With corduroy-groomed trails, luxury shopping and fine dining, it’s hard to believe that Stratton Mountain Resort is also where East Coast snowboarding got its start, becoming the first resort to allow snowboarders on the slopes in 1983.
This was also where Vermont’s first World Cup Ski Races were held. Today the ski resort is a popular destination for NYC skiers and snowboarders alike, holding the highest peak in southern Vermont on its 670 skiable acres.
Stratton has a summit elevation of 3,875 ft. with a vertical drop of 2,003 ft. There is about 160 acres of gladed terrain in the total acreage that gets about 180 inches of snow annually. Snowmaking covers about 473 acres of this. There are 97 trails – 41 percent novice, 31 percent intermediate, 17 percent advanced and 11 percent expert – all accessed by 11 lifts, including four 6-passenger chairlifts, three 4-passenger chairlifts and a gondola, for a total lift capacity of 33,428 skiers an hour. The longest trail at Stratton is three miles – Mike’s Way to Wanderer. There is no night skiing but there is a four-lane tubing park in Stratton’s Sun Bowl, with a warming hut and fire pit. Ice skating is also offered on the Village Commons Pond. Snowmobiling tours are also available. The season at Stratton usually runs from mid-November to mid-April. It’s been noted that March is often the best month to ski or snowboard here, because of substantial snow levels – March typically brings one third of Vermont’s annual snowfall – combined with higher temperatures and fewer people.
Stratton has a Ski & Snowboard School that has nearly 60 years of ski instruction experience, with a long history of producing top ski and snowboard athletes. Both private and group lessons are available, as are season-long programs for adults, teens and children, like the “Big Cub” and “Little Cub” ski and snowboard courses. Stratton has four ski and snowboard rental locations in the Village as well as at Sun Bowl base. Stratton is an Ikon Pass destination. There is a licensed childcare facility at the base for ages 6 weeks to five years old. Both slopeside dining and lodging is available at Stratton.
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From resort homes to condos to ski-in/ski-out lodging, there is plenty of accommodation for most budgets at Stratton. A half mile from the village, 28 North Branch is a renovated four-bedroom, three bath home with cathedral ceilings, a woodburning fireplace and a large deck with a jacuzzi. There is also a shuttle service pick-up from the house to the mountain and a complimentary parking permit for the Stratton base. The Marble West Inn, a historic hotel built in 1840, has mountain views from their seven bedrooms, each with private bathrooms and a 16-seat restaurant as well as a 1,000-volume cookbook library in the restored mansion on Dorset West Road ( www.themarblewestinn.com ). For a little more room, Solstice, at the base of the Sun Bowl has ski-in/ski-out townhouses with Vermont slate countertops and one to five bedroom options with an outdoor hot tub ( www.stratton.com ).
Barbecue, Austrian-inspired fine dining and quick mountaintop eats are all available at Stratton – some say that because of its proximity to New York City, the quality of dining here is especially top-notch. Featuring locally raised meats, game and poultry, Verdé is located in Village Square and offers guests a Mediterranean-themed menu with an impressive wine list as well as specialty martinis ( www.verdestratton.com ). Nearby, the FireTower Restaurant and Tavern has crab and lobster cakes, an Applewood bacon burger and tuna tartare with a large craft beer and wine selection with views of the ski area ( www.firetowerstratton.com ). Next to the gondola in the main Base area, Grizzly’s has wood-fired pizza and draft beer specials with a lively apres-ski scene.
By air, Albany International Airport is one and a hal hours from Stratton; Bradley International Airport is two and a half hours from Stratton and the largest hub, Logan International Airport in Boston is three hours away. Shuttle services and car rentals are available at these airports.
Coming from New York City, another option is the Stratton Jitney bus service, which has a direct four-hour route from Manhattan to Stratton Mountain Resort.
By car, the Stratton Mountain access road is just off Route 30, in Bondville, Vermont, just before the 7-Eleven.
Once here, there is a free shuttle that transports guests to the mountain base area. Some accommodation also offer complimentary shuttles as well. Parking permits for the base area can be purchased through the resort’s guest services.