Maine’s top two ski resorts are Sunday River and Sugarloaf. In the past, these two mountains have battled it out for the right to call themselves the best. However, they are now both owned by Boyne USA and are ‘sister’ mountains. Skiers have their favorites and rightly so but I enjoy both mountains for different reasons.
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Maine’s Sunday River Ski Resort
Let’s Talk Stats
- 8 Interconnected mountain peaks
- 2340′ of total vertical terrain
- 135 trails & glades
- 870 trail acreage
- 53 miles of trails
- Almost 300 acres of developed tree skiing
- 18 lifts
With this amount of acreage on 8 mountain peaks, it’s no wonder Sunday River can handle the crowds. Sunday River also has 3 base lodges and 1 summit lodge which is great on cold days. I particularly love to go into the summit lodge to warm up with hot chocolate before heading down the mountain.
Sunday River’s lift system is laid out to make traversing between mountains easy. You can ski straight down or you can ski between the mountains and pick up another lift. The mountains also have great trail diversity. You can take any lift and get to either beginner or expert trails. This makes it super great for us. Most of the time Clint wants to ski the black diamonds and the girls and I prefer blues or greens. Plus there are glades or tree skiing everywhere. A huge bonus for Clint. The interconnecting lifts on the different mountains make it easy to ski everywhere.
Skiing Sunder River
Since we were only here one day we didn’t get to ski all the mountains. However, before kids, Clint and I used to spend at least one-day skiing here every other weekend over the winters. So he and I know the mountains pretty well. We decided to keep to Spruce Peak, Aurora Peak, and Jordan’s Bowl. This worked out really well for us. There is plenty of different terrains to ski from black and blues to glades and trees.
We really got lucky with the weather on the day we skied. It snowed the night before which gave us some fresh powdah! Clint was in heaven!! The girls and I were having a lot of fun as well.
Clint brought the girls and me on a tree run which wasn’t that difficult. Thankfully I survived. I was a bit nervous but in the end, I made it down in one piece. The girls, on the other hand, loved it. They are a bit cautious but they love going into the tree runs and maneuvering around the natural obstacles.
I love it when we’re skiing and one of the girls suggests a run or tells us where to ski. For us, this is when we know they are enjoying themselves. Both the girls are working on their form but love the ability to just ski down the open terrain and slide to a stop at the bottom.
I also really like that Sunday River has events going on all the time. There are events for the kids, families, couples, seniors, singles, foodies, you name it, they have it. Check out their events calendar and plan your trip now.
Summer Fun at Sunday River
Sunday River is also a year-round destination. The mountain has several activities to chose from to entertain yourself and the kids. There is an outdoor discovery school where kids can learn archery, kayaking, or paddleboarding. They also have a bungee trampoline, climbing wall, disc golf, hiking, canoeing and they run a lift to get a great scenic view atop the mountains.
For those who want to relax in the mountains Jordan’s Spa has everything you need. They offer many different types and styles of massages as well as body treatments, facials, and manicures, and pedicures.
The town of Bethel also offers a wide range of activities. You can enjoy mountain biking, golf, bowling, movies, fishing, white water rafting, and horseback riding. There is certainly something for everyone in your group.
Maine’s Sugarloaf Mountain
Let’s Talk Stats
- 1 mountain, 2 others not serviced by lifts
- 4,237′ of total vertical terrain
- 162 trails & glades
- 1,240 developed skiable acreage
- 13 lifts
Sugarloaf is a very unique mountain indeed. The main mountain has all the lifts and terrain for all abilities. With 9 lifts servicing the main mountain you can get to your terrain of choice. Sugarloaf also has a main base lodge has three casual eateries. Plus the Shipyard Brew Haus which features a ski-in/ski-out accessibility is near the Sawdust chairlift. Bullwinkle’s Bistro is off the Windrow trail for a quick pick-me-up on the mountain.
Sugarloaf has a complete base lodge and village area where you can find anything you need. They have a full rental shop, food truck alley, many other cafes and coffee shops, and lots of shopping. The village certainly has you covered.
Once you ski Sugarloaf, you get ‘it’. You become a ‘Sugarloafer’. Sugarloaf is a culture, in a good way. If you are an expert skier you will certainly love Sugarloaf. The very top of the main mountain has been reserved for experts. The resort has also developed the backside of the main mountain with trails for experts only. Sugarloaf can also offer experts a very unique experience on the two adjoining peaks and the valley in between. The only access to this expert terrain, they call sidecounty, is with a snowcat, snowshoeing, or skinning up.
Cat skiing is for experts only and requires an expert pass for $45. With that ticket, you get access to this extra terrain with two consecutive runs in the snowcat.
Another fun feature Sugarloaf offers is the Sno-Go skibiking. This is a new and unique experience. The bike has three short ski’s and you ride it standing up. It looks like a lot of fun.
For all the mountain events including the Widowmaker live entertainment check out Sugarloaf’s events calendar.
Beyond The Mountain
Sugarloaf also has an amazing Outdoor Center. Here you can go cross-country skiing, fat biking, ice skating, or snowshoeing. You can go out on your own or on a tour. This Outdoor Center has everything you need from equipment rentals, shops, and a cafe. The center is just down the road from the mountain and has its own trails in the pristine Maine countryside.
If you’re looking for an indoor exercise experience Sugarloaf has a full Sports & Fitness Center. The center has a full gym as well as racquetball, volleyball, and wallyball courts. You can also enjoy the heated indoor pool, saunas, hot tubs, steam rooms, spa treatments, and massages they offer. Plus there is a cafe on-site in case you get hungry.
For another unique experience try dogsledding. Dogsled Maine offers a 1-hour ride through the beautiful Carrabassett Valley.
Summer Fun at Sugarloaf
You will certainly enjoy summers at Sugarloaf with all they have to offer. Sugarloaf offers several guided tours such as Moose tours, fly fishing, canoe trips, and pontoon boat tours. You can also have fun hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking the local trails and rivers. For some fun on the mountain, you can zipline, play disc golf, ride the lift for some beautiful scenery or take a Segway tour.
There is also a full 18 hole golf course with some of the most scenic views of the Carrabassett River. The golf course also offers hourly clinics and week-long camps for those looking to improve their game. If you need clubs or any equipment the pro shop has you covered.
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And of course, you must keep those feet warm. Bombas socks are the absolute best socks. I love that this company gives back as well. For every pair of socks sold they donate a pair of socks to a homeless shelter. It’s a win, win with this company.
Pin For Later
How do you choose which resort to go to? Don’t! Go to bottom and experience all that Maine has to offer in the winter as well as the summer. You will be thrilled that you checked it all out. Don’t miss out on Acadia National Park in Maine either, here is my post on that wonderful location.
And when you are in Vermont you should check out Killington Ski Resort which you can read all about here.