Sugarloaf Ski Resort in Maine is One of New Englands Top Winter Destinations
Sugarloaf located in Carrabassett Valley, Maine is one of New England's premier skiing and snowboarding resorts.
Sugarloaf Mountain & Ski Resort
We began our weekend ski vacation with check in for our condo in the SugarTree II building. The accommodations were comfortable, clean, and reasonably priced. Our condo rental included 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths, a fully equipped kitchen, a gas fireplace, covered parking, access to a lockable ski locker and an exterior deck with a view of the mountain. With four adults in our group there was plenty of room to spread our gear around. With 4 double beds, it would have been a little cramped if there were 8 of us. Our vacation package also included 2 day lift tickets and a Perfect Turn Ski Lesson. With our condo located on the second floor we had to follow the hallway to the stairs down to the first floor exit and then put our skis on. From there we were able to ski directly to the chair lift.
Sugarloaf skiing and snowboarding resort
Sugarloaf Trail Map
Lift lines? Nah!
Once on the mountain, the skiing was excellent. Ten inches of fresh powder was exactly what we were hoping for. The lift lines were short on Friday so there was little or no wait before we were en-route to another run. Saturday's lines were a little longer but the staff managed them well so the wait was under ten minutes every time. The approach at a couple of the chair lifts was a little awkward as it made a 90 degree turn just before you loaded. This made it challenging to get lined up properly before the chair hit you in the back of the leg.
Ski boot accessories
Trails for Every Skill Level
Sugarloaf is a great mountain resort if you like black diamond trails. The top of the mountain is almost all single and double black diamonds. On the single black diamonds like most high quality resorts, half the trail is groomed and the other half is moguls. With so much fresh snow this weekend the moguls were large yet relatively soft. If you did miss a turn and slide into one it didn't send you into an acrobatic freestyle of back flips down the slope. You could maintain your composure and gracefully pull your head out of the snow bank. The double blacks were steep, not groomed, and long enough to get your adrenaline flowing.
For the expert skier, they just opened this year approximately 270 acres of glades in Brackett Basin. This creates nearly 2300 vertical feet of sidecountry terrain, making Sugarloaf the largest ski area east of the Rockies. The terrain varies from tight, eastern tree skiing to wide open western style glades. For the adventuress wilderness skier Brackett Basin offers some true backcountry experience.
If you prefer a frozen face mask over rubber legs you can gain some nice speed on the long, well groomed blue trails that have plenty of room to maneuver around slower traffic. For the novice, or a relaxing last run of the day there are miles of green trails to gently glide you back to the chair lifts, the base lodge or your warm cozy condo.
Whether you are an expert or novice skier, Sugarloaf has more than enough trails in all categories to satisfy a weekend excursion with your ski buddies or a vacation for the family.
Once you've had your fill of the wind rushing by your face there is plenty to do after the lifts close. The Sugarloaf Sports & Fitness Center is a great place for a relaxing massage, reflexology treatment, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms. There is also a climbing wall, racquetball court, weight room, indoor pool and Shear Peak Salon.
If you are into the bar scene there is the Shipyard Brew Haus or the Widowmaker Lounge. Both are accessible slope side or by car, and serve food and cocktails. Or if you prefer you can go back to your lodging first to freshen up and then use the free Explorer Shuttle to transport you to a number of different dining locations throughout the village. Either way there is enough selection to satisfy most any cuisine preference.
See You on the Flip Side
All in all, as ski vacations go in the Northeast, Sugarloaf rates high on my list of places I will return and visit again. With an aggressive expansion and improvement plan laid out over the next ten years, Sugarloaf will be an excellent choice for many years to come.
2010/2011 Season Stats
15 total lifts
21,805 skiers per hour
54 miles of trails
146 trails and glades
3 ½ miles longest trail
921 skiable acres
4,237 feet (Maine's highest skiable peak)
2,820 feet vertical drop
1,417 feet base elevation
200 inches average snowfall
681 acres snow making coverage