best places to snowboard on the east coast

The 5 Best Places To Snowboard On The East Coast!

by Tom

With so many awesome ski resorts across North America, those on the East coast are often overlooked. But you might be surprised by how great some of them are. 

Yes, the snow can be a little less promising than on the West Coast. But there are some true hidden gems!

So I’ve put together a list of the best places to snowboard on the East Coast:

  1. Killington Resort
  2. Stowe Mountain Resort
  3. Jay Peak Resort
  4. Sugarbush Resort
  5. Sugarloaf Resort

I’ll provide you with some key details. That way you can make an informed decision about your next shredding trip!

1. Killington Resort

Editor's Choice
Killington Resort
9.3/10 Our Score


  • Huge resort (by East Coast standards)
  • Fantastic snow making facilities, creating a long season
  • Loads of trails
  • Excellent lift infrastructure
  • An excellent destination for freestyle snowboarders
  • Great atmosphere, great parties
  • Super diverse terrain features


  • Can be incredibly busy on weekends
  • Not the best destination if powder is your priority
  • Backcountry terrain is limited, get up early to get the best of it

Killington ski resort is the best place to snowboard on the East Coast.

Located in Vermont, it boasts one of the largest ski areas in the East. This earned Killington ski resort the nickname, “the beast of the east.”

However, when you compare it to some of the ski resorts in Colorado or Utah, it’s significantly smaller. Even more so when pitched against the vast European ski areas.

But this shouldn’t put you off from a visit to this fantastic ski resort, especially considering how many ski slopes are jammed into its 1,509 acres!

The slopes are scattered across seven separate mountains and are varied in their difficulty. 

Overall, there is more terrain for intermediate and experts. But there are plenty of slopes for new snowboarders to practice their turns, including two dedicated beginner areas tucked away in safety. 

Intermediate and expert riders can enjoy beautiful long tree-lined runs all over the mountain. There are some great spots to hike if you fancy dropping cliffs and scoping powder lines.

Fun Fact

Killington is great for boozing as the area has a lot of vineyards. These produce quality wine, which you can sample in the resort. There is also a local brewery called Long Trail Brewing Company. It makes over 180,000 bottles of local beer every year!

The Highlights:

  • Elevation: 4,241 feet (1,293 m)
  • Trails: 155
  • Lifts: 21
  • Off-Piste: There are some great tree runs!
  • Snow Parks: There are quite a few snow parks, offering up to 150 features to play with. 
  • Lift Ticket Price:

    A day pass in Killington ranges between $64 and $165 for an adult, depending on when you go. But you can find deals if you book them in advance. You can also upgrade to use the express lift lanes.

  • How To Get To Killington:

    Killington ski resort is 5.7 miles from the town of Killington in Rutland county, Vermont. It’s a 78-mile drive from Burlington, Vermont, or 160 miles from Boston. Depending on the traffic conditions, you can drive there from New York City in about five hours.

2. Stowe Mountain Resort

Runner Up
Stowe Mountain Resort
9.1/10 Our Score


  • Excellent terrain for experienced riders
  • Great snow quality for the area
  • Most of the lifts are modern and pretty fast
  • Easy to get around
  • Great for kids and families


  • The crowd flow could be better, expect long lift lines when busy
  • One of the more expensive options

Stowe Mountain Resort is a stunning ski resort very much in keeping with East Coast ruggedness.

You get some excellent and varied terrain, enough to keep anyone entertained. The resort is home to some iconic slopes to challenge your legs. There are also some incredible slopes suitable for kids, beginners, and anyone who just wants to cruise. They are meticulously groomed!

It is a very family-friendly ski resort and has recently expanded the Kid’s Adventure Zones. These allow kids to get a taste of side country terrain and provide an excellent environment for progression. The resort also has the quintessential New England charm, backed up by stunning scenery and great terrain.

You can expect pretty good snow here compared to other Vermont ski areas. This is because it is slightly further north, bringing colder temperatures and better snow.

Fun Fact 

Stowe is home to the late, great Jake Burton Carpenter, founder of Burton snowboards. It is also where the Von Trapp family from the Sound Of Music lived.

The Highlights:

  • Elevation: 3,719 feet (1,134 m)
  • Trails: 116
  • Lifts: 12
  • Off-Piste: Head to Teardrop Trail for glades and challenging steeps
  • Snow Parks: 4
  • Lift Ticket Price:

    A day pass for an adult costs $169 during off-peak days and $199 on peak days.

  • How To Get To Stowe:

    Stowe Mountain resort is 11 miles from exit 10 of I -89. It’s about 45 minutes from Burlington International Airport, which has direct flights from Chicago, New York, Atlanta, and Washington, DC.

3. Jay Peak Resort

Jay Peak Resort
9.1/10 Our Score


  • Loads to do, both on and off the mountain
  • Some epic expert terrain (chutes and glades)
  • Ideal for beginners too
  • Fewer crowds 
  • Occasional snow dumps


  • Some runs are optimistically graded
  • Wind can be an issue (including closures)
  • Outdated lift system in places

Jay Peak resort is another of the best places to snowboard on the East Coast.

It’s a great all-rounder, with some highly challenging runs and superb beginner slopes.

There’s also quite a lot to do if you fancy a day off the mountain, or maybe if there are people in your group who don’t ski or snowboard.

Beginners can start their snowboarding career in the large beginners’ zone, consisting of 11 slopes and some glades. These are perfect for an intro to off-piste.

The resort has designated 20% of its slopes for novice riders, 40% for intermediates, and 40% for more advanced skiers and snowboarders.

Be warned. Some of the blue runs are more like black diamond slopes, so if you are a nervous intermediate, take it easy until you’ve got your legs in.

Fun Fact

Jay Peak resort has a fantastic indoor waterpark with lots of slides, chutes, and a lazy river. It even has a Flowrider (indoor surf wave), so if you can’t surf the mountains, you can try your hand on the water.

The Highlights:

  • Elevation: 3,968 feet (1,209 m)
  • Trails: 81
  • Lifts: 9
  • Off-Piste: Head to Jay’s blades and Jay’s woods for some great inbounds powder.
  • Snow Parks: 4
  • Lift Ticket Price:

    Lift ticket prices for adults cost $99 on a non-peak day and up to $109 during peak times for a day pass.

  • How To Get To Jay Peak:

    Jay Peak is quite close to the Canadian border, so you can drive there in about 1.5 hours from Montréal or 3.5 hours from Boston. Many people fly to Burlington, which is about an hour-and-a-half drive away.

4. Sugarbush Resort

Sugarbush Resort
8.9/10 Our Score


  • Lots of great terrain, including backcountry
  • Suits all levels of rider
  • It's a stunning place to snowboard
  • Has a great local atmosphere
  • Biggest vertical drop in New England


  • The snowmaking facilities could be better
  • Expensive lift tickets
  • Even though the two mountains are linked, it can take a while to get between them

Sugarbush resort is set in the Mad River Valley in Vermont. It is one of New England’s largest ski areas and has everything you need for a fantastic snowboard trip on the East Coast.

The ski area is spread over two mountains called Lincoln Peak and Mount Ellen, which are linked via chairlift and the shuttle bus.

Lincoln Peak has an abundance of beginner terrain, but is also home to some iconic slopes, such as those at Castle Rock. These have narrow, steep, unwinding terrain which will challenge experienced riders.

Mount Ellen is the third-highest mountain in the state of Vermont. It has steep slopes, wide-open groomers, and fantastic intermediate terrain.

The base of Mount Allen provides a pretty basic mountain experience. Mostly due to the style of the lodge. Still, there is an excellent terrain park which hosts some awesome events and competitions.

You will find magnificent tree runs on either of the two mountains, but if you want to explore the backcountry, head to Slide Brooke basin. This area sits between the two mountains and is ideal for hiking and split boarding to off-piste runs.

Fun Fact

Sugarbush resort was established in 1958 by Damon and Sarah Gadd, and Jack Murphy. It has changed hands several times since 1977 and has been gradually developed, making it an excellent summer and winter destination.

The Highlights:

  • Elevation:4,083 feet (1,244 m)
  • Trails: 111
  • Lifts: 16
  • Off-Piste: Lots of outstanding backcountry (when the snow is good). 
  • Snow Parks: 1 huge one
  • Lift Ticket Price:

    There are many options for lift tickets, from beginners to family tickets. They’re also deals to be had, so it’s best to check the website for prices at the time of your visit.

  • How To Get To Sugarbush Resort:

    Sugarbush resort is off exit 20 off I-87. It is about 47 miles away by car from Burlington, which is the closest International Airport. It’s also approximately a 3-hr drive from Boston and a 5-hr drive from New York City. Take Interstate 89 and follow Route 100B or Route 100 to reach the resort. 

5. Sugar Loaf

Sugarloaf Resort
8.8/10 Our Score


  • An impressive vertical drop (for the East Coast)
  • Super easy to navigate
  • Some pretty epic backcountry terrain
  • Has cat-skiing! 
  • Authentic resort vibes
  • Some epic freestyle options 
  • Loads of ski-in, ski-out options


  • Unpredictable weather and opening dates
  • Wind and cold snaps can close the lifts
  • The most remote location on the list

Last on the list of best places to snowboard on the East Coast… Sugarloaf. 

Sugarloaf Ski Resort is in Carrabassett Valley, Maine. It’s a premier winter destination known for its incredible skiing and snowboarding terrain. 

With a massive vertical drop of 2,820 feet, the mountain provides slopes for all skill levels. There are gentle runs for beginners and some pretty challenging expert terrain.

The resort also features well-groomed trails, state-of-the-art lifts, and breathtaking mountain views. Off the slopes, you’ll find a vibrant mountain village with cozy lodges, restaurants, and shops. 

However, there are a things you need to know.

Like any ski resort, weather conditions can impact lift operations and access to certain areas of the mountain. Unfortunately this happens slightly more often at Sugarloaf, mostly due to high winds. 

This makes Sugarloaf’s season a little unpredictable, with opening and closing dates varying based on the weather. 

Fun Fact:

Sugarloaf is home to the legendary annual “Sugarloaf Reggae Festival.” If you’re there in early April, you can enjoy live reggae music with a pretty unique and lively atmosphere. Impressively, 2024 marks the 36th Reggae Fest!

The Highlights:

  • Elevation: 4,237 feet (1291 m)
  • Trails: 162
  • Lifts: 12
  • Off-Piste: head to the Brackett Basin and Burnt Mountain side-country zones. You’ll find over 600 acres of accessible backcountry terrain. (You can also hire snowcats to take you even further afield). 
  • Snow Parks: 4, including an experts-only park, and a Superpipe!
  • Lift Ticket Price:

    Day tickets range from $69-$129 depending on time of year, age and promo codes. 

  • How To Get To Sugarloaf Resort:

    Sugarloaf is a 2.5hr drive from Portland and 4hrs from Boston (with no traffic). The resort is also 3-4 hrs from Montreal and Québec City. If you’re coming from NYC, expect at least an 8-hr drive.

A Note About Snowboarding On The East Coast

If these are the best places to snowboard on the East Coast, is snowboarding on the East Coast even worth it?

The quick answer is yes, absolutely!

Whilst the East Coast has a bad rep (mostly due to it’s tendency to provide more ice than snow) this could actually work in your favor.

On the right day, you can enjoy beautiful snow conditions, with way smaller crowds than places like California or Colorado!

The East Coast also has a vibrant snowboarding community. You’ll meet some super dedicated riders, all making the most of the available terrain and conditions. I’m one of them!

Best Snowboards For The East Coast

The East Coast hasn’t been dubbed “The Ice Coast” for nothing. 

After a week of heavy wind, some of the East Coast resorts would make better ice-rinks than ski slopes.

Alright, I’m exaggerating a little!

But you certainly need the right tools for the job. 

Personally, I’d be looking at bringing a board with magne-traction or grip tech. These have the right features to cling onto that East Coast ice. 

I discovered this the hard way, having tested a huge number of suboptimal boards. Ultimately, the best snowboards for the East Coast are:

  1. The Gnu Rider’s Choice
  2. The Lib Tech Terrain Wrecker
  3. The Burton Custom X
  4. The Rossignol One LF
  5. The Capita Mercury

These are all on the “all-mountain spectrum”” and will suit most riders. Read more about them in my article about the best snowboards for ice


What these resorts lack in size, they make up for with atmosphere, modern lift systems and world-class snow parks.

The East Coast may not promise the fluffy dry powder of Colorado and California, but you can still have an incredible time slashing up their slopes.

Plus if you take the plunge and visit the Ice Coast, drop me a line. There’s almost always something fun happening, and I love meeting you guys on the slopes!

Happy riding.

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