There’s a diamond in the rough in the mountain of resorts Vail recently acquired, and its name is Wildcat, “one hell of a skiing experience in small package.” How does a mountain with a throwback base lodge (to be polite) and zero amenities around it rank as one of the best year after year? It’s likely the mix of intoxicating views (No.2 in Scenery—thank you, Mount Washington), solid lifts (No. 5), charm (No. 5), and an epic variety of terrain.
With truly challenging steeps paired with some of the cruisiest top-to-bottom greens you’ve ever experienced, Wildcat has the footprint of greatness. Could it use more? Of course. With limited (and dated) on-mountain food options and no slopeside lodging (it’s in a National Forest), updates are needed, but the mountain itself is sublime. “Not much beyond skiing here; but a great place to go,” opines one reader. — Moira McCarthy
Wildcat Mountain’s 2020 SKI Magazine Reader Resort Survey Rank: 20th in the East
- LUNCH SPOT: Check out the Beat the Blues Burger with blue cheese sauce, caramelized onions, and bacon, in the base lodge.
- POWDER DAY RUN: Earn bragging rights for skiing through steep pillows of fresh snow while taking in stunning views of Mount Washington on Upper Wildcat.
- DINNER PICK: Head to the Thompson House Eatery in downtown Jackson for a farm-to-table dinner with signature craft cocktails. The menu changes with the seasons, and ingredients are locally sourced.
SKI Magazine’s 2019 Review of Wildcat, N.H.
At Wildcat, you don’t have to go big or go home. Enjoy a little of both: some jaw-dropping views of Mount Washington and terrain variety that will make you feel like you’re on a big mountain—Wild Kitten may very well be one of the best greens around; Lift Lion one of the top thigh-burners. But it’s a no-frills vibe that makes Wildcat feel like your home mountain at the same time. Just outside its, we’ll call it “well-loved,” base lodge sits a shiny quad that zips you to the mountaintop in a flash. Trails are groomed well—and even better—left to nature on the mountain’s many (higher elevation) powder days.
Come to Wildcat for the…
- FAMILY TRAIL Polecat winds an easy 2.75 miles from summit to base with Mount Washington for eye candy around nearly every bend.
- GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP The Appalachian Mountain Club’s Joe Dodge Lodge, just two miles from Wildcat’s base, offers shared accommodations and meals, making it easy to catch first tracks on a powder morning.