The East coast is not known for its powder snow. Major ski resorts like Sunday River, Maine averages just 155″ of snow per season. Often when snow does fall from the sky it is followed up by the r word. However, there are times when the stars align and you can find powder snow east of the Mississippi River. Here are our picks for the Top 5 places to find powder in the East.
10. Killington, Vermont
Average Snowfall: 250″
Killington, VT is a great option for skiers and riders from New York or Boston who want to hit up the latest Nor’easter but don’t want to spend a ton of time in their cars. From New York City Killington is just 4.5 hours way and less than 3 from Boston. Fortunately, Killington is the largest ski area in the Eastern United States, which means it can absorb a lot of skiers and snowboarders on a powder day.
9. Mount-Sainte Anne
Average Snowfall: 187″
Mont-Sainte-Anne is a wonderful ski resort in the town of St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Quebec, Canada. The ski area is located about 40 km (25 mi) northeast of Quebec City, so you can enjoy some culture with your powder. If the weather turns and you do not get the goods you can still enjoy Mount-Sainte Anne’s incredible views.
8. Whiteface, New York
Average Snowfall: 230″
Whiteface Ski Resort is located on the very impressive Whiteface Mountain, the fifth-highest mountain in New York. Like many of the High Peaks in the Adirondack Mountains, Whiteface has a number of granite slabs that run down the mountain known as “slides”. When the ski resort has enough snow to open the slides it is some of the best skiing in the east.
7. Mount Bohemia, Michigan
Average Snowfall: 273″
Located on the northern end of the Keweenaw peninsula, Mount Bohemia posts an average snowfall of 273″. Last season Bohemia had a monster winter posting a whooping 351″ of snowfall. Thats a lot of lake effect snow!
6. Bolton Valley, Vermont
Average Snowfall: 262 inches
Bolton Valley has the highest base elevation of any Vermont ski resort, which means they get more snow, more often. Bolton’s lifts are also on the leeward side of the mountain, which means storm riding is quite accessible. The best time to score untracked lines is at night (Bolton offers night skiing on Wednesday – Saturday) when storms are raging to 11.
5. Smugglers Notch, Vermont
Average Snowfall: 301″
Smugglers’ Notch is a sleeper compared to the bigger named resorts in VT. This is despite boasting three mountains, 78 trails and the highest vertical drop in northern Vermont. Smugg’s low profile existence means less skiers on the hill and more powder turns for you and your buddies.
4. Stowe, VT
Average Snowfall: 333″
Stowe is located on 4,393 foot Mt. Mansfield, the highest peak in the state of Vermont. It’s lofty peak can trap more clouds and thus produce more snow than it’s neighboring peaks. The best places to find the powder are closely kept secrets, but you might want to check out some of the terrain to skiers left of the gondola.
3. Plattekill, New York
Average Snowfall: 175″
Plattekill Mountain knows all about “keeping it real.” The ski area is generally open Fri-Sun, but the resort opens midweek whenever 12″ or more of snow falls on the hill. This helps to preserve the natural snow trails that would be skied off otherwise. Some of the best powder stashes are unofficial routes marked with hand painted signs nailed up by regulars — you can literally ski for days and not take the same route. The resort offers no liftlines to speak of. Hunter gets the crowds, Plattekill gets the dedicated skiers.
Image from Jeb Wallace Brodeur via Mad River Glen’s Facebook Page
2. Mad River Glen, Vermont
Average Snowfall: 250″
At just 250″ of snow per season you might wonder why MRG is number 2 on the list. Well, here is our reasoning…. Mad River Glen‘s famous single chair limits the number of tracks put down on any given powder day. This allows stashes to fill back in and others to remain uncut for days.
1. Jay Peak, Vermont
Average Snowfall: 354″
Thanks to the “Jay cloud” Jay Peak Vermont gets the most snow in the East. It is not uncommon for Jay to pick up 2 feet of snow from a storm when other Vermont ski resorts to the south pick up a measly 2 inches. Jay is hands down the powder capital of the East. In 2007-8, the resort reported 419 inches (1,064 cm) of snowfall, and during the 2000-2001 season the mountain was buried under a staggering 571 inches.