Vermont has 16 ski resorts, all very well spread out across the state. Killington and Sugarbush are the two most popular and best well-known ski resorts in Vermont. Both located in the middle of the state, they are only about an hour drive apart from each other.
Vermont Ski Season
The ski season in Vermont typically runs from early November until mid to late May. The ski season here is generally a month ahead of other ski resorts located in states below Vermont, like New York or Pennsylvania.
As crazy as it is to believe, Vermont receives more snow than any other US state, averaging 54 days and 89 inches (226 cm) of snow per year across the state. While other states like California, Utah and Colorado get much more snow in places, the entire state does not get blanketed like Vermont does. This incredible number is the result of excellent snowfall at high elevations and an absence of low-lying or coastal areas.
The massive snowfall numbers create amazing backcountry skiing opportunities. Lake Willoughby State Forest and Brandon Gap offer great skiing on backcountry trails. Since 2016, five projects have been established to create Nordic and backcountry trails on federal and state lands around Vermont.
Most Popular Vermont Ski Resorts
Vermont is home to several popular ski resorts.
Stowe Mountain Resort
Located in Stowe, Vermont, Stowe Mountain Resort is known for its variety of terrain, including trails for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. The resort also offers a range of amenities, including a luxurious spa, an ice skating rink, and a variety of dining and shopping options.
Located in the Green Mountains, Killington Resort is the largest ski resort in the eastern United States. The resort offers a variety of terrain, including trails for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, as well as a range of amenities such as ski and snowboard rentals, dining options, and a variety of après ski activities.
Located in Warren, Vermont, Sugarbush Resort is known for its diverse terrain and variety of activities, including skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing. The resort also offers a range of amenities, including a spa, dining options, and ski and snowboard rentals.
Jay Peak Resort
Located in Jay, Vermont, Jay Peak Resort is known for its challenging terrain and natural snow. The resort offers a variety of activities, including skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing, as well as a range of amenities such as ski and snowboard rentals, dining options, and a spa.
Stratton Mountain Resort
Located in Stratton Mountain, Vermont, Stratton Mountain Resort is known for its wide range of terrain and amenities, including ski and snowboard rentals, dining options, and a variety of après ski activities. The resort also offers a range of activities, including skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing.
Nationwide Ski Lift Passes
IKON, INDY, 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. Luckily, the majority Vermont’s ski resorts are associated with one or more of these nationwide passes. EPIC has three VT resorts, while IKON and INDY each have four.
Vermont Ski Resort Map
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 Vermont Ski Resorts
Killington Ski Resort comes in first place as the most difficult ski resort in Vermont, but maybe not as convincingly as you’d expect. Burke Mountain and Sugarbush are hot on its trail, with similar piste levels among all three. What pushed Killington over the top is the fact that it has a much steeper vertical drop and many more acres than the second, and third place finishers.
The Easiest Ski Resorts in Vermont
Cochran Ski Area easily wins as the easiest ski resort in Vermont. It has a very manageable 500 foot vertical drop, and it has a very small 30 acre skiable area. Suicide Six and Bolton Valley round out the top three, which also happen to have the second- and third-smallest vertical of any Vermont ski resort. All of these are very family friendly ski resorts, and offer trails for just about every skill level.
The Largest Ski Resorts in Vermont
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.
As opposed to its small margin victory as the most difficult slope in Vermont, here Killington Ski Resort easy comes in first as the largest. Sporting a skiable area that is more than 1.5 times larger than its closest competitor, Killington also has the steepest vertical, and the most runs of any VT ski area.
Stowe Mountain Ski Resort has the highest base and summit elevations in Vermont. Smuggler’s Notch and Jay Peak ski resorts also come out as some of the largest ski resorts in Vermont.