Head To This Popular New England Destination For Incredible Winter Ski Adventures

It's the most wonderful time of year, especially for skiers and snowboarders who can't get enough of the snow. Many resorts have just opened up their doors for the season, including Sugarbush Resort, one of New England's largest ski areas. Sitting an hour southeast of Burlington, Vermont in the Mad River Valley, this popular resort sees 250 inches of annual snowfall, giving visitors an extra-long ski season lasting from mid-November until early May.

Sugarbush spans two mountains, Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen, with 2,400 and 2,600 feet of vertical drop and 4,000 skiable acres. There are four terrain parks, 111 trails, 16 lifts, and 28 wooded areas, according to the park website. Beyond the resort's boundaries, there are also 2,000 acres of backcountry skiing in the Slide Brook Basin — for experts only, of course. But even if it's your first time, you'll fit right in on the mountain, as trained pros can provide lessons to skiers and snowboarders at any level.

Lessons, activities, and lodging at Sugarbush in Vermont

To get started on your winter getaway, group lessons for adults at Sugarbush Resort in Vermont cost $99 for two hours of instruction, helping you hone your confidence and finesse your techniques. Group lessons for kids — known as "Mini and Micro Bears" — cost $12 for a half-day of instruction, a far better deal than you'll see at other resorts. Once you feel confident with your skills, test your speed at the NASTAR Timed Racing course for free.

Beyond skiing, there are other winter activities to enjoy on the mountain. For example, you can rent snowshoes for $35 daily and explore the marked trails on both mountains. Keep your eyes peeled for moose and white-tailed deer. For even more adventure, take a scenic Apres Groomer ride for $75 per person, which takes you up the mountain in an enclosed truck called a "Husky Cat."

To stay near the slopes, there are three lodging options available. Sugarbush recently spent one million dollars to renovate The Lodge and Lincoln Peak ($177 to $296), which features spacious, modern one-bedroom suites. For a little more room, the Resort Condos ($319 to $533) have full kitchens, living rooms, dining room, sleeper sofas, and shuttle access to the slopes. For quick and easy access to the mountain, go for the Clay Brook Hotel and Residences ($463 to $1,100). Visitors will have their pick of one- to five-bedroom suites, complete with jacuzzi tubs, so you can warm up after a long day on the slopes.

Sugarbush Resort lift tickets and season passes

Sugarbush Resort has a limited number of tickets available, so it's best to reserve them online in advance. This will also ensure you get the best price, per the website. The all-mountain lift ticket ranges from $119 to $149 and includes all-day access to both mountains, Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen. Starting December 22, Mt. Ellen-only tickets will be available Monday through Friday for $49 to $99, which includes 39 trails and seven lifts.

If you want to go skiing several times during the season, there are nine passes to choose from. For something budget-friendly, the Last Chair Pass allows you unlimited access to both mountains all season long after 1 p.m. for $399. If you're more of a morning person, consider the local pass for unlimited all-day access for $899 for adults, $519 for young adults, or $409 for children. To get out and stretch your legs at other destinations in the States and abroad, IKON passes range from $979 to $1309. Considering how long the ski season is at Sugarbush, these passes are a great deal.