The 6 best ski areas in Maine

Maine is an excellent destination for skiing enthusiasts, offering a plethora of reasons that make it a top choice for those seeking a memorable winter adventure. One of the primary advantages of skiing in Maine is the generous snowfall that the state receives each year, averaging about 150 inches annually. This ample snowfall provides abundant powder for skiing, resulting in excellent skiing conditions throughout the season. The state also benefits from lake-effect snow, which contributes to substantial snow accumulation in certain areas, further enhancing the skiing experience. Here are our top 6 picks when skiing in Maine.


  • Terrain: Well-balanced mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced terrain. Notable glade skiing and expert-rated terrain like the infamous “Tumbledown.”
  • Vibe: Laid-back and community-oriented, attracting powder-hungry enthusiasts and budget-conscious travelers.
  • Lift Lines: Generally short, especially during midweek visits.
  • Snow Quality: Typically receives more snowfall than Sugarloaf, with consistent powder throughout the season.
  • Cons: Limited amenities compared to larger resorts, fewer lodging options nearby.


  • Terrain: Extensive and diverse, boasting the most expansive terrain in Maine. Renowned for challenging groomers like “Kanc.” Extensive expert terrain in the “Bowl” area.
  • Vibe: Energetic and vibrant, catering to families and diverse groups.
  • Lift Lines: Can be long on weekends and peak periods, especially for popular lifts like the SuperQuad.
  • Snow Quality: Consistent snow conditions due to modern snowmaking, but sometimes falls short of Saddleback’s natural snowfall.
  • Cons: Inflated vertical drop due to runout sections. Brackett Basin, adding significantly to the reported acreage, is often closed early in the season and late spring.

Sunday River:

  • Terrain: Varied terrain encompassing beginner-friendly areas, expansive cruisers, and challenging tree runs. Popular for freestyle terrain parks.
  • Vibe: Can be corporate and crowded, especially on weekends.
  • Lift Lines: Notorious for long lines, particularly at Spruce Peak base area.
  • Snow Quality: Reliable early-season conditions due to snowmaking, but natural snowfall can be less consistent compared to Saddleback.
  • Cons: Unfriendly atmosphere reported by some visitors.

Big Rock:

  • Terrain: Diverse mix of classic New England trails, offering steep pitches, glades, and family-friendly options.
  • Vibe: Relaxed and uncrowded, attracting experienced skiers seeking authentic Maine skiing experience.
  • Lift Lines: Minimal wait times due to lower skier volume.
  • Snow Quality: Consistent snowfall comparable to Saddleback.
  • Cons: Remote location, limited amenities and lodging options.

Pleasant Mountain:

  • Terrain: Compact layout with diverse terrain for all levels, including challenging glades and bumps.
  • Vibe: Can be crowded and chaotic, especially on weekends. Recent incidents of theft reported.
  • Lift Lines: Moderate wait times compared to larger resorts.
  • Snow Quality: Variable snow conditions, heavily reliant on snowmaking.
  • Cons: Relatively high ticket prices compared to other Maine resorts.

Mt. Abram:

  • Terrain: Similar to Pleasant Mountain with more challenging expert terrain, including double-black diamond trails. Offers boundary-to-boundary skiing (unconfirmed).
  • Vibe: Relaxed and friendly, considered a more appealing alternative to Pleasant Mountain.
  • Lift Lines: Generally short due to lower skier volume.
  • Snow Quality: Consistent snowfall comparable to Saddleback.
  • Cons: Not visited recently, information may be outdated.