Backcountry & Glades

Jay Peak Backcountry & Glades

Due to a relaxed boundary policy and proximity to well-established backcountry terrain, Jay Peak is held with high esteem amongst East Coast backcountry skiers.

While most locals won’t tell you where to find some of the best off-piste tree skiing in the country, many would be happy to show you in exchange for your company and a beer. As they say, “Ask and you shall receive.” For fear of losing favor amongst some of the locals, I’ll keep some of the named favorites to myself. However, it won’t take much searching and friendly questioning to find some of Jay’s excellent lift-accessed side country runs.

Big Jay, situated just to the southwest of the Tram summit, is Vermont’s tallest peak without an established base-to-summit hiking trail. Big Jay can be accessed by traversing off the back of Jay Peak Resort through an established backcountry gate, followed by a 1-2 hour hike depending on conditions. Be sure you are well aware of your surroundings, however, because a wrong turn off this peak could leave you miles away from help in one of the more remote areas of the country. Ski your way back to the access road, and a passerby will be happy to give you a lift back to the base.

Many of Jay’s best tree runs can be found in-between established trails. The resort has a well-known relaxed policy in this regard, and there are often fresh tracks to be found long after a storm if you know where you look for it. Exercise caution, however, as some of Jay’s tree runs are quite narrow. It’s always best to venture into the woods with someone who is familiar with the terrain.

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