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East Coast

Resort Guide 2021: Best Lifts in the East

Top 10 resorts in the East for Lifts, according to SKI's Reader Resort Survey.

1. Holiday Valley, N.Y.

Going up at Holiday Valley.Photo courtesy of Holiday Valley

Holiday Valley packs a punch for a smaller resort (60ish trails). It has a multitude of high-speed lifts that get you up/around the mountain VERY rapidly. They are quite good at managing volumes of people. When they do get fresh lake effect, the place is an absolute blast and punches well above its weight class. Ellicottville truly has the heart of a mountain town, and is well worth visiting.”

2. Wachusett, Mass.

“Waaaa… wa-wa chuuuuset! Love skiing here over any other resort in MA. Not only because it’s our home mountain, but we did a lot of skiing all over MA this season with my daughter’s ski racing. Wachusett is top-notch for lifts, for good, for terrain, for the lodge, for NASTAR, for ski shopping and tuning, for excellent snow making and grooming. Just love this resort!!”

3. Bretton Woods, N.H.

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. No. 9 in the East, SKI Magazine 2020 Resort Guide
Up and down is easy at Bretton Woods.Photo courtesy of Bretton Woods

“One trip to this beauty and you will understand why it is consistently in the top rankings for scenery and grooming. This year Bretton Woods added a new high-speed gondola to their already well-stocked assortment of high-speed lifts. A new lodge is being built at the top of the gondola terminal and it is truly a sight to behold. What keeps me driving the seven hours each way are the vast network of untouched glades filled with pristine New Hampshire Pow and the way I feel at home as soon as I arrive in the lot. A must to say the least!” 

4. Killington, Vt.

“Big improvement in flow at Killington with addition of new lifts at strategic locations, especially the South Ridge lift. Now I can get to where I want to ski with little inconvenience.”  

5. Okemo Mountain Resort, Vt.

Okemo bubble chair Resort Guide 2020
The orange bubble of Okemo.Photo courtesy of Okemo Mountain Resort

Okemo is of my favorites places in the East. Excellent lift system as most are high speed. Good variety of runs. Snow quality and grooming are excellent—almost too good as I wish they didn’t groom so much. Great family place and the town of Ludlow is charming.”

6. Gore Mountain, N.Y.

Gore Mountain is a family, racer, novice- to expert-friendly ski resort. Management has done an excellent job at continuous improvement and environmental sustainability. 100 percent solar powers snow making and electrical needs. Only two lifts need to be updated and that is in the works. The race community, which is growing in our area is well taken care of on the mountain. The people that work on the mountain are ambassadors of the resort.” 

7. Sunday River, Maine

8. Stratton Mountain, Vt.

2021 Resort Guide Stratton Mountain Vt.
“That gondi sure looks warm.”Photo courtesy of Stratton Mountain

Stratton is a great resort with some quality deals, if you look for them. Fast lifts, diverse trails, friendly staff.”

9. Tremblant, Que.

Tremblant is great and the scenery and terrain are really special! Lots to do right at the mountain and in the village near it. The top of the mountain can be a little crowded, but once you choose a slope there’s plenty of room. Plenty of variety of terrain and the lifts run efficiently.”

10. Sugarbush, Vt.

Summit of Sugarbush
The top of the world at SugarbushPhoto courtesy of Sugarbush

“Love the fact that one side feels like a resort and the other side is old style New England at Sugarbush. Very friendly surroundings and the après bar at Mt. Ellen is matched by few.”

Read More Top 10s in the East from our 2021 Reader Resort Survey: