The Green Mountains of Vermont are an east coaster’s paradise. Although other northeastern states like New Hampshire, New York and Maine have ski resorts aplenty, Vermont reigns supreme. With over 40 Nordic and Alpine resorts , Vermont has more ski areas than any other state in the region.
While the state may be a bit colder than its western counterparts, Vermont’s got a lot more to offer than just craft beer and ice cream. These five Vermont ski areas have some of the best cliff drops, tight tree runs, and terrain parks in the country.
- Vertical Rise: 3,050 feet
- Acres of Terrain: 1,509
- Lifts: 21
- Average Snowfall: 250″
- Largest vertical rise in New England
- Longest season on East Coast
With the largest vertical rise in New England, it’s no wonder Killington is called “Beast of the East”.
Spanning six peaks, this mountain has a wide variety of terrain for all abilities. Killington is famous for their impressive snowmaking operations, allowing them to have the longest season in the east, from October until late May or June.
Beginners and experts alike start the day on Great Northern, a scenic intermediate run that winds down the north side of Killington Peak, which access Snowdon and Ramshead Mountains, home to terrain parks, and terrain ranging from green circle groomers like Easy Street and Caper to natural snow trails like North Star and Swirl. What better way to start the day?
Killington will host the 2016 Audi FIS Ski World Cup this Thanksgiving weekend, which will include Giant Slalom and Slalom. Superstar athletes like Julia Mancuso, Lindsey Vonn, and Mikaela Shiffrin will compete against the best women’s skiers in the world – and free general admission is available. A complete schedule of autograph signings, movie premiers and the free concert from O.A.R. can be found at killington.com/worldcup.
#2. Stowe Mountain Resort
- Vertical Rise: 2,360 feet
- Acres of Terrain: 485
- Lifts: 13
- Average Snowfall: 314″
Don’t let the ritzy hotels or luxury vacation homes distract you – this mountain is no joke. Located on the southeast face of Vermont’s highest summit, Stowe has some of the most gnarly runs on the east coast. While they’re most famous trails are the legendary “front four”— National, Liftline, Goat, and Starr – Stowe also has access to some of the best unmarked (and unsolicited) tree skiing in the east.
Although deep, untouched powder and gnarly cliff drops can be found just off the Gondola, those willing to hike Mansfield Chin will be rewarded with legendary backcountry lines. Profanity and Hourglass chutes lead back to the resort, but experts can also access high risk, high reward Notch skiing north of the summit.
If you know where to look for it, take the old CCC trail all the way down to The Matterhorn for après ski beers & pool.
VIDEO: Watch Ski the East send Stowe’s best cliffs.
#3. Mount Snow
- Vertical Rise: 1,700 feet
- Acres of Terrain: 589
- Lifts: 17
- Average Snowfall: 156″
Mount Snow, located in southern Vermont, is the closest major VT resort to major metropolitan areas – just hours from Boston, 4 from NYC. But proximity isn’t what makes it awesome.
The mountain is split into four sections – Main Face, North Face, Sunbrook, and Carinthia. Sunbrook offers scenic trails on bluebird days, but experts can find challenging runs on the North Face, like Ripcord.
While Mount Snow has an impressive variety of terrain, it’s famous for Carinthia- an entire mountain face dedicated to terrain parks. Comprised of 12 separate parks, Carinthia has over 125 features, a half pipe and a superpipe with 18 foot walls.
VIDEO: TransWorld @ Carinthia
#4. Mad River Glen
- Vertical Rise: 2037ft
- Acres of Terrain: 250
- Lifts: 4
- Average Snowfall: 250″
This skiers-only resort tucked in the heart of the Mad River Valley seems to be frozen in time. Mad River Glen has one of only two single char lifts left in the country, and is also the only cooperative-owned resort of its kind. World-class mogul runs and experts-only tree skiing give MRG a well deserved reputation as the most challenging resort on the east coast. As they say, “ski it if you can”.
Known for its steep & deeps and no-nonsense attitude, this small resort is a must for serious skiers.
#5. Jay Peak
- Vertical Rise: 2,153 ft
- Acres of Terrain: 385
- Lifts: 9
- Average Snowfall: 379″
Just miles from the Canadian border, Jay Peak boasts more snowfall per year than any other east coast resort.
From Vermont’s only aerial tramway, skiers and riders can access 78 diverse trails – 20% beginner, 40% intermediate, 40% advanced – and over 100 acres of off-piste skiing. Classic northern glades can be found in Valhalla, Timbuktu, or Beaver Pond. The ambitious can dive into the largely untouched backcountry surrounding the ski area, per Jay Peak’s “liberal” in-bounds policy.
Jay Peak also has a “Winter Uphill Travel” policy that allows skinning, snowshoeing, and hiking during operating hours on designated routes. If all of the above can’t keep you entertained, they’ve even got an indoor waterpark, ice arena and nordic center.
VIDEO: Ski The East at Jay Peak