Updated on 11/5/2023
Vermont is known as the Green Mountain State, but in the winter months it could complement its neighboring state of New Hampshire as perhaps the “White Mountain” state, next door. Our wonderful New England state is a popular destination for ski enthusiasts and visitors from around the world. Get ready for this years ski season and enjoy some of the best Vermont ski resorts in the United States!
Also, enjoy a bit of Vermont skiing and ski area history!
The Very Best Vermont Ski Resorts and Ski Areas
With its stunning natural beauty, friendly locals, and world-class ski resorts, it is no wonder why so many people flock to Vermont each winter, seeking recreation and a getaway from the toils of work and daily routines. If you’re a skier or snowboarder, you’ll fall in love with the best ski resorts in Vermont and the Green Mountains! Beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders are welcome to test some of the best terrain, rivaling the ski resorts in Colorado!
In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss some of the top-rated ski resorts in Vermont that are definitely worth visiting. Find the best ski town, and get ready for the best resorts on the east coast!
Stowe Mountain Resort
Stowe Mountain Resort is a very well-known ski area in Stowe, Vermont. It is one of Vermont’s most popular ski destinations, and for good reason. With a towering height of 4,395 feet, skiers and snowboarders of all levels will find plenty of challenging terrain to explore. With 116 trails, the ski area offers a range of slopes for skiers of all levels. As one of the top ski locations on the east coast, Stowe is definitely a great, first choice for skiing in Vermont!
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We know Stowe Mountain Resort for its stunning northern Vermont, mountain views and its large snow making system, making it a popular destination for both beginners and experienced skiers. This ski resort also offers a range of activities and facilities, from restaurants and bars to spas and local shopping, making it the perfect choice for families and friends. Comparable to very best Vail resorts, Stowe has just about everything you could ask for.
Killington Mountain Resort
Killington Resort is the biggest ski resort in Vermont. It is also has one of the tallest peaks in Vermont, with Mt Mansfield being number one! It is a popular ski destination in Vermont that offers an impressive range of ski runs for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. With a height of 4,241 feet, skiers and snowboarders can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.Relax
Besides skiing and snowboarding, Killington Resort also offers a range of activities and facilities, including dining, nightlife, and entertainment. The city of Rutland is nearby and easy to drive to from New York and other New England states. Vermont’s ski resorts are family-friendly ski areas with ski terrain for all levels of experience.
Jay Peak Resort
Jay Peak Resort is a hidden gem in Vermont’s “Northeast Kingdom” ski scene, offering some of the best skiing and snowboarding opportunities in the state. With a height of 3,968 feet, this ski resort boasts a range of challenging runs, glades skiing, as well as more gentle slopes for beginners. With 88 trails, the ski area offers a range of slopes and trails for everyone. From chairlifts to a mountain top tram ride, there are plenty of ways to get to the top of Jay. The mountain top views are spectacular and awe-inspiring.
Jay Peak is a Vermont resort with a waterpark!
Jay Peak Resort is famous for its challenging terrain and its large snow making system, making it a popular destination for experienced skiers. In addition, Jay Peak Resort offers a variety of activities and facilities, including lodging, dining, shopping, a year-round water park and entertainment. The ski area, in the town of Jay, offers a scenic view from the base of the Mountain Road, from the Jay Country Store. If you’re planning a ski vacation, Jay Peak Vermont has to offer the best classic Vermont ski trip experience!
- 18″ x 24″ digital print on heavyweight satin photo paper
- Includes all lift-served ski areas and resorts in Vermont
- Icons are designed for you to color in or stick a pin into the ski areas you’ve visited.
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- See the comparison chart below for our other ski maps that include Vermont
Jay Peak has always been a local, family ski area. It boasts a mountain village of slope side skiing and is located in northern Vermont aka “Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom”. The whole family will enjoy Vermont skiing and snowboarding at Jay!
Sugarbush Resort, in the small town of Warren is another top-rated ski resort in Vermont, offering skiers and snowboarders a range of challenging terrain and breathtaking views across two mountains. With 111 trails and a height of 4,083 feet, this ski resort is perfect for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Besides skiing and snowboarding, Sugarbush Resort also offers a range of activities and facilities, including dining, local shopping, and entertainment. This ski mountain offers some of the best amenities of any of the resorts in New England.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
Smugglers’ Notch Resort (also known locally as ‘Smuggs’) is a family-friendly ski resort in Jeffersonville, Vermont that offers a range of 79 trails for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. With a height of 3,640 feet, this ski resort also offers a range of activities and facilities, including dining, shopping, and entertainment. The new Madonna Mountain area was opened for the 1963-64 season, featuring a new Hall 6,719 foot long double chairlift. Climbing a breathtaking 2,150 vertical feet, the new chairlift was the largest double in New England.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort is famous for its family-friendly atmosphere and its commitment to sustainability, making it a popular destination for families and environmentally conscious skiers.
Stratton Mountain Resort
Stratton Mountain Resort is a world-renowned ski destination in Vermont that offers skiers and snowboarders a range of challenging runs and breathtaking views. With a height of 3,875 feet, 670+ acres of terrain, top-ranked terrain parks, the fastest fleet of lifts in the East, this ski resort is perfect for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Besides skiing and snowboarding, Stratton Mountain Resort also offers a range of activities and facilities, including luxurious lodging, shopping, dining and après ski activities for the entire family to enjoy.
Okemo Mountain Resort
Okemo Mountain Resort is a family-friendly ski resort in Vermont that offers a range of ski runs for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. With a height of 3,344 feet, this ski resort also offers a range of activities and facilities, including dining, shopping, and fun things to do and see. Located in the beautiful Green Mountains of Southern Vermont, Okemo is a convenient and exciting destination to experience Vermont’s great outdoors year round. Equipment rental outlets are available at both the Clock Tower base area and Jackson Gore base area during the Winter Season. As a resort in southern Vermont, Okemo is one of the best loved ski resorts on the east coast.
Mount Snow Resort
Mount Snow Resort is a popular ski destination in Vermont that offers skiers and snowboarders a range of challenging terrain and breathtaking views. With a height of 3,600 feet, this ski resort is perfect for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Besides skiing and snowboarding, Mount Snow Resort also offers a range of activities and facilities, including local dining, shopping, and entertainment. From terrain & lift updates to weather conditions to on-mountain dining and events, they have all the information you need to enjoy your time at Mount Snow.
Magic Mountain Resort
Magic Mountain Resort is a hidden gem in Vermont’s ski scene, offering skiers and snowboarders a range of challenging runs and breathtaking views. With a height of 2,800 feet, this ski resort is perfect for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Combined with tree-skiing, Magic’s terrain is what makes this ski area different from all others in southern Vermont and the East Coast—virtually unchanged since the 1960s. Besides skiing and snowboarding, Magic Mountain Resort also offers a range of activities and facilities.
Bromley Mountain Resort
Bromley Mountain Resort is your ideal family-friendly ski resort in Vermont. For the kids, the mountain seems enormous. To parents, it is the correct size with terrain that funnels everyone into their centralized base area. Everyone enjoys their pleasant southern exposure, slopeside lodging, varied terrain, friendly workers, and tasty food. With a height of 3,284 feet, this ski resort also offers a range of activities and facilities, including dining, shopping, and entertainment.
Bolton Valley Resort
Bolton Valley Resort is a ski area in Bolton Valley, Vermont. It is located just 30 minutes from Burlington, Stowe, Montpelier and the Mad River Valley. Only 2 hours from Montreal and 3 hours from Boston, with 76 trails. The ski area offers a range of slopes for skiers of all levels. You’ll find that the terrain in Vermont is as challenging as anywhere else. We know Bolton Valley Resort for its beautiful mountain views and its commitment to sustainability, making it a popular destination for environmentally conscious skiers. It is a major ski destination and one of the top ski resorts in Vermont.
Burke Mountain Resort Burke
Burke Mountain Resort is a Northeast Kingdom ski area in East Burke, Vermont. With 77 trails, the ski area offers a range of slopes for skiers of all levels. Burke Mountain Resort is famous for its breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and its family-friendly atmosphere, making it a popular destination for families and beginner skiers. The second floor of the Burke Mountain Hotel houses the Willoughby Gap Tavern’s large windows that provide sweeping views of the valley below. But the bar’s stepped-up foods, excellent cocktails and craft beers tend to be such a good fortune that you quickly become accustomed to coming back time and time again.
So which of the above ski resorts in the United States are the best on the east coast?
Though the question comes up quite often, it’s really up for debate! The largest ski area, with the best ski terrain and best expert skiing may or may not be YOUR favorite Vermont ski village. Vermont is one American ski destination with many of the best terrain parks in the USA, rivaling the most popular ski resorts in Utah! Whether it’s the night life at Killington Mountain Lodge or a cold beer at a lesser-known in Vermont ski resort, it’s all up to you!
Vermont’s Smaller Ski Areas that are NOT large, full feature resorts
Vermont is famous for its picturesque landscapes and gorgeous winter sports destinations. With many ski resorts to choose from, the state attracts thousands of tourists every winter. However, there is a side of Vermont that few know about, its smaller ski areas that are not resorts. These ski areas offer a more intimate and personalized skiing experience, away from the crowds and commercialization of larger resorts.
Overshadowed by the Glitz of Killington, Pico Mountain Offers Understated Vermont Charm
Nestled in the Green Mountains lies Pico Mountain, a quaint ski resort that offers an alternative to the larger, better-known destinations in Vermont. Though neighboring Killington boasts over 200 trails and 28 lifts, tiny Pico has just 57 trails and 7 lifts. But for many, less is more when it comes to an authentic Vermont skiing experience.
Free from labyrinthine base villages and Vail Resorts conglomeration, Pico retains the charm of simplicity. Its intimate lodge and remote feel harken back to skiing’s earlier days. Families appreciate the gentle slopes of Pico’s learning area and relaxed atmosphere. And experts relish having the mountain almost to themselves – no crowds, just endless powder turns on groomer-free steeps.
While Killington impresses with its vast scale and lively aprés scene, Pico offers understated Green Mountain magic in a nostalgic package. For skiers looking to escape corporate ski-world and chairlift lines, Pico Mountain provides a portal to Vermont’s skiing roots. The little mountain with the hand-cut trails may not have the glitz, but it has oodles more heart and character.
Mad River Glen is a unique ski area located in Fayston, Vermont
Here are a few key things that make Mad River Glen ski area’ located in central Vermont, stand out, making it unique from the large ski resorts:
- It’s one of only three ski areas in the U.S. that prohibits snowboarding. Skiing only is allowed.
- It has the last single chairlift in the country. The one-person chairlift is seen as a classic ski experience and gives skiers a peaceful ride up the mountain.
- There is very limited trail grooming and snowmaking. Mad River Glen prides itself on offering skiers an authentic, “old school” skiing experience.
- The terrain is steep and rugged. Experts love the challenging downhill runs through glades and natural terrain features.
- It’s cooperatively owned by shareholders, so operations focus on the skiing experience rather than profits.
- The lodge and base facilities have a retro, rustic vibe. It’s small-scale compared to modern mega resorts.
- Stowe, Sugarbush, and other major Vermont ski resorts are located very close by for comparison.
In summary, Mad River Glen offers a quirky, back-to-basics, skier-owned experience in contrast to the industry trend toward corporate ski resorts with lifted amenities. Its stubborn traditionalism has earned it a cult following among purist skiers in Vermont.
Escape to Wintry Bliss at Vermont’s Charming Saskadena Six
Saskadena Six (formerly Suicide Six) is a ski resort in South Pomfret, Vermont. Its claim to historical fame as the earliest ski resort derives from the installation, in January 1934, of an improvised rope tow, the first ski hill in the United States, located on Clinton Gilbert’s farm.
Nestled in the snow-capped Green Mountains awaits Saskadena Six, a cozy ski area offering the quintessential Vermont winter escape. With family-friendly novice runs and thrilling expert trails, Saskadena Six delights skiers of all levels. Glide through snowy forests and breathe in the crisp mountain air before unwinding fireside in the lodge. Alpine skiing in Vermont, at it’s best!
After a day on the slopes, continue the winter magic at the charming Woodstock Inn & Resort just minutes away. Sink into your spacious suite before savoring farm-to-table cuisine at the Red Rooster restaurant. Indulge in a soothing massage at the on-site spa before dipping into the resort’s Athletic Club pool or sauna. Cap off the day mingling with family and friends over craft brews and hearty soups at Pearly’s Pourhouse.
With six lifts, 45 kilometers of cross-country ski trails, and cozy Woodstock hospitality, Saskadena Six offers a quintessential taste of wintry Vermont. Let the mountain chill kiss your cheeks as you glide through snowy evergreens on your perfect Vermont ski getaway.
Exploring the Best of the Smallest Ski Areas in Vermont
- Cochran’s Ski Area is a family-owned ski area in Richmond, Vermont. With eight ski trails and 3 lifts, the ski area offers a range of slopes for skiers of all levels. Cochran’s Ski Area is known for its friendly atmosphere, making it a popular destination for families and beginner skiers. Cochran’s Ski Area has a snack bar with the local town of Richmond offering more dining choices, stores and a ski shop.
- Rikert Nordic Center is a cross-country ski area in Ripton, Vermont. The ski area offers over 50 km of groomed trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Rikert Nordic Center is a popular destination for skiers who want to experience the beauty of Vermont’s backcountry without having to leave the groomed trails. The Nordic Center is fully ADA accessible, offers a full service rental shop, a PSIA certified ski school, and has 5km snow making.
- Middlebury College Snow Bowl is a ski area in Hancock, Vermont, 13 miles east of Middlebury in Vermont’s Green Mountains. The ski area has been owned and operated by Middlebury College since its first trails were cut in 1934. The Snowbowl has 17 trails and 3 chair lifts, offering access to more than 700 acres of terrain offering a range of slopes for skiers of all levels. Middlebury College Snow Bowl is known for its beautiful mountain views and its commitment to sustainability, making it a popular destination for environmentally conscious skiers.
Frequently Asked Questions about Vermont’s Smaller Ski Areas
Are there any ski areas in Vermont that are NOT resorts?
Yes, there are many ski areas in Vermont that are not resorts. These smaller ski areas offer a more personalized and intimate skiing experience, away from the crowds and commercialization of larger resorts. Small ski areas are perfect for kids and adults of all ages who wish to learn to ski in a more intimate environment.
Are the smaller Vermont ski resorts and ski areas good for beginner skiers?
Yes, many of the smaller ski areas in Vermont are great for beginner skiers. These ski areas offer a welcoming atmosphere, as well as a range of slopes that are suitable for skiers of all levels. They can also be more affordable for beginners and budget minded folks.
Can you rent ski equipment at Vermont’s smaller ski resorts and areas that are not full featured resorts?
Yes, some of Vermont’s smaller ski areas (that are not all-inclusive resorts) have equipment rental facilities. These facilities usually offer skis, boots, and poles for rent, as well as other equipment and accessories. There may also be local independent ski shops in the vicinity as well.
Vermont’s smaller ski areas offer a unique and intimate skiing experience that cannot be found at larger ski resorts. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a beginner, these ski areas have something for everyone. With friendly atmospheres, and a range of slopes for skiers of all levels, Vermont’s smaller ski areas are a great destination for anyone looking to enjoy the beauty of the Vermont winter.
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