New Hampshire Ski Resorts: The Best Slopes in New England
Located throughout the White Mountains of the Appalachians, 11 major New Hampshire ski resorts make the Granite State some of the strongest bedrock for American skiing. This summary of the destinations will give you a sense of the tremendous slopes in this little state and help you choose the right New Hampshire ski resorts for your next trip.
New Hampshire Ski Resorts
- Attitash Mountain Resort
- Black Mountain
- Bretton Woods
- Crotched Mountain
- Dartmouth Skiway
- Granite Gorge
- King Pine
- Loon Mountain
- Mount Sunapee
- Pat’s Peak
- Ragged Mountain
- Waterville Valley
- Wildcat Mountain
Arrowhead ski area used to be named King’s Arrow. Located near Claremont, NH, this resort has been operating off and on since the 1960’s. Currently, there is one Poma lift that services a wide bowl area. There’s also a small terrain park with small features as well as a dedicated tubing area. The vertical at the park has a total of 600 feet, but only 120 feet are currently lift serviced. There are nine runs available at Arrowhead, but other than the main slope and the terrain park, they are considered off-piste and are non-lift serviced. They include four intermediate runs and three expert trails in the non-serviced area.
Attitash Mountain Resort
Attitash is located in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest. The ski resort sprawls across two mountains, Attitash and Bear Peak for 310 acres of skiing. With 67 trails between them, Attitash Resort has over 60 acres of groomed glade skiing and five terrain parks. The vertical from Attitash is 1750 feet, while Bear Peak offers 1450 feet which can be experienced all at once on the Avenger black diamond run. Looking for something different from one of the New Hampshire ski resorts? Attitash’s Mountain Coaster is a 4300 foot ride with a vertical drop of 316 feet and a speed of 25 mph that zips around looping swirls and banking curves, making it an experience not to be missed.
Black Mountain is also located in the White Mountain National Forest. Skiing over the 45 trails and glades is an experience because the resort does not groom any of its runs. All 143 acres of skiing are left alone. With a vertical of 1100 feet and four lifts, this smaller resort is all about family fun. A triple chair leads to the midway point with features a gentle bowl and some fast glades. The summit is reached via a double chair lift, and the only way down is through one of three black diamond runs. A J-Bar and platter pull surface lift get you to some lower areas where you can sharpen your skills or just play on the beginner runs.
Bretton Woods ambles over 464 acres of skiing across three mountains: Mt. Stickney, Mt. Rosebrook, and West Mountain. Compared to other New Hampshire ski resorts, Mt Stickney is home to some expert glade skiing and is serviced by a fast T-Bar lift. West Mountain has a high-speed quad chair lift, zipping you up to the peak so you can take some expert runs back down again. Mt. Rosebrook is the central peak and features three terrain parks and more expert glade skiing as well as a dedicated learning center with its own quad lift. Bretton has a 1500 foot vertical from the peak of Rosebrook with 62 alpine runs and over 35 glade runs, so if you enjoy trees, Bretton is the resort for you.
Cannon Mountain is most famous for being Olympic skier Bode Miller’s home mountain, where he regularly returns to help celebrate Bodefest. The resort has two peaks, Mittersill and Cannon Mountain designed for upper-level expert skiers who want to glade or steep ski in ungroomed territory. The main portion of the resort starts from the top of the Peabody Express Quad Chairlift, offering intermediate runs down the mountain. For shorter chutes, the Zoomer lift takes you a short ways up the mountain to some wicked tree-lined steeps. The Tuckerbrook Family Area is almost a small ski area on its own, serviced by three lifts and featuring intermediate glades and sweeping lightly sloped beginner trails. Spread out over 282 acres, with 72 trails and a 2180 foot vertical, there is something at Cannon for everyone.
Cranmore is located near North Conway and features almost 200 acres of skiing. There are a total of 57 trails serviced by 9 lifts, with a difficulty mix of 16 beginner, 25 intermediate and 8 expert trails. There are also 8 glades at Cranmore for those who enjoy swishing between trees. Cranmore features 5 terrain parks as well for the trickier skiers and snowboarders. The longest run at the resort is just over a mile long, from a summit at 2000 feet and ending at the base at 527 feet. Other attractions at Cranmore include the Mountain Coaster, a Giant Swing, and a children’s center that helps kids as young as three get their snow legs.
Crotched Mountain is a resort that provides the luxury and amenities of a big mountain in a smaller area. The intimate hill has over one hundred acres of skiable terrain that keep you riding all day long no matter what your skill level. The bigger mountains often overshadow this hidden gem, which is a great thing for you – fewer lines! The smaller crowds allow you to enjoy more time on snow and really get you spending time advancing your skills, no matter how advanced you are. In fact, Crotched Mountain is the only ski area on the East Coast that lets you work on your skills until three in the morning. That’s right, you can ski from morning until well, morning if you wanted to.
Dartmouth Skiway Mountain skis like a big mountain but offers the luxury and limited lift lines of a smaller hill. Spread across two mountains, the one hundred acres of skiable terrain is a skiers’ paradise, no matter the skill level or ability. The ski hills are groomed daily at Dartmouth Skiway Mountain and are so loved almost one hundred Dartmouth All-Americans and over thirty national champions call the hill home. Dartmouth Skiway has thirty ski trails and four chairlifts, which means skiers and snowboarders spend much more time on the hill then they do waiting in line. In fact, Dartmouth Skiway can transport 3300 skiers to the top of the mountain every hour!
Granite Gorge Ski Resort is as refined as its name makes it sound. The chosen ski hill for many Olympians, Granite Gorge Ski Resort offers amazing trails for beginners and experts alike. Founded in the 1950s, Granite Gorge’s location is ideal for keeping powder on the hill as it faces north and is protected from the wind. Which means you can enjoy a longer ski season than most other mountains in the area.
Gunstock is also among the most popular New Hampshire ski resorts and the closest major resort in the East to Boston. In the past year, Gunstock has invested over $1 million in snowmaking equipment and various improvements on the mountain. This resort features over 225 acres of skiing with a vertical of 1400 feet. There are 55 trails for you to enjoy with two glades and three terrain parks. Multiple runs are open for night skiing and there is a dedicated learner’s area for people who are just getting their snow feet. The longest run is over 1.5 miles long and takes you on a sweeping tour around the edge of the resort.
King Pine Resort has been offering family fun to generations. Located in East Madison, King Pine Resort is built around a private lake and has the longest running ski camp in the country. King Pine Resort is a family run business, owned by the Hoyt family for five generations, and counting! With seventeen different ski trails for all skill levels and six chairlifts, skiers and snowboarders are sure to spend more time on the snow than waiting in line. There are lots of activities to keep adults and children busy no matter what the season, with lots of options for fantastic accommodation as well.
Loon Mountain is located just near Lincoln and provides a big resort feel without the crowds or the cost. Over the past four years, Loon has invested over $3 million in snowmaking renovations, giving them the ability to open far sooner than usual. In 2014, the park opened on November 8, almost a full month sooner than others in the area. This resort has an amazing 2100 foot drop and 61 trails that lay on 370 acres of skiable land spread out across three peaks. Loon has 8 glades and 6 terrain parks, two of which are just for kids. The longest trail is Bear Claw, which travels 2.5 miles as it meanders from Loon Peak to the Octagon Lodge. With three separate Lodges, the Loon also has plenty of après-ski activities to make your vacation here relaxing and fun.
Located 90 minutes from Boston, Mount Sunapee is one of New Hampshire’s premiere family skiing destinations. This resort features 66 trails that are laid out on 233 acres. It also features the highest vertical in Southern New Hampshire at 1510 feet. The South Peak Learning Area is a collection of 12 runs, two terrain parks and a glade designed to help kids and adults get accustomed to skiing. For the remainder of the park, two quad lifts, two triple lifts, and a double chair provide access to another four glades, four terrain parks and all the wide open groomed trails you could want. The longest ride is just over two miles long, an intermediate ridge trail that runs from Summit Lodge down to the base camp.
Pats Peak Ski Resort in New Hampshire is a great hill for skiers and snowboarders looking for trails of various skill levels. With a large range of novice ski hills, Pats Peak makes a good hill for beginners to learn the ropes and perfect their skills on the hill. More intermediate skiers and snowboarders will also enjoy their range of intermediate and expert level hills. With twenty-eight trails and eleven ski lifts, you can be sure you will not be waiting in line to get up the hill. Pats Peak lift system ensures you’ll be spending as much time on the snow as possible!
Ragged Mountain has 244 acres of glade and trail skiing with 55 runs in total. The park covers two peaks, Spear Mountain and Ragged Mountain, with plans to expand to neighboring Pinnacle Peak in the next few years. A single six-pack summit express lift services Ragged Mountain, while a high-speed quad provides lifts up to Spear. Mid-mountain elevations are serviced by a double and a triple lift, providing some of the most reliable access for any of the New Hampshire ski resorts. Ragged also has three terrain parks, one of which is dedicated to novices. The vertical from Ragged Mountain is 1250 feet, while Spear is just a bit less. The longest run at Ragged is just over a mile long and begins with the Upper Easy Winder, which transitions mid mountain into a gentler sloped finish.
Waterville Valley Ski Resort is located at Mount Tecumseh in the White Mountain National Forest. The summit is a towering 4004 feet above sea level, while the base lodge is 2020 feet lower at 1984 feet. There are 50 trails with five glades and six terrain parks over 220 acres. Waterville is serviced by 11 lifts, three of which service the mid-station. From the mid-station another double chair will take you to the summit, where a wide open intermediate cruiser is the only way down. Seven other lifts will ferry you to different runs including two that are dedicated to a five-run learning center. Waterville also has renovated its snowmaking, with 100 percent coverage over the entire park. This ensures that if Mother Nature doesn’t provide enough snow, the resort can.
Whaleback Mountain is located just east of Lebanon in New Hampshire along I-89. This is a classic New England ski resort with 85 acres of skiing and 30 named trails. There’s night skiing offered over about 2/3 of the mountain. Difficulty on Whaleback is about average, with 7 novice, 12 intermediate, 6 advanced, and 4 expert trails. There’s one lift, a double chair that ferries skiers to the peak and two surface lifts that cater to the learning area. There are two terrain parks, one a basic jib park, the other a progression park and both located just a short walk uphill from the base lodge.
Wildcat Mountain is located in the White Mountain National Forest and offers riders amazing views of Mount Washington, Tuckerman Ravine, and the surrounding Presidential Range. True to its name, Wildcat Mountain has character and adventure at every corner. The hill prides itself in having ski hills for any skill level, which can all be accessed within seven minutes from bottom to top. You won’t waste time standing in line at this mountain, it’s all about the ride!