Being nestled in the upper mountainous Appalachian Mountain Range, New Hampshire has its fair share of ski resorts. It has even produced numerous Olympic skiers, most notably Bode Miller, who grew up on Cannon Mountain.
New Hampshire Ski Season
The ski season at New Hampshire ski resorts typically runs from December to March, although this can vary depending on the weather conditions. Some ski resorts in New Hampshire may open as early as November and remain open into April if the weather stays colder for longer. Ski resorts can’t make snow until it reaches a wet bulb 28 degrees.
The length of the ski season at New Hampshire ski resorts can also depend on the elevation of the resort, as higher elevations tend to have longer ski seasons due to the colder temperatures and greater snowfall. In addition, some ski resorts in New Hampshire may offer other winter activities such as ice skating, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing, which can extend the ski season for these resorts.
All New Hampshire Ski Resorts
New Hampshire has 15 ski resorts, all well within what would be considered the “medium difficulty” range.
Many of the ski slopes in New Hampshire are located within White Mountain National Forest located in the top half of the state.
The ‘Pass’ column below identifies if the resort is associated with one of the two major ski passes in the country. IKON and EPIC each have dozens of slopes in their system that will allow you to ski at any one of them if you hold it. Within New Hampshire, EPIC (a Vail-owned property) is associated with 4 resorts while IKON has zero. Smaller ticket system INDY is associated with four ski resorts in New Hampshire.
Explaining Our ‘Difficulty Score’
Parks & Trips created a proprietary Difficulty Score that is generated by looking at the number of easy-intermediate-expert slopes by acreage and the maximum vertical drop of the overall resort.
Our algorithm compares each resort’s metrics with all others in North America, then gives each a Difficulty Score, which we use to rank them accordingly. Resorts with a lower score are easier than those with a higher one. However, a high score does not mean that the resort does not have any easy slopes, or vice versa. This is just an overall score given to the resort based on all its metrics grouped together.
The Most Difficult New Hampshire Ski Resorts
Cannon Mountain tops out as the most difficult ski resort in New Hampshire. At around a 50% Difficulty Score, Cannon Mountain is smack-dab in the middle of North America’s slopes. It’s not too hard, and not too easy. Its… just right.
The Easiest Ski Resorts in New Hampshire
Pats Peak takes the prize as the easiest actual ski resort in NH. There are a couple ski areas that are easier, but we wouldn’t classify them as a resort of any kind.
Pats Peak has the smallest vertical drop of all the larger slopes in New Hampshire, as well as a good number of “easy” slopes. The rest of the major resorts that round out the rest of the top 5 all are what I would consider approaching medium-level difficulty. This is likely due to the elevation and mountainous terrain that envelopes New Hampshire.
The Largest Ski Resorts in New Hampshire
Choosing the largest ski resorts is a bit of a tricky proposition. Do you look at just the summit elevation? How about the total acreage, most trails, or steepest vertical drop?
Well, we decided to combine all four of those metrics into one ranking to get the best idea, although we fully admit this is completely subjective. We’ve given you all the data in the following table to make your own decision.
Seeing that Bode Miller got his start on Cannon Mountain, it is not really a surprise that the resort tops out as the largest in the state. Cannon has the largest vertical drop of any mountain in the state, and ranks within the top 4 of total acreage and trails.