Living in a major city can make it difficult to get to your favorite ski resorts. Distance, combined with travel costs, can add up. However, living in Boston means living close to some of the most famous mountain ranges in the U.S. Between the Green and White Mountains, and other ski hills, there are plenty of opportunities to get in laps at nearby New England ski areas without having to go too far. Here are some of the top ski resorts near Boston, all of which are within a three-hour drive from the city. See our complete list of New England ski resorts here.
Ski Resorts Near Boston
Wachusett Mountain, Massachusetts
Wachusett Mountain is a popular destination for Boston residents for its proximity to the city, its accessibility, and the amount of terrain. The Massachusetts resort is 53 miles outside Boston, taking about an hour to drive. No car, no problem. Wachusett is a great option for those who don’t have a car, or who prefer public transit. Ski Magazine has labeled it the most accessible ski area in the Eastern U.S. The MBTA Commuter Rail has a Wachusett Rail Station stop on the Fitchburg Line, accessible from North Station, right in the heart of the city. The train will get you close to the resort, while shuttle buses run every 30 minutes to the mountain. Wachusett offers day and night skiing via 8 lifts and 27 trails, and boasts a 1,000 foot vertical drop.
Blue Hills Ski Area, Massachusetts
Located in Canton, Massachusetts, approximately 30 minutes from Boston (depending on traffic), Blue Hills is one of the closest ski areas to the city. This humble Massachusetts ski area offers 12 trails spanning 60 acres of skiable terrain, making it ideal for beginners and progressing intermediates. If its convenience and low-key terrain you’re after, then you’ll find it here. Blue Hills Ski Area is a nice introduction to New England skiing.
Pats Peak, New Hampshire
Pats Peak, located in Southern New Hampshire, is well-known for being a family mountain with a variety of terrain for intermediates and a great ski school for ski and snowboard lessons. It’s rated the num. 1 small ski area in New Hampshire by OnTheSnow users, and features 11 lifts, 28 trails, 3 terrain parks, and 100% snowmaking coverage. Located in Henniker, Pats Peak is just under an hour and a half drive from Boston up I-93. The Hurricane is one of the steepest runs in the region and provides more advanced skiers and parents with a fun challenge while their kids are in ski school. Pats Peak also has a thriving uphill program, allowing resort guests to purchase daily and season touring passes.
Nashoba Valley, Massachusetts
Nashoba Valley is another smaller Massachusetts ski resort that’s only an hour’s drive from Boston. Located in Westford, Massachusetts, Nashoba Valley is a great option for beginners, intermediates, and families. Olympic downhiller Pam Fletcher actually learned to ski here and currently serves as the ski area’s marketing director. The mountain has 17 trails, 9 lifts, a snowboard park, and a tubing hill. Working half-day Fridays? Come to Nashoba Valley after work to take advantage of its 4-hour lift ticket deal.
Mount Sunapee, New Hampshire
Mount Sunapee is a solid option for a Boston day trip. Located about 90 minutes from Boston, Mount Sunapee has 66 trails and more than 233 acres of skiable terrain. The terrain is great for intermediate skiers, rated by OnTheSnow users as one of the top ski areas in New Hampshire for intermediate terrain. The Sunapee “beach” at the base provides the perfect open space for parking lot après-ski. Guests often camp out with lawn chairs, grills, and coolers to relax steps away from the lifts. If you plan on making a Mount Sunapee weekend trip, then consider staying at the Mountain Edge Suites, a classic ski lodge just down the road from the base.
Loon Mountain, New Hampshire
Loon is about a two and a half hour drive from Boston, and a popular spot for city dwellers thanks to its convenience combined with a variety of terrain and more than 70 ski runs. While Loon can sometimes feel a little crowded, new updates, such as the Kancamangus 8 high-speed heated lift and the South Peak expansion, help distribute guests across the ski area. Loon has a number of cross country trails, too, which are groomed periodically.
The town of Lincoln, where Loon is located, has tons of four-season activities, shopping, and dining. Loon is a great choice if you’re willing to make a longer drive and want a complete New England weekend ski getaway.
Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
Waterville Valley, located just off I-93, is just over a 2-hour drive from Boston depending on traffic. The mountain underwent one of its biggest expansions to date in 2022, opening the Green Peak Ski Area, which expanded the resort’s terrain by 140 acres. This makes the resort, situated on the eastern face of 4,003-foot Mount Tecumseh, feel much larger and less crowded as guests can spread out more. OnTheSnow users rate Waterville num. 1 for expert terrain in New Hampshire. An all-access daily lift ticket lets kids try out snow tubing, ski bikes, snowscoots, ski foxes, and snow blades in the Exhibition Park.
Crotched Mountain, New Hampshire
Crotched Mountain, celebrating 60 years of operation for the 2023-24 season, is about 80 miles from Boston, giving guests access to 1,000 feet of vertical and 100 acres of skiable terrain. Compared to other mountains on this list, Crotched is typically less crowded. Crotched offers night skiing Tuesday through Saturday, with select Midnight Madness Saturdays, in which the resort stays open until midnight with a DJ, drink specials, and tons of glow-in-the-dark swag.
Ragged Mountain, New Hampshire
Ragged Mountain, which is just over 2 hours from Boston, offers a healthy mix of beginner, intermediate, and expert runs spread across more than 200 acres of trails. It’s the closest ski area to Boston for Burton’s Learn to Ride Program, and is home to New Hampshire’s only high-speed six-pack. As such, Ragged is a good option for families and those learning to ski or ride. Make a weekend of it at Ragged Mountain thanks to a number of accommodation options.
Gunstock Mountain, New Hampshire
Gunstock Mountain Resort has been serving local New England families since 1937. Located 90 minutes from Boston, in Gilford, New Hampshire, this 230-acre family-friendly ski resort has nearly 50 runs, predominantly consisting of beginner and intermediate terrain. The Gunstock Nordic Center is your one-stop shop for cross-country skiers, or those looking to learn. Here, guests can purchase day passes, rent or purchase gear, and sign up for lessons. Gunstock has 27 kilometers of groomed trails for classic and skate cross country skiing. Gunstock also has one of the largest night skiing operations in the area, with 60 acres available for night skiing. For a truly unique Gunstock experience, rent one of its rustic cabins, located within walking distance of the Gunstock Nordic Center.
Many of the East Coast’s larger ski resorts, such as Killington, Sunday River, Stratton, and Sugarbush, are a greater distance from Boston, closer to a 3-hour drive depending on traffic. These resorts are well worth the drive for a New England weekend getaway, especially since they also have a variety of activities for skiers and non-skiers alike, such as ice skating, snow tubing, and more. However, these are a stretch for a day trip.
Header image: ©Mount Sunapee / Vail Resorts