Best of the Best – Ski Resorts in North America East

PowderCam’s “Best of the Best” series continues by looking at Best of the Best North American ski resorts in the East. The “Best of the Best” series looks at numerous “Best of” lists from magazines, newspapers, and websites and analyzes them to form our “Best of the Best” list. Let’s look at how the Ski Resorts ranked.

For our “Best of the Best North America East Ski Resorts, we looked at 12 different lists from reputable publishers including USA Today, Ski Magazine, Forbes, Men’s Fitness and many others. Our analysis was done by taking the top 10 resorts on the various lists. We gave the resorts 10 points for 1st, 9 points for 2nd, etc. We also looked at the number of times the resort was on a list and the average place that the resort had when mentioned. None of the resorts made the top 10 in all the lists which goes to show how different everyone’s approach was.

Below is how the resorts stacked up when we were done.

  • 1. Tremblant


    Mont Tremblant, located in the Laurentian mountain range of Quebec, Canada is consistently one of the top rated mountains in the eastern U.S. and Canada for overall satisfaction. Located about 80 miles north of Montreal, Mont Tremblant can be a long drive for many to get there. But, once you arrive, you will be offered a one-of-a-kind experience both on the mountain and within the European-style pedestrian village located at its base. Numerous non-skiing activities also give Mont Tremblant high ratings as one of the top family resorts.

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  • 2. Stowe


    Stowe Mountain Resort, located in Vermont, can be classified as a luxury resort. It is consistently one of the highest rated mountains in the eastern United States and was on 11 of the 12 lists we looked at. Stowe Mountain Resort is one of the more expensive resorts in the eastern U.S., it is often compared to high end resorts in Europe for all of its amenities on and off the mountain. If you are looking for an upscale resort with a quaint historic Vermont town and you don’t mind paying for it, Stowe Mountain Resort makes a nice getaway.

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  • 3. Jay Peak

    Jay Peak

    Located in northern Vermont near the Canadian border, Jay Peak is a highly rated family resort with some of the best terrain in the eastern U.S. and it is why it was on 9 of the lists. Jay Peak has a varied terrain giving skiers and riders a great mix of beginner to advanced trails and the resort has many amenities including a waterpark, hockey rink, and restaurants. But Jay Peak is known for their snow and amazing glades.

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  • 4. Killington


    Located in Vermont, Killington is known as “The Beast in the East”. With 155 trails and 22 lifts, Killington is the largest resort in the Eastern United States. It can also boast the largest vertical drop in the east at 3,050 feet. The variety and extensive number of trails make it one of the most popular mountains in the area. Killington has been ranked as high as #4 for best resort in the Eastern United States by Ski Magazine.

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  • 5. Whiteface Mountain

    Whiteface Mountain

    Located in northern New York State in the Adirondacks, Whiteface Mountain was the Olympic Mountain of the 1980 Winter Games and was listed on 9 of the 12 lists. So, not only can you find great skiing but you will also find ski jumps, bobsledding, and other Olympic related facilities making this the home for many Olympians. Whiteface Mountain has a 3,430 feet vertical drop which is the largest in the eastern United States giving Whiteface Mountain some of the most challenging terrain in the U.S. and some amazing scenery. There are 288 skiable acres spread across 87 trails and 5 terrain parks.

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  • 6. Smuggler's Notch

    Smuggler's Notch

    Smugglers Notch Resort (also known as “Smuggs”), is one of the top rated resorts in the eastern United States and Canada. It is well known as one of the best family resorts but Smugglers Notch Resort still has a great variety of trails and is highly rated for challenging trails leading to its high overall mountain ratings. This is how it ends up on 9 of the 12 Best of lists. Smugglers Notch Resort is located just down the road from Stowe, it is an outstanding low-key resort with a large amount of family oriented amenities.

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  • 7. Sunday River

    Sunday River

    Sunday River, located in western Maine, is a large mountain for the eastern United States with 135 trails and 8 peaks. There is a highly rated extensive lift network allowing people to venture to different peaks which all have their unique character. Having so many peaks also allows skiers and boarders to get away from the crowds. The mountain has excellent snowmaking and grooming. Combined with a large natural snowfall, Sunday River is highly rated by various magazines for snow. Aggressive snowmaking in November allows Sunday River to be one of the first mountains to open every year giving it an extensive season every year.

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  • 8. Loon


    Located along the famous Kancamangus Highway in Lincoln, New Hampshire, Loon Mountain Ski Resort is not only touted as New England’s most-accessible mountain resort with spectacular scenery and abundant snowfall, but also as having some of the best terrain parks in the eastern U.S. With 61 trails, 7 tree areas, 7 parks, and the only super pipe in New Hampshire. Loon Mountain Ski Resort contains wide groomed cruisers, tree glades and steep moguls giving Loon Mountain Ski Resort an excellent variety of terrain and lifts making it great for all levels.

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  • 9. Mad River Glen

    Mad River Glen

    If you ever want to go back in time to a ski hill, Mad River Glen is the place to go. Located in Vermont, this is not a resort. There are no high-speed quads, no grooming, and no snowboarders. Like the ski fields of New Zealand, where snow loving skiers form small clubs to own and operate the ski area, Mad River Glen is the only cooperatively owned ski area in the United States. The ownership group at Mad River Glen is not focused on building a resort for the money, instead they are focused on having excellent natural snow conditions where skiers can enjoy what Mother Nature gives them. Mad River Glen has the oldest operating chair lift in the U.S., a single chair lift from 1948.

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  • 10. Okemo


    Okemo Ski Resort, located in southern Vermont, is rated as one of the best family resorts in the eastern United States and for also having some of the best terrain parks. Okemo Ski Resort offers the highest vertical drop in southern Vermont at 2,200 feet and a good variety of terrain across 120 trails and glades. If you like your buns toasted, try their six-seat chair lift with heated seats and an orange bubble cover to block the sun and wind.

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