Resort Guide

Readers' Top-Ranked Ski Resorts in the East 2021

The results of our reader-ranked survey for resorts along the East Coast.

Contrary to what you may have heard, the East Coast has more to offer skiers than ice. Find out where you are likely to find the deepest powder, the best glades, and the most quintessential New England resorts. You may ski more artificial snow than natural, but eastern ski areas make up for unpredictable conditions with their quality snowmaking and distinct charm. And who knew you could have an epic powder day in West Virginia? 

Click on photos to learn more about each resort.

No. 1: Smugglers’ Notch, Vt.

2021 Resort Guide Smugglers' Notch Vermont
A New England classic. Photo courtesy of Smugglers’ Notch

“Smuggs is all about enjoying the outdoors, slowing down, and remembering the important things in life. My family has been shaped by our whole experience there both winter and summer.”

No. 2: Tremblant, Québec

2021 Resort Guide Tremblant Quebec
Explore Tremblant’s North and South faces. Photo courtesy of Tremblant

“We LOVE Tremblant!! The resort, the staff, the people, the conditions (sometimes COLD!), the cuisine…..Unequivocally our FAVORITE resort of ANY we’ve visited, including Whistler. This was our fifth season there and look forward to the next.”

No. 3: Mad River Glen, Vt. 

2021 Resort Guide Mad River Glen Vermont
Classic frosty Vermont trees. Photo courtesy of Mad River Glen

“It’s not for everyone, but if you get the vibe and understand the mystique, it’s an unbeatable experience. “Ski it if you can” is not just a catchy slogan.”

No. 4: Killington, Vt.

2021 Resort Guide Killington Vt.
The Beast of the East. Photo courtesy of Killington Mountain for Warren Miller Entertainment

“Killington is well known for its night life, diverse and challenging terrain, and size. The Beast of the East is a fun mountain for the intermediate to expert skier seeking varied and diverse terrain.”

No. 5: Whiteface Mountain, N.Y.

Resort Guide 2021 Whiteface Mountain
The Olympic spirit is still alive in Lake Placid. Photo courtesy of Whiteface Mountain

“When you pull up to resort, you can feel the energy from the vertical view and scenery. By the end of day skiing, you feel it in your body soul and mind!”

No. 6: Holiday Valley, N.Y. 

Resort Guide 2021 Holiday Valley
Experience Holiday Valley’s many dining options. Photo courtesy of John Harvard’s Brew House

“For a small vertical the terrain choices are impressive. The town of Ellicottville is top-notch for quaintness, dining, and nightlife. Buffalo people know how to party.” 

No. 7: Bretton Woods, N.H.

Resort Guide 2021 Bretton Woods
Views like these make Bretton Woods worth visiting. Photo courtesy of Bretton Woods

“One trip to this beauty and you will understand why it is consistently in the top rankings for scenery and grooming. This year they added a new high-speed gondola to their already well-stocked assortment of high-speed lifts. A new lodge is being built at the top of the gondola terminal and it is truly a sight to behold. What keeps me driving the 7 hours each way is the vast network of untouched glades filled with pristine New Hampshire Pow, and the way I feel at home as soon as I arrive in the lot.”

No. 8: Sugarbush, Vt.

Young skier is zebra ski pants and purple jacket skiing through trees with additional skier in yellow jacket
Glades for days!Photo courtesy of Sugarbush/John Atkinson

“Having skied all of the big resorts in New England over the years, we keep coming back to Sugarbush as our favorite due to its charm, friendliness, and a magical, enchanted vibe emanating from the mountain itself and the surrounding environment in Mad River Valley. Everyone I know who has spent time at or near Sugarbush recognizes this special vibe. It resonates deeply at a soul level. To top it off, the skiing is always great. The groomers must have magic of their own to be able to keep the conditions on the mountain so perfectly skiable even when surrounding resorts can’t.”

No. 9: Wachusett Mountain, Mass.

Wachusett Overall Satisfaction
Wachusett Mountain is all about the skiing and smiles. Photo courtesy of Wachusett Mountain

“This family owned business puts all of its resources back into the mountain, with state of the art snowmaking and meticulous grooming twice a day!”

No. 10 Sunday River, Maine

Sunday River, Maine Gondola
The Sunday River gondola will make sure you are warm and dry on stormy days. Photo courtesy Sunday River

“I have been going to Sunday River for 30-plus years. I’d say they have the best snowmaking and grooming in the east. The conditions are the best they can be despite what mother nature throws at them. We take what we can get and the Sunday River snowmaking and grooming crew are the best at making lemonade when mother nature is serving up the lemons.”

No. 11: Jay Peak, Vt. 

Jay Peak, Vt
Experience Jay’s cherished tree skiing.Photo courtesy of Jay Peak

“Jay Peak is in a class by itself. The wildest and best glades in the East, endless bumps and steeps, and great natural snow. If you’re an advanced skier looking to keep it turned to 10 all day, this is the place.”

No. 12: Sugarloaf, Maine 

Biggest East Coast ski resorts: Sugarloaf, Maine
“From its rocky shores to its sprawling peaks, Maine sure lives up to its Vacationland moniker.”Courtesy of Sugarloaf Resort

“Sugarloaf is an East Coast diamond in the rough (I feel a bit guilt sharing it!). The conditions are always the best on the east, the vibe is so chill and friendly, lift lines are minimal and you just have fun at the ‘Loaf!”

No. 13: Stowe Mountain Resort, Vt.

Double black diamond trail signs, Stowe Vermont
Don’t let the trail sign fool you, Stowe actually does have something for everyone.Photo courtesy of Stowe

“Stowe is the quintessential New England Ski Resort. The skiing is challenging as is the weather on Mount Mansfield. There’s a lot of charm and ambiance in the village of Stowe.”

No. 14: Stratton Mountain, Vt. 

Stratton gondola and iconic clocktower.
Stratton gondola and iconic clocktower. Photo courtesy of Stratton

“This is one of our go-to resorts on the East coast…growing up skiing out west this is a good ski fix. It does have some decent glade skiing when the conditions permit and if you love to rip it down groomed runs it has plenty of options. I do love VT as it is very New England and does have some charm.”

No. 15: Snowshoe Mountain Resort, W.Va.

Photo: Snowshoe Mountain Resort  Skier: Alex Strattman  Five feet of fresh snow has fallen on Snowshoe in four weeks. West Virginia, what?!
Pow day in West Virginia!?Photo courtesy of Snowshoe Mountain Resort

“Best in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Great terrain, excellent snow and temperatures, and a wonderful village. It’s very much like a western ski resort tucked into the Appalachian Mountains. Its elevation and climate give it more snow and less ice than many of the eastern resorts. “

No. 16: Seven Springs, Pa. 

Skier at Seven Springs, Pa.
Embrace the true freestyle-loving nature of Seven Springs.Photo courtesy of Seven Springs

“Amazing commitment to snowmaking. Varied terrain with tons of terrain park and freestyle features. Awesome staff and ski patrol focused on the customer. The Foggy Goggle rivals any ski town bar.”

No. 17: Mount Snow, Vt. 

Skiers and riders on the bubble chair at Mount Snow.
Escape the crisp east coast air on the bubble chair, Bluebird Express. Photo courtesy of Mount Snow

“Mount Snow is absolutely the best environment for family or young adult skiing. Food is great, people are the best on and off the resort, the quality of skiing on the mountain is awesome, and there is nothing like happy hour at Mount Snow.” 

No. 18: Gore Mountain, N.Y. 

None
Incredible glades up high and plenty of groomers down low.Photo courtesy of Gore Mountain

“What Gore lacks in amenities, it makes up for in quality. It has a lot of skiable acreage, vertical, and variety. You won’t get the grand resort experience from this mountain, but you will have some good runs and a decent lunch.”

No. 19: Okemo Mountain Resort, Vt. 

Okemo Top 10 Access; Top Beginner Ski Tips: Pick the Right Resort
Okemo continues its 65-year legacy as one of the East’s best family mountains.Photo Courtesy of Vail Resorts

“My favorite VT resort! Not too large, not too small. Challenging and diverse, yet perfect for beginners.”

No. 20: Loon Mountain, N.H.

Skiers at Loon enjoying quality snow,
“Looniacs.” Photo courtesy of Loon

“This is my ‘home’ resort. While it can get crowded on weekends and holidays, the snow and terrain are great. Has steeps, wide groomers, and great lifts. Good snowmaking.”