The Best Places To Ski East Of The Rockies

If you're into skiing or snowboarding, you know the West is where it's at to find North America's longest runs, busiest ski towns and dizzying vertical heights. But getting to Jackson Hole, WY or Whistler, BC isn't always practical or affordable for winter athletes living east of the Rockies.

We've compiled, in no particular order, our favorite ski resorts in the Midwest, North Atlantic, mid-Atlantic, East Coast and Eastern Canada. From Minnesota to outside Montreal, and all the way down to West Virginia, these mountains offer quality vertical and varied runs -- not to mention great vacation amenities -- to satisfy every skier and boarder.

Stay warm!

Whiteface Mountain, Lake Placid Ski Resort, New York
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Lake Placid's Olympic ski site, nestled in the Adirondacks, is the Northeast's tallest mountain. Take a break from the 87 trails (a third reserved for experts) and breathtaking vistas to check out the Olympic ski-jumping complex and ice rink (home of the Miracle On Ice!). Even better -- sign up for a bobsled ride with a professional brakesman.
Jay Peak, Vermont
Jay Peak gets more snow than any other ski resort in eastern North America -- and this four-season destination also offers a championship golf course, ice arena and year-round indoor water park. Novices will dig Ullr’s Dream, a leisurely three-mile jaunt; more advanced skiers and boarders can discover Jay Peak’s tremendous glade and backcountry areas. Apres-ski, Alice’s Table offers specialties like osso buco and upscale BBQ. Read more at the HuffPost ski guide.
Smuggler's Notch, Vermont
Courtesy Smuggler's Notch
Home to New England's triple black diamond run, the three inter-connected mountains of Smuggler's Notch are sure to satisfy adrenaline junkies. Powder fiends know this Vermont ski resort has gets an annual average snow dumping of 322 inches. And reader survey after reader survey has named Smuggler's America's best resort for family trips. This resort gets a gold medal for all-around perfection.
Mont Tremblant, Quebec
Nino H. Photography via Getty Images
If a romantic Alps vacation didn't fit your budget this year, Quebec's Mont Tremblant is the star of the Laurentian Mountains. Expert skiers will find 50 percent of the trails graded to their skills. Staying slopeside? Half-a dozen hotels, designed to resemble brightly-colored chateaus, dot the village. Our favorite lodging is Hotel Quinessence, where every suite features a wood-burning fireplace, heated marble bathroom floors and a soaking tub. Reserve a luxury duckling for 2 at the town's French-inspired gastronomic temple, Le Cheval de Jade.
Sugarloaf Ski Resort, Maine
This is the largest ski resort located east of the Rockies, and a paradise for boarders. We're talking three terrain parks, a Superpipe, and a snowboardrcoss course designed by Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott (nice moustache, btw). 146 total runs and 2,820 feet of vertical drop. The ambitious Sugarloaf 2020, which calls for an additional 650 acres of sidecountry and powder terrain, is a jaw-dropping plan for new golf course and outdoor amenities, brand-new fixed grip lifts, state-of-the-art environmental snowblowers and more.
Mount Bohemia, Upper Peninsula, Michigan
Bohemia has been called one of the top 10 undiscovered ski locations in the world. The remote Lake Superior locale in the Upper Peninsula's Keweenaw means 300 average inches of powder every year. No beginners allowed. When the weather is good, the website reads, "Conditions Are Epic."
Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort, West Virginia
This mid-Atlantic destination for winter sports in the Alleghenies offers extreme skiers and boarders the rugged Western Territory area -- Shay's Revenge was named the region's most challenging run. Every February marks the Cupp Run Challenge, a giant slalom race for skiers and snowboarders alike down Cupp Run, which boasts a 1,500 vertical drop. Sound intense? Two other mountains offer plenty of runs for novice skiers and intermediates.
Gore Mountain, New York
(AP Photo/Mike Groll)
The four peaks of New York's Gore Mountain offer skiers and boarders 103 trails and almost 500 skiable acres in the Adirondack Mountains. Half of the runs are rated for intermediates (blue), and families will love the kid-friendly ski policy (6 and under ski free every day!) Off the slopes, head to BarVino in nearby North Creek for chic apres-ski dishes like pan-seared elk rack with gnocchi and prince edward island mussels flavored with green curry, lime and cilantro. Buy a bottle of wine to take home with you from the adjoining store.
Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont
Don Landwehrle via Getty Images
Vermont's tallest peak! Stowe's towering Mount Mansfield offers six distinct zones for riders and skiers. Much heralded are the half-dozen freestyle terrain park, chock-full of jumps, rails, bonks and ramps for winter daredevils. After a chilly day on the slopes, take the gondola to Cliff House restaurant on the summit. The regional regional and rustic Vermont cuisine (hello, fondue!) is served with incredible vistas seen through the chalet's floor-to-ceiling windows.
Cannon Mountain Ski Resort, New Hampshire
(AP Photo/Jim Cole)
This is a grandaddy among East Coast ski resorts -- Cannon calls itself "the living legend." It has the highest vertical of any ski resort in New Hampshire, plus 87 acres of backcountry land and a tram. Some say it's cold, icy and steep. But it's also a classic and unspoiled alternative to mega-luxe resorts, with incredibly beautiful views from the top. New for winter 2013 -- over $1 million in grooming improvements, including 130 new high-efficiency snow guns.
Lutsen Mountains Ski Resort, Minnesota
Lutsen Mountains say their four peaks are equivalent in size to Minneapolis's downtown corridor. Clearly, it's going to take a few days to ski or board it all. It might be lovely weather for a sleigh ride or a real live sled dog ride from the town's local mushers. Cook County also boasts North America's most extensive Nordic ski system, with over 400km of mostly groomed cross-country trails.
Blue Mountain, Ontario
Ontario's largest ski resort just added The Orchard, 68 new acres of new terrain including a 1.6 km beginners run and six-person chairlift. While Blue has long been a destination for families, it's particularly lovely when it "goes black." 28 runs stay open late for skiing and boarding under the bright lights (there's even a pass available just for night-skiing).
Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands, Michigan
There are bigger verticals and more expert terrain to be found in Michigan (especially in the Upper Peninsula), but for convenience and day trips to Traverse City, Boyne Mountains and Boyne Highlands (located about 30 miles apart) can't be beat. Kids can cruise down tube lanes, fly on year-round ziplines and splash away the snowy chill at Boyne Mountain's Avalanche Bay indoor waterpark.