The 7 Best Vermont Ski Resorts

The 7 Best Vermont Ski Resorts - UPDATED 2020/21
Jack Lee
Written by Jack Lee / Photos by Greg Burke
Last updated May 15, 2020
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Whether you’re looking for a laidback ski area with affordable lift tickets or multi-mountain resorts with trails that run for miles, it’s all here in the Green Mountain State. We’ve teamed with our insider Joretta Wong and friends at North East Mountain Sports to narrow down the best in Vermont!

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Known for

Biggest ski area in the East with diversity of terrain across six mountains

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

Closest airports

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

Welcome to The Beast of the East, Vermont's biggest ski resort spread across seven mountain areas and provides everything from mellow groomers to scary steeps. Killington is also one of the best ski resorts in Vermont for nightlife with excellent places to eat and drink after a long day on the slopes. There is no doubt that Killington is an incredibly popular ski resort for its skiing but it also means the slopes can get quite crowded on powder days and due to the vast variety of terrain, you may experience difficulty navigating between the ski areas.

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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

Closest airports

Morrisville-Stowe State Airport - 14 mi (30 minute drive)
Burlington Intl. Airport - 42 mi (1 hour drive)
skiing stowe mountain resort
If you love expert terrain, you’ll love Stowe

Long-standing and consistently top-ranking among Vermont ski resorts, Stowe is a quaint ski town with rich skiing heritage. With plenty of terrain to explore, you’ll find some of the most gnarly skiing here, along with luxurious hotels and plenty of pampering off the slopes. Be prepared for the long lift queues though, as well as the traffic jams that occur when skiers leave the resort in the evening since the actual town of Stowe is a drive away from the slopes. Being owned by Vail, Stowe is one of the most expensive places to ski in Vermont but luckily it's covered on the Epic Pass.

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Known for

The best place in Vermont for kids skiing

Highlights

  • Wide range of terrain makes it a top choice for family ski trips
  • Mammoth snowmaking operation covers 98% of the ski area
  • Packed full of terrain parks
  • It’s an expensive place to ski

Closest airports

Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport - 20 mi (25 minute drive)
Albany Intl. Airport - 90 mi (2 hour drive)
skiing okemo
Okemo serves up a range of terrain to suit all abilities

Okemo Mountain makes a family ski trip easy and fun, with convenient on-mountain lodging, excellent kids learn to ski and ride programs, some of the best cuisine in ski country, assured conditions with big snowmaking power, a friendly staff, and plenty to amuse you after the modern orange bubble-covered lifts stop spinning. There’s also a wide variety of terrain and plenty of terrain parks. It’s further south than many other Vermont ski resorts, making it quicker to reach from major population hubs and airports on the Northeast coast. The resort is complemented by the quaint Ludlow village down the road with casual local dining and shopping.

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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
  • New base area includes luxury lodgings
  • There’s no nightlife or real town nearby

Closest airports

Northeast Kingdom Intl. Airport - 24 mi (35 minute drive)
Burlington Intl. Airport - 68 mi (1.5 hour drive)
Snowing Jay Peak
Jay Peak has some of the deepest powder around thanks to the ‘Jay Cloud’

Nestled way up north, just a few miles from the Canadian border, Jay Peak is widely regarded as Vermont’s snowiest ski resort. Although it’s a long drive from the major cities on the Northeast coast, the flip side to this is that there are less crowds compared to other Vermont resorts. Jay Peak is home to some of the best glade skiing in the East and with plenty of winter activities to do, including a huge indoor waterpark, an ice rink, a climbing gym and even hot tubs! Having lots of great lift ticket deals to save money, Jay Peak is great for family trips!

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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

Closest airports

Burlington Intl. Airport - 42 mi (1 hour drive)
Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport - 62 mi (1.5 hour drive)
Rim Run at Mount Ellen Sugarbush ski resort
Rim Run at Mount Ellen

Welcome to Sugarbush, home to some of the most epic terrain, spread across two mountains and six peaks with serious steeps from the top and gentle greens down below. One of the biggest draws that keep skiers coming back to Sugarbush is the extensive wooded areas available to ski. Sometimes trails are simply left ungroomed so you really are free to make the most out of what the mountains offer. If all that wasn’t enough, Sugarbush is generally a notch cheaper than Stowe, but not at the sacrifice of luxury. Down in the town there’s a genuine rustic feel and some wonderfully luxurious accommodation, so get ready to enjoy the best of both worlds!

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Known for

Well-groomed trails and first-class terrain parks

Highlights

  • Closest large Vermont ski resort to New York City
  • Great on-mountain dining options with a great selection of beers
  • An abundance of intermediate terrain
  • Expensive to stay and slopes may get over-crowded

Closest airports

Albany Intl. Airport - 68 mi (1.5 hour drive)
Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport - 55 mi (1.5 hour drive)
mount snow ski resort vermont
Mount Snow, one of the closest large Vermont ski resorts in New York City

Like Okemo, Mount Snow is located in southern Vermont and is the closest large Vermont ski resort to New York City making it a great option for those looking for the large resort experience. With two thirds of the trails at Mount Snow falling into the blue square category, you could be forgiven for thinking this resort is only best for intermediates. The resort also attracts hordes of park rats with quite literally an entire section of the mountain dedicated to 9 separate terrain parks, including a superpipe! A great selection of accommodation is spread across the base including lodges, condos and Mount Snow’s own Grand Summit Resort Hotel.

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Known for

Stunning mountain views and being one of the best ski schools on the East Coast

Highlights

  • Variety of ski-in/ski-out condos
  • Great value for money
  • Laid-back family-friendly vibe
  • Far from New York City and Boston

Closest airports

Burlington Intl. Airport - 33 mi (1 hour drive)
Morrisville-Stowe State Airport - 23 mi (35 minute drive)
drifter an intermediate trail Smugglers Notch
Drifter, an intermediate run

A family owned and operated resort, Smugglers' Notch has a well-earned reputation for its family-friendliness. Not only does it have one of the best ski schools on the East Coast, their lift ticket prices are relatively inexpensive considering its sizeable terrain spread across three mountains with Morse Mountain serving mostly greens, perfect for beginners. Unlike Okemo, it’s much further than New York City and Boston making it a little harder to reach. Nevertheless, with the self-contained village, a variety of mountainside condos, and different family activities and events on offer every night, it's no wonder why this resort has become a favorite!

The 7 Best Vermont Ski Resorts
Killington Resort
Stowe Mountain Resort
Okemo Mountain Resort
Jay Peak
Sugarbush Resort
Mount Snow
Smugglers' Notch Resort
Killington Resort