Best Skiing In New York: Guide For Best Mountains And Dates For The Best Snow Experience

Written by Alan Lemus
Updated: May 15, 2023
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Do you want to ski around New York and have yet to find the perfect place? Worry no more. This guide will help you through. 

New York is known to have the best and most skiing resorts in the East. It is also one of the seven snowiest cities in the states hence offering the best skiing experiences. 

Skiing resorts range from large mountain resorts, small family-friendly resorts, and winter sports to unique activities for kids. If you want to go on a solo skiing adventure or a group adventure, there will be a place to serve you. 

Other than skiing, you will find other activities like snowboarding, snowshoeing, snow tubing, and downhill skiing. New York offers diverse options for any fun activity involving the snow.

Let us now explore the best skiing resorts in New York and the dates for the best snow experience.

1. Windham Mountain Ski Resort, NY

Top on our list is Windham Mountain, located only two and a half hours from New York City. In addition, it is located in the Catskills Mountains, making it a fantastic destination for a day trip and weekend hangouts. 

Windham Mountain Ski Resort receives an annual snowfall of 82 inches. The snowiest month is February, which receives about 30 inches of snowfall. 

This resort spans 732 acres where you will find something for everyone. There are trails for all types of skiers, with 54 trails that cover 285 acres, and you will probably only exhaust some of them. There is also a vertical drop of up to 1,600 feet and various lesson programs for kids and adults.

Windham is your best choice if you want a skiing resort that your entire family will enjoy. It has fantastic snow tubing and snowmobiling just for the kids. In addition, it has a bike park and golf course if you want to try other activities. 

As the home to the Adaptive Sports Foundation, the largest snowsports in the Northeast, Windham offers coaching opportunities to kids of five years and above. 

Windham Mountain Resort is also a snowboarding home, with six terrain parks that give you crazy rail attempts with every hump and bump you can imagine. 

The resort has 11 conveyor lifts that can handle crowds of up to 23,000 people, moving them uphill each hour. This makes it easy to take more people, especially during weekends and holidays. It is popularly known for holding a variety of skiers. 

With other fantastic facilities like a spa and accommodations, Windham Mountain Resort becomes your ultimate choice for a fun getaway. You can ski, snow tube, or enjoy a relaxing day at the spa and then enjoy a meal or quick bites at one of the many dining options, like Tavern 23, the Umbrella Bar, or Mulligan’s Pub.

The resort opens on November 21 and closes on April 3. 

What Makes Windham Stand Out?

  • It has plenty of activities for kids. Windham Mountain has activities like snowboarding and snow tubing well-tailored for kids. 
  • It is close to New York City. The resort is a two-hour drive from New York City, making it easy to visit, especially in the evenings. 
  • It is an excellent place for family visits. With the availability of accommodation and different activities fit for everyone, this resort will be a perfect choice for your family visits. 
  • Offers the best intermediate skiing experience. Half of the runs here are rated as intermediate. This makes the resort an excellent place for those who want to enjoy satisfying double-black runs. 
Snow tubing
Snow tubing is one of the fun winter activities available at the Windham Mountain Ski Resort in New York.

©iStock.com/apainter

2. Gore Mountain Ski & Recreational Area

Gore Mountain Resort has been known as the largest ski resort in New York for over 80 years, having a modern infrastructure but giving an old-time ambiance. 

February is Gore Mountain’s snowiest month; it receives 32 inches of snowfall.

This resort is found spreading on Adirondack Mountain. It has 119 ski trails, 14 lifts, an eight-passenger gondola, and two squad chairs with an upgraded grip. It rests on 446 skiable acres with a 2,547 vertical drop. 

Gore is known as the skier’s mountain, meaning 40% of the runs are rated for experts, 50% for intermediate, and 10% for beginners. It is a good spot for long and arduous runs. You can test your skiing skills at Gore if you are an expert.

The resort is located away from the big cities, so there are fewer crowds and fair prices. This makes it a good option for a relaxing, quiet atmosphere. Enjoy dining options like sit-down restaurants and complete services while experiencing incredible views.

For beginners, there is a widening of easy trails that will make room for multiple turns as you learn and sharpen your skiing skills.

You will also find other activities here, like snowboarding and snowshoeing. The gondola ride will give you an incredible break from cold and wind, offering you a fantastic view of the snowy slopes. On a clear day, you can enjoy seeing Vermont’s Green Mountain and even the peaks in Canada.

The opening dates are November 25 to April 9. 

So what Makes Gore Mountain Stand Out?

  • It is the home of long runs. As the biggest skiing resort in New York, it makes it the ultimate place for long runs.
  • Efficient modern lifts. Gore Mountain has the most modern infrastructure. As a result, the lifts are efficient and make you enjoy amazing views.
  • Less crowded. Being located away from the city makes Gore Mountain less crowded.
  • Fairly affordable. Entrance charges for this resort are fair and affordable.

Gore Mountain’s annual snowfall is 110 inches. February is the snowiest, with 32 inches of snowfall.

Gore Mountain Ski Resort in New York
Gore Mountain Resort is known as the skier’s mountain, meaning 40% of the runs are rated for experts.

©Kalyan Kaza, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons – License

3. Hunter Mountain Resort

Hunter Mountain is located in Catskill, about three hours from New York City. This resort spreads on 240-acre snowy slopes with four terrain parks around the mountain. These four peaks offer different slopes for beginners to expert skiers to avoid traffic while skiing.

Hunter Mountain receives an average annual snowfall of 71 inches and  22 inches of snow in February, making it the snowiest month. 

This resort has about 67 trails serviced by 13 lifts across the mountains. It has about 1,000 feet long lanes, making it suitable for all ages to partake. 

You don’t have to worry about what activities your kids will do. Here they will enjoy various fun activities tailored just for them. Hunter Mountain Resort is well known for family fun. 

Hunter Mountain offers impressive accommodation options, from beautifully adorned inns and hotels to on-hill condos near Tannersville or Windham. These two are a few meters apart, giving you the choice of spending your day in Hunter Mountain and ending the night on Windham’s other side.

Other than skiing, you will find other activities like guided ice climbing to the top of the mountain and snow bowing. The Mountain Club Spa will serve you if you prefer relaxation and bliss.

The resort opens on November 19 and closes on April 10.  

What Makes Hunter Mountain Stand Out?

  • It stretches across four mountains, making it a good place for the best skiing experience.
  • It has separate slopes for beginners and experts. You will enjoy skiing with other beginners on your rails if you are a beginner. The experts exercise their skills on different trails. This makes it a good place for all.
  • It offers guided ice-climbing activities. Beginners and learners can enjoy guided ice-climbing activities. 
Hunter Mountain, New York
Hunter Mountain Resort has about 67 trails serviced by 13 lifts in the Catskill Mountains of New York.

©iStock.com/mvkazit

4. Belleayre Mountain Ski Center

This resort is also located in Catskills Forest, a three-hour drive from New York City. Belleayre Mountain Ski Center is a great choice if you want to go skiing on a budget because it is owned and run by the state, hence fairly charged. 

It offers more than 1,400 feet of vertical drop and has 50 named trails. This makes it an ideal ski resort for families and beginners. In addition, the trails are usually extra-large, giving you enough room to learn while enjoying without an overly crowded space. 

Here, you will enjoy decent snowfall and various terrains with a laid-back setting. Ensure you ask for a gondola ride when you visit. It will give you a panoramic view of the Catskill Preserve. 

The resort opens on November 25 and closes on April 10.

What Makes Belleayre Mountain Notable?

  • Reasonably priced. Charges at this resort are low and affordable. It will be a good choice if you are on a budget and still want to enjoy skiing.
  • It is close to New York City. It only takes three hours to drive from New York City to the resort.
  • It is ideal for day-trippers. Its proximity to New York City makes it an ideal destination for day-trippers.
  • It is an excellent option for uncrowded fun. This resort is usually uncrowded, making it a good choice for lovers of uncrowded fun. 

Belleayre Mountain receives about 94 inches of snow yearly. The snowiest month is February when it receives 29 inches of snowfall. 

5. Holiday Valley Resort

This resort is located near Lake Erie and rests on 290 acres. It has a total of 60 slopes spreading across four mountain faces. Thirty-nine of these slopes are only open for riding and night skiing. It also has 13 lifts which make every trip exciting. 

Due to its location near Lake Erie, Holiday Valley experiences the “lake effect snow,” causing it to experience more snow than other ski resorts in New York. This snow effect is phenomenal, and it occurs throughout the winter. 

Holiday Valley’s average annual snowfall is 156 inches. February is the snowiest month; it receives 46 inches of snow.

Near Holiday Mountain is the charming town of Ellicottville, a great city for your après-ski. This city has excellent small shops, restaurants, and a cute market selection, which makes a vacation here worthwhile. 

You will find suitable accommodations in cozy lodges and hillside rooms. 

Get to enjoy great hot tubs right beside the beautiful lifts. You will also find ski school, Mountain Coaster, and off-mountain adventures. 

Although Holiday Mountain is known as the smallest skiing resort, it has unique experiences and features that make it stand out among other ski resorts. The modern lifts and exquisite lodges make it deliver a big-mountain experience.

Holiday Valley opens on November 25 and closes on April 9.

So what Makes Holiday Valley Stand Out From Others?

  • The lake effect causes natural snow. The resort being near Lake Erie benefits from the snow effect, a unique experience that causes natural snow.
  • Relatively smaller. It is the smallest known resort.
  • It has a great vibe. Happy Valley offers a small village vibe with slopeside lodges. It delivers an experience different from the big resorts. 
Close up of skier
Holiday Valley’s average annual snowfall is 156 inches in part because of its location near Lake Erie.

©iStock.com/anyaberkut

Final Thoughts

New York is the home of skiing. It is one big city with various skiing resorts. You will enjoy different adventures and fun depending on the resort you choose, whether you want to enjoy your holiday with a loved one or alone. 

You will find the most extensive skiing resorts to the smallest. You will also get alternatives with different amenities like accommodation, spas, restaurants, and hotels.

You don’t have to worry if you have no skiing experience. Other than skiing, the resorts offer other unique activities like snowboarding and snowshoeing.

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Skiing in the Catskills Mountains of New York
Skis and poles at the top of a ski trail at Belleayre Mountain Ski Resort in the Catskills Mountains of New York.
© iStock.com/lightphoto

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About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. Windham Mountain, Available here: https://www.windhammountain.com/learn/about/
  2. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catskill_Mountains#:~:text=The-,Catskill,-Mountains%2C%20also%20known
  3. Visit Adirondacks, Available here: https://visitadirondacks.com/
  4. Gore Mountain, Available here: https://goremountain.com/