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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.




Avant Ski


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Quick Take

  • ​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

Sugarbush - 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.

  • Getting To
    Closest Major City: Salt Lake City, UT Distance: ~300 miles South West, Travel Time: ~ 4.5 - 5 hours drive Closest Town: Jackson, WY Distance: ~12 miles, ~20 minute drive​ Teton Village is at the Base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
  • Neighboring Resorts
    Jackson Hole sits in a valley between the Teton Mountain Range and the Gros Ventre Range in Wyoming, near the border of Idaho. Closet Neighbors Snow King, WY (~13 miles, ~25 minutes) ​Grand Targheee Resort, WY (~45 miles, ~70 minutes) Other resorts on the Ikon & Mountain Collective Passes are further away, some of the "closest" include Big Sky, MO (180 miles, ~3.5 hours) Resorts in the Utah Wasatch Range - Alta, Brighton, Deer Valley, Snowbird and Solitude are 260 - 300 miles away, ~4.5 - 5 hours driving in fair weather (this drive is particularly heinous in bad weather with frequent road closures, high winds and terrifying blowing/drifting snow)
  • Travel by Plane
    Closest regional airport: Jackson Hole Airport (JAC); JAC has direct flights to 12 major cities in the U.S. and is also accessible by private plane ~30 minutes drive to the resort Closest major commercial airport: SLC (Salt Lake City International Airport) ~300 miles South West, ~5 hrs
  • Travel by Bus
    The public transit system around Jackson and to Teton Village is easy to use with frequent routes. Jackson Hole runs START Buses (Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit) Airport shuttle services as well as taxies and ride shares are readily available to / from JAC
  • Travel by Car
    When arriving by plane, renting car is not essential. Winter driving conditions to Jackson can be very difficult with hazardous mountain passes, snowdrifts, and slick roads. Do not attempt this drive without chains or 4WD. Pros: Additional flexiblity to explore the broader area Cons: There is a charge to park at the resort unless you carpool with 3 or more riders. Lyft, Uber, and many shuttles are available. ​Ride shares: (e.g., Uber, Lyft) are convenient and reasonabley priced​

The Lay of the LAnd

Coming soon - easy navigation with all of the key spots highlighted 

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