Whiteface Resort, NY

The Most Challenging Ski Areas in the Northeast

The Northeast Region of the US is home to a number of great ski resorts. While none are as big as the slopes in the Rockies or Pacific Northwest, there are still a number of challenging resorts.

Explaining our Criteria

Here at Parks & Trips, we created a proprietary Difficulty Score thats generated by combining a number of metrics for each resort. Primarily, we look at the count 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.

Whiteface Mountain: The Most Difficult Ski Resort in the Northeast

Whiteface Mountain

Whiteface Mountain is one of the hardest ski areas in the country. It ranks in the top 10% of most-difficult ski resorts in all of North America, mostly due to the fact that it has 38% of its trails rated as expert-level, and a vertical drop of 3,430 feet.

Mountain Stats

Summit:  4,650′
Vertical:  3,430′
Base:  1,220′

Terrain Stats

Trails:  90
Lifts:  11
Acres:  299

Trail Breakdown

Beginner:  20%
Intermediate:  42%
Expert:  38%

More Information…

Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, New York tops out as the most difficult ski resort in the Northeast US. With the greatest vertical drop east of the Rockies, and the highest summit in our list, Whiteface ends up with almost a 65% Difficulty Score, and atop our leader board of difficult Northeast slopes.

Killington in Vermont comes in at a very close second place. Killington has the second-steepest vertical drop and second-highest summit elevation, both right behind Whiteface.

Sugarloaf Ski Resort in Maine rounds out our top three due to its high amount of expert-level trails. It also has the third-steepest vertical drop behind our first two ranked resorts.

Top 25 Challenging Northeast Ski Resorts

RankResortSummit Elev.Vertical DropExpert TrailsDifficulty Score
#1Whiteface Mountain (NY)4,650 ft3,430 ft38%70.1%
#2Killington (VT)4,241 ft3,076 ft40%67.6%
#3Sugarloaf (ME)4,237 ft2,820 ft46%66.5%
#4Gore Mountain (NY)3,600 ft2,100 ft41%60.2%
#5Sugarbush (VT)4,083 ft2,600 ft35%59.7%
#6Burke Mountain (VT)3,267 ft2,000 ft42%59.6%
#7Smuggler’s Notch (VT)3,640 ft2,610 ft30%59.4%
#8Mad River Glen (VT)3,637 ft2,037 ft45%58.8%
#9Cannon Mountain (NH)4,080 ft2,180 ft33%56.8%
#10Stowe Mountain (VT)4,395 ft2,360 ft29%56.7%
#11Sunday River (ME)3,140 ft2,340 ft34%54.8%
#12Wildcat Mountain (NH)4,062 ft2,112 ft33%54.8%
#13Hunter Mountain (NY)3,200 ft1,600 ft45%53.0%
#14Pico Mountain (VT)3,967 ft1,967 ft32%52.9%
#15Bretton Woods (NH)3,100 ft1,500 ft46%52.4%
#16Magic Mountain (VT)2,850 ft1,500 ft45%52.3%
#17Okemo Mountain (VT)3,344 ft2,200 ft32%52.1%
#18Saddleback (ME)4,120 ft2,000 ft36%51.7%
#19Attitash (NH)2,350 ft1,750 ft33%51.1%
#20Blue Knob (PA)3,172 ft1,098 ft44%50.2%
#21Jay Peak (VT)3,968 ft2,153 ft24%50.0%
#22Loon Mountain (NH)3,050 ft2,100 ft20%49.5%
#23Windham Mountain (NY)3,100 ft1,600 ft32%49.2%
#24Waterville Valley (NH)4,004 ft2,020 ft20%48.7%
#25Plattekill Mountain (NY)3,500 ft1,100 ft40%47.3%