- Category: Top Picks
The Very Best Ski Mountains | East Coast
East Coast weather conditions are very different from West Coast conditions, with icier mountains that tend to get less snow. However, the East Coast does have some amazing ski resorts and mountains, which offer great alpine and nordic skiing, snowboarding, and a variety of other winter sports. Here are ten of the East Coast’s top ski mountains:
Stowe Mountian, Vermont
Stowe Mountain Resort, located in Stowe, Vermont. The resort is on Mt. Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak, boasting an elevation of 4,395 feet. The top elevation of the ski area is 3,640 feet with a vertical drop of 2,360 feet. The resort offers 485 skiable acres with 116 trails and 13 lifts. Stowe Mountain has well-groomed trails, good cross-country options, and offers backcountry skiing. The mountain is particularly famous for the "Front Four," the four runs on the front side of the mountain, known as Goat, Starr, Liftline, and National. The "Front Four" offer some of the East Coast's most challenging skiing.
Sugarloaf Ski Area and Resort, Maine
Located in the Carrabassett Valley in Maine, Sugarloaf is Maine's second highest peak at 4,237 feet. Overall the ski area has more than 1,400 skiable acres and a vertical drop of 2,280 feet, the most continuous vertical drop on the East Coast. The mountain offers 138 trails with 15 lifts on over 651 acres. Sugarloaf also has the East Coast's only lift-serviced above-tree line skiing.
Whiteface, New York
Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort is located in Wilmington, New York, which is about 13 miles from Lake Placid, a former host of the Winter Olympics. Whiteface has the highest vertical drop in the east: 3,430 feet. The ski area has mixed terrain, offering gentle terrain for beginners and many expert trails and extreme backcountry skiing. This ski area has 314 skiable acres, 85 trails, and 11 lifts. Whiteface's highest skiable terrain lies at an elevation of 4,650 feet; this terrain is known as The Slides. The Slides are a series of steep narrow chutes, only accessible by hiking to the top, and only for expert skiers. In addition, The Slides are only opened when deemed safe and at times a ride on The Slides requires full avalanche gear.
Jay Peak, Vermont
Located in Jay, Vermont, Jay Peak is the snowiest ski area on the east coast, averaging 355 inches of snowfall annually. The mountain has 2 peaks and over 50 miles of skiable terrain. Jay Peak's ski area has a top elevation of 3,968 feet and a vertical rise of 2,153 feet. There are 76 trails and 8 lifts over an area of 385 acres. Jay Peak is known for its challenging terrain and good backcountry skiing. The peak is best known for getting the most snow on the East Coast.
Killington Resort, Vermont
Killington is located in central Vermont, east of Rutland. Killington Resort spans six peaks: Killington Peak, Skye Peak, Ramshead Peak, Snowdon Peak, Bear Mountain Peak, and Sunrise Mountain Peak. This resort is much larger than any other ski resort on the East Coast. The ski area offers 141 runs and 22 lifts over 752 acres acres. The summit elevation is 4,241 feet and has a vertical drop of 3,050 feet. There are runs for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Killington is also known for its great apres-ski and nightlife options.
Smugglers Notch, Vermont
Smugglers Notch is known for its great family ski area and fantastic ski school. The ski area is located in Smugglers' Notch, Vermont, just 2.9 miles from Stowe. The resort is compiled of three interconnected mountains: Madonna, Sterling, and Morse. The ski area has a top elevation of 3,640 feet with a vertical drop of 2,610 feet. There are 78 trails with 8 lifts and 310 skiable acres. Smugglers Notch has over 1000 acres of terrain and the Nordic Center offers 58 kilometers of cross-country and snowshoe trails. Another bonus is that Smugglers' Notch has the only triple black diamond on the East Coast: Black Hole.
Holiday Valley, New York
Located in Ellicottville, New York, this ski area has a summit elevation of 2,250 feet. The ski area has 56 trails, 13 lifts, and 282 skiable acres. Beginners of all ages can take private lessons from the ski and snowboard school at Holiday Valley. In addition, the resort offers 37 night trails, four terrain parks, and a half pipe.
Located in Warren, Vermont, Sugarbrush has excellent terrain. The summit elevation is 4,083 feet with a vertical drop of 2,600 feet. There are 508 skiable acres, 111 trails, and 16 lifts with a good range of intermediate and advanced runs. Sugarbrush encompasses Mount Ellen, Lincoln Peak, Castlerock Peak, North Lynx Peak, Gad Peak, and Inverness Peak. Sugarbrush offers many lessons and programs, including programs for racing and backcountry skiing.
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Bretton Woods Mountain Resort, also known as the Mount Washington Resort, is located in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Bretton Woods is the largest ski area in New Hampshire with 434 skiable acres. The ski area has 101 trails, 10 lifts, and four terrain parks. The resort also has night skiing.
Okemo Mountain, Vermont
Located in Ludlow, Vermont, Okemo Mountain is near to Killington. The ski area has 119 trails, 19 lifts, and 632 skiable acres. The mountain has a top elevation of 3,344 feet and a vertical drop of 2,200 feet. Okemo Mountain resort has 97% snowmaking, so the resort has consistently good coverage. In addition, the runs provide a good range of difficulty level.