Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
If any resort belongs on the Indy Pass, it’s this fiercely independent, surprisingly challenging ski area in the southern Vermont town of Londonderry. Though it has suffered its share of inconsistencies and economic hardships over the decades—including being shuttered for several years in the ’90s and being passed around through several owners in the early 2000s—the ski area reopened in 2016 with new owners and a renewed mission.
The resort itself was the brainchild of Hans Thorner, a Swiss native who came to the U.S. in 1932 and became one of the nation’s first certified ski instructors. He envisioned a mountain with ample steep, fall-line terrain, excellent glades, and quintessential Vermont views, complemented at the base by a Swiss-inspired après-ski village à la the Alps resorts where Thorner grew up. It was a labor of love for Magic Mountain’s first owner, who was followed by a string of investors and individuals who collectively couldn’t make things work until Ski Magic, LLC acquired the resort in 2016.
Since then, a steady stream of investment has bolstered the ski area and its facilities, including the addition of the Green Chair, the summit chair replacement (the Black triple), and added snowmaking and base area upgrades. All of this is a roundabout way to say that the ski experience at Magic is pretty rad.
Experts should focus on the base-to-summit Red Chair (double) and its nearly-as-lengthy neighbor, Black Chair (quad). Both boast some serious double-black and black-diamond terrain. Take Black Magic, only 45 feet wide in some spots, with several cliff bands and pitches between 40- and 50-degrees, this is one of the toughest runs in the East. But fear not, a solid web of groomers, several from the summit, are also on tap, ensuring Magic stays magical for all comers.
Vertical Feet: 1,500
Trails: 39 + 11 Glades
Skiable Acres: 205
Average Snowfall: 145”
Insider’s Tip: Londonderry, Vt.
In Londonderry, the closest town to Magic, the Londonderry Inn offers 27 guest rooms with plenty of country charm. SoLo Farm & Table serves locally inspired dishes made with vegetables grown on site. Take an 8-mile side trip to the iconic Vermont Country Store in Weston for local maple candies and homemade fudge.
Out-of-staters must quarantine for 14 days or present a negative test on Day 7. Reservations are needed for day skiers, but not for season passholders. Lodge table reservations are required to keep capacity below 75 people; dining reservations for the cafeteria and Black Line Tavern are also required. Face coverings must be worn at all times except when skiing, eating, or drinking.
More Indy Pass Coverage From SKI
Catamount, Mass.: This Berkshires Resort Makes Learning Easy
Schuss Mountain, Mich.: If You Haven’t Skied the Kingdom of Schuss, Have You Really Even Skied?
Caberfae Peaks, Mich.: One Reason to Ski This ‘Up North’ Michigan Resort: $39 Lift Tickets