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East Coast

This Unassuming Vermont Ski Area is the East’s New Adventure Mecca

Indy Pass resort Magic Mountain is an accessible weekend adventure for Northeast skiers looking for steep and wild terrain close to home.

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Magic Mt
Magic’s iconic two-person fixed-grip Red Chair has been spinning since 1971. Photo: Courtesy of Magic Mountain

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.

Related: A Late-Season Indy Pass Could Make Your Spring Road Trip Way Cheaper

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.

Go Deeper: Meet Magic, Home To Some of the Wildest Terrain in the East

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.

Mountain Stats
Vertical Feet: 1,500
Lifts: 6
Trails: 39 + 11 Glades
Skiable Acres: 205
Average Snowfall: 145”

Trip Planning

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.

COVID-19 Policies
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.

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