WATERVILLE VALLEY RESORT Assuming you don't mind the two-hour drive from Boston, Waterville is a readily accessible mountain that provides exceptional bang for your buck. I should know: I skied here so often in high school, I should have owned stock in the mountain. Its 52 trails span 259 acres — all of which are covered by snow guns — and include terrain parks, a superpipe, and tree skiing. Admittedly, the lift lines can get a bit horrendous on the weekends, despite seven chairlifts, but that's what mid-week lift tickets are for. Also, the two double-black-diamond trails here are mogul runs, so you're either going to be totally stoked or your knees will hate you by lunchtime.
Waterville Valley, NH | waterville.com | 603.236.8311
JAY PEAK RESORT Less than seven miles from the Canadian border, Jay Peak offers more than 100 acres of off-piste terrain, the most in New England. An average annual snowfall of 379 inches makes a true backcountry riding experience possible, and it will only take one run bombing through the trees to understand why it's far superior to carving S's among the masses on any trail. Another defining feature: Jay Peak has Vermont's only aerial tramway. Absolutely worth the drive, and easy to roll into a road trip to Montreal.
Jay, VT | jaypeakresort.com | 802.988.2611
KILLINGTON MOUNTAIN Killington Mountain Resort & Ski Area, the largest winter-sports complex on the East Coast, boasts more than 87 miles of trails serviced by the region's highest-capacity lift system, so you'll spend more time on the slopes than in line for the gondola. With five ski and snowboard terrain parks — one of which is the largest snowboard park in the northeast — and double black diamonds including the steepest mogul run in New England, Killington is a proving ground, as the annual rotation of contests the mountain hosts attests. One of them, the Winter Dew Tour, stops by on January 20–23.
Killington, VT | killington.com | 802.422.3333
SUGARLOAF With the first double-black-diamond trails in New England, Sugarloaf had an early lead carving a niche out for itself with the core winter-sports set. It's a fun, challenging mountain with 54 miles of trails, three terrain parks, a superpipe, and separate snowboard-cross and skiercross courses designed by two-time Olympic snowboard-cross gold medalist Seth Wescott. Maine's second-highest peak sees an average of 200 inches of snow each year and celebrates its 60th anniversary on January 8.
Carrabassett Valley, ME | sugarloaf.com | 800.THE.LOAF
SUNDAY RIVER Sunday River offers skiers and snowboarders eight interconnected peaks featuring a hearty selection of double black diamonds and open bowls among its 132 trails and terrain parks, so you never have to ride the same run twice. The mountain has done a good job of clustering trails together by skill level, so you shouldn't run across (or over) beginners while stomping through White Heat's moguls or tackling Locke Mountain runs. Additionally, a superpipe and four terrain parks provide ample opportunity for trick riders to jib, bonk, and air to their hearts' content.
Newry, ME | sundayriver.com | 800.543.2754