The Best Maine Ski Resorts

By Published On: November 9th, 20210 Comments

Maine is one of the first states to come to mind when you think of New England skiing – and for good reason. With two peaks standing over 4,000 feet and two more over 3,000, Maine ski resorts can sometimes feel like Rocky Mountain skiing, but with lower ticket prices, significantly less crowds, and a quintessential East Coast feel. 

While these slopes might not have quite as breathtaking views as the West, anyone who appreciates the scenic elements of skiing will leave Maine amazed by its unique natural beauty and austerity.

While some of these names may be familiar to you, we hope to introduce you to new ski resorts – no matter your style of skiing. Whether you’re a family looking to learn to ski, a group with a wide range of ski levels, a park rat, or a backcountry bandit – you can find what you’re looking for at these Maine ski resorts!

But first…ski gear! 

Maine is a cold state, so make sure everyone in the family stays warm. Dressing right can make all the difference between the time of your lives and an uncomfortable, rushed experience, so be prepared. Check out our selection of jackets for men, women, and kids and find a toasty insulated ski or snowboard jacket for everyone!

Top 6 Maine Ski Resorts

1. Sugarloaf 

Acreage:   1,240 acres

Highest elevation point: 4,237 ft

Number of runs: 162

Best for: Ikon Pass holders, longer trips, groups, big mountain skiing

Topping our list of the best ski resorts in Maine is Sugarloaf, the second tallest mountain in all of Maine. It is the only ski resort with a peak elevation over 4,000 feet and only ski resort with lift service above tree line in the Eastern United States! Sugarloaf’s 2,820-foot vertical height means that skiers can enjoy long runs, stretching up to 3.5 miles long. With 200 inches of annual snowfall and snow machines covering over 600 acres, Sugarloaf can feel like a Rocky Mountain experience to skiers in New England.

On-mountain lodging is available, as well as condos, private homes, and budget friendly hotels! For those looking for experiences other than traditional skiing, Sugarloaf offers cat skiing, fat biking, and sno-go ski biking.

2. Sunday River Ski Resort

Acreage: 870 acres 

Highest elevation point: 3,150 ft

Number of runs:  135

Best for: Ikon Pass Holders, all-level skiers, groups, 

For those looking for a wide variety of trails, Sunday River Ski Resort should be one of the first places to consider. This Maine ski resort has eight connected mountains hosting over 130 trails at all levels. Skiers are brought up 2,340 vertical feet by Sunday River’s 18 ski lifts, including the cutting-edge “Jordan 8” which is the fastest 8-person ski lift on the continent (opening in the 2022-23 season). Trails are fairly evenly spread across skill levels with one-third of all trails marked for beginners, intermediates, and advanced skiers, each. This makes Sunday River one of the best ski resorts in Maine for groups of various skill levels, as everybody can find something in their skill set. Sunday River’s arsenal of snowmaking machines cover over 500 skiable acres and are operating around 95 days a year, so you can expect consistent snow.

Après-loving skiers should be sure to check out the “Foggy Goggle”, which features famous ski parties and live music every weekend during their bustling ski season.

3. Mt. Abram Ski Resort

Acreage: 450 acres

Highest elevation point: 2,247 ft

Number of runs: 44

Best for: families, groups, all-level skiers

Ranked the #1 family-friendly ski resort in Maine by Visitor’s Choice, Mt. Abram Ski Resort is our best recommendation for families planning a ski trip in Maine. Its 44 trails are fairly evenly dispersed across ski levels, making it accessible for groups of all skill levels. Mt Abram has a 1,150-foot vertical drop, although its longest run is only half a mile long. 

Regularly running shuttles bring skiers and snowboarders from the resort to the restaurant and bar where they can enjoy classic mountain dining and live music!

4. Saddleback Ski Area

Acreage: 440 acres 

Highest elevation point: 4,121 ft 

Number of runs: 68

Best for: Indy Pass Holders, all-level skiers

One of two ski resorts in Maine with a peak elevation over 4,000 feet, Saddleback Ski Area gives skiers a big mountain feel, despite its relatively small acreage. A 2,000-foot vertical drop speaks for itself but adding in over 225 inches of annual snowfall sets this ski resort apart from others in the Northeast. The mountain contains three distinct areas, each of varying difficulty, making it a great choice for skiers looking to stay in their lane (so to speak). Saddleback is owned by an impact fund which means its profits go back into community initiatives and environmental efforts, creating a palpable feeling of good intention on the mountain. 

Beyond skiing, Saddleback also offers snowshoeing, ice skating, snowmobiling, fat tire biking, and more. After a day on the slopes, guests can take in the breathtaking views at the Pub or enjoy other dining options at the nearby small town of Rangeley. We should also mention Saddleback’s awesome collaboration with New Belgium Brewery (based in Fort Collins, CO) – the Fat Tire Mountain Bar, located right in front of the ski lodge, offering coffee, breakfast, lunch, and more. 

5. Big Squaw

Acreage: 400 acres 

Highest elevation point: 2,920 ft 

Number of runs: 33

Best for: families, budget-friendly 

One of the best options ski resorts in Maine for budget skiers is Big Squaw – a non-profit ski resort in central Maine. Big Squaw was rated the #2 best ski resorts for beginner terrain in Maine and #5 small ski areas in the United States. With a peak elevation at 2,920 feet and a 600-foot vertical drop, this is a great option for families with children. With lift tickets only $30 for adults and even less for kids, this is one of the most affordable options for skiing in Maine.

6. Shawnee Peak

Acreage: 245 acres 

Highest elevation point: 1,900 ft

Number of runs: 40

Best for: night skiing, beginner to intermediate skiers, 

Two of our favorite things in a ski resort are a rich history and night skiing and Shawnee Peak has them both. Opened in 1938, Shawnee Peak is Maine’s longest running ski resort. Skiers can ski well after the sun goes down as Shawnee Peak has the most night skiing available in all New England. The mountain has nearly 250 acres of skiable terrain, 98% of which is covered with snow machines, so solid snow conditions can typically be expected. Shawnee Peak has a great spread of trails across difficulty levels, with 50% of runs marked intermediate, 25% beginner, and the remaining 25% expert. 

Did any of these Maine ski resorts sound perfect to you? If you’re headed to Maine this season, let us know! We love hearing from you. As always, you can share your memories and photos with us by tagging us on our Instagram

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