Sugarbush Ski Resort is welcoming, affordable, and has an easy going charm that will win the heart of any ski family or powder hound. There are so many things to love about the state of Vermont and the Vermont Ski scene, and there are endless options for every skier. But it’s easy to see why Sugarbush is one of the most beloved spots to hit the slopes.
Owned and operated by a small group of private investors, led by local residents, Win Smith and Adam Greshin, Sugarbush Ski Resort is focused on the pure joy of skiing for all ages.
Sugarbush Ski Resort – Makes A Mark
Located in the Mad River Valley in Warren, Vermont, Sugarbush is over 4,000 plus total acres of skiing heaven. This gorgeous, family-friendly resort has consistently shown that its one of the great places to tear up the powder in Vermont. In fact, it was named “Best Ski Town in the East” by Outside Magazine.
Something for Every Level
With 6 peaks, 2 mountain areas that are gloriously uncrowded, and acres of backcountry, plus cross country too, Sugarbush Ski Resort is a place that welcomes all types of skiers.
Be Better Here
The slogan BE BETTER HERE really sums it up for me. After two days of lessons with a veteran instructor named Pate, I am confident the entire family left Sugarbush better skiers than when we arrived. In fact, I don’t think you can ski at Sugarbush and NOT leave a little bit better. There are multiple excellent black diamonds and so many magnificent blues. There’s a great little terrain area for children learning and doing kid’s camps on site, (just behind the Schoolhouse) and there are 24 green trails too.
Of course for most, it’s all about the mountain slopes, and with 6 peaks, Sugarbush has them in abundance. We stuck to the blue trails, some greens and one or two black diamonds. Be warned, Vermont skiing is a whole other level in comparison to Ontario, Canada ski hills. Vermont has stunning picturesque trails and mountains that will take your breath away. Lincoln Peak has some great options.
These peaks offer:
- 111 Trails: 24 easy green trails, 51 intermediate, and 36 expert
- 21 Glades
- 3 Terrain Parks
- 16 Lifts: including 3 double, 2 triple, and 5 hi-speed quad
- 578 Skiable Acres
Although all 6 peaks are fantastic, two get the spotlight here – Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen.
Lincoln Peak is classic New England skiing. The bulk of the resort’s terrain is on this slope, with an abundance of slopes and trails. After hitting the powder, visitors can relax at Clay Brook slopeside hotel in Lincoln Peak Village. They can also find everything they need at the general store and enjoy fine and low key dining and take advantage of children’s day ski-and-ride programs. This is where we spent most of our time when we visited this month.
Exceptional and Challenging Ski Runs
Lincoln Peak has exceptional runs and some challenging terrain for boarders and skiers. The Mad Bus can get you to and from Lincoln Peak, which is useful if you are staying on resort, but it’s too far to walk with ski and snowboarder gear.
Dubbed the “Hidden Gem” of Sugarbush Ski Resort, Mt. Ellen, may have a casual feel, but it has some hardcore skiing. It boasts Vermont’s highest chairlift, a challenging terrain park, and picturesque woods and terrain.
Family-Friendly Skiing at Sugarbush Ski Resort
With its variety of slopes, children’s areas, fine and casual dining and lodging accommodations, and a friendly, laid back atmosphere that’s heavy on the powder, Sugarbush Ski Resort is one of the best places to hit the slopes in Vermont. Sugarbush opened in 1958 and it really is a must-see. If you’re planning a ski vacation, I encourage you to give Sugarbush Ski Resort a look here.
At first I was honestly a bit surprised at the layout of the resort. It is quite spread out and calm. Almost zen. You won’t find any boutique shops full of overpriced clothing and souvenirs. There is no European style base village where shopping is almost as big a draw as skiing and snowboarding. That’s unique for ski resorts these days.
Sugarbush is committed to sustainable growth. They grow strategically and slowly. The mountains are the star of the show. And Sugarbush shares the love with the surrounding businesses. Food is farm to table and there are dozens of world class restaurants in Warren and Waitsfield and Mad River Valley. There are many unique shops and covered bridges in the vicinity. If you have a day, take it to go browse and shoot some photos.
My Recommendations for Dinner:
As for food I highly recommend American Flatbread and Mint. Total opposites, but so worth it. Mint has a fresh take on vegetarian food that knocked my socks off. American Flatbread is flatbread pizza elevated.
Back to the Buildings
Also you will notice that all of the buildings at the base of Lincoln Peak and nearby are built in similar style. The atmosphere of the resort is comfortable and unassuming. Essentially this is not a pretentious space. The buildings flow naturally into the environment and even the newest condominium areas are not massive or jarring. There’s something lovely and very Vermont about the entire area.
A few other details:
The Sugarbush Health and Recreation Center offers indoor pool and hot tub, fitness room, tennis courts, rock gym, kids zone, and more. There are dozens of places to stay in the vicinity. You can opt for ski in and ski out or hang back at Sugarbush Inn which is less than a five minute drive from Lincoln Peak.
Traveler Tip: We drove to Sugarbush Resort in Vermont with all season tires. Don’t do that. Get the heavy duty tires on your car now.
A Few Ways to Save Some Money at Sugarbush Ski Resort:
You can save money by getting your tickets early. If you want to ski in early December or early April you can save money on early and late season tickets also. You might do the three, four or five day flex passes if you are staying for several days in a row. Pack lunches if you want to save money on food. You can save money mid-week too if you ski Mt. Ellen. $30 Thursdays are one of the best Sugarbush deals.
For more information on Sugarbush Ski Resort, follow their social channels:
Other Sugarbush details for Skiers and Snowboarders:
Summit Elevation: 4,083′
Base Elevation: 1,483′
Vertical Drop: 2,600′
Average Annual Snowfall: 269″
HOW TO GET THERE:
Vermont is a minimum 8 hour drive from southern Ontario. There are occasionally flights from Porter Airlines that will line up out of Toronto to Burlington Airport. From Montreal, the drive to Vermont is simple and a mere 1-2 hours tops can get you your pick of Vermont ski resorts. We drove this time and it took us 9 1/2 hours via Buffalo from London, Ontario. Porter Airlines schedules were not flexible this year unfortunately. The drive is pretty straightforward.
In the US?
If you live in the US this is a sweet and easy drive from many areas of New York, Boston, and east coast (unless it’s a snowstorm.)
My family recently visited Sugarbush Resort as media guests so that I could write about the experience here. We enjoyed four amazing days of skiing, staying, exploring and dining in the area. We are sharing several of our experiences here. My opinion is all my own and it is truthful.