Ski Resorts in New York
New York features over 40 ski areas, which is actually more than any other state. At least 10 of those are considered major destination resorts, and many are within a 3-hour drive of New York City. There are two main mountain ranges where you’ll find most of them: the Catskills (southeast New York) and the Adirondacks (upstate New York).
- Relatively small ski areas; largest ski resort has just 439 ac
- Heavy traffic from Manhattan through to north New Jersey
- Only a few resorts have a variety of lodging options
- Fly into Albany International Airport or JFK International Airport. Albany International Airport is much closer and more central to most major ski destinations than JFK. For Peek'n Peak flying into Erie International Airport will be closer than JFK. The same goes for Syracuse Hancock International Airport for Greek Peak.
- Best way to resorts from Albany International Airport or JFK International airport is by driving. Alternatively, take a bus or even bus and train combo from New York City for select resorts. All-inclusive day trips are also available. These deals include transportation by bus to and from the resort, and discounted lift tickets and lessons.
- From Albany, the journey to the major ski resorts can take anywhere between 1 to 2.5 hours. These include Hunter Mountain, Gore Mountain, Belleayre, Whiteface Mountain and Windham Mountain.
- From New York City, major ski resorts can be as far as 5 hours drive (as is the case for Whiteface Mountain). The closest major resorts are Hunter Mountain, Belleayre, and Windham Mountain, roughly a 2 to 2.5 hour drive.
- For ski resorts further away, the drive will take a minimum of 4 hours to Greek Peak from New York City and over 7 hours to Peek'n Peak. Alternatively, it’s less than hour from Erie International to Peek'n Peak and an hour from Syracuse Hancock to Greek Peak.
With over 40 ski resorts here, it’s no easy task picking out the top. Luckily we’ve teamed up with the locals to bring you the best ski resorts in New York. They might not have the fancy full resort experience you’d expect at the large resorts in the West but they definitely deserve a visit if you’re in New York.
Sitting in the Adirondacks and approximately 4 hours drive from New York City, Gore Mountain is the largest ski resort in New York. With 121 runs spread across 4 peaks, half of the trails here rated for intermediate skiers and snowboarders but it’s the steeps and glades here that put Gore Mountain on the map. The ski resort serves up sensational views of the Adirondacks and while it lacks in the nightlife department, its relaxed atmosphere makes for a great family-friendly getaway.
Often vying for the top spot in New York, Hunter Mountain offers great snowmaking, a variety of trails split equally and 4 peaks of fantastic terrain. Unlike Gore Mountain, it has a party town reputation. This means, getting fresh tracks is easy if you’re willing to wake up early as most party goers will most likely be sleeping in.
Located slightly further than Hunter Mountain, Windham Mountain prides itself on its guest services as well as family-friendly activities and atmosphere. You won’t find the same party vibes as Hunter and the terrain is best suited towards advanced and intermediates.
Belleayre and Whiteface Mountain along with Gore Mountain, Hunter Mountain, and Windham Mountain are some of the big-name ski resorts in New York. While they’re not as widely known as say household names such as Vail or Breckenridge, these resorts offer some great skiing, so much so, one has an Olympic Heritage.
Another premier ski resort in the Catskill Mountains, Belleayre offers intermediate and advanced terrain on its upper mountain and beginner terrain on the lower half. It’s family-friendly atmosphere and low-key nightlife means those looking to party it up will have to look elsewhere (and by elsewhere we mean Hunter Mountain).
Having hosted downhill ski racing events in two Winter Olympic Games and home to the largest vertical drop in the East says something about Whiteface Mountain. Nicknamed Iceface, the resort is known for its unbeatable steeps and hard pack snow, although, intermediates can also enjoy some blues from the summit. It’s one of the furthest major resorts from New York City; a 5 hour drive!
- Holiday Valley
- Bristol Mountain
- Catamount Ski Area
While these resorts are often overlooked by some of the other top resorts here, each offer something unique and make for a worthwhile visit. Holiday Valley is known for its night skiing, Bristol is very much an authentic local’s mountain and last but not least, Catamount is the most beginner-friendly resort with a massive 40% of trails rated for beginners.
|Best for Beginners||Catamount|
|Best for Intermediates||Windham Mountain, Gore Mountain|
|Best for Advanced and Experts||Whiteface Mountain|
|Best for All-rounder||Hunter Mountain|
|Highest Summit Elevation||Whiteface Mountain|
|Highest number of runs||Gore Mountain|
|Largest ski area||Gore Mountain|
|Highest number of lists||Gore Mountain|