Sugarloaf USA, Maine: Rank 3 East, 1997

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No Eastern skier's resumé is complete without a trip to Sugarloaf. The resort's above-treeline snowfields and classic, snake-like race trails earn it the No. 1 ranking for Terrain and Challenge in the East. "It's the best mountain I've ever skied," one reader says. On the downside, Sugarloaf is cold and windy even by New England standards; the lift system could be more efficient; and the hill "needs better grooming," according to one reader. With 7,500 condo beds, Sugarloaf is a ski-in, ski-out paradise. The village includes a variety of restaurants, bars and stores. Sugarloaf is ranked ninth in the country for Family Programs. Tubing and skating are some of the options for kids. "If I were to buy condo, it would be here," one reader says.

What's New Sugarloaf's largest single-year expansion, a$3-million effort, includes a quad to The Snowfields; a detachable in the Whiffletree area; expanded snowmaking.
A Good Deal Classic ski weeks include five nights' lodging, five midweek lift tickets and daily Perfect Turn clinics for $350 per person, double occupancy; (800) THE-LOAF.
Medals Gold Snow Quality, Grooming, Terrain, Challenge, Service, Family Programs; Silver Value.
High/Low Rank Terrain (7); Accessibility (71).
Don't Miss A high-speed cruiser down Narrow Gauge, the East's¿and perhaps even the nation's¿best race trail.
Reader Remarks "Best in the East." "A long way from anywhere."