Voter’s Choice: The Best Alpine Ski Area

There are more than 20 alpine ski areas in the state, and choosing the best isn’t easy. Smuggler’s Notch and Magic Mountain turned up at the top of two national surveys this year. But for Vermont Sports readers, once again, Sugarbush topped the list.

With every type of terrain, from the straight-line cruiser of Spring Fling, to the steeps and bumps of Stein’s, to the Castlerock area’s natural terrain to Slide Brook Basin’s long woods runs, Sugarbush has more than a little something for every skier and rider. And then there’s an option to book snowcat skiing on powder days.

Add to that: skin-to dinners high on the mountain at the Allyn Lodge, the Rumble’s Kitchen and the legendary French café Chez Henri and there’s a variety of signature eateries that take on-mountain dining to the next level. Plus, come spring, tables get set up outside the Castlerock Pub where you can enjoy wood fired flatbread and beers in the sun.

Most of all, it’s a sense of community that sets Sugarbush apart. Local owner Win Smith is on the mountain at 9 a.m. every morning and is one of the most enthusiastic participants in the annual pond skim. His attention to details on and off the mountain, and care for the folks he shares it with, show. Cheers, Sugarbush. 1. Sugarbush, 2. Jay Peak, 2. Stowe (tie) 3. Mad River Glen.