Located in the northeastern United States, New Hampshire has an excellent variety of hills and terrain for both downhill and nordic skiing, as well as snowboarding. Home to the White Mountains, some of the northeast’s largest peaks, locals love hitting the slopes of New Hampshire’s best ski resorts. The snow is plentiful and when needed, most resorts have amazing snowmaking capacity. Check out our guide for the best spots to go snowboarding and skiing in New Hampshire!

bretton woods ski resort in new hampshire
Photo Credit: Mt. Washington Chamber of Commerce (Flicker CC)

Most Epic Ski Resorts in New Hampshire

Bretton Woods

New Hampshire’s largest ski area, Bretton Woods, is less than two hours away from the city of Manchester. Because of its accessibility from other major cities like Boston, Bretton Woods is a beloved place to go skiing in New Hampshire. With 10 lifts and 98 trails and glades spread across three peaks, Bretton Woods has something for everyone! The resort also offers cross-country skiing, with a total of 464 skiable acres of alpine runs and nordic trails.

Riders can rejoice at Bretton Woods being awarded “Best Grooming in the East” by Ski Magazine 5 years in a row! Enjoy night skiing, midweek passes, and lessons at this comprehensive resort. Staying for a night? Book a stay at the famous Omni Mount Washington Resort onsite and get your spa on after a long day on the slopes. Or, check out this gorgeous house, with room for you and your friends!

Loon Mountain Resort

Rated one of the East’s most accessible mountain resorts by readers of Ski Magazine, Loon Mountain is just 10 minutes off of I-93, located in the White Mountain National Forest. With 61 trails and award-winning terrain parks, Loon Mountain is the perfect spot for beginners and adrenaline junkies alike. The resort features New Hampshire’s only Superpipe, so bring your best tricks! Visitors looking for a unique experience can also check out the zipline over the frozen Pemigewasset River. After you’ve hit the slopes, relax at the resort’s legendary après-ski spot, Paul Bunyan Room. For an affordable lodging option, check out this beautiful condo.

Mount Sunapee

  • Location: Newbury, NH
  • Accommodation on site? No
  • Ability levels: All levels

One of Southern New Hampshire’s premier resorts, Mount Sunapee is an inviting place for all levels. The resort has managed to pack a lot into its 1510 feet of vertical, including 66 trails and glades, and 4 terrain parks. Nervous about your first time skiing or boarding? The entire South Peak at Sunapee is designated as a learning area, away from the rest of the trails.

Known for its incredible snowmaking, be prepared for bigger and better since Vail acquired the mountain and invested millions of dollars into the grooming and snowmaking programs. The mountain is also part of Vail’s Epic Pass, which can be used at a ton of other Vail locations. Despite being acquired by the ski resort conglomerate, Mount Sunapee is still a relaxed resort that will feel like family. There is no slopeside lodging, but why not stay at this cozy cabin?

Cranmore Mountain Resort

Located in a quaint ski town, the small but mighty Cranmore Mountain Resort packs a punch, with 56 trails and 9 lifts spread across 170 acres of terrain. There is a great variety of runs to choose from, or if skiing and boarding isn’t your thing, head to New Hampshire’s #1 rated tube park for some fun on the slippery slopes. Be sure to check out the historic buildings and shopping outlets in town as well. You can stay in a condo onsite, or this beautiful rental house.

Gunstock Mountain Resort

  • Location: Gilford, NH
  • Accommodation on site? No
  • Ability levels: All levels

Enjoy the view of the majestic frozen Lake Winnipesaukee as you hit the slopes of Gunstock Mountain Resort. New Hampshire’s closest resort to Boston, this ski area is home to 48 trails, 1340 feet of vertical and 2200 acres. Nordic skiers can enjoy their choice of 30 groomed trails across 22km. Dreaming of your après-ski as the sun starts to set? Not so fast! Gunstock Mountain has the most night skiing in New England, with 22 trails open after dark, perfect for enjoying a night of skiing or snowboarding under the stars. Relax in this charming cabin after a full day (or night) on the slopes.

Wildcat Mountain

  • Location: Jackson, NH
  • Accommodation on site? No
  • Ability levels: All levels

Fans of spring skiing can head to Wildcat Mountain Resort, where New Hampshire’s longest ski season will keep you bombing down runs until early May. The resort base sits at 2000 feet of elevation and has 90% snowmaking coverage, keeping the good times going across its 49 trails and 1 terrain park from November until May.

The resort also boasts New Hampshire’s #1 scenery in the East, as voted by Ski Magazine readers, as well as the New Hampshire’s longest beginner ski trail. As if that weren’t enough to keep you occupied, Wildcat is sister resort to Attitash Mountain Resort, just 20 minutes away. Tickets are valid at either property, even on the same day, so get shredding! Take in the beautiful mountain views from this stunning private cabin after a busy day at the hill!

Attitash Mountain

  • Location: Bartlett, NH
  • Accommodation on site? Yes, at the Grand Summit Hotel
  • Ability levels: All levels

Sister mountain to Wildcat Mountain Resort, Attitash Mountain Resort is another great stop on a New Hampshire ski trip. It has more trails than Wildcat, at 67 compared to 49, and 98% snowmaking instead of 90%. Wildcat beats it out when it comes to vertical, but Attitash still has 1750 feet to get your heart pounding. Expert riders can check out the unpatrolled backcountry glades on pow days. Unwind after a long day on the hill at the slopeside luxury hotel, Attitash Grand Summit Hotel. If you’re looking for something a little more rustic, this adorable cabin is a great option. Both mountains have a lot to offer though, so make it an extended stay and check out both resorts!

King Pine Ski Area

With just 500 feet of vertical, King Pine is still manages to pack in incredible runs carved through pine trees, as well as the Twisted Pine terrain park. The mountain offers a fun and relaxed atmosphere, with hardly any lines to wait for. There is an excellent ski school for beginners, but those looking for a challenge can test themselves on a number of black diamond runs. This is one resort that really proves that good things come in small packages! Stay onsite at the resort, or check out this picturesque cabin in the woods.

Cannon Mountain Ski Area

  • Location: Franconia, NH
  • Accommodation on site? No
  • Ability levels: All levels

Run by New Hampshire State and located within Franconia Notch State Park, Cannon Mountain Ski Area is home to some of New Hampshire’s most quietly legendary skiing. The ski area has 97 trails and glades and 11 lifts, but the mountain’s real claim to fame is the longest vertical drop in the state. 2180 feet of vertical will invite some of the area’s best skiers and boarders, including Olympian Bode Miller. Cannon Mountain can also boast about the highest ski area summit in New Hampshire, at an elevation of 4080 feet. The soaring summit is the perfect spot for the Aerial Tramway, an 80-passenger cable car with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Rest up after a busy day of shredding at this adorable chalet.

Abenaki Ski Area

  • Location: Wolfeboro, NH
  • Accommodation on site? No
  • Ability levels: All levels

For an affordable and quiet getaway, look no further than Abenaki Ski Area. Dating back to 1936, Abenaki is the oldest community-run ski area in the entire country! The area features 7 trails from green to black diamond, a terrain park, and 30km of nordic skiing. Check out the charming lodge after your day on the slopes, and warm up next to the wood stove. The price is right for this little resort, with lift tickets offered at only $20! For an affordable lodging option, check out this cozy lakeside cottage.

Waterville Valley

Tucked into the end of the valley, Waterville Valley is a fantastic place to take a breath of fresh mountain air. With 50 trails serviced by 11 lifts, crowds are small and lines are short. The village has plenty of options for lodging and après, as well as condos, indoor pools, skating, spas, and sleigh or dogsled rides. It’s a perfect fit for families! The resort has 100% snowmaking coverage, so you can rest assured that your relaxing nature getaway will still have plenty of pow. If you want a more secluded place to stay, check out this pristine mountain getaway.

Photo Credit: Brian Robinson (Flicker CC)

Jackson XC Center

  • Location: Jackson, NH
  • Accommodation on site? Yes
  • Ability levels: All levels

Looking for incredible cross country skiing in New Hampshire? Look no further than the Jackson XC Center. With 60 square miles of terrain across three river valleys, and backcountry access to White Mountain National Forest, Jackson is the perfect spot for some nordic skiing. Enjoy sunny vistas, old growth forest, mountain descents, or check out the international race course. There are warming cabins along some of the trails, as well as numerous eateries, pubs, and inns in the charming village. If you’re looking for lodging, why not cozy up in this romantic log cabin?

Pats Peak Ski Area

  • Location: Henniker, NH
  • Accommodation on site? No
  • Ability levels: All levels

Pats Peak is a family-friendly resort with 50% novice runs, as well as 3 separate beginners areas serviced by their own lifts. The resort has some of southern New Hampshire’s only novice runs accessible from the summit, instead of just advanced runs. 100% of the main peak is open for night skiing, and there is tubing, terrain parks, childcare, and an excellent kids’ program. 100% snowmaking coverage guarantees that Pats Peak is a great choice for snowboarding and skiing in New Hampshire throughout the entire season. This resort comes highly recommended by locals looking to learn the ropes of snowboarding and skiing in New Hampshire! Check out this peaceful chalet for a relaxing place to stay the night.

Whaleback Mountain

  • Location: Enfield, NH
  • Accommodation on site? No
  • Ability levels: All levels

Featuring 31 trails with a solid mix of greens, blues, and blacks, Whaleback Mountain is a resort with an authentic community feel. After Whaleback Mountain LLC foreclosed on the property in 2013, the board of directors came together in order to negotiate the purchase of the hill as a nonprofit. The board felt that Whaleback should be preserved as a spot for locals looking to ski and snowboard in New Hampshire. Make sure to check out the Thursday Night Adult Race League! Locals can also take advantage of after school programs for kids. If you’re coming from out of town, book a stay with a big group of friends at this charming farmhouse!

Ragged Mountain

  • Location: Danbury, NH
  • Accommodation on site? Yes, at the Cardigan Cabins
  • Ability levels: All levels

Ragged Mountain is another great option for families looking to snowboard or ski in New Hampshire. The resort’s learn-to-ski program is free for beginners, but there is something for everyone within its 57 trails and 1250 feet of vertical. Between the two main peaks thrill seekers will find The Ravine, an advanced area featuring many blacks and double black diamond runs. Slopeside lodging means you can relax and unwind after a great day at the hill with the fam! If you’re on a weekend getaway with your boo, check out this adorable cabin.

Photo Credit: McIntyre Ski Area

McIntyre Ski Area

  • Location: Manchester, NH
  • Accommodation on site? No
  • Ability levels: Beginner-Intermediate

Located in Manchester, McIntyre Ski Area is the city’s premier learn-to-ski/ride mountain. The hill has 200 feet of vertical, with 9 green and blue trails. The terrain park is perfect for practicing tricks, and families can enjoy the 8-lane tubing “Thrill Hill”. Warm up after a fun day in the snow in the newly expanded 9000 square foot lodge. This ski area is a perfect option for snowboarding and skiing near Manchester. This modern downtown apartment would be a sweet spot to stay at.

Additional Resources for Snowboarding & Skiing in New Hampshire

What to Bring

  • Waterproof outerwear – Possibly the most critical pieces of clothing for your ski trip packing list is durable, waterproof outerwear. Burton and Helly Hansen are famous ski brands for having best-in-class clothing that will keep you warm in the coldest, snowiest conditions. Click here to shop ski jackets and compare prices.
  • Thermal layers – Thermal baselayers are absolutely critical for a smooth skiing experience, as these will keep you warm and dry underneath your outerwear. The best kinds of thermal baselayers are made of Merino wool, which is moisture-wicking and comfortable. Our favorite brand of thermal layers is SmartWool – their tops and leggings are soft, lightweight, but warm and durable for all kinds of outdoor activities, including skiing. Click here to shop thermal tops and leggings and compare prices.
  • Ski goggles – No ski trip packing list would be complete without a pair of fog-resistant ski goggles, especially if you’re going somewhere that makes artificial snow. Ski slopes often have snow blowing into the air several times a day and it can be hard to keep freezing snowflakes out of your eyes, even during clear days. We use and recommend these ski goggles. However, you can shop ski goggles and compare reviews/prices here.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of things to pack, read our guide on What to Wear Skiing & Snowboarding and our Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List to view our full packing list and gear recommendations for the slopes!

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