Take a trip to New England for access to one of the planet’s most highly saturated skiing and riding areas —including six Ikon Pass destinations all within five hours of each other. Here’s an inside look at the northeast’s most iconic alpine adventures.
Stratton. Ikon Pass photo.
Welcome to Southern Vermont’s Stratton — “The Birthplace of Snowboarding.” Start your mountain day at the Sun Bowl Base Lodge, where you’ll find easy slopeside parking, rentals, and retail shops. From there, cruise on up to one of Stratton’s best-kept secrets, Upper Middlebrook, which features a blend of steep pitches and winding turns that drop you off at the Shooting Star six-passenger lift or the Sun Bowl trails.
If it’s snowing, make sure to head to Slalom Glade—a steep, off-the-beaten path run with deep powder stashes. Need a quick pick-me-up between runs? Stop in to the Fire Tower Restaurant & Tavern in Stratton Village to down one of their famous “Bacon Old-Fashioned” cocktails, complete with bacon-infused Maker’s Mark and Vermont Maple Liqueur.
After making your turns for the day, experience the mountain at night on a Full Moon Snowshoe Tour, which will take you through the rolling New England landscape and end with a cozy campfire, hot cocoa, and s’mores. If your legs are cashed from a full day of skiing or riding, try out one of Stratton’s newest culinary experiences—the Snowcat Dinner at Mid-Mountain Lodge. From the Main Base Lodge, you’ll be whisked up the mountain in a heated snowcat for a foodie-grade dinner you won’t soon forget.
Killington. Ikon Pass photo.
Drive an hour north, and you’ll be ready to snap in again at Killington—“The Beast of the East,” which also boasts New England’s longest season. While there, learn to ski bumps with Olympic Gold Medalist and world champion mogul skier, Donna Weinbrecht. She teaches mogul camps on the mountain year-round—many of which are lady-skier exclusive.
Killington is home to the Audi FIS World Cup—don’t miss trying your hand at their most iconic run, Superstar, the official World Cup race trail. Also, be sure to make your way to the top of Killington Peak—Vermont’s second-tallest peak—to snap an unforgettable selfie.
After making your turns, treat yourself to dinner at the Ledgewood Yurt, an exceptional, authentically Killington experience all in its own. To get there, take a snowcat-drawn sleigh ride to a remote trailside location for a five-course meal and a social dining atmosphere—the perfect finish to a day on the New England snow.
Sugarbush. Ikon Pass photo.
Snow report says powder? Start your day off with Sugarbush Resort's first-tracks cat skiing aboard the Lincoln Limo—a specialty snowcat fitted with 12-passenger cabin, flat screen, and cushy seats. First Tracks tours leave from the base of Lincoln Peak and venture to the top of the North Lynx Triple for early bird access to pristine, deep powder and untouched corduroy.
Spend the afternoon on Sugarbush Resort’s luxurious Lincoln Peak, and then take the high-speed Slide Brook Express over to the second base area, Mt. Ellen, for throwback skiing at its finest. On the way, you’ll glide over the Slide Brook Basin’s 2,000 wooded acres of incredible off-piste terrain.
For après, stop by the Castlerock Pub at the mountain’s base for live music and cold beer. Or, get fancy with classic French cuisine at Chez Henri—a mountain favorite for more than 50 years. Come sit down for a glass of red wine, some steak-frites, and cheese fondue with Henri himself, the original proprietor who is still a nightly fixture at the restaurant.
Tomorrow, take a leisurely drive from Vermont to New Hampshire as you make your way to Loon Mountain. Spend the afternoon relaxing around the resort, giving your legs a rest before hitting the slopes again.
Loon Mountain. Ikon Pass photo.
Get at it early on Loon Mountain’s award-winning progression of six terrain parks. Skiers and riders as young as three years old will be able to take part in some creative riding at the Paul Bunyan–themed Burton Riglet Park, the Burton Lil’ Stash, the log cabin wall ride, and the nearly-mile-long Loon Mountain Park—not to mention, New Hampshire’s only Superpipe.
Before skiing one of Loon Mountain’s most iconic black diamond runs, Upper Walking Boss, kick off your skis and ditch your board at the top of North Peak for a quick visit to the bird sanctuary—the mountain’s best-kept secret. To get there, look for the sign that at the top of Sunset Trail, and take a short walk into the woods. Make sure to stash some birdseed in your pocket for feeding, and you’re sure to have a chickadee or nuthatch eat right from your hand.
Warm up after a long day on the mountain with an atypical après—Caribbean-style rum punch at the Summit Café, a tropical downpour of rum, grenadine, and fruit juice. The kids will love riding the wood-fired steam engine on the J.E. Henry Railroad. This authentic German-built train that looks just like “The Little Engine that Could” shuttles skiers and riders between Loon Mountain’s two main base lodges every day in the wintertime.
Sunday River. Ikon Pass photo.
If you’re driving to Maine’s Sunday River for a day on the mountain, park at White Cap Lodge for quick access to the slopes. Its eight peaks are all interconnected, so it will be easy to get to the western peaks on powder days, which are chock full of glades and hidden pockets of snow.
If you’re up for a challenge, take on one of Sunday River’s most iconic runs—White Heat of White Cap Peak. This steep double black diamond drops straight down the fall line and is packed with moguls, a long, sustained leg-burner for even the most experienced skiers and riders. Make sure to also take a minute to make your way to the top of the Jordan Bowl for a snowy selfie that overlooks the Presidential Range.
Refuel at Peak Lodge with one of Sunday River’s world-famous sticky cinnamon buns. Drenched with creamy glaze and bigger than your face, this sweet treat pairs perfectly with a spicy Bloody Mary, complete with smoky vodka and candied bacon.
Tomorrow, treat yourself to a late wake-up call before packing your gear and making the two-hour drive northeast to Sugarloaf.
Sugarloaf. Ikon Pass photo.
Kick off the day early at Sugarloaf, where you can experience New England’s only lift-serviced above-treeline skiing. Summit by hopping on the Timberline Quad, where you can snap a selfie with Katahdin and Mount Washington as your backdrop.
Make your way to the Snowfields for legendary runs from the mountain’s 4,237-foot summit, and don’t miss Winter’s Way—the first trail ever cut on Sugarloaf by founder, Amos Winter. When the lifts stop running at Sugarloaf, the party is just getting started. Stay on-mountain or within the free Sugarloaf Explorer shuttle route so your ski day can easily spill over into après.
No trip to the Loaf is complete without trying “New England Ski Resort’s Top Burger”: the legendary Bag Burger from The Bag & Kettle. Or try a multi-course mid-mountain tasting at Bullwinkle’s, accessible only by snowcat, where you’ll dine on chef-prepared small plates inspired by cuisines around the world.