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Smugglers Notch

Smugglers Notch Ski Resort Guide

Smugglers Notch, United States

Rated: 3/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForIntermediates, Snowboarders, Snowfall and Apres-Ski!
Highest Lift1,110m3,642ft
Resort Height320m1,050ft
 Nearest AirportsBurlington and Montreal Trudeau
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Smugglers Notch

Compact New England condominium-only resort with reputation for excellent child-care, whilst also having the greatest vertical in North Vermont and an impressive snowfall record. Strong emphasis on enjoyment of guests, with 'fun guaranteed' for parents as well as children and a strong program of on and off-slope organised activities. Freefone reservations from the UK on 0800 1698219.


The American ski resort of Smugglers Notch is at an altitude of 320m1,050ft.

Smugglers Notch has direct access to 72 marked pistes, served by a total of 9 ski lifts.

The skiing is at relatively low altitude, so snow cover can be variable.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Smugglers Notch?

There is currently no significant snow in the 7-day forecast for Smugglers Notch.

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Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Smugglers Notch

Ski Area Stats

Smugglers Notch Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
Cross Country
Total Length
30km19 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts


Smugglers Notch Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift1,110m3,642ft
Lowest Piste320m1,050ft
Resort Altitude (Smugglers Notch)320m1,050ft
Max Vertical790m2,592ft

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Smugglers Notch
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers

Smugglers Notch Overview

Those who have travelled the world visiting dozens, maybe even hundreds of resorts may begin to feel that one ski resort seems very much like the other. All have abundant snow of course, all have picturesque scenery, all say they're 'friendly' and every time anything new comes out, they've all got it. Smugglers' Notch, located in Vermont's Green Mountains, feels genuinely different. The 'corporate plastic' feel that prevails at many of North America's top ski centres isn't there and the 'genuinely friendly service' which all claim actually feels, well, genuine at Smugglers.

For those that take an interest in the 'bigger picture' of winter sports development around the world it's also slightly ironic that whilst many North American ski centres have gone through a cycle of 'boom and bust' over the years, trying different ways of making money, Smuggler's has quietly grown, largely thanks to selling and maintaining lodging at its resort base; the model that is now fuelling the biggest and most successful resort chains in the continent.

Whilst those big corporations employ consultants and focus groups to work out what people want, the folk at Smugglers seem to have no problems working out that people want a good time, a relaxed, high quality experience. They want something to do pretty much every hour of the waking day, they want to be able to do it as a family and also to be able to separate off from each other and they want to be able to do it all at a reasonable cost. Somehow Smugglers seems to have found the answer where others have failed. Perhaps its just that so many resorts fight for the rich top end of the market, or feel that 'real' ski resorts have to be based on the if you're not skiing, you should be sleeping, purist model or perhaps even they just can't grow enough in the Smugglers model to be physically able to cope with the operational costs required in having all the answers. Whatever it is, Smugglers remains one of the very few ski areas that can deliver the complete ski holiday, to a high standard at an affordable price.

The biggest beneficiaries are Families, and the resort has won numerous 'Best in North America' awards for its family-friendliness - awards that have come from overseas as well as from top publications in the US. It markets itself as 'America's Family Resort' and offers a Fun Guarantee. But in order to be great for families it shouldn't be forgotten that this resort has to be great at pretty well everything in order to keep each individual member of the family happy.

There's wide ranging skiing and boarding, wide ranging après ski opportunities, a huge selection of on and off snow alternative sports and leisure, excellent accommodation choices and a good choice of eateries ranging from incredibly high-value family eateries to gourmet a la carte.

Unlike most US resorts (at least until the past five years), Smugglers centres around a relatively compact base area, largely car free, so you can easily walk (or take the free shuttle if you prefer) to all resort amenities and the base of the lifts.

The resort has a good natural snowfall record and a vertical which is likewise better than that of many neighbouring resorts. Top to bottom snowmaking cover has been greatly enhanced in recent years and the resort's claim that it cares deeply about the environmental impact of its operation does ring true when it goes to great lengths to explain how it endeavours to operate at maximum efficiency to minimalise environmental impact.

 Notable Ski Runs

The most difficult run is the 'The Black Hole'.


Considering the 'family friendly' feeling in resort, some guests might be concerned that Smuggler's ski and boarding opportunities would be limited to a couple of lifts with safe - and therefore probably rather boring - terrain to match. Fortunately this is certainly not the case, as Smuggler's ski area covers three mountain faces, Sterling, Morse and the highest, Madonna.

There are around 80 trails serving a very healthy 780m (2610 feet) vertical. Snow isn't usually a problem as besides being one of the most naturally snowy resorts in New England, the resort has top-to-bottom snowmaking throughout which its currently spending millions of dollars on upgrading and expanding. The one gripe some skiers and boarders may have, if they're used to high speed quads, is that Smugglers is still running fixed-grip doubles which transport you at a leisurely pace up the mountain. Of course it's a matter of perspective and of attitude and getting time to relax a bit on those lifts rather than racing up as well as down does seem to fit with the holiday feeling. But if you are always in a hurry, then these lifts may be a drawback.

The resort's 'Snow Sport University' markets itself as institute of higher learning, and employs more than 300 ski and snowboard teachers offering instruction in alpine and telemark skiing, snowboarding, snow blading, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Peter Ingvoldstad, the Program Director for over 20 years, is internationally recognized as a dynamic developer of innovative teaching techniques for children and adults - techniques that make for an incredibly fast learning curve.

Cross-Country is particularly well organised at Smugglers with added initiatives and itineraries to give more than the pristine forest and mountain experience for those that want it. There are 30 km (19 miles) of cross-country trails for every level from beginner to expert and lessons are available in traditional (diagonal) cross-country and ski skating. Rental equipment is available for all disciplines as well.

Smugglers Notch offers good sking, particularly, for Expert and Intermediate skiers.


Snowboard camps are organised for different child age groups between ages 4 and 17 as well as for adults. Night School of boarding for beginners from 1600 - 2100, three nights weekly, floodlit.

The Birch run Terrain Park on Sterling Mountain is designed for entry and intermediate level riders with modified table tops, rolls and spines.

Prohibition Park on Madonna features multiple hits for intermediate and expert riders, plus a 425 foot superpipe. The Zone on Sterling has the biggest hits for expert and championship riders.

Location and Map

Where is Smugglers Notch?

This ski resort is in Lamoille, Vermont, United States.


Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Smugglers Notch is Burlington, 60 minutes drive away.

Montreal Trudeau and Manchester-Boston airports are all within three hours drive.

Burlington is just one hours drive away, in good driving conditions, so you can be on the piste quickly.


Ski Lift Capacity

The nine ski lifts are able to uplift 6,250 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, with 345 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Smugglers Notch open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates, but hope to soon.

Usual opening is late November, and usual closing is Mid April .

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Smugglers Notch, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Smugglers Notch Tourist Office for the latest.

Aprés Ski

Apres is fairly laid back at Smugglers with a carefully prepared choice of adult-only space, or child-oriented space (all ages of kids) or family space. There are a good choice of hot tubs to enjoy. Tthe Hearth & Candle restaurant features an adults-only room and there are plenty of organized evening activities like karaoke, musical entertainment by local bands, and comedy and magic shows.

Smugglers Notch