Best Ski Resorts on the U.S. East Coast

Best Ski Resorts on the U.S. East Coast
Skiing in the East gets a rather unfair bad name. Derogatory terms like "ice coast" and "least coast" are uttered frequently among avid skiers. Though the Eastern mountains are certainly not as large as those in the West, and the snowfall not as generous, there is plenty of challenging skiing to be had. Take a trip to any of these resorts and you'll find out how rewarding Eastern skiing or snowboarding can be.

Jay Peak, Vermont

Jay Peak is the undisputed king of snowfall among Eastern ski resorts. Averaging more than 350 inches a year, Jay not only surpasses all other resorts of the East, but also a number of Western resorts. A phenomenon known locally as the "Jay Cloud" hovers over the mountain and drops incredible amounts of powder. Jay Peak is a true skier's mountain, lacking the fluff and amenities of other resorts, but serving challenging terrain to dedicated skiers and snowboarders. Its slopes sometimes get icy, but with 24 glade areas, there's always a fresh line not too far off. Jay is also one of the few Eastern resorts with a reputation for backcountry terrain.

Jay Peak
4850 VT Route 242
Jay, Vermont 05859
(802) 988-2611


Stowe, Vermont

About 40 miles south of Jay, Stowe is probably the most famous resort in the East. A quintessential ski town littered with shops, restaurants, lodging and spas, Stowe offers an inviting experience for skiers and non-skiers alike. Don't let its hospitable, off-slope atmosphere deceive you, however; Stowe offers some of the most challenging skiing in the East. Its "Front Four" double black diamond runs are infamous for calf-burning turns that will thrill even the most seasoned ski veterans. Stowe also offers a good variety of backcountry above the marked runs and adjacent to the mountain.

Stowe Mountain Resort
5781 Mountain Road
Stowe, Vermont 05672
(800) 253-4754

Killington, Vermont

Killington is undeniably a love-it-or-leave-it resort. Some rave about its expansive terrain and vibrant party atmosphere, but others complain about crowded slopes and a less-than-core vibe. However, it's difficult to overlook Killington's massive size. With 191 runs spread out over 1,240 acres and seven individual peaks, Killington dwarfs nearly all other resorts in the East. The resort offers terrain for all abilities, and "Outer Limits" is often included on lists of most challenging runs in the country. The resort also offers many apres-ski and nightlife options and is generally included among the top ski resorts in North America in those categories. If you've never been there, be sure to book an extra day or two; you'll need it just to explore the full extent of the resort.

Killington Resort
4763 Killington Road
Killington, Vermont 05751
(802) 422-6200

Whiteface, New York

Not all great Eastern skiing resides in Vermont. Maine, New Hampshire and, yes, New York all have ski resorts worth traveling to. Whiteface isn't as large as Killington and doesn't boast the snow of Jay, but it does offer one decisive ski victory: most vertical drop in the East, at 3,430 feet. The resort offers a nice mix of terrain, which tops off at the double black "the Slides," a series of steep, hike-to chutes at the very peak of the resort. At times, this area even requires full avalanche gear for entry.

Whiteface Mountain
Route 86
Wilmington, New York 12997
(518) 946-2223


Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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