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The next best thing to do in the winter season, aside from waiting for Christmas and preparing for Christmas is… going skiing with family and friends. A rigorous sport promoting team spirit and a fair share of healthy competitiveness; what could be better?

New Hampshire boasts the tallest summits and the most breathtaking views due to the ample amount of natural snow that it receives annually. However, that doesn’t mean that the snowfall gets out of hand because contemporary and advanced snow control equipment is employed to maintain and upkeep the resort.

Hampshire ski resorts are a popular choice amongst skiers due to their close proximity to one another. If you’re planning on a specific resort as your winter vacation, then you can easily cram in a surprise visit to another ski resort in New Hampshire. It’s usually barely a 2-hour drive.

Best Resorts in New Hampshire

Most of New Hampshire’s resorts lie within the White Mountains and aren’t that far off from each other. However, if you’re traveling from a different city to New Hampshire, you should make sure you plan your schedule.

Here are my top NH ski resort options.

1. Bretton Woods

best skiing in new hampshire

Elegant, rich with history, and a very charming selection for all types of visitors looking for luxury and sport; Bretton Woods stretches over 464 acres of land. With the largest skiable area in New Hampshire, the resort is extra in every aspect.

The resort has 10 lifts for traversing across the 460+ acres, 62 trails, 3 terrain parks, and 35 glades. Bretton Woods is also constantly being renovated, improved, and upscaled to higher luxuries.

Not only do the lifts function with 4 fast quads but you can also find the first 8-passenger Gondola, opened in 2019, that whisks you away at a velocity of 1200 ft/min.

Known for

Functionality and practicality are this resort’s stronghold, as no matter the situation, you are bound to have a good time once you set foot in. Regardless of whether it has snowed or not, if it’s dark outside or not; skiers are welcome and always facilitated even for night skiing.

However, West Mountain is known to house steeper slopes with different surfaces for those of varying skill levels. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there’s something in the books for ya!

Highlights

Canopy tours, sleigh rides, snow tubing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are all activities you and your loved ones can indulge in while enjoying the marvels of this resort.

Moreover, the Mount Washington Cog Railway also goes through part of the mountain. For days when you just want to sightsee, catch a train, and enjoy the view.

The Omni Mount Washington Resort also provides weary visitors with fine dining options, energetic bars, and relaxing spa treatments. Skiing vacations don’t have to be all about sports, and activities. Sometimes you need to be pampered!

On the other hand, the Mount Washington Hotel; a wonderful lodging choice spices things up with classic Hampshire decor, furnishing, and wrap-around porch views. Not just a hotel but also a recognized National Historic Landmark, there’s much to learn and enjoy.

Ski Season – Estimate Dates

The 22/23 ski season for this resort opens on the 26th of November 2022 and closes on the 10th of April 2023.

2. Loon Mountain

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A mere 10-minute drive from Interstate 93, Loon Mountain is one of the many great options for family ski resorts in New Hampshire. Famed mostly for its blue trails, there are also green and black trail choices for skiers looking to improve their skills. 

As much as it may seem like Look Mountain is only for the loonies, it truly depends on how daredevil you’re willing to go. Whether it is zooming over a frozen river on a zip tide or ice skating on natural ice lakes; this is where you learn more about yourself and your sportsmanship. 

Known for

America’s oldest ski store; the Lahout resides on Loon Mountain land and is easily a countable number of steps from the mountains. Make sure to bring yourself a souvenir or splurge on an especially luxurious piece of equipment from the store. So what? It’s a once in year kinda thing. 

Additionally, not only is Loon the second New Hampshire ski resort with a gondola but it also has the Kancamagus 8 (the first eight-place chairlift in the East). If you’re going to hitch a ride on the Kancamagus, then prepare to be indulged in luxury features like versatile loading carpets, weather-blocking bubbles, and even heated seats.

Highlights

Although a pretty busy resort, Loon Mountain has 61 trails, 2 terrain parks with 33 features, and 3 peaks a big portion of that land is quiet and less busy. If you arrive as a beginner skier then you’ll find trails that begin around half the mountain.

But if you’re more experienced the separate lifts employed for the North and South side mountains will be more accommodating. You’ll find trickier routes there. 

A full package experience, Loon will not let you go without a ride in a gondola. And trust me, the ride down is both exciting and very exhilarating with the many options you have for your downward route.

Ski Season

The 22/23 ski season for this resort opens on the 23rd of November 2022 and closes on the 16th of April 2023.

3. Cranmore Mountain and North Conway

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Right out of the history books this one, Cranmore Mountain overlooks the little town of North Conway where the vintage Victorian railway stations have been the actual talk of the town! Dating back to the 1930s, this resort gathered its fame and hubbub when Ski Trains were the most popular adventure of the winter. 

With 56 trails and 9 lifts allowing access to skiers to 200+ acres of skiable land, this Mountain has some of the most beautiful views from its West-facing trails and slopes. Make sure you spend a sunny afternoon out there to snag a killer view of Mt. Washington and the Presidential Range.

Known for

Cranmore’s notorious reputation for snow tubing also is attributed to the practical shape of the mountain, as you can adjust your inflatable trip to your liking.

However, the most preferred thing about this ski resort is just how accessible luxury restaurants, posh stores, and even a movie theater are. Don’t forget to take advantage of the whole experience by making a stop at the local REI or favorite IME for renting gear and exploring classes.

Highlights

A contemporary blend between modernism and classical ski land beauty, Cranmore mountain brings you a new base lodge with more than 18,000 square feet of exciting amenities like coffee bars, boot-up space, locker rooms, and a ski accessory shop amongst others.

Known for its innovative programs and activities for all visitors, Cranmore has the Soaring Eagle Zip Line, Mountain Coaster, and the Cranmore Mountain Adventure Center which opens daily.

Ski Season

The 22/23 ski season for this resort opens on the 11th of December 2022 and closes on the 27th of March 2023.

4. Mount Sunapee

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A cozy family-friendly ski resort that also accommodates beginners, Sunapee has 10 lifts, 2 super speed quads, and 66 trails where most of which are intermediate blue ones. There are easy-to-access and use areas for beginners where they can take their own lifts to their chosen terrain.

Although the summit lands at almost 2,700 feet only and is comparatively lower than other neighborly peaks the slopes are well maintained and kept in good condition. There are also numerous quality accommodation options as well as pubs, and restaurants that are a mere 20-minute drive away from New London.

Known for

Lake Sunapee is a known landmark in this resort which houses countless summer home rentals during the hotter months but they are equally available for the residents in the chilly months.

The home rentals provide a more comfortable and homey vibe to your experience while also providing you with the luxury and freedom of having your own customizable space during your vacations.

Highlights

Beginners and intermediate skiers can enjoy the velvet-smooth trails on the South Peak, which is located in a different area from the main Mountain Sunapee.

Bob Skinner’s 603 Terrain Park is another highlight of Sunapee which has triple-chair access to the park, a 4000-watt sound system, and 50 terrain features. With elaborate snow grooming equipment, the Park is maintained and kept with utmost care and precision to adhere to the tastes of different skiers.

Another advantage of Sunapee is its wondrously affordable Epic Pass options and specifically the Northeast Value Pass. The pass alone provides access to 18 resorts for eastern skiers but there’s talk that this year tickets will be limited so remember to book in advance.

Ski Season

The 22/23 ski season for this resort opens on the 23rd of November 2022 and closes on the 3rd of April 2023.

5. Cannon Mountain

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The Cannon Mountain resort is located within Franconia Notch State Park where it is remote and aloof from all sorts of development projects that could hinder the experience. Run by the New Hampshire State, slope-side accommodation spots or resort facilities aren’t abundant here but there’s a different charm about Cannon.

Nearby to the towns of Lincoln and Littletown, frequent visitors will find a range of different lodgings of varying styles and aesthetics housed in those towns.

Known for

Unlike other ski resorts in New Hampshire, Cannon isn’t known for its built-out villages and ski-in condos with a list of après-ski amenities. You won’t find any lodgings on-site on the mountain, however, the nearby village of Franconia has more than enough inns and family lodges.

Known for its challenging terrain and trails, Bode Miller the Olympic Gold Medalist earned his stripes gliding up and down Cannon Mountain. It has a 4080-foot elevation that garners the most snow in the White Mountain area.

Highlights

The best perk about Cannon is that seniors and children under 5 years of age are allowed free access without tickets on the 97 trails. Not just that but there is versatility in the crowd that hits the slopes and snowy peaks.

Not reserved for skiers alone, winter hikers and daredevils prefer this resort for its challenges and tricky trail options. However, skiers and snowboarders must at least possess an intermediate level of skills before they can enjoy the thrill of the mountain.

Housing the steepest and longest vertical drop of 2,180 feet in all of New Hampshire ski resorts Cannon Mountain also has the most challenging trails. With 25 miles of trails on 280+ acres of skiable land alongside 3 terrain parks, beginners may find a spot accommodating them. But would you dare?

Ski Season

The 22/23 ski season for this resort opens on the 25th of November 2022 and closes on the 16th of April 2023.

6. King Pine

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If you are a sucker for the old-fashioned family-friendly ski resorts in New Hampshire then King Pine is the ultimate choice. With its longest vertical run falling just below 500 feet, it is not exactly a daredevil sort of resort.

Versatile terrains and trails carved out with utmost care and precision, this is the kind of place you visit to bond and enjoy your ski time in with no competitiveness. Tree skiing is also another feature of this resort that is constantly being renovated and improved.

Known for

King Pine used to claim the Pine Brule ski trail (known to be the steepest in New Hampshire) until the Attitash opened their trail over the ledges. However, nevertheless, King Pine is famed for its supreme grooming.

With super-efficacious and low-energy snow guns covering all of King Pine’s trails and terrains, the resort is a sight for sore eyes. Every passing year provides space and inspiration for new grooming techniques at this NH resort as this year the Prinoth Bison groomer was added to the list.

As mentioned before, the resort is super family-friendly so expect the warmest and most jovial interactions with strangers and visitors. Learning programs are abundant and tailored to accommodate families.

Highlights

Not just a skier resort, King Pine allows for all winter sports to be taken underway on its beautiful terrains. Whether it is cross-country skiing/hiking, tubing, or ice-skating, you will be accommodated.

In fact, when purchasing an alpine ski ticket it would automatically already include ice skating, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. The safe environment is bolstered by the blossoming family community that revisits every year, so if you’re planning a family trip… you’re in luck!

Ski Season

The 22/23 ski season for this resort opens on the 16th of December 2022 and closes on the 26th of March 2023.

7. Gunstock Mountain

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Gunstock mountain resort is a little short of 227 acres and less than 2 hours of drive from Boston. Situated in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, the slopes give the best view of Lake Winnipesaukee.

The nearby lodges and diner options have a lovely rustic theme that is sure to leave imprints behind on your trip memories. Nearby to the resort is the town of Gilford where you can find a bunch of simple and humble eateries.

Known for

Gunstock may lack in quantity but it makes up for it with its high-quality facilities. There are 48 trails to choose from but are entirely always covered with snow thanks to the stellar snow grooming equipment the resort proudly owns.

Most of the trails are for beginner-intermediate level skiers and snowboarders however for beginners only there is scarce space. Nevertheless, progressing skiers have their collection of black diamond runs to choose from.

Highlights

The base of Gunstock mountain resort gives all winter visitors the full package deal experience. With snow coaster, tubing, and cross-country options available even those that come to purely ski are attracted to the other choices.

Belnap range is a wonderful spot for hikers as it branches out into many different trails with both low elevation and milder weather. The nearby lakes are also accessible and available for ice fishing and snowmobiling.

For those curious bodies looking to experiment, the Tilton Outlets are a close by brewery hub with some excellent tastes to test out. Whereas Funspot in Laconia is known as the largest arcade in the world and you get to try it out for yourself!

Ski Season

The 22/23 ski season for this resort opens on the 9th of December 2022 and closes on the 2nd of April 2023.

8. Waterville Valley

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Taking third place on the list of highest ski resorts in New Hampshire, Waterville valley resort is different than those behind it on the list because of its trails. Intermediate skiers will enjoy the fact that numerous blue trails start at the top unlike the usual black runs available there.

The remoteness of the Valley is also another reason why it is a splendid No. 1 choice for many who are looking to get away from everything. Nevertheless, there are a plethora of highly contemporary and lavish options to choose from when selecting this resort as your vacation spot.

Known for

Skiers with a fondness for versatility will find joy in the challenging terrain Waterville Valley is famed for. With 62 runs all over the resort of varying lengths, it’s bound to take you a while to make your way from the top to the bottom.

However, once you do make it to the base the standard centrally located lodge along with diners lining the hem of the mountain will make for a great refreshing break. Everything you need to amp up and enjoy your ski trip is made available within those parameters.

Highlights

This resort is a breath of fresh air compared to the other options as it is entirely self-contained and resides at the end of a cul-de-sac valley with nothing but the White Mountain National Forest surrounding it.

The Green Peak has an all new six-pack, speedy bubble chairlift that is bound to make an opening this season. Whereas the White Peaks Express is entirely functional and the first chairlift of its kind that was specifically designed for Waterville valley resort.

A family favorite because of its countless ice-skating rinks, dogsled rides, evening functions, spas, and swimming pools; Waterville sets the bar high.

Ski Season

The 22/23 ski season for this resort opens on the 4th of December 2022 and closes on the 2nd of April 2023.

9. Wildcat Mountain

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Wildcat mountain is where you go when you want to get straight down to business and aren’t interested in the finer luxuries of winter vacations. Experienced skiers make their way to the resort regularly even though it boasts of no fancy condos on the slopes or trail sides.

However, it is fully equipped with all the basic necessities needed to hit the trails and break a sweat. You shall find no sophisticated or bougie spas/condos but instead be welcomed with a plain old-fashioned style that Wildcat is famed for.

The Granite State terrain is where the advanced skiers and upper intermediate skiers will feel most comfortable with the challenging terrains. Nonetheless, there are green, blue, and black trails equally available to allow newbies as well to feel accommodated.

Known for

Wildcat mountain is where you go when you want to get straight down to business and aren’t interested in the finer luxuries of winter vacations. Experienced skiers make their way to the resort regularly even though it boasts no fancy condos on the slopes or trail sides.

However, it is fully equipped with all the basic necessities needed to hit the trails and break a sweat. You shall find no sophisticated or bougie spas/condos but instead be welcomed with a plain old-fashioned style that Wildcat is famed for.

The Granite State terrain is where the advanced skiers and upper intermediate skiers will feel most comfortable with the challenging terrains. Nonetheless, there are green, blue, and black trails equally available to allow newbies as well to feel accommodated.

Highlights

From the top of the Wildcat’s gondola ride, you can see the summit of the tallest mountain in the Northeast; Mt. Washington. Make sure to catch it on a cloudless sunny day!

Every trail in this resort provides wonderful views of Mount Washington as well as the Tuckerman’s Ravine backcountry ski. Moreover, in 2019, Wildcat was officially placed on Vail’s Epic Pass system so make sure you snag yourself one of those for the full experience.

Ski Season

The 22/23 ski season for this resort opens on the 24th of November 2022 and closes on the 10th of April 2023.

What to Consider about Resorts in New Hampshire

One thing about resorts in New Hampshire is that they will provide you with a full array of everything you’re searching for. Coming with family? Maybe friends? Or a romantic trip with your partner? You will be accommodated.

NH ski resorts range from remote ones without direct luxury access to après-ski amenities to ones that are fully stocked with every sort of imaginable facility. If you have an old-timer taste and prefer the solitude far away from city noise, there are a bunch of the best ski resorts to pick from.

Moreover, booking tickets in advance is crucial due to how quickly spots and places vanish in New Hampshire.

My Verdict

New Hampshire’s ski resorts are accommodating for every type of visitor. Loon Mountain, Mount Sunapee, and King Pine are some of the top choices for family ski trips. Whereas if you’re a ‘lil daredevil like me, go for NH’s top 3 highest resorts: Wildcat, Waterville, and Cannon Mountain.

Gunstock, Cranmore and Bretton woods are the best options for trips with friends, colleagues, and family friends.

Related Guide:
Categories: Skiing

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