The ultimate skier’s road trip

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Depending on where you live, you don’t necessarily have to get on a plane to enjoy a week’s vacation exploring new ski slopes. We have organized two road trips, one that starts in Boston and reaches four New England mountains and another that starts in Denver and reaches some of the best skis in Utah, Colorado and Idaho.

East Coast

This 740 mile route begins in Boston. In four or five days you will be able to ski some of the best in the North East.

Sugar bush, Vermont

Sugarbush offers a retro rural vibe with lodges designed to look like old farm buildings and a double chair that takes you to some of the best terrain on the mountain.

Ski: The toughest riders on the east coast test themselves on the slopes off Castlerock or in Stein’s Woods. For gentle groomers, start with the base area of ​​Mount Ellen. Slide Brook Basin looks like ski touring – you’ll need a mountain host to guide you there – but it’s accessible by lift.

To eat: The Lunch Box food truck and 802 Burritos are popular places to grab a quick bite to eat on the mountain.

To stay: The Mad River Barn (starting at $ 165) is a charming inn located about six miles north of the mountain.

Tickets: Ski unlimited days on the Ikon Pass (from $ 779). A Mountain Collective Pass ($ 589) entitles you to two days. Day passes start at $ 69.

Stopped at: Waterbury’s Cold Hollow Cider Mill for donuts, a bag of maple granola or hard cider.

Jay Peak, Vermont

Located near the Canadian border, Jay Peak averages 359 inches per year, which rivals many Colorado resorts. Theories point to a hovering jet stream known as Jay Cloud. Open glades, good backcountry access, and over 2,100 feet of vertical drop will make you feel like you’re in the west.

Ski: Climb to the top of the 3,968-foot mountain via the state’s only aerial tramway. Face Falls and Valhalla tend to retain snow after a storm. If you’re heading to backcountry areas like Big Jay, be prepared with the right gear, knowledge, plan, and group.

To eat: Slurp ramen on the side of a slope at Miso Hungry, inside an old tram car near the aerial base. Miso Toh Kome, the base of the Jet Chair, serves onigiri rice balls stuffed with spicy tuna and braised pork belly.

To stay: The Jay Hotel ($ 279 for two adults, lift tickets included) has 176 rooms in the base area, plus a pizzeria and arcade.

Tickets: Ski two days with the Indy Pass (starting at $ 299) or pay $ 96 at the window the same day.

Stopped at: Franconia, New Hampshire’s Cannon Mountain aerial tramway. It was built in 1938 and offers a panoramic view of the White Mountains and the presidential ones.

Loon Mountain, New Hampshire

It’s the fun-loving kind of mountain that hosts 80s costume parties. It also has six snow parks, including New Hampshire’s only superpipe.

Ski: Head to North Peak for expert glades in the woods of Walking Boss. On South Peak, don’t miss Ripsaw, an endless groomer under the chair. It is the only double black diamond in the mountain.

To eat: Ski to Camp III, a cabin at the base of North Peak with a rotating menu of hearty cuisine.

To stay: Lincoln’s RiverWalk Resort (starting at $ 279) has 138 suites with kitchens, and the pool turns into a skating rink in the winter.

Tickets: An Ikon Pass will give you five to seven days in Loon. Day passes start at $ 48.

Stopped at: Moose Brook State Park in Gorham, New Hampshire, to stretch your legs on miles of snowshoe and fatbike trails.

Cat skiing at Pain de Sucre (Photo: Courtesy Tim Cutler / Sugarloaf)

Pain de Sucre, Maine

Sugarloaf Mountain is known for its size: 1,240 sprawling acres, the second largest ski resort in the East. With a 4,000-foot summit and alpine terrain in the Snowfields, it’s easy to get good quality snow all season. You’ll also find boisterous reggae-themed spring festivals, a lively weekend après-scene at The Rack, and a food truck at the beach, a basic area filled with chairs and fire pits.

Ski: When snow conditions allow Bracket Basin to open, go first. This off-trail glade area off the King Pine Lift feels like backcountry terrain but with less danger.

To eat: Start your day with a hand-dipped Eighty 8 Donuts donut in the base lodge and end it with raclette and prosecco at Alice and Lulu’s, a European restaurant at the base of the mountain.

To stay: The Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel (starting at $ 152) offers ski-in / ski-out accommodations and hearty breakfasts. The sauna, steam room, and large hot tub come in handy after a day of shredding.

Tickets: Ski five to seven days on the Ikon pass and two days on the Mountain Collective pass. Or buy day tickets at the window, starting at $ 65.

West Mountain

This route begins in Denver and travels nearly 1,000 miles through the Rockies.

West Coast Travel Map

Steamboat, Colorado

Steamboat is far enough from Denver (about 155 miles northwest) that you can enjoy shorter lift lines and more of the light, fluffy powder this mountain is known for.

Ski: The hike from the Morningside Lift to the top of Mount Werner is worth it for the descent through empty aspen groves. Are you looking for powder? You will find it in the trees between the glades of Shadows and Closets.

To eat: A converted snowcat called Taco Beast roams around with snacks like elk chorizo ​​and squash tacos.

To stay: Near the base of the mountain, the Ptarmigan Inn (starting at $ 184) offers ski rental and a restaurant.

Tickets: Ski unlimited on the Ikon Pass, or pay from $ 119 for day passes.

Stopped at: Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs, which has 16 thermal pools.

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado

Four mountains on the same lift ticket means there is something for everyone in Aspen, whether you want to climb the 12,392-foot bowl of Aspen Highlands or the groomers and glades in Snowmass.

Ski: Hit Walsh’s at Gent’s Ridge from the Aspen Mountain Gondola, or anything under the Highlands Deep Temerity Lift, and your legs will shake.

To eat: The Alpin Room, at the top of Snowmass’ Alpine Springs Lift, sells spätzle, schnitzel and tartiflettes.

To stay: Limelight Hotel Aspen (starting at $ 285) has a ski shop and live music for the afternoon.

Tickets: Ski seven days with the full Ikon pass ($ 1,049) or two days with the Mountain Collective pass. Day passes start at $ 164.

Stopped at: Dinosaur National Monument to locate Stegosaurus fossils and petroglyphs.

Skiing in Park City
Skiing in Park City (Photo: Courtesy of Vail Resorts)

Park City, Utah

At 7,300 acres, Park City Mountain is the largest resort in the United States. It’s known for its pristine snow groomers, but also has plenty of rough terrain, like the Falls under McConkey’s. The nearby Deer Valley resort offers skiers uncrowded trails and curbside valet parking. (Sorry, no snowboarders.)

Ski: The Deer Valley Mayflower Triple Chair has gems like the Mayflower Bowl and Free Thinker Glades. At Park City Mountain, don’t miss the bootpack to Murdoch Bowl.

To eat: Harvest, near the town elevator, serves fine toast and cereal bowls.

To stay: The Yotelpad Park City (from $ 112) offers compact rooms in the Canyons Village core area of ​​Park City Mountain.

Tickets: Climb to Park City Mountain on the Epic Pass ($ 799) or Deer Valley on the Ikon Pass. Day passes start at $ 153 and $ 179, respectively.

Stopped at: The Perrine Bridge over the Snake River, you might see BASE jumpers. (It’s legal here!)

River Run Lodge in Sun Valley
River Run Lodge in Sun Valley (Photo: courtesy Sun Valley Resort)

Valley of the Sun, Idaho

Sun Valley receives about 154 inches of snow per season and has over 2,500 skiable acres. Experts come to Baldy for its steep slopes and hilly tracks. Beginners and park purists can reach the smaller Dollar Mountain. Lift lines? Not here.

Ski: Last winter, Sun Valley opened 380 acres on the southern slopes of Baldy. Ski the Sunrise Bowl through the dense undergrowth, then hop aboard the Broadway Quad.

To eat: Enjoy a fondue and truffle fries at the Roundhouse, at the top of the gondola.

To stay: The Sun Valley Lodge (starting at $ 270) is a five-minute shuttle ride from the mountain and has a yoga studio.

Tickets: Ski for seven days on the Epic Pass. Daily tickets fluctuate.

Road school

Tips from the pros of winter road trips

Park City downtown
Park City downtown (Photo: Courtesy of Vail Resorts)

A few tips can make all the difference between a good trip and a miserable trip.

Wearing old outerwear

Sophia Rouches, a skier from Washington who lived in an RV, always packs a dirty jacket and pants for when she needs to put on chains or check the propane tank. “I’m usually lying in the slush, so it’s essential to have clothes that I’m not afraid to get wet,” she says.

Warm up your feet

“Nothing is worse than putting cold feet in wet ski boots,” says Rouches. Splurge on down slippers and a portable shoe dryer.

Sit down

Connor Ryan, a Lakota pro skier who camped in a truck during the winter, uses a folding camp chair to start in the morning.

Bring a stove

Even if you don’t sleep in your car, a small camping stove can be nice for a roadside coffee or grilled cheese sandwiches.


If you need to dry off your gear after a stormy day of skiing, look for a cafe or hotel lobby with a fireplace. “I have a reputation for wearing wet clothes in a cafe and chilling them until they dry,” says Ryan.


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