It’s sometimes hard to appreciate the size of six-million-acre Adirondack State Park. But its grandeur is hard to miss when you’re in Lake Placid, surrounded by the gob-smacking beauty of the High Peaks Region.
Towering Whiteface Mountain lies at the heart of it. It’s remote, and conservation laws of the State Park ensure that it’ll stay that way: the ski area has the East’s highest vert (3,430 feet) and least development (none). On the other hand, you’re not roughing it when you have Lake Placid nearby. The little mountain town that hosted two Olympics has charm and a sense of place that few resorts can match. Its streets glow with life on winter nights as visitors and locals bustle between its shops, bars, and restaurants, and the Olympic venues offer an unmatched variety of activities. Folks gripe about cold weather and icy trails. But chances are that first-timers will be too enchanted with the charms of Lake Placid to notice the chill. – Joe Cutts
No. 15 in the East: Whiteface Mountain, N.Y.
Whiteface Mountain Stats
Whiteface Mountain Pass Info
Whiteface is on NYSKI3 pass. Full pass holders get unlimited access to the resort. Limited pass holders get holiday-restricted access to the slopes.
From lodging and and dining to off-slope activities and local tips, here are the SKI editors’ picks for what to do in Lake Placid and Whiteface Mountain, N.Y.
Located on Main Street, check out Top of the Park for the most comprehensive cocktail list around, including beer cocktails and CBD cocktails, among their other delicious drinks.
The Stagecoach Inn is the spot for couples, and a more personal and historic lodging option. Built in the late 1700s on seven acres of land, the Inn is the oldest building in Lake Placid. A complimentary two-course breakfast is included, as well as a free beverage during happy hour.
The Cloudspin Bar and Grill at the Whiteface base has windows looking out to the terrain you just skied. It’s the only option right on the mountain. They’ve also got a deck, a large bar, and lots of tables.
Little-known fact: Abolitionist icon John Brown and others killed at Harper’s Ferry moulder in their graves at his farm in nearby North Elba. A fascinating side trip.
Big Mountain Deli and Café for breakfast and to-go lunches (only so much can be expected of the Whiteface cafeteria). The also-popular Smokehouse does BBQ right.
The bobsled, if you dare. Seriously, it’s not for the timid— banked turns at 55 mph—but it’s wicked fun. You must be this high (48 inches).
Treat yourself to a stay at the venerable Lake Placid Lodge someday. Meantime, you can get a taste of the place in its excellent restaurant, Artisans: high-end cuisine amid high-Adirondack décor.
Don’t be trying to admire the views if you’re skiing Cloudspin (the Olympic downhill). Try Wilmington Trail, a meandering blue run with similar vistas.
The venerable Lake Placid Lodge remains the toniest address in town (No kids under age 13).
We've got springtime suggestions for the best resorts to visit this weekend. For free concerts and fresh snow, head to Aspen. To watch a big event, try the Big Air Fiesta at Stevens Pass, Washington, or the U.S. Alpine Championships at Whiteface, New York. Looking for a good deal? Go to Schweitzer, Idaho. Or maybe you feel like driving a snowcat? The Canyons, Utah.