Less than an hour from Burlington International Airport, Sugarbush Resort in Mad River Valley has six mountain areas and 4,000 of skiable acres and three terrain parks outside Warren, Vermont.
The ski resort, made up of two mountains – Mt Ellen and Lincoln Peak – is one of the largest resorts on the East Coast, known for its quintessential New England terrain with nearly 30 wooded areas and long cruisers, glades and bumps, plus off-piste terrain and the 2,000-acre Slide Brook Basin.
Sugarbush has a summit elevation of 4,083 and a vertical drop of 2,600 ft. The total acreage here is 4,000, and the 111 trails are accessed by 16 lifts with an uphill capacity of 25,225 guests an hour, including five high-speed quads, two triples, a double and three surface lifts. Sugarbush has about 20 percent of its trail system marked off as beginner; about 45 percent at intermediate and 35 percent at advanced and above. The average annual snowfall here is 250 inches. Snowmaking is on just over 350 acres of the resort. There is no night skiing offered at Sugarbush, but there are snowshoeing tours and cabin cat adventures, which includes dinner, as well as a kids adventure center at the resort. Sugarbush typically opens in mid-November and stays open until mid-May, depending on conditions. Many note that March and April are the best times to travel to Sugarbush because of strong spring snow conditions and warmer temperatures.
There is a Ski & Snowboard School at Sugarbush, offering private and group lessons for adults and children, including the Micro Blazers, a starter class for youngsters ages 3 to 4, as well as a chance to schedule a private lesson with Ski & Snowboard Hall of Famer and Warren Miller film star John Egan. There is also an adaptive ski program at Sugarbush. There are two rental shops here – one at the Mt. Ellen base and the other at Lincoln Peak base. Sugarbush is an Ikon Pass destination. There is numerous dining options on the mountain and slopeside lodging.
Sugarbush has a good selection of accommodation for most budgets, from basic lodging a little further away or quaint country inns to more luxury condos. The Sugarbush Inn at Sugarbush offers guests private baths and a continental breakfast during the winter at their inn with a wood-paneled library and sitting room fireplace. Guests have access to a fitness center with hot tubs and a sauna. The inn is less than a mile from the Lincoln Peak base and is on the Mad Bus shuttle bus route. For ski-in/ski-out access with a little more space for larger groups, the Rice Brook residences offer townhomes and condos from two to four-bedrooms. The residences are skiable from the Out to Lunch trail and are near the historic Sugarbush Village ( www.sugarbush.com ). For inexpensive lodging, the Middlebury Sweets Motel is about 15 miles from Sugarbush and has comfortable, candy-themed budget rooms with free WiFi ( www.middmotel.com ).
From Thai to winter comfort food, Sugarbush has a number of dining options for hungry skiers. Named after a beloved Bernese mountain dog who roamed the resort for nine years, Rumble’s Kitchen serves local meat and cheese from nearby farms in their menu that includes pickle-brined fried chicken, a black bean and walnut burger with Cabot alpine cheddar, and grilled pizza with quinoa crust. In the Sugarbush Inn is Fit 2 Be Thai’D, their on-site Thai restaurant offering Tom Yum soup or crab Rangoon with spicy basil or garlic black pepper stir fry ( www.fit2thaied.com ). At the Lincoln Peak base, the Castlerock Pub has classic pub food like Vermont-raised beef burgers or ale-battered fish and chips with a great selection of local craft beer ( www.sugarbush.com ).
By air, Sugarbush is about 45 minutes from Burlington International Airport, which has daily flights from major U.S. cities. From the airport terminal, guests can either rent a car or taking one of the shuttle options to Sugarbush, which can be booked through the resort.
Driving, Sugarbush is about two and a half hours from Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montreal, Canada and three hours from Logan International Airport in Boston, MA. Both airports also have shuttles available to Sugarbush.
Once here, there is the free Mad Bus shuttle which makes regular trips along main lodging routes to the mountain bases and back, though there is more flexibility with a car. Some accommodation also offer a complimentary shuttle. There are two taxi operations that also operate in the resort area.
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