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Stowe

From the rustic New England village to the challenging trails on Mt. Mansfield, historic Stowe is a long-standing member of the East Coast big league. If a combination of varied, quality skiing and charming old stagecoach town appeals, the “Ski Capital of the East” should be on your radar.

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

At a glance: • Traditional town • Renowned expert trails • Top-to-bottom groomers

Great for: • Intermediates • Non-skiers

From the rustic New England village to the challenging trails on Mt. Mansfield, historic Stowe is a long-standing member of the East Coast big league. If a combination of varied, quality skiing and charming old stagecoach town appeals, the “Ski Capital of the East” should be on your radar.

Stowe Resort

Stowe doesn't just feel old: it really is, and so is its skiing, first starting in the 1930s. An oldie but a goodie, approximately 333 inches of the white stuff falls on its towering slopes each season, with reinforcements in the form of solid snow cannon coverage. Stowe may be historic but it clearly isn’t stuck in the past, and visitors often comment on its super speedy lift infrastructure.

With a total 63km, the slopes cover not one but two mountains - Mount Mansfield (at 3719ft, Vermont’s highest peak) and Spruce Peak, whose base areas are connected by a 10-person intermountain transfer gondola. There are some of the East Coast’s best double black diamonds here, and for intermediates preferring not to break a sweat, just the right kind of top-to-bottom groomers.

As is the case in many of America’s first ski resorts, the skiing today has moved quite a way from the original village. Stowe town sits prettily 9.6km down Mountain Road. But a shuttle bus gets you there in no time (last time we checked this had a GPS tracker and smartphone app – so you’ll never have to run for it). Even if your hotel isn’t based in the town, it’s worth a trip for the variety of the eats, the prettiness of the place and old-world delights like the Shaw General Store. This is one of almost 100 different shops, with not a single chain-store among them.

The charming, old-fashioned architecture continues up on the mountain, and the relatively new Spruce Peak Plaza also looks the part. But the amenities here are all modern, with a state-of-the-art children’s Adventure Center and nearby the latest in luxury, the Stowe Mountain Lodge. (Images: Spruce Peak Realty, LLC)

Stats & FAQ

Location: Vermont, USA

Established: 1934

Open: November - April

Downhill: 485 acres / 116 runs

View our detailed Stowe snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Stowe snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Burlington International Airport (BTV)40 miles, 1 hour
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 16%

  • 59%

  • 25%

Top Altitude:1134m / 3719ft
Bottom Altitude:475m / 1559ft
Resort Altitude:512m / 1680ft
Longest run:7km / 4.3 miles
Slope Orientation:
Vertical Drop:
Skiable Vertical:719m / 2360ft
Night Skiing:Yes
Glacier:No

Snow Report

  • Top
  • 5cm
  • Base
  • 30cm
  • Forecast
  • 91cm

Web Cam

Stowe web cams
Downhill Runs:485 acres / 116 runs
Beginner slopes:16%
Intermediate:59%
Advanced slopes:25%
Lift Pass Price: $92-124 (adult pass per day)
Nearby resorts: Loon

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Stowe

Some of New England’s most renowned double black diamond trails can be found in Stowe, making this resort big in advanced skiing circles. Its high-speed quads open at the uniquely early time of 7:30am, and the first seats are usually filled with super skiers on the hunt for fresh lines.

While it’s true that only 17% of its slopes are graded for beginners, Stowe has opted for quality over quantity. Start your ski journey at lower Spruce Peak, where the ski school (with 80 years of successful coaching to its name) and bunny slopes - Meadows and Easy Street - are a gentle induction to the sport. When you’re up and away, fuel your new addiction by hopping over to Mansfield to test your new skills on the longest run on either mountain, the 3.7-mile Toll Road.

Intermediates will have a whale of a time on and around Mt Mansfield, where pretty much all the chairlifts from the Base Lodge area lead to a collection of blue runs, ideal for those looking to explore. Sustained groomers like Perry Merrill are in the majority here.

Among Stowe’s famed double black diamond trails, experts in search of challenging, bumped-out steeps should head up Fourrunner Quad, while Starr is the one for steeps. Goat is arguably the trickiest of the lot, with 1241 feet of streams, ledges, rocks and a few moguls just to keep things interesting. Once you’ve exhausted the pisted possibilities – the backcountry awaits. Go it alone in the gladed area just off the top of the Gondola, or book a ski guide to take you further into the Ranch valley.

Cross-country is another big local pastime, and Stowe offers a combined 90 miles of groomed trails (through four interconnecting areas) that wind their way through the ridiculously pretty town.

A more recent addition to the Stowe scene, boarding is picking up in these parts. Burton has a school here and there are currently 6 terrain parks, Tyro and Midway with rail slides and barrels, and a Superpipe on North Slope.

Stowe Apres Ski

When the time comes to clip off your skis, there’s plenty of après between the town and the resort to go around. If the National Trust went in for dive bars, the Den at the Mt Mansfield base area would definitely be on its list. For more than fifty years, this place has been lapping up skiers as they come down from the mountain, thanks to the solid combination of good local craft beers and reasonable prices, often rolling out live bands at the weekend. Another unique asset, the Octagon Web Café high up on Mount Mansfield is possibly the only high-altitude-internet-café in the world.

Down in town, the options get more varied. For a livelier scene, locals love the low-ceilinged Matterhorn, while the Rusty Nail is always good for dancing and live music.

Restaurants are another matter, with about 60 to choose from spread out along Mountain Road and the town. Bringing a slice of LA adventurism to the Green mountains, Plate caters to a vegetarian and vegan crowd, with a menu chocked with no doubt delicious ingredients you’ve never heard of (their “Vegan “crab cakes” are a must try). If just for the novelty factor, be sure to check out the Trapp Family Lodge, set up by the family made famous in “The Sound of Music” when they fled Austria for the US. A European "Gasthaus" style hotel (one of a handful in the land) an on-site lager brewery and wine-cellar are sure to have something that will go down smoothly.

For post-piste activities to burn off the calories, you’re spoilt for choice. Skating at the Jackson Ice Arena, snowmobile tours, dogsledding, horse-drawn sleigh rides and snowshoeing are all options, while kids will be easily pleased in the state-of-the-art Adventure Center, complete with indoor climbing wall. While they’re distracted, take the opportunity to check out the Stowe Mountain Lodge’s 21,000 sq ft spa.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Stowe

When is the best time to ski Stowe?

Stowe Mountain Resort receives an impressive average of 300 inches of snowfall each winter, backed up by a whopping 90% coverage from its world-class snow cannons. Mt. Mansfield, we might add, at 3719ft is the highest peak in Vermont, meaning the snowpack here tends to be respectable for most of the season.

To play it super safe, head out in March when snow tends to fall heaviest (averaging 65” on a good year), the skies are blue and temperatures pick up out of the minuses.

Peak Dates

As if traditional town and snowsure slopes for Christmas in Stowe weren’t enough, quirky events like ice skating with Santa are sure to give your trip a festive feel.

An early torchlit parade and fireworks tend to ring in the New Year in Stowe, followed by a choice between a family Gala in resort and libations down in one of the town’s many bars.

There’s so much going on here that hopping across the pond to spend Half Term in Stowe is well worth the trip. We love the state-of-the-art Adventure Center and this is a great time to try out cross-country on 90km of glorious groomers.

An Easter Egg hunt at the Spruce Peak Plaza has been known to kick off Easter in Stowe, while there’s plenty going on down in the year-round town.

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Families in Stowe

With a ski and ride school, year-round Cub Day Care facilities, and a swish children’s Adventure Center, Stowe has everything ski families could want (and a little bit more). The Spruce Peak Village Center’s where the ski school is located, offering young skiers from age 3 and riders from 6, a breezy introduction to the sport on the wide, gentle slopes above. Its classes are staggered for impressively specific age groups and its full-day adventure programmes are very effective.

Trailblazing little skiers can enjoy further quality coaching in bumps, glades, steeps, and freestyle terrain with the school’s Holiday Adventure Camps.

With all the activities available here, there’s plenty to fill the holiday. Horse-drawn sleigh rides and pizza at Pie-casso always work wonders (especially followed by a movie at the local cinema). For a special treat, take a guided tour of the nearby Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory and sample the flavor of the day, or treat your teen to a relaxing rub down at the Chillax KidSpa in the Stowe Mountain Lodge.

GroupsGroup Holidays Stowe

Snowsure, picture perfect Stowe is certainly a people pleaser, and sure to keep even the largest groups of friends and family happy. Last time we were here, there were savings on lift tickets, rentals and lessons for groups and there’s enough choice of bars and restaurants to satisfy the toughest customers.

In the past, the resort has even staged special races for groups, with bibs, timekeeper and video recording equipment, so you can determine once and for all who among you is the speediest schusser.

More Stowe Holiday Resources


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