The Ski Resorts of New Hampshire
Featuring the Northeast’s highest mountains peaks, skiing in New Hampshire is beautiful, abundant and highly accessible.
The iconic Mount Washington Hotel with Mount Washington in the background
New Hampshire’s ski resorts may not be as famous as many resorts in neighboring Vermont, but there’s plenty of great skiing to be found in the Granite State. Ski areas receive an average of approximalely 125-175″ of annual snowfall. That’s noticably less than Vermont or Maine, but on par with the Adirondack ski areas of New York.
The state is home to the highest peak in New England (Mount Washington) and many ski resorts afford dramatic views of the famous peak and surrounding Presidential Range. Of course, Mount Washington is famous for having some of the worst highest winds and worst weather on the planet. Some of the ski resorts nearby have earned a reputation for being frigid and windy, but, in our opinion, that reputation is vastly overstated. There’s not a particularly big difference between temperatures or snow quality from New Hampshire to other resorts in New England.
Although New Hampshire’s location can lead to chilly temps, it also makes it easily accessible from Boston. Most of the state’s ski resorts are within a two to three hour drive of downtown Boston via I-93.
Famous as the host site of the eponymous “Bretton Woods Conference” at the posh, on-site Mount Washington Hotel (pictured above), Bretton Woods offers skiing on three peaks spread across 1,500 vertical feet. Mt. Rosebrook (the main peak) is excellent for long, blue cruiers. Just to the looker’s right and easily connected to the main resort area, West Mountain is an expert’s playground offering the bulk of the resorts’ black and double-black terrain. On the opposite side of Mt. Rosebrook, the newest addition to Bretton Wood’s offerings (Mt. Stickney) provides a more rustic experience with a T-Bar servicing handful of glades and narrow trails.
Home to one of the nation’s first aerial trams and some of New England’s earliest alpine racing trails, this state-owned resort is appealing for much more than just its history. With a big vertical drop and fantastic fall-line skiing, Cannon is one of New Hampshire’s premier resorts. The recent expansion into neighboring (and formerly closed) Mittersill ski area has added significant terrain to the resort’s offerings and made Cannon into a strong weekend destination.
One of the closest big mountains to Boston, Loon is a popular choice for both trippers and weekend warriors. A modern lift network, featuring a 4-passenger gondola, helps keep liftlins short. On the hill, Loon offers a strong mix of intermediate, expert and beginner terrain spread between two separate mountain areas. A 2,100′ vertical drop means plenty of excitement on the way down.
Located in a scenic and isolated valley, Waterville Valley is one of the most beautiful ski reasorts in the state. With its white clapboard downtown, the the resort oozes New England charm. Waterville’s great intermediate skiing is its hallmark, but there are enough of steep trails sprinkled in to keep an expert entertained. The new “Green Peak” expansion has added even more terrain for 2016-2017.
While many of the state’s ski areas are famous for stunning views of Mount Washington, Wildcat has perhaps the best look at the iconic peak- so close it almost feels like you can reach out and touch it. With over 2,000 ft. of fall-line vertical, though, it’s not only the views that continue to draw loyal visitors each winter. All of that vertical is accessible off a single lift and the 2.75 mile Polecat trail is the longest green run in New Hampshire.