New Hampshire boasts world-class skiing opportunities. Home to mountains with acclaimed conditions, the best skiers flock from all over the country to visit these spots. But don’t worry, if you’re just strapping on the skis for the first time, there are still plenty of places for you to start (and sometimes for no cost at all!). Here are our 10 favorite skiing spots in New Hampshire.
Whether you come as a beginner or experienced athlete, Loon Mountain has the impeccably maintained terrain for you. Visit their adventure center for winter zip lining, tubing, snowshoeing, and more. For a truly memorable experience, take part in their nondenominational “Summit Worship Service” making three stops along the mountain with skiing or snowboarding in between, music, scripture, and fellowship.
A dream of a mountain located in beautiful Franconia State Park. On top of world class trails, Cannon offers a jam-packed events schedule, including family fun nights, and 80s themed ski day, and BodeFest—a celebration of all things Bode Miller, hosted by the star himself, in support of The Turtle Ridge Foundation. All New Hampshire residents can receive 25 percent off their season pass when purchased before Dec. 14.
Waterville Valley is a treat for the whole family, whether you stop in for a day or make a weekend of it. Skiing, snowboarding, tubing, skating, sleigh rides, and a “Waffle Cabin” to keep you fueled up on the slopes with made to order waffles. Plenty of mountainside and après ski opportunities to suit any palate and personality.
While Ragged Mountain boasts all the typical offerings of a top-notch ski resort, perhaps where they shine brightest is their dedication to helping first time skiers and riders. Three free lessons, with free equipment to use during, give any aspiring athlete a chance to decide if they’ve found the right sport. If you take to it, Ragged Mountain offers huge discounts on future lessons or ski passes, as well as on gear if you decide to buy your own.
Rated time and again best scenery in the East by Ski Magazine, Wildcat Mountain is a breathtaking spot. Access the stunning views in record time with their Express Quad, which takes you base to summit in just seven minutes, and keep enjoying them with New Hampshire’s longest ski season nine years running. Serious investment in grooming and snowmaking allow not only more days on the slopes, but also a mountain with quality advanced trails and the longest beginner trail in the entire Granite State. Use your lift ticket just a few miles down the road at Attitash Mountain, Wildcat’s sister resort.
Alongside the trappings of similar, quality resorts, Mount Sunapee tops the New Hampshire slopes with their wide array of discounted season passes. Full-time college students, seniors, super seniors (70+), and midweek visitors can all find serious savings at Sunapee. Ask about their passes that provide free or discounted access to other ski areas in the area and across the nation.
Cranmore Mountain Resort was ranked top in New Hampshire by Ski Magazine for off hill activities, and one look at its impressive tubing park makes it clear why. Both handle tow and magic carpet lifts, servicing a 10-lane area of tubing, might make you almost forget about the skiing or riding you came there to do. Also, be sure to check out the “Giant Eagle,” a tandem, seated zip line rocketing over 700 feet down the mountain, a giant electronic swing accommodating up to four people, and a mountain “coaster” slide with thousands of feet of track, at speeds up to 25 mph.
Ranked “Best Snow in the East” by Ski Magazine, Bretton Woods is the largest ski area in New Hampshire, without losing the incredible details that make this place so special. In addition to world-class skiing, visitors can take part in tubing, sleigh rides, snowmobiling, and over 100 kilometers of cross country trails, and a magical array of children's activities. If you get too chilly in the great outdoors, take a timeout with the 624-square-foot indoor climbing wall, or experience Bretton Wood’s top notch dining and entertainment scene. Be sure to participate in their famed night skiing if you stay for a Friday or Saturday night.
Gunstock mountain incorporates all the details that make a quality ski area, with a special soft spot for beginners. Build your confidence with exclusive, novice trails and lifts before joining the experts. Participate in night skiing Tuesday through Saturday night on 21 lit trails, or see the mountain in a different way with full moon hiking and snowshoeing tours. Embrace the outdoor experience and camp out, either in an RV or rented cabin, for a discounted way to experience the mountain.
King Pine may not be the biggest, but it has come to be known as one of the friendliest ski areas in the country. Heavily slanted toward family-friendly fun, King Pine places emphasis on teaching beginners, and helping more advanced skiers and riders keep things exciting. Family racing, activities, and a wide array of lesson packages make it easy for everyone to set their own pace and have a good time. If you visit during the Christmas season, keep your eyes peeled for a skiing Santa, who hands out candy canes to all who visit his mountain.