feet or more between traveling parties. Masks or face coverings must be worn while at ski areas, except when seated with your traveling party and eating or drinking. Stricter guidelines may apply to specific ski resorts on the East Coast.

1. Mont Tremblant

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Known for

Feels like you’re in a European ski town without the transatlantic airfare price tag

Highlights

  • Family-friendly resort just 90 minutes from Montreal
  • Excellent nightlife right next to the slopes
  • Diverse terrain suitable for all levels
  • Weekend crowds can be overwhelming

Opening and Closing (21/22 Ski Season):

  • Opening Date: Nov 24 2021(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: Apr 18 2022(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Montreal-Mirabel Intl. Airport - 64 mi (1 hour drive)
Montréal-Trudeau Intl. Airport - 86 mi (1.5 hour drive)
mont tremblant is the disneyland of the ski world
The Disneyland of the ski world

French-speaking Tremblant is the Disneyland of the ski world, with a colourful European-style village and cobblestone streets. The 102 trails offer something for everyone, but almost half are for the advanced to expert. Mont Tremblant caters well to families, offering a great ski school, play centres, ice skating, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Weekends can be crowded with daytrippers since there’s as much to do off the slopes as on them.

The pedestrian village is equipped with a full range of luxury hotels, fine dining and shopping. It’s also one of the only ski resorts in the East that has nightlife worth writing home about. There’s plenty of accommodation close to the slopes but it can get pricey. For lodging in the surrounding areas, a free resort shuttle makes it easy to get to the village.

2. Killington Resort

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Known for

Biggest ski area in the East with diversity of terrain across seven mountain areas

Highlights

  • Best ski resort in Vermont for nightlife
  • Challenging glades and tons of trails with moguls
  • Snowmobile tours, tubing park and more
  • Difficult to navigate trail and lift layout

Opening and Closing (20/21 Ski Season):

  • Opening Date: Nov 20 2020
  • Closing Date: May 16 2021

Closest airports

Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport - 22 mi (35 minute drive)
Burlington Intl. Airport - 94 mi (2 hour drive)
view of killington from pico mountain
View of Killington from Pico Mountain

Welcome to ‘The Beast of the East’, Vermont's biggest ski resort spread across six main mountains. Another mountain area, Pico Mountain, can be accessed via a shuttle bus. You'll find everything from mellow groomers to scary steeps, while off-the-slope activities include tubing and snowmobiling. Killington is also one of the best ski resorts in the East for nightlife, with excellent places to eat and drink after a long day on the mountain.

There are plenty of lodging options across the five base areas that are close to the slopes. The access road leading to the resort is also lined with places to stay, as well as countless dining and drinking options. The resort is quite spread out and it can be difficult to navigate between the ski areas. There is a shuttle that loops between the base lodges, and public transportation between the resort and downtown Rutland, which is a 20 minute drive away.

3. Stowe

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Known for

Quaint ski village, offering a combination of expert ski terrain with indulgent hospitality

Highlights

  • Downtown Stowe has endless dining and drinking options
  • Plenty of challenging terrain to explore
  • Efficient and fast, updated lifts
  • Most expensive resort in the East and crowded on weekends

Opening and Closing (21/22 Ski Season):

  • Opening Date: Nov 19 2021
  • Closing Date: Apr 20 2022(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Morrisville-Stowe State Airport - 14 mi (30 minute drive)
Burlington Intl. Airport - 42 mi (1 hour drive)
nose dive intermediate trail at Stowe Mountain Resort
Nose Dive – an intermediate trail

A long-standing Vermont resort, Stowe has plenty of challenging terrain across two mountains. Mt Mansfield is the highest peak in Vermont and it’s where you’ll find plenty of blue and black runs. More beginner-friendly terrain is just a gondola ride away at Spruce Peak. Keep in mind that Stowe can get crowded and is an expensive place to ski.

The Village at Spruce Peak has luxurious hotels, shops and restaurants and is easy to get around by foot. It’s best to stay here to be close to the slopes. The actual town of Stowe is a 10 to 15 minute drive away and can be accessed by a shuttle from the resort. It has a vibrant local brewery scene and plenty of places to stay, dine and drink. The road between the resort and downtown is also lined with more lodging options.

4. Jay Peak

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Known for

Family-friendly ski resort with endless activities to do

Highlights

  • Snowiest ski resort in the East
  • Huge indoor water park, climbing gym and much more
  • Great tree skiing
  • There's no nightlife or real town nearby

Opening and Closing (21/22 Ski Season):

  • Opening Date: Nov 24 2021(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: May 03 2022(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Northeast Kingdom Intl. Airport - 24 mi (35 minute drive)
Burlington Intl. Airport - 68 mi (1.5 hour drive)
jay peak
Welcome to Jay Peak

Jay Peak is a family-friendly mountain, and is located just a few miles from the Canadian border. Its far location means there are fewer crowds compared to other resorts in the state. You’ll find some of the best glade skiing and powder in the East, as well as the only aerial tram in Vermont! There’s loads on offer for families, including ice skating, a climbing gym and a huge indoor waterpark complete with slides and a FlowRider.

Since Jay Peak is far from major towns and cities, it’s best to have a car to get around. Once you’re there, you’ll find dining options across the Stateside and Tramside base areas and a variety of accommodation close to the slopes. One thing that’s missing here is any nightlife.

5. Sugarbush Resort

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Known for

Same great skiing as Killington or Stowe without the crowds

Highlights

  • Similar to Stowe but significantly cheaper
  • Great lift system provides quick and easy access to slopes
  • Fantastic variety of terrain spread out over two mountains
  • Restaurants get very busy and base lacks nightlife

Opening and Closing (21/22 Ski Season):

  • Opening Date: Nov 23 2021(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: May 03 2022(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Burlington Intl. Airport - 42 mi (1 hour drive)
Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport - 62 mi (1.5 hour drive)
mt ellen at sugarbush
Mt Ellen, one of two interconnected mountains at Sugarbush

Sugarbush is where you can enjoy great skiing, similar to Killington or Stowe, but without the crowds and price tag! There’s extensive wooded areas to ski and terrain for everyone across two mountains. Lincoln Peak and Mt Ellen are connected by the longest and fastest detachable quad in the world! Down in Lincoln Peak Village, you’ll find luxury accommodation close to the slopes and plenty of dining options too. Sugarbush is another resort that lacks nightlife.

It’s easy to get around, with a free bus service between the two bases and some nearby areas. The access road leading to the resort has more lodging options which are serviced by a shuttle. For a wider range of dining and shopping, Waitsfield is a town 10 to 15 minutes away and serviced by the bus. Mad River Glen, a skiers-only resort, is a 15 minute drive away.

6. Sugarloaf

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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
  • Plenty of challenging terrain for the advanced to expert
  • Lots of ski-in/ski-out lodgings available
  • Remote position makes it a long way from the nearest airport or city

Opening and Closing (21/22 Ski Season):

  • Opening Date: Nov 20 2021(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: May 02 2022(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Portland Intl. Jetport - 120 mi (2.5 hour drive)
Mount Washington Regional Airport - 130 mi (3 hour drive)
sugarloaf summit
Sugarloaf Summit

The second largest ski area in the East after Killington, Sugarloaf is for the truly adventurous skiers. There’s a mix of terrain but the steep side country areas, Burnt Mountain and Brackett Basin, are a highlight. For the only lift-serviced above-treeline skiing in the East, head to The Snowfields. From the 4,237 ft summit you’ll enjoy stunning views over the Carrabassett Valley.

It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere and a long drive from the closest major cities of Boston or Montreal. Skiing is the main attraction at Sugarloaf, so don’t expect a glitzy ski village or many off-mountain activities. That said, the base area does have a light sprinkling of decent lodging options, eateries, and drinking holes. To get around, a free shuttle service operates throughout the ski area and Carrabassett Valley.

7. Whiteface

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Known for

Largest vertical drop in the East and hosted the Winter Olympics, twice!

Highlights

  • Nearby bobsled and ice skating at the Olympic sites
  • Nice selection of dining options in Lake Placid
  • Exquisite expert terrain available including in-bounds off-piste skiing
  • Trail layout has not been designed with intermediates in mind

Opening and Closing (21/22 Ski Season):

  • Opening Date: Nov 23 2021(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: Apr 19 2022(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Burlington Intl. Airport - 66 mi (2.5 hour drive)
Albany Intl. Airport - 130 mi (2.5 hour drive)
view lake placid from whiteface mountain summit
View of Lake Placid from the Whiteface Mountain summit

Whiteface is a real powder playground for advanced skiers and snowboarders. At the resort’s highest peak is The Slides, an inbounds off-piste skiing area that only opens when conditions are safe. Whiteface even has the largest vertical drop east of the Rockies, at 3,430 ft! That being said, there is a dedicated section of green runs. The resort gets a raw deal from some, labelled ‘Iceface’ for the numbingly cold conditions and questionable snow quality that can be encountered.

There are two main base areas with dining options at each, but no accommodation. Lake Placid is a village 15 minutes from the slopes, and is your best bet for lodging, dining and shopping options. You’ll find activities and attractions within 5-10 minutes away from the village, including bobsledding and the Olympic Jumping Complex.

8. Bretton Woods

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Known for

New Hampshire’s biggest ski resort and the classiest

Highlights

  • Tons of terrain to suit all levels
  • Wonderful views of Mount Washington
  • 62 mi of cross-country ski trails
  • Expect queues at the base area lifts on weekends

Opening and Closing (21/22 Ski Season):

  • Opening Date: Nov 17 2021(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: Apr 14 2022(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport - 112 mi (2 hour drive)
Portland Intl. Jetport - 88 mi (2 hour drive)
views of echo lake from cannon mountain
West Mountain Express Chairlift

Bretton Woods is the largest ski resort in New Hampshire, home to perfectly groomed runs, family activities and upscale accommodation and restaurants. Spread across three peaks, you’ll find terrain for all abilities and some epic mountain views. There are plenty of winter activities to consider too, including 62 mi of Nordic skiing trails, as well as non-skiing activities like sleigh rides, skating, tubing and fat biking.

The resort has dining options in the Base Lodge, as well as on-mountain. For lodging, there are townhomes close to the lifts, but the Omni Mount Washington Resort is the main luxury accommodation. The hotel is a 5 minute drive from the slopes and has its own restaurants and bars. Having a car is recommended to get around the area.

9. Mad River Glen

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Known for

Its gnarly terrain, natural beauty, and being a proud skiers-only mountain!

Highlights

  • Experts will find plenty to challenge them including a frozen waterfall to huck off
  • Inexpensive place to ski
  • All about skiing on natural snow
  • Expect long lift lines on weekends and powder days

Opening and Closing (21/22 Ski Season):

  • Opening Date: Oct 14 2021(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: Apr 06 2022(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Burlington Intl. Airport - 32 mi (50 minute drive)
Morrisville-Stowe State Airport - 35 mi (1 hour drive)
iconic single chairlift mad river glen
The iconic single chair lift

Mad River Glen is a true legend of the skiing world. It’s one of the last skiers-only mountains in the U.S. and has one of two single chair lifts in the country! The ski terrain here is diverse, complete with natural glades, steep bumps, and narrow winding trails that follow the natural contours of the mountain. With the motto “Ski it if you can”, there’s plenty of challenging terrain for the experts.

The resort is owned by a co-operative and has a community atmosphere. In the single base area, you’ll find a pub serving lunch and après. There are a range of lodging options in the surrounding areas, the closest being just 2 mi from the slopes. Waitsfield is a town 10 minutes away, where there are more dining and shopping options. For more skiing, Sugarbush Resort is a larger resort just a 15 minute drive away.

10. Loon Mountain

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Known for

Family-friendly ski resort featuring ski-in/ski-out lodgings and easy access from Boston

Highlights

  • Easy to access from Route I-93
  • Highly-rated terrain parks for all abilities
  • Terrain well-suited to intermediates
  • Quite expensive

Opening and Closing (21/22 Ski Season):

  • Opening Date: Nov 23 2021(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: Apr 16 2022(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport - 90 mi (2 hour drive)
Boston Logan Intl. Airport - 135 mi (2.5 hour drive)
wildcat mountain views east coast
Mountain Club on Loon

Loon Mountain is a great ski destination for intermediates, freestylers and families. Over half the mountain is covered in blue runs, while freestylers will appreciate the 6 award-winning terrain parks and the only superpipe in New Hampshire! The ski area is spread across 3 peaks, and each of the base areas have their own dining options. For off-slope activities, you can try out snow tubing or Sno-Go bike riding.

Loon Mountain is just a 2 hour drive from Boston, and a 10-minute drive from Interstate 93. The Mountain Club Resort & Spa is the only ski-in/ski-out lodging, but there are a range of other accommodations within 5 mi of the slopes. To get around, there’s a shuttle service operating between the base areas and to some nearby lodging properties. North Woodstock and Lincoln have plenty of dining, shopping and lodging options and are a 10 minute drive from the resort.

The 10 Best Ski Resorts on the East Coast – UPDATED 2021/22
Mont Tremblant
Killington Resort
Stowe
Jay Peak
Sugarbush Resort
Sugarloaf
Whiteface
Bretton Woods
Mad River Glen
Loon Mountain
Mont Tremblant