Skiing in Waterville Valley

Waterville Valley’s simple mountain layout features mostly intermediate terrain with some trees and steep slopes sprinkled in.

Waterville Valley Ski Area Overview

A family resort at heart, the majority of Waterville Valley’s terrain caters to beginners and intermediates. Skiers should not come to Waterville looking for steeps or tree skiing, but there is plenty in the line of fall line groomers and exhilarating short-but-sweet steeps may be found. The area may be divided into four main areas: High Country, Northside, Sunnyside, and Lower Meadows.

High Country

The High Country portion of the mountain contains three wide intermediate runs located above the “summit” of the resort. These runs can be prone to wind but offer fantastic views of the surrounding White Mountains as one of the few Eastern US mountains above 4000 feet. This extra boost in vertical also helps bring the vertical feet at Waterville over 2000, which keeps the mountain on another level again when competing with nearby resorts.


Northside is a section of north-facing intermediate slopes on the right side of the resort. Tippecanoe, Tyler Too, and Old Tecumseh are great runs on this part of the mountain, and they often hold snow longer due to the limited sun exposure of the north-facing aspect.


At Sunnyside, located on the left side of the ski area, skiers find a variety of terrain that is prone to corn conditions in the spring as the sun beats down. No Grit is an excellent intermediate run on this part of the mountain, and those looking for more advanced terrain will undoubtedly spend most of their time here. True Grit, the steepest run on the mountain and runs like Ciao and Gema also offer fun tests for advanced skiers and riders.

Lower Meadows

Finally, the Lower Meadows section of Waterville Valley is a separate area dedicated to beginner guests. By keeping the area apart from the rest of the mountain, beginners can learn and progress their skills in peace, without worry of faster and more advanced resort guests speeding by. There is also a small beginner area known as The Pasture located on the other side of the mountain. Waterville is looking to expand into the ridge above the Lower Meadows in the coming years, further growing its intermediate and beginner terrain offerings.

Beginner Skiing at Waterville Valley

With 20% of Waterville Valley’s ski terrain marked green, beginners can learn and progress at their own pace.

Beginner terrain is located solely on the lower mountain at Waterville Valley, but beginners do have a fair amount of runs to choose from. Most of this terrain is located in the Lower Meadows and Valley Run areas. Lower Meadows provides a secluded area for beginners to learn and grow separate from the end of more advanced runs on the mountain. This setup allows beginners peace of mind that they won’t have to deal with faster skiers crowding their slopes. More beginner terrain can be found off of the Pasture J-Bar lift. For beginners looking for a slightly longer run, the Valley Run Quad brings a bigger mountain feel into play.

Intermediate Skiing at Waterville Valley

Intermediate skiing is available and abundant throughout Waterville Valley.

With 60% of the terrain rated as blue square runs, intermediate skiers and riders truly have the run of the mountain at Waterville. Intermediate runs exist on all aspects from nearly every lift at the mountain. For a nice warm-up run, head to the Valley Quad lift and cruise through Stillness. When you’re ready, head further up the mountain and enjoy the crisp groomers on the Northside of Old Tecumseh, Tippecanoe, and Tyler Too. No Grit offers a great winding alternative on the Sunnyside, just be sure to avoid the steeper slopes straight down the fall line in this area.

Intermediates also can take in the best views available at Waterville. The High Country lift serves three blue square trails located above the “summit” portion of the resort. This lift tops out over 4000 feet, and intermediates are afforded a great view of the White Mountains including Mount Washington, and the full 2000 feet of vertical at their mercy.

Advanced & Expert Skiing at Waterville Valley 

Black diamond skiing is limited to a few short and steep runs at Waterville, and experts may find themselves wanting more.

Only 20% of Waterville Valley’s terrain is offered for advanced and expert skiers, and the majority of these runs come in one small area of north-facing slopes. Tree skiing is few and far between too, located mostly in small pockets between other marked trails on the mountain. True Grit is easily the steepest option on the mountain and does offer an exhilarating and decently lengthy fall line run. Even the black and double-black diamond-rated trails at Waterville offer plenty of space between trees, and for good reason, as the more skilled skiers flock to these areas the slopes can seem crowded. Still, these runs contain short bursts of no-joke terrain, and should not be taken lightly!

Waterville Valley Backcountry Skiing

Off-piste and backcountry skiing is not a focus of Waterville Valley’s skiing product.

Waterville Valley does not offer much in the line of backcountry and off-piste skiing. Adventurous skiers may find pockets of off-piste terrain between other trails or near the resort boundaries, and many of these options will be low-angle tree skiing. Though there are several available backcountry options located in the White Mountains, some are quite exceptional, none are particularly close to the Waterville Valley ski area. Most resort guests stick to the areas within the boundary.

Waterville Valley Mountain Restaurants

With multiple on-mountain dining options available, guests can expect an excellent lunch experience.

Waterville Valley Resort hopes guests come hungry to its slopes. With four excellent dining options available to resort guests, each catering to a different eating experience, good food is abundant. From cafeteria-style food to homemade sandwiches and a classier on-mountain dining establishment, resort guests really can’t go wrong.

At the base area, Waterville offers two completely different dining options. Buckets Bones & Brews is the best option for après ski, drinks, and appetizers. With a large deck facing the mountain to soak up the spring sunshine, this area can get crowded on warmer days for those looking for a beer at the end of their day, or to enjoy nachos and wings. On the other side of the base area, the T-Bars Restaurant is a more upscale on-mountain dining experience. The restaurant also occasionally offers après ski events, and the menu features more adventurous and creative dishes.

Elsewhere on the mountain, the Sunnyside Timberlodge offers the typical ski area cafeteria options. This area can fill up quickly during lunchtime throughout the winter, so be sure to grab your spot quickly if you find an opening. Otherwise, the Schwendi Hutte at the mountain summit is an excellent lunch option. Though limited, the menu is creative and features homemade sandwiches like Korean BBQ. These items are perfect to get you refueled and back onto the slopes with plenty of energy to last the day, just don’t fill up too much!


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