Lexi Dowdall December 2019
Sugarbush Resort, nestled atop Vermont’s Mad River Valley, has more than 110 trails and a respectable spread of beginner, intermediate, and expert terrain. You could spend a weekend or a week here and never grow bored! Sugarbush is made up of two distinct and previously separate areas - Mt. Ellen and Lincoln Peak. Mount Ellen, the smaller of the two, has a sleepier, old school vibe. With many recent improvements, the Lincoln Peak base area is where all the action and most of the dining options are found. Here you will find plenty of restaurants, lodges, retail and rental shops and the charming towns of Warren and Waitsfield are nearby.
Our Expert and Intermediate itineraries pack all of the action into one day, but if you have multiple days here, you may consider spending a full day to explore each mountain. Experts will appreciate jaw-dropping views and legendary terrain off the Castlerock lift. Sugarbush's ungroomed steeps offer a thrill, while the gentle slopes near each base area are suitable for learners. Sugarbush has spent years upgrading their snowmaking capacity. It is often one of the last in Vermont to close and the spring skiing is phenomenal with more forgiving temperatures. Sugarbush is a member of the Mountain Collective and also provides 5 or 7 days on the Ikon Pass. Recently purchased by the Alterra Mountain Company, we’ll be keeping an eye on Alterra’s plans for improvements/upgrades.
The scene and terrain at Mt. Ellen are ideal for intermediates and those who love to rail groomers. Mt. Ellen’s base area and rental selection are smaller, however prices are cheaper than those of Lincoln Peak Village and the runs are often less crowded
If the Slide Brook Express Quad chair linking the two mountains is closed, the resort offers frequent shuttles between the base areas. The shuttle is definitely your best option when traveling with small children
Sugarbush stacks a dizzying event schedule, check their calendar and see if your visit coincides with fun activities or celebrations; the spring skiing scene is a riot
If you are looking to ski bell to bell, Sugarbush offers early morning cat skiing; booking a tour the day before is a clutch move on a powder day. Their motto is "when it's snowing, we're going." Tours are also available by private appointment. Check here to learn more and book
If you need to purchase lift tickets, do so in advance, online; you’ll save a lot of money. See our Sugarbush pass guide
Vermont can dish up bone-rattling temperatures; bring your warmest layers just in case
When it’s icy, it’s ICY; tune your edges!
- There is no snowmaking off the Castlerock Lift, so if conditions are poor, this area is a no-go
- Some lifts are a little slower
Sugarbush is the real deal, for families with true beginners or strictly novice skiers, it may be best to head elsewhere
Vermont weather is variable, but Sugarbush offers tons of snowmaking and machine-worked trails
The resort only pours Vermont-brewed beer from its taps, a nod to the area's culture
The backcountry access in Slide Brook Basin extends the amount of terrain and offers excellent solitude along with backcountry lines for advanced guests
One of the biggest resorts in Vermont, there is no shortage of variety and vertical drop
Lift lines tend to be shorter here than at Stowe or Killington
GETTING TO & AROUND
Given this is rural Vermont, it's best to have a car available. If you have reliable transit to your lodging and you are staying near a bus stop, you can depend upon the free GMT-MR bus system to get to the resort or around the Mad River Valley.