Overview of Sunday River, Maine
Written by Greg and Heather Burke
Sunday River is among the best ski resorts in New England. It ranks high for snowmaking, grooming, modern lifts, and a long reliable season starting in October and often the first ski resort in New England to open. Halloween skiing through April, even May is where the River shines. We ski all over the globe and find the best snowmaking and grooming at The River on eight peaks of ski terrain. We also get the most skiing in here with the speedy well-located lifts connecting the eight peaks from White Cap to Locke Mountain, to Barker, to Spruce, North Peak, and Aurora, to Oz and Jordan Bowl. Sunday River is the second biggest ski resort in New England, second only to Maine sister ski resort Sugarloaf with over 1,000-acres.
Sunday River Resort is ideal for a family ski vacation, a guys or gals ski getaway or just a day trip to get your downhill fix. Sunday River is host to so many great trails, beautiful Dream Maker to get your legs warmed up, to Risky Business or American Express off Spruce Peak - with a new Triple chair for 2017-18 (hike to terrain from Aurora this season).
Skiing on Sunday River's eight interconnected peaks is typically beautifully groomed with soft fresh blown snow. With one of the longest ski seasons in New England, from October to late April typically, Sunday River guarantees some the best snow conditions in the East. It takes days to ski all of Sunday River's terrain, from the perfectly groomed runs off the Chondola on North Peak and South Peak, to bumps on Agony and lots of turns on Top Gun and the signature trail Sunday Punch. White Heat is the longest steepest widest trail in the East, while Lollapalooza on the opposite extreme of Sunday River's miles of terrain is scenic and sauntering - part of Jordan Bowl - and the exciting glades of Oz - the highest of Sunday River's eight peaks of skiing.
It's easy to get around Sunday River given their modern, swift lift system with several trails dedicated to every mountain pod with about 1,200-1,500' vertical skiing each. Just be sure to set up meeting times and places with your party since there are several base areas, White Cap, Barker, South Ridge and Jordan Bowl. We recommend you ride each lift and take a few runs at each ski peak, White Cap and Tempest, to Barker, Spruce Peak, and North Peak, then Aurora and Jordan Bowl furthest west.
Jordan Bowl is home to the longest, most scenic undulating runs Excalibur and Rogue Angel. Original trails on Locke and Barker like Sunday Punch, T2 and Monday Mourning are classic - always well covered with corduroy snow. White Heat is a legend in and of itself - the longest widest steepest ski trail in the East when it was designed by Les Otten in 1988. Sunday River even offers some gradual to gnarly glades, 300 acres worth, starting with Blind Ambition, Yetiville, Hollywood, and Gnarnia, notching up to Wizard's Gulch, Hard Ball and Chutzpah. Sunday River has carved out a reputation with free skiers for its parks, pipes and big events like the Dumont Cup on the T72 trail which is the longest terrain park trail in the East with over a mile of rails, jumps, rollers and features, designed by X-Game gold medalist and Bethel native Simon Dumont. Ski families will love the Sunday River mascots, Eddy the Yeti and Betty who have their own Adventure Trail and log cabin. Besides skiing and snowboarding, Sunday River offers a Twin Zip Line, dog sledding, tubing, ice skating and cross country skiing.
With all this terrain and winter fun, you will be wanting to stop for a popular cinnamon bun fresh from the oven at mid-mountain North Peak Lodge. For lunch, The Mountain Room in Peak Lodge for sophisticated alpine charcuterie, or The Foggy Goggle in the South Ridge Lodge and Shipyard Brewhaus at the White Cap Lodge are great choices for burgers, beer, pub fare and a fantastic view of the slopes. Weekends Sunday River is open for night skiing on the Chondola at South Ridge.
For a truly unique Sunday River skiing experience, sign up for Sunday River First Tracks, and get on the lift before the mountain opens to the public on weekends and ski holidays. You will be skiing on our private mountain at 7:15 am, with perfect corduroy, or perhaps fresh powder with a few members of Sunday River's management team - a true treat for a select few lucky skiers.
Après ski at Sunday River, The Foggy Goggle rocks with live bands, and down the Mountain Road, the Matterhorn is one of the best ski bars in the East. Sunday River lodging at The Grand Summit Hotel or the Jordan Grand Hotel keeps you on mountain in full-service hotel comfort. The Grand Summit and Jordan Grand both offer restaurants, a bar, ski lockers, oversized outdoor heated pools and jacuzzi, fitness rooms, and childcare. Sunday River also has many on mountain condominiums, and a short drive from the mountain you will find ski chalets and luxury private ski house rentals, B&Bs and inns in the town of Bethel.
great snowmaking, well-laid out lifts. my family loves this place, I think it is very good, but a little sterile and corporate in feel.
Its awesome. Not really any out of bounds stuff easily accessible but when I lived on the East Coast I went at least once a year for a week.