The 10 Best Ski Resorts on the East Coast of the United States

The East Coast might not have the same skiing charm as the West Coast, but it offers a real alternative for outdoor fans. Mountains aren’t as high and the snow isn’t as deep. But the best East Coast Ski Resorts still stack up well for what they offer and they’re quite affordable as well.

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10. Sugarbush Resort

Image: Sugarbush Resort

Address: 102 Forest Dr, Warren, VT

Sugarbush is the place to ski if you don’t want to overspend. It isn’t as crowded as nearby Stowe which makes it a real pleasure to ski in for those who truly love the mountain and high-speed descents.

Expert skiers have a true mountain to climb here. If you’re experienced in the skiing world, you’ll want to try out the area between Lincoln Peak and Mount Ellen. This area is called ‘Slide Brook Basin’ by the locals and its where you often meet other advanced skiers.

9. Whiteface Mountain Resort

Image: Whiteface Mountain

Address: 5021 New York 86, Wilmington, New York

Freestyle and fast icy conditions descents are easy at Whiteface. The resort is popular as it held the 1980 Winter Olympics. Activities and tours are very popular here as well, in case you want to take a break from skiing all day.

If you think the resort isn’t high enough, you might be in for a surprise. The lift takes you to 4,386 feet in the air and it represents one of the highest options you have on the East Coast. As a result, you get over 22 miles of ski terrain which should be enough to keep you busy for the entire skiing season.

8. Sugarloaf

Image: Sugarloaf

Address: 5092 Access Rd, Carrabassett Valley, ME

Backcountry lovers know about Sugarloaf. It’s only behind Killington on the East Coast in a spread. While it’s a long drive from any large city, it offers the only life service above the tree level on the coast, which pays off for those who visit.

If you prefer backcountry skiing, Sugarloaf should also be high on your list of priorities. It features 54 miles of marked trails and even more developed trails you and your friends can explore. The difficulty level is generally low since the powder here isn’t as high as many expect.

7. Cannon Mountain

Image: Cannon Mountain

Address: 2650 Profile Rd, Franconia, NH

The Cannon Mountain Ski Resort is not necessarily made for the novice, even if it features some of the best beginner slopes. It’s rather known to be rough around the edges but this is why seasoned skiers live it in the first place.

With the first lift service in the country, Mount Cannon surprisingly has more intermediate slopes (an average of 47% of all slopes). The Upper Cannon summit descent is particularly interesting as it makes its way through the forest.

6. Mad River Glen

Image: Instagram / madriverglen

Address: 57 Schuss Pass, Waitsfield, Vermont

As one of the last old-school skiing destinations, Mad River Glen only allows skiers and not snowboarders. It’s also one of the last resorts for natural snow lovers in the area.

5. Stowe Mountain Resort

Image: Vail Resorts Management Company

Address: 5781 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT

Known as the ‘Skiing Capital of the East’, Stowe is the place to be for its Spruce Peak and top conditions for outdoor sports. It even comes with excellent shops and a wide range of high-end hotels. Getting here isn’t too complicated either through the Morrisville-Stowe State Airport.

If you’re staying at the lodge, you’ll enjoy great views and a modern spa. However, you shouldn’t expect the same quality of food as in other popular locations across the East Coast. However, you will probably spend more time on the Spruce Peak than inside the lodge as its an ideal destination for beginners.

4. Jay Peak Resort

Image: Jay Peak Resort

Address: 830 Jay Peak Rd, Jay, VT

If you aren’t sure you’re going to be into skiing all day, you need to visit Jay Peak. It’s here to you can ski and even go down fast slides at a large indoor waterpark.

9 lifts take you up a total of 78 trails at Jay Peak. If you love its summit, you need to know there are many activities to choose from here around the year. With 2 small base lodges, there’s a place to warm up during the winter as well. You’ll need to stop here frequently as Jay Peak reports the heaviest snowfall on the East Coast.

3. Smuggler’s Notch

Image: Smugglers’ Notch Management LTD

Address: 4323 VT-108, Jeffersonville, VT

The hospitable Smuggler’s Notch isn’t a luxurious skiing destination. But it might be best for affordability for the entire family. Beginner-friendly slopes are popular with kids at Smuggler’s Notch.

If you’re from the area, you probably call Smuggler’s Notch ‘Smuggs’. This name refers to all 3 of its mountains (Morse, Madonna, and Sterling). If you come back during the summer, you can also find plenty of kids’ activities including heated pools to play in.

2. Wildcat Mountain Ski Resort

Image: Wildcat Mountain

Address: 542 NH-16, Gorham, NH

Located near North Conway village, the resort is among the constantly-awarded skiing towns in the country. With outdated facilities, its advanced-level terrains are easy to overlook.

Wildcat Mountain Ski Resort hosts the longest trail in New Hampshire. But you’ll be able to choose from 49 trails when you visit. Cross-country skiing is popular here due to the high number of trails.

1. Killington Resort

Image: Killington Resort

Address: 3861 Killington Rd, Killington, VT

A popular destination for ski lovers in Boston and New York, Killington Resort has it all. There are 7 peaks to discover here both for skiing and snowboarding. But the resort also attracts those who love good nightlife options.

If you are a beginner, you can start your Killington adventure at Snowshed and Snowdon mountains. Experienced skiers can turn towards the Bear Mountain black diamond run. Skye Peak is another option for experienced skiers as it comes with the steepest trail found at Killington.

The resort is also popular internationally. It regularly hosts competitions such as women’s technical giant slalom and slalom skiing since 2016. Competitions are easy to hold here as Killington also boasts the longest skiing season on the East Coast.