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Photograph: Courtesy Visit New Hampshire

The best ski resorts in New Hampshire

Hit the slopes and apres like a VIP at these gorgeous Granite State ski resorts

Written by Gerrish Lopez in association with Visit New Hampshire.

As one of the top destinations for skiing, New Hampshire has its fair share of breathtaking mountains and hair-raising slopes worth conquering. Whether you’re a pro or you can barely balance on skis, these top-rated ski resorts—many of which offer comfy accommodations and solid food and drink options—are sure to delight. And no matter how your day zooming down the slopes goes, you know you’ll be rewarded with plenty of aprés-ski options. Scores of Bostonians and New Yorkers come to New Hampshire’s White Mountains to enjoy its top ski resorts, several of which pull out the stops during the holidays, transforming into perfect winter wonderlands. So whether you’re looking for a dose of serene scenery or an exciting outdoor adventure—maybe snowboarding, tubing, or sledding—these are the ski resorts to seek out.

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Looking for an upscale ski experience? Bretton Woods is it. The largest ski resort in New Hampshire, it boasts 464 skiable acres with amazing views of Mt. Washington. There are ten lifts, four high-speed quads, and a speedy eight-person gondola. Activities at the base include a zipline, fat tire biking, cross country skiing, and a climbing wall. A special Ski & Stay package is available for the luxurious Omni Mt. Washington Resort.

While Mt. Sunapee’s peak is lower (2,743 feet) than nearby 4,000 foot peaks, there’s no shortage of snow. Highly rated for its grooming and snowmaking, Sunapee remains in great condition throughout the season. Skiers and snowboarders alike appreciate the variety of trails, with nearly half classified as intermediate. Nearby towns of New London and Newbury offer excellent lodging and dining options.

Loon Mountain is particularly family-friendly: it’s easy to get to and has everything to keep the family entertained. There are gentle ski areas for beginners (and a few challenging ones) along with ice skating, snow tubing, and a zipline. Nearby resort lodgings feature pools, spas, and plenty of restaurants and bars.

Compact yet high-quality, skiers will enjoy brilliant views of Lake Winnipesaukee while skiing. There’s also snow tubing, coasters, and always-popular night skiing available. You’ll find rustic, charming accommodations nearby as well as restaurants and shopping in the nearby town of Guilford.

No-frills, with an old-fashioned style, Wildcat is a favorite of serious skiers who like a challenge. The mountain also offers one of the best views of Mt. Washington and the entire Presidential range on a clear day. There are a few less challenging runs at the summit, so the amazing view is available to all. Head to nearby North Conway after for fun at the local bars.

The third highest ski resort in the state, Waterville Valley has a self-contained trail layout that makes exploring easy. The top isn’t exclusively black runs, so it’s a great choice for intermediate skiers. The village at the base of the mountain features ice skating, snow tubing, and dog sledding, plus a Town Square for shopping and dining.

This ski area in Franconia Notch State Park has a great beginner area as well as some of the most challenging trails in the state. Olympic champ Bode Miller honed his skills here and the first World Cup ski race in North America took place here. As a state-owned park, it's a favorite of local skiers as it’s quieter and all about the steep slopes rather than the flashy amenities.

The historic area of North Conway has been voted one of America’s top ski towns. Skiers have been hitting the slopes here since the 1930s. While smaller than other ski areas, Cranmore’s position shelters it from bad weather, allowing it to remain open when others close. Perfect for beginners and intermediates, it also has the best snow tubing park around.

This ski area is a family favorite given the compact size, friendly atmosphere, and reasonable prices. There are plenty of novice trails for the kids, but more advanced skiers will not be disappointed. Night skiing is a big draw here, as is snow tubing. The base lodge has plenty of space for dining, and—despite its small size—Pats Peak has the largest rental shop in Northern New England.

Friendly and low-key, with a great learn-to-ski program, Ragged Mountain is another top choice for families. Among the 57 trails across 250 skiable acres, there are trails for novices, intermediates, and experts. The six-person chairlift, the Summit 6-Pack, provides a speedy lift to the top. Slope-side lodging, as well as an inn with an indoor heated pool, are available.

Attitash is actually a large ski area (68 trails, 60 acres of glades) comprised of two mountains—Attitash and Bear. This sprawling area includes the state’s steepest trail, a highlight for expert skiers, but a variety of trails cater to all. Daily tickets are limited, so lift lines are always short. The slope-side Grand Summit Hotel offers easy access to the lifts plus hot tubs for a relaxing post-ski soak.

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