Sunday River built its enviable reputation on ski conditions, and it continues to win over skeptics with “the most reliable snowmaking and grooming anywhere in the East” (No. 6 in Grooming). Not only does the place make lots of snow, “they nurture it.” The River “skis like a Western resort and feels bigger than the stats would suggest.” That’s an understatement: The alpine terrain sprawls over eight lift-connected peaks, each etched with “beautiful, wide, fall-line trails.” To those, add tight glades, terrain parks, and “ungroomed double-blacks gnarly enough to make anybody think twice.”
And there’s always Kansas, the beginner trail easing across all the peaks—just be prepared to skate on its flats. With all this terrain, even on the busiest days you can find the Zen of Skiing: short lift lines and quiet trails. Two ski-in/ski-out hotels and a slew of mountainside condos make it easy to ski until you drop. The sleepy, Currier & Ives village of Bethel is the mountain’s counterpoint. “Sunday River is truly what you come to expect from a top-notch resort with small-town New England flavor.” — Hilary Nangle
Sunday River's 2020 SKI Magazine Reader Resort Survey Rank: 11th in the East
- WHAT’S NEW: Three new conveyor lifts access the learning terrain and Locke Mountain’s competitive venues get a new T-bar.
- FAMILY EXPERIENCE: Grab the kiddos and watch a drive-in family movie screened on Saturday evenings at the Grand Summit Hotel’s outdoor heated pool.
- LOCAL TIP: Mix with the locals at Hoot Night, an open mic tradition at Sud’s Pub in Bethel since 1987.
SKI Magazine's 2019 Review of Sunday River, Maine
At the Rivah, it’s always been about the snow. The resort excels at making it and grooming it, and has a knack for turning Mother Nature’s tantrums into heavenly conditions. But snow isn’t the only reason this northwestern Maine resort earns kudos—it also seduces skiers with the diversity of terrain.
Stand at the peak of Sunday River’s Jordan Bowl on a bluebird morning, and the world is your oyster. Think eight interconnected mountains laced with 135 trails and glades. The efficient lift system and trail network makes it possible even for beginners to ski from one end to the other, and for experienced skiers to accept the invitations from each peak along the way, whether that’s White Cap’s steep thrills, Spruce’s terrain parks, or the steep bumped and gladed natural playgrounds on Oz and Aurora. Ski-in/ski-out condos and hotels make it easy to stay where you play, but the nearby postcard village of Bethel expands the options. - Hilary Nangle
New in 2019
Sunday River is playing to its strengths: It’s increasing snow-making capacity by 15 percent and widening the Sundance and Ride Run trail intersection to improve beginner terrain
Come to Sunday River for the...
- GROOMING When Mother Nature is stingy, Sunday River’s snowmaking and grooming systems create skiable conditions.
- TERRAIN VARIETY Of the 135 trails, 30 percent are beginner, 36 percent intermediate, and 34 percent advanced/expert.
- CHARM The nearby town of Bethel serves up a quaint New England vibe with much on offer.