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Resort Guide 2022

The 10 Best Resorts in the East for Overall Satisfaction

These are the Eastern resorts with that certain je ne se quoi that makes skiers want to come back for more.

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The Overall Satisfaction category is a strange category, indeed. It’s not about any specific thing, but rather measures a ski resort’s ability to make guests feel happy with their vacation experience. It’s hard to put a finger on it, as making people happy is surely different for everyone, thus the different types of resorts that populate the list below. The one thing all of these destinations have in common: That certain je ne se quoi that makes a ski vacation truly feel like a vacation. These are the Top 10 resorts for Overall Satisfaction, as voted by the readers in the 2022 Resort Survey.

Top 10 Resorts in the East for Overall Satisfaction

No. 10: Mont Tremblant, Que.

Score: 8.61
Other Strengths:
Après (#1), Nightlife (#1)
Snow (#19), Lifts (#13)

What Readers Say

I ski mostly blue/black groomed runs. Tremblant has a great variety for me and snow conditions and grooming are excellent. Lots of great food/lodging options nearby and, living in Ontario, it’s the closest legitimate resort. It is very busy though so I avoid it on weekends.” 

“This resort is the best one-stop resort in eastern Ontario and West Quebec. lots of space and terrain for all skill levels. Tons of venues and alternate activities.”

No. 9: Hidden Valley Resort, Pa.

Score: 8.63
Other Strengths:
Family (#2), Grooming (#1)
Challenge (#19), Dining (#19)

Hidden Valley Overall Satisfaction
(Photo: Hidden Valley Resort)

What Readers Say

I have a son that doesn’t live with me but he is an avid skier and Hidden Valley allows the two of us to share a positive and exciting experience. He fits into the Hidden Valley culture.

“I ski and live at Hidden Valley Resort. Although it is not as challenging as some other resorts, the atmosphere and staff are friendly and very helpful. Have never had a bad day of skiing with the quality of snowmaking and grooming. No lift lines. Even during the pandemic, the resort management and staff made it a pleasant experience. The ski patrol staff are helpful, very responsive and very professional and go out of their way to assist the injured and their families in any way.”

“We have a townhouse in Hidden Valley and love the family experience we have had in the three-plus years we have owned our place. It is not the most challenging of resorts, doesn’t have a huge list of restaurants, clubs and bars (sadly) but our kids can safely ski with their friends and have the best experience in the area. My husband and I started skiing again after many years away from the sport and we love it. The snowmaking and grooming at this resort is fantastic! Recommend it highly!”

No. 8: Whiteface Mountain, N.Y.

Score: 8.65
Other Strengths:
Challenge (#4), Lodging (#4)
Grooming (#19), Service (#18)

What Readers Say

This is a real skiers’ mountain. No glitz or glamour here. Lots of great terrain. And the cold keeps the wimps away.

“I was surprised that a mountain this size didn’t have any grades, or at least didn’t allow skiers to access the greats. Some of the steepest runs I’ve ever encountered! My quads really got a work out!”

“I live here, and I ski here almost every day. A great place for good Eastern skiers. It’s out of the way, a long drive, but worth it. Dress warm and come on up. Try the Olympic runs!”

No. 7: Killington Resort, Vt.

Score: 8.74
Other Strengths:
Snow (#3), Après (#3)
Value (#14), Family (#19)

What Readers Say

This is our home mountain and the only one we made it to for the pandemic. We love this mountain for the varied terrain and great snowmaking. On a powder day it’s awesome, lots of trees, bumps and some steeps. There are lots of choices to go out to eat. I feel it’s a kid-friendly mountain.

“They are a big resort, but there’s something for everyone. Also, the longest season (especially for expert skiers) of any resort in the East.”

“With six base lodges, you can always find a place to start for the day that is not crowded. Lots of dining options outside the mountain. active mountain ambassadors, trails from top to bottom as easy intermediate is a plus for families.”

No. 6: Sugarloaf Resort, Maine

Score: 8.86
Other Strengths:
Snow (#4), Variety (#4)
Access (#20), Dining (#16)

Sugarloaf Overall Satisfaction
Location: Sugarloaf (Photo: Jamie Walter)

What Readers Say

A little out of the way, but based on its location way north, conditions hold very well all season. Nice base village and a great New England feel.

“Above tree line glade skiing on the summit, long runs summit to base, fast cruisers, beautiful scenery from the summit, cozy small town feel.”

“So many trails—I can’t even cover all my favorite trails in a single day! Authentically Maine! I can’t wait to see the new West Mountain expansion.”

No. 5: Jay Peak Resort, Vt.

Score: 9.02
Other Strengths:
Snow (#1), Challenge (#2)
Grooming (#17), Access (#19)

What Readers Say

Locals are sooooo proud of their mountain! The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. People are yahoo everywhere. Great woods and off-piste skiing.

“Snow pack is consistently the best in the East; the mountain encourages off-piste skiing and riding; culture is unassuming and fun.”

“Steepest, deepest, cheapest. Some of the best snow conditions on the East Coast, and my favorite glades. Great local vibe.”

No. 4: Holiday Valley, N.Y.

Score: 9.16
Other Strengths:
Lifts (#1), Dining (#1)
Variety (#13), Challenge (#16)

Holiday Valley Overall Satisfaction
(Photo: Holiday Valley)

What Readers Say

“My home hill though it’s a three-plus hour drive from Cleveland. Great ownership and they always pour money back into improvements every year. I went on 4 occasions this year and Covid was not an issue though we had to return to Ohio each time because of N.Y. laws. Awesome place I will keep coming back to until I’m dead and buried. Super fun. Can’t wait to spend weekends next season.”

“For a local area ski resort they do a great job. Snow goes early to late season, was a little less kept this year due to covid. But a good time for all who were willing to follow covid rules, a new concept for all. Family friendly with a lot of very dedicated employees. Have been skiing there for 25 years and it just feels like home.”

“This is my favorite resort in my area. Grew up skiing here. It grew with me. It is like family with the people who work there and the friends I ski with. Awesome “lake affect” snow, meticulous grooming, and a good variety of terrain. Not the most vertical but the most for the vertical it has! It is the gold standard that I use for comparison and recommendations to others.”

No. 3: Cannon Mountain, N.H.

Score: 9.19
Other Strengths:
Variety (#1), Lifts (#2)
Aprés (#19), Nightlife (#20)

What Readers Say

An icon of Eastern skiing. Watch the weather forecast and hit it on a good stretch. So varied in aspects, so varied in challenge. Great for the whole family. The views of the neighboring mountains still stun me! Driving up from the south through the pass is a sobering moment…time to put your Big Boy pants on!

“Cannon has the best terrain in the state, and the Indy Pass makes it more accessible to everyone. The ice though.”

“It a great old school mountain. No super fancy offering. Just like I like it. And they welcome tailgating in the parking lot.”

No. 2: Mad River Glen, Vt.

Score: 9.37
Other Strengths:
Challenge (#1), Local Flavor (#1)
Grooming (#20), Lodging (#17)

Mad River Glen Overall Satisfaction
(Photo: Brooks Curran)

What Readers Say

“I don’t think “Ski it if you can” is a brag as much as it is a directive. If you can ski, come here. Mad River is a hard season. It’s shorter than most other resorts that can blast out snow, and when the conditions are good you can count on lines getting long. But it is a shining example of quality trumping quantity. Who cares if the lines at the base get long when there are fresh lines on the mountain days after a storm? And even though they don’t have the most early-and-late-season terrain, when ropes start dropping it’s on the most exciting terrain I’ve ever skied.”

“Mad River has world-class terrain; it is certainly the best in the East. The ambiance is skiing, as skiing was originally meant to be. The pub is first-class. The place is as charming and as friendly as it can be. But, it doesn’t make snow – so natural snow is important.”

“Such a classic that hasn’t lost its charm nor its skiing adventure since I first skied there 50 years ago.”

No. 1: Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Vt.

Score: 9.41
Other Strengths:
Family (#1), Service (#1)
Lifts (#14), Dining (#9)

Smugglers' Notch Overall Satisfaction
(Photo: Smugglers’ Notch)

What Readers Say

We’ve been going to Smuggs for 25 years and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a resort with the best programs for children and the best terrain for expert skiers and nonstop apres ski fun. Our entire family has loved the Smuggs experience and our grown children still look forward to coming to Smuggs whenever time and jobs permit.

“We are new lift side condo owners. We chose the resort because it is a reasonable travel distance, and it has enough narrow, winding trails using natural contours (some might call them old-school) to keep our interest. Also, the resort did an excellent job heeding Covid-19 safety guidelines and monitored mask wearing in lift lines in a friendly but firm manner.”

“Usually gets the most snow in the east, has the best lift access backcountry in the East. Great friendly staff and very good pricing.”