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Ski Resort Life

Readers' Top-Ranked Ski Resorts in the East 2020

From Maine to Pennsylvania, great skiing is never far away.

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Ready to ski the east? You’re in luck: With major improvements for both lifts and snowmaking, the quality of skiing in New England, New York, and beyond has never been better. Let the SKI Magazine Readers’ Top 20 rankings of eastern ski resorts carve the way to your best winter on the right coast. 

Click on photos to learn more about each resort.

No. 1: Tremblant, Qué.

Skiing in Tremblant, Quebec, ranked No. 1 in the East in SKI Magazine's 2020 Resort Guide
Charm? Check. Local Flavor? Check. Grade-A lodging, dining, and access? Check. It’s not hard to understand how Tremblant climbed to the top of the Eastern resort rankings.Photo courtesy of Tremblant

“Mont Tremblant is continually high on our list of ski areas to visit year in and year out. The mountain offers a great variety of terrain, the lodging is varied, and most is ski-in/ ski-out. The pedestrian village offers great shopping, dining, bar scene, and nightlife. Tremblant provides a wide variety of down-time activities including cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice climbing, tubing, horseback riding, ice skating, night skiing and spa. The people are friendly and willing to help you with your every need.”

No. 2: Smugglers’ Notch, Vt.

Biggest East Coast ski resorts: Smugglers' Notch, Vermont
Looking for some of the East’s best and most expansive tree skiing? You’ll find it at Smuggs.Courtesy of Smugglers’ Notch Resort

“Absolutely fabulous family-friendly resort, our kids love the friendliness and positivity of the staff, we love the glade skiing and the laid-back vibe of the place. It doesn’t try to be super modern and it is developing a special Smuggs charm that makes it unique from any other resort we’ve been to.”

No. 3: Mount Snow, Vt.

Mount Snow, Vermont earns the No. 3 in the East ranking in SKI Mag's 2020 Resort Guide
There’s a lot to love at Mount Snow: easy access, a family-friendly vibe, great dining. But above all, skiers praise the resort’s snowmaking and grooming efforts.Photo courtesy of Mount Snow

“Mount Snow has it all, Dover is a great town, great restaurants, scenery, nightlife, and friendly locals. The mountain is always in great shape. With the new North Lake snowmaking and extensive grooming it is always a great day.”

No. 4: Killington, Vt.

Top 5 Biggest Ski Resorts in the East Killington, Vermont is number one
The Beast may not be the quaintest of Vermont resorts, but boy, is it fun thanks to its top-ranking terrain and chart-topping nightlife.Photo Credit: Justin Cash

“Killington is putting its money where its mouth is by investing millions on new lifts, redesigning more intermediate trails, and will break ground on a new K-1 lodge in just a few weeks. The resort is in the middle of a major transformation going from dated to world-class. So far every investment has made skiing and riding here more enjoyable.”

No. 5: Whiteface Mountain Resort, N.Y.

Whiteface Mountain Resort ranks No. 5 in the East in SKI Magazine's 2020 Resort Guide
Skiers head to Whiteface for the scenery, challenging terrain, and a plethora of down day activities courtesy of the Olympic Village.Photo courtesy of Whiteface Mountain

“Whiteface is the hidden gem of the East, bold but not pretentious, challenging but safe, beautiful all the time, never overcrowded.”

No. 6: Sugarbush, Vt.

If you listen closely, you can hear that snowcat purr.John Atkinson

“At Sugarbush, I’ve been in line next to the owner! Win Smith is actively involved with Sugarbush and it shows. He’s innovative and responsive to the lowly weekend skier as well as the local powderhound. Independence is what makes Sugarbush fantastic!”

No. 7: Sugarloaf, Maine

Sugarloaf, Maine ranks among the best in the East according to SKI Magazine readers
It’s just deeper in Maine.Photo credit: Jamie Walter

“Best resort in the East, awesome new cat-skiing with new glades and terrain for all levels. But to get a feel for the real Sugarloaf, the woods and glades are the best. Legendary après at The Rack, owned by Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott. Snow is always great and the view from the top of the Bigelow mountain range doesn’t get better. On a clear day you can see Mt. Washington and Canada. Never long waits at the lifts just jump on and shred.”

No. 8: Mad River Glen, Vt.

Mad River Glen Chair
“Is this seat taken?”
Photo courtesy of Mad River Glen

“If you are a hardcore skier, MRG is the best. No frills—only greatness. If you want to all the non-skiing frills, go elsewhere and leave the mountain to deserving skiers.”

No. 9: Bretton Woods, N.H.

resort guide 2018 bretton woods overall
Stately and iconic.Courtesy of Bretton Woods

“Bretton Woods is known for its top snow conditions, large size, and beautiful scenery. Intermediates love the perfectly groomed boulevards of snow, while advanced skiers can find plenty of excitement in the many gladed runs, some shorter steeps, and several decent bump trails. It is less crowded than the more southern N.H. ski areas, and well worth the extra 20- to 30-minute drive. It feels more like a Western ski resort in a true alpine environment. Since it sits about 1000 feet higher in elevation, it gets more snow and less mid-season melt than other New England ski areas.”

No. 10: Holiday Valley, N.Y.

Holiday Valley, New York ranks 10th in the East in SKI Magazine's 2020 Resort Guide
It’s as awesome as it looks.Photo courtesy of Holiday Valley

“What a great, small Eastern ski operation. Massive snowmaking with the commitment to cover the slopes with deep snow, even when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Outstanding grooming that makes the most of the snow that nature and the snowmaking crew provide. Top-quality lifts along with good crowd control on weekends to keep lines manageable. And the town of Ellicottville? What a dining and après jewel tucked into the forested hills of western N.Y.”

The Snow Report Show with Halley O’Brien: SKI Magazine 2020 Resort Guide Comments

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No. 11: Sunday River, Maine

Powder day in Maine!Sunday River

“The staff throughout the resort appears to thoroughly enjoy treating customers kindly and always seem genuinely happy. The ski terrain is varied and offers wide roaming across a five-mile stretch of mountain, which is somewhat unique for the East.”

No. 12: Jay Peak, Vt.

The sun sets on an another great day at Jay.Photo courtesy of Jay Peak

“The atmosphere here is so relaxed. The locals are extremely welcoming and I love their no-nonsense attitudes. Who needs grooming when you can slay mega pow in the woods? Fresh lines for days.”

No. 13: Stratton Mountain, Vt.

Biggest East Coast ski resorts: Stratton, Vermont
The iconic clocktower of Stratton.Courtesy of Stratton / Hubert Schriebl

“Stratton is the quintessential old-time Vermont ski resort. The snow can be hard and icy but the resort’s charm and ambiance makes it a great weekend destination. The glades on the resorts boundaries, right and left, are fun to explore after a fresh snowfall!”

No. 14: Loon Mountain, N.H.

Loon lifts
That gondola will take you places.Photo courtesy of Loon Mountain

“I’ve skied at Loon for over 30 years. It has some of the best views of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. The terrain appeals to skiers of all levels. The grooming is some of the best in the East.”

No. 15: Okemo Mountain Resort, Vt.

Okemo bubble chair Resort Guide 2020
Nothing like a bubble chair on a windy day.Photo courtesy of Okemo Mountain Resort

“A family-friendly resort with expert grooming, a trail layout that is fun for groups of mixed abilities, and a system of decent high-speed lifts.”

No. 16: Seven Springs, Pa.

When it snows in Pennsylvania, go skiing.Seven Springs

“There is always snow and so much better conditions than the surrounding areas due to elevation. It is easy to get to from Pittsburgh and the variety of slopes offer fun and challenges for all ages and skill levels. The lodge and bars are have a lot to offer and prices are reasonable.”

No. 17: Magic Mountain, Vt.

Red Line at Magic Mountain
This doesn’t happen in the east that often, so be sure to be there when it does.Photo credit: Justin Cash

“Magic hits it out of the park. Good old-fashioned skiing. The trails are fun and varied. The staff is friendly and helpful. You can’t help but feel like you’ve stumbled upon a secret that those crowds across the valley don’t even know exists.”

No. 18: Stowe Mountain Resort, Vt.

Stowe Top 10 Challenge
Wait, did he duck a rope?Vail Resorts

“Stowe is beautiful and very much the all around “ski village” experience with the latest updates since Vail took over the resort. The actual town of Stowe is quintessential New England which should be visited by all‚ not just staying at the resort up the road.”

No. 19: Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, Mass.

Wachusett Overall Satisfaction
The view of the Boston skyline from Wachusett will make you smile. After all, you’re skiing while all those suckers work!Photo courtesy of Wachusett Mountain

“Great mountain for learners and families, as well as go-getters who want to make some runs after work. Affordable season pass options and the snow is always well-groomed.”

No. 20: Wildcat Mountain, N.H.

Wildcat Top 10 Charm
The views from Wildcat will also put a smile on your face.Wildcat Mountain

“Not a resort in what many would consider the typical definition, but if you are going to ski in N.H., Wildcat has to be on your list. The vibe and old-school feel along with the quality skiing (particularly for advanced and expert skiers) is amazing.”

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