Mountain Magic: The Best Ski Resorts in Stowe, Vermont
by Divya Krishnamoorthy on Dec 01, 2023
Stowe, Vermont, is a winter wonderland that attracts ski enthusiasts worldwide. With its picturesque landscapes, challenging slopes, and charming village, it's no wonder Stowe is known as one of the best ski destinations in the United States. Home to top-rated ski resorts, Stowe offers a range of options for skiers of all levels, from beginners to advanced thrill-seekers. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the best ski resorts in Stowe, Vermont, and help you plan an unforgettable winter adventure.
Killington is aptly called 'The Beast of the East' with 4,241 feet and 1,977 acres of skiable terrain. Its 213 routes span six mountain peaks (seven if you include Pico Mountain, reachable by shuttle bus) and five base regions. Consult the official trail map before going between ski resorts, as the layout could be more apparent.
You may enjoy après-ski at this resort, with many restaurants and bars along the access road. Tubing and snowmobiling are great for rest days between skiing and snowboarding.
Where to Stay
Many condos are in the five essential regions. However, Killington Grand Resort Hotel is the only full-service hotel at the resort. Next to Snowshed Lodge is a food court, pub, and ski lesson meeting area. Many Killington Road hotels are cheaper and less than 5 miles from the resort.
From 30 minutes before lifts open to 5 PM, resort shuttles circle between all available base lodges and parking sites. Some Killington Road hotels offer ski shuttles. The Bus runs The Rutland Killington Commuter between Rutland and Killington Ski Area for a fee.
Okemo makes family skiing easy with convenient on-mountain housing and a great kids' ski school. Skiing on 122 trails across 632 acres is suitable for all abilities. Boulder Park has gentle rails and kickers for terrain park beginners, while big air pros should travel to the Superpipe, the East's longest Superpipe. Although there are few super steeps and bumps to bounce off, the 2,200-foot vertical plunge will scorch your thighs. View the official trail map to understand.
Okemo is faster to access from major population centers and airports than other Vermont mountains, so expect powder day crowds.
Where to Stay
Okemo features housing and restaurants at Clock Tower and Jackson Gore, its main bases. Jackson Gore base lodging is popular with families because of its proximity to kid-friendly activities. Beginner slopes and ski school meeting spots are accessible from the Clock Tower base. Stay in either region to be near slopes.
The lovely Ludlow village down the road has informal dining and shopping to compliment the resort—drive 3–5 minutes from Ludlow to the bases.
3. Spruce Peak Lodge
Stowe has luxurious lodging and challenging skiing on two mountains. Intermediate runs comprise 485 acres and 116 trails, more than half the mountain. Mt Mansfield, Vermont's tallest summit (4,395 feet), provides blue and black routes, while Spruce Summit suits beginners and families. The snow here is among Vermont's best due to its northern location and extensive snowmaking operation. With so much to offer, Stowe may be busy and pricey.
Where to Stay
Spruce Peak Lodge is the only ski-in/ski-out hotel. Stay here to be near Spruce Peak base eateries and shops.
Hotels in downtown Stowe are 10–15 minutes from the slopes, but several restaurants and bars exist. Mountain Road between the resort and town has hotel alternatives. The city has a thriving brewery scene and New England charm.
The Spruce Peak base area is walkable and connected to Mt Mansfield by a gondola. From 7 AM to 9 PM, the free Mountain Road Shuttle heads downtown every 20-30 minutes.
4. Jay Peak
Jay Peak, Vermont's snowiest ski resort, is north of the Canadian border. At 3,968 feet, its terrain spans Stateside and Tramside base areas. The resort has 385 acres of skiable space and 81 courses, mild glades for intermediates, and steep tree-packed trails for specialists.
Jay Peak is a family favorite featuring ice skating, a climbing gym, and The Pump House, a massive indoor waterpark with slides, hot tubs, and a FlowRider! Jay Peak is a lengthy trip from Northeastern cities. Therefore, it has fewer visitors than other Vermont resorts. Nightlife needs to be improved.
Where to Stay
Both bases have many lodging choices. Stay at Tramside base for convenient access to restaurants, the waterpark, ice skating, and Vermont's only aerial tram! Stateside base location, a 5-minute drive away, has better novice zone access.
The resort is far from the main towns, so bring a car.
Sugarbush clings to what it does best—authentic East Coast skiing—rather than being showy. Sugarbush has 484 skiable acres and 2,000 backcountry acres on two mountains and six peaks. Over 2,600 feet, it features steeps, mild greens, and woodland ski areas.
The base area has excellent accommodations and many dining options in a rural setting. Other than the tourists, Sugarbush is like Killington or Stowe. It costs less than nearby resorts without sacrificing quality or services.
Where to Stay
Stay in Lincoln Peak Village or Mt Ellen Lodge to be near the slopes. Lincoln Peak Village's closeness to a larger beginning area and kids' ski school makes it popular. It has hotels, food, and facilities, especially in Historic Sugarbush Village. Cheaper options like The Warren Lodge are on the Sugarbush entrance road to Lincoln Peak Village. These shuttle-served hotels are up to a mile from the slopes.
The US's longest and quickest detachable quad lift, the Slide Brook Express Quad, connects the mountains. Green Mountain Transit-Mad River Valley (GMT-MRV) buses connect Lincoln Peak and Mt Ellen bases for gratis. It runs to Waitsfield every 20-30 minutes, where you can eat and shop.
Discover the Magic of Stowe, Vermont
Stowe, Vermont, is a winter paradise offering an unforgettable ski vacation. Whether you conquer the challenging slopes of Stowe Mountain Resort, enjoy a family-friendly adventure at Smugglers' Notch Resort, or explore the hidden gem of Bolton Valley Resort, you will indeed create memories that will last a lifetime. With its breathtaking landscapes, world-class skiing, and warm hospitality, Stowe is the ultimate destination for ski enthusiasts seeking thrills, relaxation, and the beauty of winter in Vermont. Plan your winter getaway to Stowe, and prepare to be captivated by its magic.