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Top 10 Luxurious and Budget Ski Resorts in Vermont

Skiing in Vermont is legendary. With up to 25 meters of natural snow each winter and state-of-the-art snowmaking and maintenance equipment, conditions are reliable; many Ski Resorts in Vermont open in late November and do not close until mid-April. The resort complexes that have grown around these mountains match the ski, providing luxury accommodation, fine dining and spas, as well as more basic accommodation for low-budget skiers. In fact, most are year-round resorts with top-notch facilities that become tourist attractions. All provide the essentials for a family ski vacation for all skill levels, including rental equipment and lessons.

Ski Resorts in Vermont

While eastern skiing does not offer the high-altitude and long-distance skiing of the Rocky Mountains and other western ski mountains, it does offer plenty of terrains to challenge expert skiers and boarders alike. Vermont has more Winter Olympics per capita than any other state, so there should be ample opportunity out there to perfect these top-notch spins. Find the best places to ski with our list of top ski resorts in Vermont.

1. Killington


With some of the most skiable terrain in Vermont and one of the largest post-ski scenes in New England, Killington attracts young boarders and skiers alike. It includes 155 trails, 60 trails, and 16 glades, with more private terrain than any other peak, but intermediate and beginner skiers have plenty to choose from between 53 and 43 trails, respectively. Its large size allows Killington to offer a wide variety of ski styles, as well as old-fashioned narrow roads winding through the woods, wide viewing trails, large faces and steep drops.

With six terrain parks, including The Stash, an all-natural park with over 50 features, the options for snowboarders and freestylers are equally diverse. The superpipe is 500 feet long and the walls are 18 feet high. All this is served by 22 elevators, two of which are fast gondolas. Snow Mountain rides are made faster and more comfortable with the new 6-seat high-speed balloon chairlift for the 2018-2019 season, followed by the new Northridge Quad chairlift and new low-energy Tower guns, and a new K-1 Base. The hut is 50% larger.

During ski season, there’s something going on in Killington every weekend, including festivals, bands, competitions and events. The entire passage is covered with dining and entertainment venues. There are many ways to enjoy the outdoors, with snowmobile tours, sledding tours, tubing, and dog sledding nearby.

Traditionalists may prefer the slightly old-fashioned, laid-back charm of adjacent Mount Pico, whose 1,967-foot vertical drop is one of the highest mountains in Vermont. Pico continues a multi-year major upgrade program for its snowmaking systems. Alongside the restaurant and post-ski area on Killington Access Road is the large Killington Mountain Lodge with an indoor pool and the Birch Ridge Inn, close to the ski area, which offers breakfast and an on-site restaurant.

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2. Mount Snow

Mount Snow Resort

Snow Mountain isn’t Vermont’s largest ski area, but it is one of its most popular, largely due to its excellent snowmaking abilities and its location as the closest major ski resort to most of the Northeast’s metropolitan areas.

But for starters, there are 20 lifts, from 5-floor lifts to 3 high-speed 4-wheel zeppelins, and the Bluebird Express (the first 6-person balloon lift in the East) and a network of 80 to keep the line moving fast. There are 588 acres of trails and plenty of snow room for skiers. These are mainly aimed at intermediate skiers who can choose from 54 trails, 12 for beginners and 14 for experts. The boarding is huge with 10 terrain parks and half pipes.

An attractive feature is that there are quite separate mountain areas for different skiing abilities. The Long John/Little John trail at the summit provides beginners with the excitement of skiing from the summit, in addition to the slow ski area that includes the beginner’s section. The main site of the mountain is full of intermediate trails and slopes for a day’s skiing, and the Sunbrook area behind the main mountain is also an intermediate zone serviced by its own lift. The North Face has 10 specialist trails and a double black course served by a pair of triple chairlifts.

Snow Mountain’s southern setting made snowmaking an early priority, and the 250+ high-output fan guns are the best at any ski resort in North America. A $30 million profit-making project has further increased capacity, and updated low-energy snow guns have made it one of the most energy-efficient resorts in the industry.

The 9.8-acre snowmaking area in Corinthia has recently been expanded and a small terrain park for beginners and intermediates has been added. In late 2019, Mount Snow was purchased by Vail and included in the Epic Pass family, along with Okemo and Stowe and several mountains in New Hampshire. All transactions within the facility will be made by credit or debit card.

Both luxury and affordable accommodations are located in the base area, and the reasonably priced Snow Mountain Lodge offers a shuttle to the base hotel. Gray Ghost Inn on Rte 100 is near the foot of the mountain and offers family rooms with cooked breakfast included.

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3. Sugarbush

Sugarbush was known as the home of the “Jet Set” in the 1960s – where the term originated – but its two mountain trails and 2,000 acres of the country estate make it a ski enthusiast’s first choice.

More than half of the 111 trails are suitable for intermediate skiers, but experts can test their skills on 36 trails and 21 glades, 24 of which are suitable for beginners. Vermont’s highest gondola, the two-mile Slide Brook Express, takes you up the Allen Mountain Trail and glade. The only CAT ski experience in the East offers some skiers fresh powder in the morning or the first piste to ski on Mount Ellen in the spring. There are three terrain parks and a half pipe for snowboarders.

Despite the jets taking off, Sugarbush still has a vibrant post-ski life with its fine and comfortable food. Heated outdoor seating has been added and takeaway food and beverage options are available. Sugarbush is an Alterra Mountain Resort included in Alterra’s Ikon Pass system. Foothills of Lincoln Peak is a full-service resort with luxury hotels, condos, spas, shops, and the usual foothills services. For more affordable lodging, head to The Warren Lodge on Rte 100, just across the Sugarbush access road.

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Few ski resorts delight kids like “Smuggs,” an independent destination getaway close to Burlington. Its extensive family-friendly facilities include a private and supervised youth club; an indoor FunZone with climbing inflatable boats, an indoor swimming pool, a slopeside nursery and a range of innovative age-appropriate ski lessons; and two-and-a-half-year programs. -the elderly.

The University of Snow Sports has expanded its study program to include not only skiing techniques but also the selection of appropriate equipment and the ability to “read” the terrain and changing snow conditions. They have earned the title of #1 kid-friendly resort in the East by readers of SKI Magazine.

Campfires and fried marshmallows in the base area, torches parading on the slopes, fireworks and other celebrations are all part of the Smuggs experience with the lifts closed. The ArborTrek Zip Line offers canopy tours, and there are often guided snowshoe hikes. Slope Apartments are designed with family in mind. But don’t think the smuggler’s notch is just for stir-frying. Skiing and biking on three mountains offer 40 intermediate trails and 25 pistes for experts, and 360 acres of skiable ground cover a vertical drop of 2,610 feet.

The Madonna Hill Slope Slalom course has more opportunities for intermediates and experts; will be used for lessons, but also open to independent skiers. It also offers Fat Bike rentals and winter access to Smuggs’ expansive MTB terrain; special winter activities for cycling are planned. Although farther north than many places, it is the closest major ski resort to a commercial airport in Vermont.

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5. Bromley Mountain Resort

Bromley always tops the list for family-friendly ski hills, it may not be the biggest, but it is one of the most user-friendly. Unlike most ski areas, Bromley’s slopes and trails face south and transform into sunny slopes and trails during the day in winter. Bromley opened in 1937 in the early days of recreational skiing and claims its place in ski history as one of the first to adopt the terrain to skiing and to introduce beauty. They’re still good at dealing with snow. Trails are distributed almost equally among beginner, intermediate and expert skiers.

The mountain is known for skiing and riding instruction for children and adults. Bromley uses innovative terrain-based learning techniques that allow students to ski independently on their first day. This year’s new Terrain Park feature is designed for every talent, from green to black, and aims to create one of the best family-friendly developmental parks in the state.

Bromley is great for day skiers. Along with many hotels, hostels and hostels in and around Manchester, Lodge at Bromley is a base for ski in/out accommodation. The affordable Four Winds Country Motel in Manchester offers spacious rooms and a free breakfast.

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6. Bolton Valley

Bolton Valley’s compact Alpine-style village and homey feel make it look smaller than 71 ski slopes on more than 300 acres. Located in the Green Hills close to I-89, not far from Burlington, Bolton is surrounded by 5,000 acres of undeveloped forest and looks secluded.

Trails are almost evenly distributed among beginners, experts, and intermediates, in addition to 13 open spaces and three terrain parks. Bolton’s award-winning environmental initiatives include energy-efficient HKD snow guns to contribute to the mountain’s average of 312 feet of natural snow each year. Bolton is one of only two ski resorts in the United States that uses wind power as an energy source.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, this well-appointed resort offers 62 miles of Northern and mountain trails, lighted trails for snowshoeing and night skiing. Complete replacement of all lights and the installation of 150 high-efficiency LED lights to improve night skiing, especially on slalom tracks. Bolton Valley Indoor Skate and Bike Park are also fully operational.

There is a variety of accommodation options within the basic area, either ski-in/ski-out or just a short walk from the ski lifts. The main village also has two restaurants, a cafe, a delicatessen and grocery store, and a sports center with a heated swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna.

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7. Mount Stowe Resort

Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield, and neighboring Spruce Peak sit at the heart of the state’s snow belt, making Stowe’s name almost synonymous with New England skiing. One of the country’s first ski resorts, Stowe was already popular in 1937, when the world’s first chairlifts were installed here. Stowe now transports skiers to the trail with two chairlifts (one connecting the two mountains), three high-speed quad lifts, three traditional quad lifts, two triple lifts and three double lifts. More than half of the 116 routes are for intermediate levels, 29 for experts and 19 for beginners. Three terrain parks challenge borders.

Recent additions include a mountain kids’ adventure area with gentle slopes and free terrain designed for learning. Stowe was acquired by Vail in 2018 and is now part of Vail’s Epic Pass network, which includes several ski resorts in New Hampshire as well as Okemo and Mount Snow in Vermont. Luxurious accommodation, a spa with a heated outdoor pool and an arts centre, The Lodge at Spruce Peak is a hillside sanctuary located opposite the foot of Mansfield Mountain and linked by a free cross-country cable car. In addition to the basic village dining options, there is a Maple Waffle CafĂ© inside the Gondola atop the sanctuary.

A Vail Resort, Stowe, is one of 18 resorts in the Northeast that offers a variety of money-saving Epic Pass options: Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass, Military Epic Pass, and Epic Day Pass. The Northeast Value Pass includes access to all 18 properties. The entire mountain road between the mountain and village is lined with country hotels, luxury resorts and restaurants. Near the base of the ski area, Topnotch Resort & Spa is a full-service resort with a fine restaurant. Part of Stowe’s appeal is the village itself, posing for a Christmas card in a blanket of snow.

Running up the hill from town, the Stowe Recreation Trail is popular with cross-country skiers and snowshoeing enthusiasts. In addition to outdoor sports, Stowe offers plenty of things to do in the winter: You can shop at the many craft and art galleries, visit the Helen Day Art Center, and learn about Stowe and New England ski history at the Vermont Ski Museum. Twilight dog sledding tours, sledding tours, and snowmobile tours through the Mount Mansfield State Forest are other winter options at Stowe.

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8. Jay Peak

Located 8 km south of the US-Canada border, Jay Peak is the northernmost point of Vermont ski resorts and the most natural snowfall in the east. This location and more than 80 percent of the snowmaking capacity of the 385-acre ski area allow the resort to offer ski service from mid-November to mid-May. Jay’s 78 trails and slopes include 24 glades, including a few such as Moonwalk Woods, Bushwacker, and Kokomo designed for novice skiers. In total, there are 15 routes for beginners, 30 for intermediate levels and 31 for experts. But for many experts, Jay’s appeal is that he skis in the mountains.

Vermont’s only airlift can carry up to 60 people from base to the summit at 3,968 feet, bringing the mountain’s total lift capacity to more than 12,000 skiers per hour. Most of Jay’s skiers hail from Montreal and Quebec’s eastern towns, giving the entire resort a flavor of French. You’ll hear as much French, or even more, as English here. Located at the foot of the mountain, the full-service resort offers dining, spas, ice skating and sledding rides, along with numerous accommodations in all price ranges.

For a more intimate atmosphere, Phineas Swann Inn & Spa is a beautiful country inn in the heart of the village, 7 miles from the ski area. Rooms feature four-poster beds, fine antiques, fireplaces and jacuzzis. A full skier breakfast is included here and at the historic Black Lantern Inn, 10 miles from Jay Peak.

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9. Stratton Mountain

Stratton Mountain, Southern Vermont’s highest peak at 3,875 feet above sea level, is known for its fast gondolas, diverse terrain, and consistently high-quality snow. In addition to 97 trails, there are more than 100 acres of open space and five terrain parks. While Stratton offers a higher percentage of easy-start trails (41) there are 31 intermediate and 28-grade experts with plenty of options for more experienced skiers and boarders. The lifts include a cable car, four six-pack lifts, three quad lifts, triple, double and one ground lift.

The Snow Bowl Express was built to significantly shorten the time to the summit, providing quick access to a variety of terrains, from the legendary World Cup and the tree-lined Drifter track to the three-mile starter run from the summit. Boarders rate Stratton particularly highly because they have parks for all skill levels, from Progression Park, designed for learning, to East Byrnes Side, a top-down cross-country track designed with the help of Olympic medalists. Stratton is an Alterra Mountain Resort included in Alterra’s Ikon Pass system.

The resort’s fully equipped slope complex looks like an alpine ski village, and its off-slope facilities include a spa, fitness center and restaurant. Heat lamps extend the season in the outdoor dining areas at the resort and restaurant. Stratton offers other winter outdoor activities such as tubing, ice skating, toboggan rides, and 90-minute dog sledding tours in scenic valleys. Its proximity to Manchester means access to a wide variety of accommodation, dining and entertainment options.

Compared to casual skiers, the Stratton is more suitable for those staying at resorts due to limited luggage space and long climbs from the parking lot. Located 12 miles off the main road, the trendy Manchester View is a great value option with its well-maintained motel-style rooms and family suites.

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10. Magic Mountain

Saying “Magic Mountain” brings a dreamy look into the eyes of former New England skiers. This is a skier’s mountain without the slope facilities and activities of a large resort (but with a fully equipped base hut and a snow tube mountain). While most grounds are made of snow and well-maintained, when fresh powder is available, scenic tracks and open spaces are the envy of many large resorts.

The land is legendary; The Swiss founder chose the mountain because of its independent valley with different aspects of the lifts, which reminds him of the terrain of Swiss ski resorts. The resort he designed still excites seasoned skiers, with some of the most challenging steep slopes and trees in the east. It is the toughest mountain in southern Vermont, but intermediate and beginner skiers also find many great skis and love the uncrowded slopes and trails and the family-friendly environment.

Lessons at the Snow Sports Learning Center are small, with plenty of time for personal attention, and conveyor belt lifts take skiers to the top of beginner slopes. The new mid-mountain double chairlift helps make Magic’s classic terrain more accessible to novice and intermediate skiers, and the black dual-peak lift has been replaced with a fixed quad-peak. Along with this addition comes another double diamond specialist peak trail called Pitch Black and a new Eastside swap.

Four years ago, Terrain Park tripled to include 11 properties. Magic has a unique policy for self-climbing fans: Every time they reach the top, they get a free ride in the gondola, complete with “Hike One, Ride One”  tokens. Magic Mountain is close to Manchester with many lodging and dining options, but closer to Londonderry, the Snowdon Chalet Motel has quieter rooms with refrigerators and microwaves.

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