Sugarbush Resort, Vermont
Sugarbush is sweet, like Vermont maple syrup. Located in the beautiful Mad River Valley, this is Vermont skiing at its best, authentic. The two interconnected mountains, Lincoln Peak and Mount Ellen, feature long classic meandering trails, gorgeous birch and Sugarbush glades, and spectacular views of pastoral hillsides and Camels Hump, Stowe's Mt Mansfield, Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks in the distance. Sugarbush skis like a 4,000-acre playground thanks to the two ski areas and the 2,000-acres of backcountry glades in between called Slidebrook, where you can enjoy long natural glade runs on untouched snow with or without a guide. Sugarbush proudly only grooms half their terrain, leaving much of their terrain un-groomed, un-altered and inherent - authentic Vermont.
Sugarbush is worth a week to explore all the terrain from the perfectly groomed cord to challenging natural runs and glades on Castlerock, Heavens Gate, and Slide Brook. Sugarbush doesn't get the same accolades as Stowe or Killington or Stratton, but it doesn't get the volume of skiers either. Sugarbush was once dubbed Mascara Mountain, as this was the ski spot of the chic and glamorous NY'ers in the 1960-70s. Today the vibe at Sugarbush is more wholesome, fewer Bogners and more localvore - with micro brew Vermont beer and cheddar served in the slopeside restaurant Timbers. Sugarbush has casual elegance due to the new Lincoln Peak Village and the Clay Brook Inn. Also, the legendary Chez Henri still serves as a vestige of Vermont meets French museum atmosphere at Sugarbush, Henri celebrated 50 years here in 2014.
The casual but welcome vibe permeates Sugarbush Resort thanks to the owner Win Smith, a former financial Wall Street guy who purchased the Bush in 2001. Win is passionate about skiing and great customer service and it shows. You will likely see him out skiing, chatting with customers or taking skiers out for first tracks on a powder day via the Lincoln Limo snow cat. Winn added a new, fixed grip quad - The Valley House Quad for 2015-16 winter.
Sugarbush and the Mad River Valley have lots of charming BnBs and romantic inns, like The Pitcher Inn in Warren Village where you will find each room themed and spectacular. The dining at Pitcher Inn is also extraordinary. The Sugarbush Inn is nothing fancy, but the off mountain location is very close to the slopes. Waitsfield is also home to several nice BnBs and lots of condo complexes like The Eagles, Bridges, and Seasons Resort.
But if you like to stay slopeside then The Clay Brook Inn is your ticket. What looks like a classic big red barn is home to condo style suites and traditional hotel rooms in lovely Vermont mountain decor. The Clay Brook Inn offers everything from ski valet, and valet parking, to a steamy outdoor pool and two Jacuzzis. You are steps away from all the skier service in Lincoln Peak Village, the ski shop, the Schoolhouse for kids learn to ski and ride schools, The Farmhouse and Gatehouse offer skier services and cafe style dining, and Timbers Round Barn has more formal dining. The Castlerock Pub rocks for après ski.
Sugarbush offers skiers some extra sweet treats, book the Lincoln Limo for first tracks via snow cat, you may even be accompanied by Win Smith himself or John Egan - former Warren Miller extreme ski film star now Sugarbush’s ski ambassador. In the evening after skiing, be sure to drive to the pretty towns of Warren and Waitsfield to visit the classic Vermont country stores, Vermont craft boutiques, our favorite ski shop Sportiv for stylish ski outfits, and the many great local Sugarbush area restaurants like Blue Stone Pizza, Common Man and the Hyde Away. Or take the snow cat at night to Allyn’s mid mountain lodge for an extraordinary wine, beer or fondue dinner and moonlight ski down.
Lift ticket and season pass prices
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Best chain of mountains in New England! Love the classic vibe you get at Sugarbush. Castlerock is truly the best terrain in the east HANDS DOWN. Could use a bit more nightlife, but the inns and lodges in the area provide a more charming and relaxed sit by the fire vibe than most other ski towns.
Sugarbush has the best variety of terrain in Vermont! Amazing steeps and glades on two mountains. Castle Rock lift has some of the most challenging runs anywhere. Much better value than Stowe!
the 3 times i've been there have been great - the people, food, accomodations @ the sugarbush inn, and most of all the slope conditions. there are no such things as lift lines there. i snowboard so i appreciate wide, long runs and sgrbsh has plenty. i live in phila pa, and for those that frequent killington the extra 40 min drive is well worth it!
Trails are fun to ski, following the natural mountain terrain, steep,narrow, curves, not like other mtns that have cut all the trees down and call them trails. Plus small lift lines!!!!
Sugarbush is my favorite because it's what I know. I've vacationed a Sugarbush more so than any other resort. I also like Stowe. I hoped to visit Sugarbush and some place new this past winter, but it didn't happen. I will be ready for the next season.
Sugarbush is probably my favorite place to ski in the East. An old school vibe with everything from manicured groomed cruisers to steeps to pant soiling chutes in the woods. For the adventurous, you can traverse the Long Trail at the Summit to get to Castle Rock; a purely natural and untouched area that will take your breath away. The town of Mansfield has been tarnihsed by commercialization and is studded with local Inns, restaurants, and B&Bs; all excellent. Plus it's not far from Alchemy Brewing, famous for their Heady Topper double IPA that does not get distributed much out of that region.
Beautiful winding trails through the woods, Vermont the way it was and should still be.
only on a good year
Along with great terrain for more advanced riders/skiers, Sugarbush has a truly exceptional teaching staff. Their ski school is phenomonal and well worth the extra drive (from Virginia).
Always great conditions, lift lines aren't that bad, large variety of trails at various skill levels