Insider’s Guide To Sugarbush
First tracks smiles at Sugarbush. (Sugarbush)
Sugarbush’s two base areas, Lincoln Peak and Mount Ellen, offer two Vermont experiences, with locals hitting Mount Ellen for an unfussy and authentic ski day, and families and vacationers using Lincoln Peak for the amenities.
The Slidebrook Express, a two-mile high speed quad, joins the two mountains and is one of the most scenic lift rides around.
Trails. Experts head to Castlerock for bumps and cliff drops, or grab a guide to explore the 2000-acre Slide Brook Basin. Intermediates find classic New England cruisers off the new Valley House Quad.
Eat. You just might find Gerry Nooney, Vice President of Culinary Operations, pouring a Sip of Sunshine from behind the bar at Walt’s at The Glen House, a small mid-mountain bar where you’ll find all the locals enjoying a cold one and perhaps a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. Don’t miss the deck on a warm spring day.
Stay. Slopeside digs at Clay Brook are first class, with outdoor heated pool and hot tubs, and access to the health and recreation center.
Play. Take the Lincoln Limo Cabin Cat for fresh tracks with cat-accessed skiing before the lifts open. If you can’t make it out of bed early, sunset groomer rides include fresh cookies. Beyond the resort, the Mad River Valley is quintessential Vermont, home to quaint villages, covered bridges, art studios and farm-to-table restaurants.
Travel. Exit 9 (northbound) or 10 (southbound) from route 89 are your best bets; don’t rely on Google Maps in wintry weather, which may take you over snowy back roads.
Deals. Head to the slopes of Mt. Ellen on any non-holiday Thursday for $30 lift tickets. After, enjoy live après music featuring local bands and food specials at the Green Mountain Lounge.