Best Ski Resorts in Vermont

Did you know that the ski resorts at Vermont have produced more Winter Olympians per capita than any other state within the US? Yes, skiing in Vermont is all about being a part of an established tradition of powder hounds that can’t seem to get enough of the challenging runs.

Having in mind that the best ski resorts in Vermont open in late November and don’t close until mid-April, it doesn’t come as a surprise that large crowds are visiting these marvelous ski resorts.

From snow quality and prime runs to wide terrain parks, family-friendly programs, and great dining, the ski resorts at Vermont provide visitors with a top-notch ski vacation experience.

Vermont’s main strength is the 25 feet of natural snow each winter and the great weather conditions which keep the tracks in optimal condition throughout the whole season. The best ski resorts at Vermont offer a variety of runs, amazing facilities, and effective lift infrastructure.

Most of the ski resorts in Vermont are family-friendly and have a relaxing atmosphere. Visitors can expect to find challenging terrain suitable for all ability levels, reliable ski schools, as well as both affordable and luxurious accommodations.

Three of Vermont’s ski resorts have caught our attention – Stowe, Okemo, and Sugarbush. Continue reading to find out why these resorts are the best spots to hit the slopes at Vermont.

Stowe Mountain Resort

Stowe Mountain Resort is considered by many to be one of the best ski resorts on the East Coast. Being the home of two impressive mountains, Spruce Peak and Mount Mansfield, has certainly made Stowe the most recognizable ski resort for those looking to perfect their technique while enjoying the gorgeous scenery.

Stowe lies at the foot of Mount Mansfield and it gives out the impression that you can ski the resort forever, with vast terrain and challenging intermediate runs that never seems to end.

It has a long tradition as it’s the birthplace of alpine skiing in Vermont. Often named the “Ski Capital of the East”, Stowe is a must for powder junkies looking for a fabulous ski holiday experience. 

Pros

  • Long runs
  • Challenging terrain
  • Consistent snowfall
  • Great lift infrastructure
  • Long ski tradition
  • A variety of trails

Cons

  • Unpredictable weather conditions
  • Pretty expensive

Famous for: challenging terrain, amazing intermediate runs, the birthplace of alpine skiing in Vermont.

Town Area

The town area is just a drive away from the slopes. The town has a vibrant atmosphere and some streets have a folksy charm. Stowe is not a very big town, however, some parts are particularly luxurious.

For example, the Stowe Mountain Lodge is a grandiose 312 room luxury hotel with great service and facilities. This hotel is environmentally friendly and is considered as one of the top spots to stay on any mountainside in the world. 

The town area is perfect for powder junkies looking to glam up their ski holidays. Apart from that, Stowe’s après-ski scene is vibrant. Savvy party-goers can have a great time in some of the lively bars kicking off till 2 pm on the weekends. Gourmets will certainly enjoy the fabulous restaurants in Stowe where you can have a lavish long lunch.

Ski Terrain

The ski resort is versatile in terms of terrain and runs and skiers from all ability levels can find something that suits their current skill set. Stowe is particularly great for intermediates as the intermediate runs allow skiers to log some miles on mellow runs. What’s more, there are some amazing groomers, tree runs, and steeps. 

This ski resort is the home of the famous Front Four trails – Liftline, Starr, National, and Goat. They are all double black diamonds that get very narrow. The Front Four is a big challenge even for the most fierce daredevils and powder junkies.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

With many lifts and skiable areas available, you don’t need to worry about this place getting crowded. The lift infrastructure in Stowe is efficient and modern and it will get you up on the mountain fast. It has a lift capacity of carrying over 15,000 people per hour so you won’t have to wait in long lines to get on the slopes.

The lift system has a total of 12 lifts including 2 gondolas, 4 high-speed quads, and 2 triples. You can purchase lift tickets for around $120 a day. They also offer a half-day ticket which costs $92, so skiing the whole day long in Stowe will give you the best bang for your buck. 

Accommodation

When it comes to lodging, visitors at Stowe have plenty of options. There are many hotels with amazing mountain views where visitors can also enjoy a spa treatment. What’s more, some hotels like The Trapp Family Lodge have a traditional European charm where families can have a relaxing and cozy family experience.

Stowe accommodation is best described as delightfully luxurious. So, those on a budget may not be able to afford a room in some of the hotels. However, you can always rent a room in the actual town of Stowe as it’s just a short drive away from the slopes.

Verdict

Stowe is a great ski resort, but it’s definitely not for everyone. Intermediates and devil runs will enjoy the challenging terrain, but beginners can check some other nearby resorts as the prices are very high for a ski resort short on beginners runs.

Stowe is all about gorgeous scenery,  après-ski activities, and luxury among like-minded powder junkies.

Okemo

If you’re looking for a family-friendly resort in Vermont, look no further. Okemo is a great spot to take your kids and help them get their craft on. The atmosphere is welcoming and friendly and after a long day of skiing, you can always end up tasting some delicious foods in some of the beautifully decorated restaurants.

This ski resort has an average of 200 inches of snowfall each year and most of the runs are greens, so you can be assured it is the perfect spot to take your kids for some fun skiing experiences. However, don’t get fooled by the large number of greens – Okemo can also be a blast for advanced skiers.

Experts can always make good use of the resort’s eight wide terrain parks, the double black diamonds, and superpipe.

Pros 

  • Family-friendly
  • Amazing instructors
  • Great ski programs for kids
  • Eight terrain parks
  • Double black diamonds trails
  • Gorgeous scenery

Cons

  • Can get crowded
  • Pricey ski resort
  • Limited in steeps and moguls

Famous for: a family-friendly resort with amazing ski programs for the little ones.

Town Area

Okemo is a ski resort that is becoming more popular by the year, so there are constant developments and the spot has been truly rejuvenated in the last few years. Families and skiers can enjoy themselves off slopes too as there are a number of great restaurants, fitness centers, and ice-skating rings.

There are also some good shopping options as the outlet Manchester center is just 30 miles away. Near the ski resort is also the town of Ludlow where weekenders can find a number of useful facilities and services as well as bars and restaurants.

Sweet slopeside condos, heated seats, fun kids programs, and hot tubs – Okemo makes coziness its mission. 

Ski Terrain 

One-third of the runs in Okemo are greens – perfect to get the little ones hooked on powder. There are great instructors and the kid’s ski programs are considered the best in Vermont. However, Okemo has a lot to offer to advanced skiers and freestylers too.

With 30% of the terrain being black and a number of double black diamond trails, experts can have a great ski experience at this ski resort. And the freestylers can certainly use the nine terrain parks and over 120 trails.

Okemo is the home of the longest superpipe in the East which is 520 ft long and built with great precision. If you’re a beginner but you don’t want to be stuck practicing your craft while being surrounded with kids, you can always head to Rockstar Park or Boulder Park where you’ll find some mellow rails.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

With many lifts and skiable areas available, you don’t need to worry about this place getting crowded. However, we recommend making restaurant reservations on time as the spot can get really packed during the weekends. A one day pass at Okemo costs around $100. Visitors can use the 20 lifts which take them to 667 acres of skiable terrain and 121 trails. 

Visitors have also the option to take the Epic Pass which costs $979 and grants them unlimited access for the whole season in Okemo. The Epic Pass also grants access to a number of amazing ski resorts in Vermont but also all around the U.S.

There are also some other great deals, so make sure you visit their website before purchasing any package or ticket in order to get the best deal possible. We recommend researching your options as Okemo is known for being pricey.

Accommodation

Regarding accommodation, there are a couple of motels, cabins, cottages, and inns available. The two most popular options for visitors are The Best Western Ludlow Colonial Motel and The Jackson Gore Inn.

The Western Ludlow is a popular choice as it is just one mile from the base lodge, plus visitors get to enjoy all the amenities in the town of Ludlow. The prices of the rooms depend on the season. A night at this motel can cost anywhere from $90 to up to $350.

Named after the Jackson Gore peak, which is one of the most popular spots in Okemo, The Jackson Gore Inn has a great location. It’s just steps away from the lifts and ticket systems. The hotel is surrounded by a big playground which keeps the little ones busy even when they are off the slopes.

The starting price can vary from $250 to $950 per night and you can expect outdoor pools, whirlpool spas, and some convenient hotel services like valet parking and underground parking.

Verdict

Families with kids looking for a resort where they can attend a couple of lessons and learn to ski will have a fun time here. The resort has a relaxing and friendly atmosphere, gorgeous scenery, and nice dining options. There are also fun activities for the kids off slopes and the shopping options seem to be top-notch.

Advanced skiers are also welcome as they can have a lot of fun on the Jackson Gore run or on the double black diamond. Freestyles will certainly enjoy the long runs at Okemo. However, the prices are higher compared to other ski resorts in Vermont.

Sugarbush Resort

If you fancy out of bounds skiing and challenging slopes, you should spend your next ski vacation at the Sugarbush Resort. The resort is frequently ranked as one of the best ski resorts for experienced skiers.

The spot is particularly popular due to the out-of-bounds policy which brings some fun time to freestylers. But don’t get fooled by the challenging steeps at the top of the resort – Sugarbush has a diverse terrain that can suit all ability levels.

There may not be too many slopes for beginners, but you can always practice your craft on the gentle greens below the terrain.

Pros 

  • Great runs for experienced skiers
  • Diverse terrain, challenging slopes, and gentle greens
  • Gorgeous scenery
  • Out-of-bounds policy
  • Great customer service

Cons

  • The lift infrastructure could use some improvements
  • Not the best terrain for beginners
  • Can get pricey

Famous for: progressive out-of-bounds policy, diverse terrain and wide terrain. 

Town Area

Sugarbush is a paradise for anyone looking to just enjoy the powder and spend the whole day skiing. It’s not a typical resort destination where you can spend the day shopping or chat with some other powder junkies in the local bars.

Sugarbush is all about getting lost in the trails. Young families love the spot, but we recommend bringing your little ones only if they have a bit of experience. 

The town area has a traditional atmosphere and visitors usually spend their time off slopes in some of the restaurants enjoying a local brew or a good glass of bourbon. Skiers looking to party, aside from enjoying challenging terrain may find Sugarbush too quiet as the apres-ski scene is almost non-existent. 

Ski Terrain

Sugarbush is a ski heaven for anyone looking for a wide terrain with diverse trails. The resort is home to over 4000 acres of skiable terrain that spreads across two mountains and six peaks. Popular among daredevils is the double black diamond trail named Organgrinde on which adrenaline junkies can enjoy up to 2,400 feet of fall-line skiing. 

Near the top, there are some seriously challenging steeps and around 500 acres of winding trails. Sugarbush is a ski resort that encourages skiers to go off their boundaries with their progressive out-of-bounds policy. Not for the faint of the heart, most of the runs at Sugarbush are for experienced skiers.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

One thing you won’t have to worry about in Sugarbush is crowds. The terrain is wide so it manages crowds in a great manner and the likelihood that you will find yourself stuck in long lines is pretty low. The lift system consists of 13 lifts including three quads, two-person, and four-person high-speed chairlifts. 

You can purchase lift tickets for around $90 a day. They also offer some weekday specials, so make sure you visit their website before purchasing any package or ticket in order to get the best deal possible.

Accommodation

Regarding accommodation, there are a couple of cabins, cottages, inns, and motels available. The prices differ depending on the place you choose. Favorite among visitors are the ski-in/ski-out condos.

In the area, there are usually some shops to pick up snacks and meals. You can check out the on-mountain Snow Creek motel that’s in close proximity to the Spring Fling run. 

Young families bringing their kids to the resort for some ski lessons can try the Clay Brook hotel which is near the ski school. Sugarbush has also some wonderfully luxurious accommodations for those looking to glam up their ski vacation.

The Pitcher Inn is a boutique hotel where each room is decorated with style. There are just 11 available rooms and they all have majestic views.

Verdict

Sugarbush seems like the perfect resort to visit with family and friends. Here you’re bound to have a great time skiing while enjoying a peaceful atmosphere. The resort is child-friendly and if you book a room on time the prices seem to be affordable. 

Beginners are also welcome, of course; however, they might find some of the slopes and runs a bit challenging. At the resort the food and drink options seem to be top-notch, but other than skiing and enjoying a long lunch there isn’t anything left to do.

Sugarbush is a ski paradise for anyone looking for a peaceful ski experience.

You can check out more on our USA Ski Resorts page.

Article by:
Abby Ward
Senior Content Writer at Bluehouse
Last Updated October 2020