SUGARLOAF RESORT GUIDE
Images courtesy of Sugarloaf
Sugarloaf Resort Overview
Sugarloaf, located in the Bigelow Range of Northwestern Maine, is a hardcore skier/rider's paradise. With better-than-average snowfall (200+ inches), above tree line skiing, an extensive 'sidecountry'* gladed ski area, AND a cat skiing operation, "the Loaf" offers an experience unlike anywhere else in New England. While Sugarloaf is a trek, you will quickly find it is well worth the drive. Skiers and riders who brave the journey are greeted with the most terrain (1,200+ acres and 2,800 feet of vertical) of any resort east of the Rockies and the bonus of extremely manageable lift lines. If you're lucky enough to visit mid-week, you'll practically have the place to yourself!
Sugarloaf features a small but lively mountain village, complete with the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel, several fantastic dining options, and a laid-back but energetic aprés scene. There are also plenty of lodging options within the village and the surrounding towns of Kingfield and Eustis on platforms like AirBnB. If you want the best skiing around and don't mind travelling for it, this is your spot. Sugarloaf is part of the Ikon Pass and the New England Pass (along with Sunday River & Loon).
*The Brackett Basin and Burnt Mountain areas offer backcountry-style skiing, though they are maintained and patrolled. See Sugarloaf's website for more details.
Snow-Making & Grooming
Extreme / Off-Piste Terrain
On Mountain Dining
Unmatched terrain — over 1,200 acres of developed trails and sidecountry featuring everything from steep groomers to soft bumps, vast glades, and above-treeline skiing in the Snowfields
The most northerly major resort in New England, Sugarloaf enjoys consistent snow coverage (over 200" annually) and one of the longest seasons in the region — often remaining open until late April/early May
Lift lines are practically non-existent
Eat and drink well with fantastic on-mountain dining options and a casual, but lively après scene
Sugarloaf is a haul — 4-hours driving from Boston and 2.5 hours from Portland, ME
Though natural snow tends to be pretty solid, only about 65% of the resort's inbounds terrain is covered by snow-making
The food is outstanding and the après is awesome, but there aren't really any upscale/luxury options
Lodging is somewhat limited — make sure to check Airbnb
When the snow is good, Burnt Mountain Cat Skiing is a must. For ~$20-30, take two trips up the untracked slopes of Burnt Mountain. Reservations required, book here
Who doesn't like donuts? How about mini, eat-a-half-dozen-no-problem donuts? What if they come in flavors like Maple Bacon, Cookies & Cream, or Fruit Loops? If so, the Eighty 8 Donuts Cafe is the best place to start or end your day
Make sure to check availability at the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel. Sometimes you'll score a good deal on slopeside lodging
You like burgers, right? Sugarloaf classic Bag and Kettle is home to the best you'll find in Western Maine. Pair it with one of their in-house brews and you'll be feeling all warm and fuzzy
The annual Reggae Fest, held in early April, features soft skiing, great music, and a super friendly crowd. It's the epitome of good vibes!
For an in-depth breakdown of Sugarloaf's terrain, head to our Mountain Guide. Top trails and mountain stats included.
Getting To & Around
Sugarloaf is a serious drive – 2:30 from Portland and 4:00 from Boston via I-95 and Routes 139, 201A, 16, and 27. Having a car is a must to get to the mountain and navigate the sourrounding area.
Closest Major City: Boston, MA
Distance: ~225 miles South
Travel Time: ~4 hours drive
Closest Town: Kingfield
~18 miles, ~25 minute drive
Portland, ME: ~130 miles, 2.5 hours drive
Sugarloaf is relatively isolated in the Bigelow Range of Northwestern Maine, but there are a few other destinations within reasonable driving distance for a longer trip.
Saddleback (Indy Pass) – 42 miles, 1.25 hours
Sunday River (Ikon Pass) – 87 miles, 2 hours
Travel by Plane
Closest Major Airports: Boston, MA
Distance: ~225 miles South, ~4 hours drive
Closest Regional Airport: Portland, ME
~130 miles, 2.5 hours drive
Direct service from 23 major cities – see full list of flight offerings here
Travel By Bus
There is no bus service to Sugarloaf from major cities or airports. However, Sugarloaf does provide a free shuttle service around the mountain village and surrounding accomodations.
Travel by Car
Having a car is essential to get to Sugarloaf. Parking is abundant and free. Sugarloaf offers a free shuttle service for travel around the mountain village.