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 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
|Rank||Resort||Summit Elev.||Vertical Drop||Expert Trails||Difficulty Score|
|#1||Whiteface Mountain (NY)||4,650 ft||3,430 ft||37%||71.4%|
|#2||Killington (VT)||4,241 ft||3,050 ft||40%||69.6%|
|#3||Sugarloaf (ME)||4,237 ft||2,820 ft||43%||67.3%|
|#4||Gore Mountain (NY)||3,600 ft||2,537 ft||40%||66.4%|
|#5||Burke Mountain (VT)||3,267 ft||2,000 ft||42%||61.7%|
|#6||Sugarbush (VT)||4,083 ft||2,600 ft||35%||61.7%|
|#7||Smuggler’s Notch (VT)||3,640 ft||2,610 ft||31%||61.3%|
|#8||Mad River Glen (VT)||3,637 ft||2,037 ft||45%||60.9%|
|#9||Jay Peak (VT)||3,968 ft||2,153 ft||40%||60.0%|
|#10||Cannon Mountain (NH)||4,080 ft||2,180 ft||33%||58.8%|
|#11||Stowe Mountain (VT)||4,395 ft||2,360 ft||29%||58.7%|
|#12||Pico Mountain (VT)||3,967 ft||1,967 ft||36%||57.0%|
|#13||Sunday River (ME)||3,140 ft||2,340 ft||34%||56.7%|
|#14||Wildcat Mountain (NH)||4,062 ft||2,112 ft||33%||56.7%|
|#15||Hunter Mountain (NY)||3,200 ft||1,600 ft||45%||55.0%|
|#16||Bretton Woods (NH)||3,100 ft||1,500 ft||46%||54.4%|
|#17||Magic Mountain (VT)||2,850 ft||1,500 ft||45%||54.2%|
|#18||Okemo Mountain (VT)||3,344 ft||2,200 ft||32%||53.9%|
|#19||Saddleback (ME)||4,120 ft||2,000 ft||36%||53.5%|
|#20||Attitash (NH)||2,350 ft||1,750 ft||33%||53.0%|
|#21||Blue Knob (PA)||3,172 ft||1,098 ft||44%||52.2%|
|#22||Loon Mountain (NH)||3,050 ft||2,100 ft||20%||51.2%|
|#23||Windham Mountain (NY)||3,100 ft||1,600 ft||32%||51.0%|
|#24||Waterville Valley (NH)||4,004 ft||2,020 ft||20%||50.4%|
|#25||Gunstock Mountain (NH)||2,267 ft||1,340 ft||33%||50.1%|