5 East Coast Ski Resorts for the Weekend Warrior

by Brandon Quinn | November 24, 2015

  1. Okemo Mountain Resort

Okemo in Ludlow, VT is a fairly quick drive from Boston at just under three hours, about four and a half from NYC, and five and a half from Philly. Okemo has quite a bit of terrain suitable for skiers and riders of any ability, making it a true family-oriented resort. The mountain is comprised of 31% green, 38% blue, 23% black, and 8% double black terrain, with 655 skiable acres on 120 trails serviced by 20 lifts and a vertical drop of just over 2100 feet. Okemo is known for its four terrain parks and a four and a half mile run, Mountain Road, which is a paved road that runs along the mountainside and is skiable in the winter. However, Okemo’s claim to fame is its corduroy- dubbed ‘The Deer Valley of New England, Okemo’s legendary grooming team keeps their coined ‘Blue Square Boulevards’ groomed to a T day in and day out each winter.

  1. Killington Ski Resort

Scenically located in Southern Vermont’s picturesque Green Mountains, Killington is and always has been one of the most revered ski hills on the east coast, and is known as ‘The Beast of the East’ for good reason. It’s the biggest ski resort in the eastern US, comprised of six different peaks, and has the greatest vertical drop at just over 3000 feet. With 1509 skiable acres across 155 trails serviced by 22 lifts and two gondolas, it is the closest you’ll get to west coast skiing in the east. The trail breakdown is 28% green, 33% blue, 24% black, and 15% double black, which is what makes it such a versatile mountain. Killington really does have something to offer for any skier; make sure to check out the legitimate steeps in the Canyons, the notorious moguls on Bear Mountain, and the great beginner and intermediate terrain on Ram Head. And with the motto ‘Ski hard, party harder’, the après ski culture ain’t so bad either.

  1. Stowe Mountain Resort

A little over three hours from Boston and five and a half from NYC, Stowe isn’t the quickest drive from the tristate metro area, but it’s definitely worth the trip to any serious East Coast skier. Stowe’s renowned Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peaks receive a whopping ~333 inches of the good stuff every year, which is absolutely monstrous for an east coast resort. Stowe is the ultimate New England ski destination, and depicts old-school ski town authenticity at its best. Stowe’s Mount Mansfield stands at 4,395 feet, has 485 skiable acres that span 116 trails, and 13 lifts (with more mile long lifts than all other Eastern resorts). The trail breakdown is 16% green, 55% blue, 29% black, and 14% double black, so there’s a lot to offer to anyone. And if you’re an advanced skier, make sure to check out Stowe’s ‘Original Four’: National, Goat, Starr, and the Nose Dive. Don’t forget to bring your big boy/girl pants.

  1. Smuggler’s Notch Resort

Located in Jeffersonville, VT just over the hill from Stowe, Smuggs has the reputation of being ‘America’s Family Resort’ and was ranked the #1 kid-friendly resort in the East by readers of SKI Magazine; from the quality of their child care service, to their adolescent ski and ride school, and even on-mountain amenities and family entertainment events, you can’t get bored in this town. The mountain has a summit elevation of 3,640 feet, 1,000+ skiable acres over 78 runs, 8 lifts, and 6 terrain parks. Smuggs’ trail breakdown is 19% green, 50% blue, and 25% black, 6% double black, and if you’re up for the challenge, check out The Black Hole, the only triple black in the east. Beginners, check out the docile runs on Morse Mountain, intermediates should give the blues on Sterling Mountain a go, and more advanced skiers up for a challenge need to explore Madonna- trails like The Black Hole, Freefall, and Upper Liftline are consistently ranked amongst the East’s toughest runs.

  1. Jiminy Peak

Situated in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, Jiminy Peak is an East Coast destination resort with lots to do both on and off the slopes. The mountain has pretty versatile terrain despite its relatively small size; an elevation of 2,380 feet, an 1150 foot vertical, and 167 skiable acres over 45 trails serviced by 9 lifts. Despite those stats, Jiminy Peak is a perfect resort for the East Coast weekend warrior and their families considering its short drive times from the tristate metro area- two and a half hours from Boston, just over three from NYC, and four and a half from Philly. Jiminy Peak has a trail breakdown of 53% green, 27% blue, 13% black, and 7% double black, making it a great and convenient getaway for East Coast skiers of any ability.

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