With one of the largest skiable areas on the East Coast, Sugarloaf also boasts the only lift-serviced skiing above treeline.
Located in the Carrabassett Valley and surrounded by Maine’s Western Mountains, Sugarloaf also has the second longest continuous vertical drop in the East Coast Nordic skiers also have plenty of room to move on more than 43 miles of Nordic trails.
Sugarloaf has 1,230 skiable acres with a vertical drop of 2,820 ft. from a 4,237 ft. summit. There are 158 trails here accessed by 13 lifts, including two high speed detachable quads, two high speed quads, three fixed grip quads, five double lifts and one triple lift, for a total capacity of 21,810 guests an hour. Trails are 23 percent beginner, 34 percent intermediate and 27 percent advanced. The average annual snowfall is just under 200 inches and snowmaking covers 95 percent of the resort. There is no night skiing at Sugarloaf, though the resort does have an outdoor center with an NHL-sized ice skating rink as well as a Nordic skiing center and the Turbo Tubing Park, which does offer night tubing on their four 1,000 ft. lanes. The season generally runs from around Thanksgiving through to mid-May. Because of its long season, many recommend March or early April to avoid the crowds and the coldest months of January and February.
Sugarloaf has a Ski & Snowboard School that offers private, group and family lessons, as well as the sidecountry/alpine glade camp for ages 16 and over and the “minicuffers” season-long ski school for ages three to five. There is a ski and snowboard rental shop on the base, and at least four other rental shops in the Carrabassett Valley for more options. There is both slopeside lodging and dining at Sugarloaf.
From New England cabins to condos to luxury hotels, there is a range of lodging to chose from at Sugarloaf. Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel in the heart of Sugarloaf Village has valet parking, a fitness center and a 30-person hot tub and breakfast at their in-house restaurant. A more affordable option is the Sugarloaf Inn, one of the town’s original lodges, with a slopeside location and mountain views, as well as access to an off-site pool and hot tub. Adjacent to the Whiffletree Quad, the Gondola Village has one to two-bedroom condos with views to Sugarloaf and the Bigelow Mountain Range, all with access to the sports and fitness center ( www.sugarloaf.com ).
Sugarloaf has a number of dining options, from a quick slice of pizza, to barbecue on a sunny deck to fine dining after a snow cat tour. Bullwinkle’s at Night offers guests a multi-course mountaintop chef’s tasting menu in a secluded, candlelit restaurant, after a journey through the woods via snow cat. An option for those coming off the slopes craving a beer and a quick bite is The Widowmaker, at the top of the base lodge with views of the area and 16 beers on tap, as well as live entertainment on the weekends. A long-time staple of Sugarloaf, the Bag & Kettle has winter comfort food at affordable prices with menu offerings like fried chicken and the charbroiled Bag Burger or wood-fired pizzas ( www.sugarloaf.com ).
By air, Boston Logan International Airport is the closest large hub, about a four-hour drive from Sugarloaf. Portland International Jetport is a smaller, regional airport, about two and a half hours from Sugarloaf. There are shuttle services available to Sugarloaf from both airports, as well as rental car services.
Once here, there is a free shuttle service that transports guests to and from the base, back to accommodation. There are also taxi and shuttle services in the area and some accommodation offer complimentary shuttles.