10 BEST Vermont Ski Resorts To Visit This Winter
Say “skiing” and most people think of Aspen, Vail, and Breckenridge in Colorado, but skiers-in-the-know are waxing their skis and heading east to Vermont ski resorts. Easy to reach from Boston and New York State, some of the best ski resorts in the USA are found in Vermont’s Green Mountains. You’ll find all types and levels of winter sports in the 43 Alpine ski resorts across the Green Mountain State. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly ski resorts, terrain parks, challenging pistes, snowboarding challenges or après-ski nightlife, Vermont ski resorts have it all.
When it comes to snowfall, it’s hard to beat Vermont for consistency and quantity. Each year around 25 feet of white flakes smother the ski slopes. State-of-the-art snowmaking and grooming equipment keep the pistes, parks, and glades in peak condition.
Each resort has its own individuality and appeal. Luxury accommodation, lodges, fine dining, spas, equipment rentals, and ski lessons can be found at every ski resort in Vermont. In summer, the Vermont Mountains welcome visitors with a whole new set of activities, from hiking and mountain biking to beer festivals and events. We’ve handpicked our Top 10 favorite ski resorts in Vermont to help you find the best ski resort for you and your family in all seasons.
Visit the Killington Ski Resort, VT
Killington Ski Resort is a top choice for skiing in Vermont, especially if you like the singles scene and après-ski parties. The Wobbly Barn is a great place to meet up with like-minded friends for drinks before moving on to the Pickle Barrel nightclub nearby. It has a plethora of bar areas, and there’s always live music and dancing.
But there’s more to Killington ski area than partying. It boasts the highest elevation in Vermont at 4,241 feet and the biggest vertical drop (3.050 feet). No wonder it is has earned itself the nickname “Beast of the East.” This all adds up to the longest ski season in Vermont, and in the Eastern USA, running from late October to mid-May.
No matter how many times you visit, there’s still plenty to see and do at Killington Ski Resort. The 155 downhill trails for Alpine skiing are suitable for beginner, intermediate, and expert skiers. Snowboarders should be happy with six terrain parks.
Beyond the slopes, there’s plenty more to see and do. Head to Peak Lodge on Killington Peak and enjoy views across Canada and five neighboring states. In summer, Killington Resort is fantastic for biking and golf. They also host the IDF Skate and Ice Luge World Cup in June, which are great for spectators. With the largest bike park in the East, mountain bikers will love to visit for the Vermont Bike and Brew Festival each June.
Glide Down To Stowe Mountain Resort, VT
Stowe Mountain Ski Resort is located on Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield, at 4,393 feet. Picture-postcard pretty, this Vermont ski resort is in the heart of New England’s snow belt, pretty much guaranteeing great snow for skiers and snowboarders.
Over half the ski runs at Stowe Mountain Resort are designated Intermediate with the remaining slopes suitable for Beginner, Advanced, and Expert levels. There are three superb Terrain Parks. For youngsters, there are Kid’s Adventure Zones on the mountain with gentle slopes designed to build confidence.
For luxury accommodation, look no further than Stowe Mountain Lodge which includes a spa, heated outdoor pool, and arts center. Take the nearby cross-mountain gondola and enjoy skiing on neighboring Mount Mansfield too. Along with Alpine skiing, Stowe offers cross-country trails and snowshoeing, sleigh rides, dog sledding tours, and snowmobile tours. You can also learn about Vermont’s ski history at the Vermont Ski Museum.
Visiting Stowe Mountain Resort in the summer? No problem, it offers zip lining and rock climbing as well as beautiful scenic hiking.
Jump Into Burke Mountain Ski Resort, VT
Known as the “Last Little Corner of Vermont,” Burke Mountain Ski Resort has over 2000 vertical feet of descent on wider, flatter trails to appeal to most skill levels. Having trained more than 50 Olympic competitors, Burke Mountain has earned its place in our Top 10 Vermont ski resorts. Look forward to 36 trails, 14 glades, three terrain parks, and 178 skiable acres. There are 50 Alpine ski trails, 12 cross country trails and plenty of accommodation and dining options.
Burke Mountain excels in summer activities. There’s a thrilling Bike Park full of challenges on two wheels and the Kingdom Trails are epic. You have the choice of 19 bike trails, a downhill park, flow and jump trails and more fun from the lift-accessible trails. For kids, the Mountain Bike Adventure Camp is truly thrilling while Outdoor Adventure Camps teach all the survival tricks you need. Campers will spend summer days swimming, mountain biking, fishing, canoeing, learning the skills of shelter building and cooking on a campfire.
Slide By Sugarbush Resort, VT
Sugarbush has over 60 years of history as a top Vermont ski resort with two mountains and over 2,000 acres for serious skiers to explore. Its main claim to fame is as the home to Vermont’s highest chair lift, providing access to Mt. Ellen ski trails. Sugarbush has the second largest vertical drop for Vermont ski resorts at 2,650 feet. Snowboarders have three terrain parks and a half-pipe for winter fun.
Sugarbush is the only ski resort in Vermont to offer Cat Skiing where a Snow Cat (usually used for grooming trails) transports you to a location. You have to ski back to the resort as part of a group with a ski leader. It’s a fun adventure for those looking for different ways to enjoy skiing in Vermont.
The full-service ski village at Sugarbush Resort includes a luxury hotel, apartments, a spa, supermarket, and restaurants. After dark, you’ll find a great choice of casual and fine dining
Beyond the winter sports, Sugarbush Resort attracts many summer visitors to its breweries and golf courses. It hosts the annual Brew Grass Festival which combines craft beers from all over Vermont along with living bluegrass bands. The Fourth of July Parade is huge and has a fun “Buddy” competition. For $1 you get a numbered Buddy Badge, and you have to find your matching partner in the crowds to win a prize. Who says you can’t have fun in Sugarbush Resort without snow?
Be Sporty And Visit Jay Peak, VT
Just five miles from the Canadian border, Jay Peak is Vermont’s northernmost ski resort. Not surprisingly, it gets the most natural snowfall of all Vermont ski resorts. Jay Peak is very popular with Canadian skiers, including nationals from Montreal and Quebec. It gives this Vermont ski resort a more French-Canadian flavor in the cuisine, shopping, and language.
Jay Peak’s 385 skiable acres are open from mid-November through mid-May so ski addicts can really enjoy a long ski season in the Vermont Mountains. It offers 78 trails and ski slopes for all types of skier, although almost half are Expert level. The slopes are served by Vermont’s only aerial tramway which is capable of transporting more than 12,000 people an hour from the base to the 3,968-foot summit. However, Jay Peak is best known for its extensive backcountry skiing trails for cross-country skiing.
Along with hotels and lodges to suit all budgets and tastes, Jay Peak ski resort has a full range of dining options. Activities include a spa, ice hockey arena, curling, sleigh rides, and an ice-skating rink. Kids of all ages will love the indoor water park which has a Lazy River, water chutes, surf wave pool and a rock-climbing wall. There is covered access to the water park from Tram Haus Lodge and Jay Peak Ski Resort. In the summer season, Jay Peak’s 18-hole golf course is a scenic and challenging course. However, the Summer Concert Series kicks off in June.
Have Fun At Stratton Mountain Resort, VT
Stratton Mountain Ski Resort in Vermont is the best ski resort for families of all ages. Ranked in the Top 10 by SKI magazine, the resort is known for its world-class ski amenities and super-fast lifts. It also has a consistently high quality of snow for enjoying on 97 trails and 100 acres of well-maintained slopes.
Stratton Mountain Resort has a high proportion of beginner trails (41 at the last count), although more experienced skiers will have plenty of choices. The Alpine Ski Resort Village is particularly luxurious with a spa, fitness center, and restaurant dining. For value, Long Trail House is an easy walk from the ski slopes and has hot tubs and a sauna for easing achy muscles.
In winter, you can look forward to ice skating, tubing, sleigh rides, and exhilarating 90-minute dogsled tours through the valley. The resort has excellent shopping, sports center, indoor pool, steam room, and gym. In summer, Stratton Mountain Resort hosts Women’s Golf Day and other LPGA tournaments. As well as a July Fourth Celebration and Fireworks, it attracts many visitors to the Wanderlust Festival.
Relax At Mount Snow, VT
Located in West Dover, Mount Snow has some outstanding terrain parks that are impeccably maintained. This popular Vermont ski resort has excellent snowmaking from 250 high-output fan guns. Its location, close to Albany, Boston, and Manchester, makes it quite busy on weekends. However, it is very well organized with the mountain divided into areas for different levels of ski experience. North Face has the most advanced ski terrain with tree-skiing areas and the famous double-black diamond Ripcord Trail.
Skiers have 20 lifts and the speedy Bluebird Express to keep lines moving. Once on the piste, skiers quickly spread out along 80 trails and 588 acres. Ten terrain parks and a half-pipe keep snowboarders happy. The $22 million Carinthia Base Lodge has terrain parks including rails and a superpipe along with a café, restaurant, ski school, and equipment rentals. Alternatively, the Gray Ghost Inn is a good choice for families with large rooms and a free hot breakfast to start the day.
In summer, the Bike Park is open with lift and downhill trails. There’s also the Mount Snow Golf Course and Wilmington Antiques and Flea Market for you to browse.
Ski Out To Smugglers’ Notch Resort, VT
Known by regulars and locals as “Smuggs,” the Smugglers’ Notch Ski Resort in Vermont has one of the highest vertical drops at 2,610 feet. Close to Burlington, it has three mountains, 40+ intermediate trails and 360 snow-covered acres for skiing. While welcoming families and beginners, this top Vermont ski resort is also home to Black Hole, a triple-black diamond run.
Families love the supervised Teen Club and indoor Fun Zone recreation area with video games and an obstacle course. There’s also an indoor pool, nursery and ski classes for all ages from 2½ years of age. Named #1 Kid-Friendly Ski Resort in the East by SKI magazine, it entertains visitors with torchlight parades, fireworks and evening activities.
Off-piste activities include the Arbor Trek Zip Line through the canopy, guided snowshoe hikes, Mountain Bike Terrain, and Fat Bike Rentals. Smugglers’ Notch hosts a Father’s Day Event with a food truck, live music, beer and a carnival in mid-June.
Slide Towards Bolton Valley Ski Resort, VT
Bolton Valley is a top Vermont ski resort with alpine-style lodgings and a cozy small-town feel. Set on 300 acres in the Green Mountains of Vermont, this ski resort is surrounded by forest. It is particularly eco-friendly and has won many awards for its environmental practices.
Energy-efficient snow guns and wind turbines are just some of the green initiatives at Bolton Valley. There’s also a Wellness Lodge with an organic vegetarian café and Yoga studio at the Lotus Mountain Retreat, making it a great option for families with some non-skiing members. There’s also a new Sports Centre with a heated pool, jacuzzi, and sauna.
Many of the lodgings at Bolton Valley Ski Resort are ski-in, ski-out or just a stone’s throw from the lifts. There are 13 glades, three terrain parks and 62 miles of Nordic backcountry trails for all levels from beginner through expert. There are even lighted trails for night skiing. Out of the winter snow season, Bolton Valley Ski Resort offers Disc Golf and lawn games including horseshoes, bocce and corn hole.
Head Down To Okemo Mountain Resort, VT
Okemo Mountain Ski Resort in Vermont is family-run and very friendly. It has a 2,200-foot vertical drop – the largest in Southern Vermont – with 120 well-groomed trails covering 644 acres on four Vermont mountains. Wow! It’s great for skiers with not much experience as it has many rolling Blue Runs (one up from Green/Beginner).
Additionally, going up the mountain is nearly as much fun as coming down when you use the 6-person bubble chairlift with heated seats. You won’t want to get off! This family-friendly ski resort at Okemo Mountain also has several terrain parks and a 500-foot-long superpipe. Head to the Adventure Zone and enjoy the Mountain Coaster ride and Snow Cat excursions or wallow in the warm water at Spring House which has a sauna and water slides.
We hope you’ve found the best Vermont ski resort for your next snow sports vacation. In the meantime, we leave you with one interesting fact. Vermont has produced more Winter Olympics medal winners per capita than any other state. So you’ll be in good company when skiing in Vermont.