Skiing runs deep in New Hampshire. From the first recorded ski descent of Tuckerman’s Ravine on Mount Washington in 1914 to the first paid ski patrollers in North America at Cannon Mountain in 1938, Granite Staters have contributed to American ski history for more than a century. Thanks to that early and enthusiastic push into the sport, New Hampshire has become a hub for all things winter recreation, with more than 32 resorts—both alpine and cross-country—across the state, plus night skiing, snow tubing, snowshoeing, winter events, après-ski, and more. Here’s how to take advantage of New Hampshire’s snowpack and plan the ultimate ski (or snowboard) getaway.
Grab a Multi-Mountain Pass
“I’ll just ski one day on this trip,” said no one ever. When you plan a ski vacation, one thing is for sure: you want to ski! The best way to enjoy the most days on the snow is to pick up a multi-mountain pass. A variety of ski passes grant access to New Hampshire, from national passes, including the Epic, Ikon, Freedom, and Indy passes, to New Hampshire-only passes.
With the close proximity of New Hampshire’s ski resorts, exploring more than one resort within a few days is easy. Take a look at the lineup of 2022–2023 passes as you map out the resorts you want to hit so you can choose the right pass for your trip.
Note: Epic and Ikon passes are no longer on sale for the 2022–2023 season.
Road Trip from Peak to Peak
Whether you stick to one region or choose to explore all over the state, you’ll get the full New Hampshire skiing experience on a peak-hopping road trip. Most New Hampshire resorts are close to popular New England towns, so road trips within the state are truly choose-your-own-adventure vacations. Drive through the White Mountains and hit the slopes at 12 ski areas, including the famous Attitash and Loon mountain resorts. Or for the resort with the most skiable terrain in the state, don’t miss Bretton Woods, which offers 464 acres and 63 named trails. Then head south for some of the best night skiing in the country at Crotched Mountain, Gunstock, and Pats Peak.
Enjoy All Kinds of Skiing
Of course, skiing at alpine resorts is only one of the many ways to explore New Hampshire on skis. The state is also famous for its access to cross-country skiing and uphill travel. If you’ve never tried cross-country skiing, New Hampshire is the place. You’ll find trails for all levels, plenty of opportunities to take a lesson, and rentals available at cross-country ski centers across the state. Many ski areas also allow uphill skiing or snowshoeing on designated trails. Take the route less traveled at Black Mountain, Mount Sunapee, and Dartmouth Skiway, all known for their access to uphill routes.
Note: Not all resorts offer rentals for touring skis and snowshoes. Check ahead before making plans for uphill travel.
Expand Your Winter Horizons
Whether you have some members of your group who aren’t obsessed with skiing or you just want a trip with more variety, New Hampshire has you covered. Families will love a day of bombing down groomed runs in snow tubes. For a full-service experience with a ride to the top of the tubing hill, head to Cranmore or King Pine. Or to earn your runs, try the walk-up tubing hill at Great Glen Trails, which caters to human-powered snow tubing. At Bretton Woods, zoom over the ski slopes on a four-season zipline.
After a day of adventures, get to know the social side of the ski resorts and nearby New Hampshire towns by checking out the après-ski scene. From the classic fireside après experience at Ragged Mountain’s Stone Hearth Bar to slopeside parties at Waterville Ski Area’s après-ski venues, there’s something for everyone.
Join in Winter Traditions
Winter in New Hampshire wouldn’t be complete without attending at least one winter-themed festival. Snowsport competitions and winter wonderland celebrations happen all over the state throughout the season. Every winter, artists bring frozen sculptures to life at the Keene Ice and Snow Festival and the Winter Fest Ice Carving Competition in Concord. If you want to view even more astonishing ice art, check out the Ice Castles in Lincoln. Visitors of all ages can experience a real-life fairy tale and wander the photo-worthy ice arches and tunnels. In the Great North Woods, New Hampshire residents have been celebrating winter with the Nansen-Milan Winter Festival for more than 100 years. This long-standing tradition includes a broomball tournament, dogsled and Nordic races, and a ceremonial Burning of the Greens.
With a winter culture that embraces all things snowy and terrain for every activity and experience level, New Hampshire is the perfect place for a ski getaway—whether you’re coming from near or far.
Ski New Hampshire is the statewide association representing 32 alpine and cross-country resorts in New Hampshire. For more information on ski areas, trail conditions, vacation planning, deals, and updated winter events at Ski New Hampshire resorts, visit SkiNH.com. For statewide travel info, go to VisitNH.gov