East Coast

Magic Mountain, Vt.

The ski area's tough terrain and independent spirit keeps visitors happy all winter long.

Swiss-born ski instructor Hans Thorne founded Magic Mountain because he sensed “a Little Switzerland” in Southern Vermont. That charm (No. 2) continues to resonate with an array of skiers today, and for good reason. Magic’s challenging, untamed terrain (No. 2) rivals that of bigger resorts on the East Coast and is well-balanced with dreamy groomers accessible to all abilities. 

But, be warned: If you’re looking for a luxurious resort with a billion amenities and a silver platter of warm cookies at the end of the ski day, head elsewhere. Magic is all about delivering a no-frills, simplistic ski experience on a budget (No. 1 in Value). While it’s not Deer Valley, the ski area still earns high marks for service (No. 3), and it’s this combined with the down-home feel that likely earns the mountain its No. 3 spot in Overall Satisfaction. “For Magic, it’s all about the vibe. Great steeps, great peeps—a skier’s mountain,” one reader explains. 

This season, the ski area is pumping a cool $2 million into upgrading its most important infrastructure, ensuring the good times will keep rolling for years to come. “Where skiing has soul!” one reader exclaims. “We love Magic. It’s what skiing should be for me and my family.” – Connor W. Davis

Magic Mountain’s 2020 SKI Magazine Reader Resort Survey Rank: 17th in the East

Average Snowfall Acres Lifts Trails
145″ 205 6 39
  • WHAT’S NEW: Magic is debuting a fixed-grip quad, purchased from neighboring Stratton, that will increase uphill capacity and make lift lines even shorter. Snowmaking is being upgraded, too: The source pond has grown significantly from 4.5 to 9 million gallons.
  • DINNER PICK: In the nearby town of Peru, JJ Hapgood serves up fantastic eats and drinks—from breakfast sandwiches and wood-fired pizza to local craft brews and beyond.

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