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Sugarloaf Ski Resort Guide

Sugarloaf, United States

Rated: 3/5 (from 6 ratings)

Sugarloaf Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForExpert Skiers, Snowboarders and Apres-Ski.
Total Piste Length88km55 miles
Highest Lift1,290m4,232ft
Resort Height430m1,411ft
 Nearest AirportsDenver International and Colorado Springs
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Award-winning on-mountain village beneath Maine's second highest peak, regarded by many as the top New England resort and by all as in the 'top 3'. Strong emphasis on service quality has resulted in top slot in US ski magazine reader surveys. The ski school at Sugarloaf have come up with a clever idea for transporting kids - the Moose Caboose - a snowmobile sled which takes 12 children and 3 instructors.

Sugarloaf Summary

The American ski resort of Sugarloaf is at an altitude of 430m1,411ft, with 88km55 miles of marked runs.

Sugarloaf has direct access to 88km55 miles of downhill skiing, with 129 marked pistes, served by a total of 15 ski lifts.

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

Sugarloaf Snow Forecast

When will it snow in Sugarloaf?

The next notable snow forecast for Sugarloaf is 8cm3in, expected on 3 October.

See our Snow Forecast for Sugarloaf for the latest update, or   Join our Snow Mail Here

Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Sugarloaf

Ski Area Stats

Sugarloaf Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats for Sugarloaf
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
5935km22 miles
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
4024km15 miles
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
3429km18 miles
Total Length
88km55 miles
Cross Country
Total Length
105km65 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts

Sugarloaf Altitudes

Sugarloaf Ski Area Height

Max Vertical and Resort Altitude for Sugarloaf
Highest Lift1,290m4,232ft
Lowest Piste430m1,411ft
Resort Altitude (Sugarloaf)430m1,411ft
Max Vertical860m2,822ft

Sugarloaf Rated

Ratings for Sugarloaf
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers

Sugarloaf Overview

Sugarloaf/USA is a huge mountain with some of the most exciting and challenging terrain anywhere. The resort is famous for the Snowfields - New England's only above tree-line skiing, beneath them is a huge assortment of terrain for all ability levels. The ski area, now 50 years old, was established by the Maine Ski Council which had been formed in 1948 to promote skiing. The first trail, Winter's Way, was cut throughout the summer of 1950 and Sugarloaf/USA opening for skiing the winter of 1951.

The current renaissance of Sugarloaf/USA started five years ago with a major expansion of the snowmaking system, making it among the most powerful in the world. For the first time, snowmaking covered the above treeline Front Face Snowfields. Next came the addition of the longest fastest chairlift in North America, the Sugarloaf/USA SuperQuad, along with trails like King's Landing and Hayburner that are Sugarloaf/USA favourites.

The American Skiing Company's acquisition of Sugarloaf/USA in 1996 brought on the largest expansion in the history of Sugarloaf/USA for the 1997/98 season. The $3 million expansion with two new quad chairlifts, four new trails and 100 new tower snowguns was a direct result of a long-standing commitment to the guest experience. The new quads opened up the summit and east mountain like never before. The summit access means experts can enjoy the above treeline Snowfields more often than the old wind-sensitive gondola allowed. Skiers and riders can choose four top-to-bottom intermediate cruisers on a consistent basis. Off the slopes Sugarloaf continues to expand with ever more slopeside lodging being added, including an American Skiing Company Grand Summit Resort Hotel. Despite its slopeside expansions, Sugarloaf's roots continue to be firmly based in the surrounding communities of Carrabassett Valley.

 Notable Ski Runs

The most difficult run is the 'High Rigger (backside of snowfields)'.

Skiing in Sugarloaf

Sugarloaf/USA has great skiing for all standards and is particularly proud of the size of its vertical drop - bigger than many well known Western US ski areas, as well as having the only lift served terrain above the treeline in Eastern North America. The new Timberline Quad takes you to the summit of Maine's second highest mountain where you can look over into New Hampshire and Quebec or across to Mt. Katahdin, Maine's highest mountain. The backside is a bowl where deep powder collects all season long. The Front Face features some of the steepest terrain in the East. Snowmaking on the Front Face Snowfields assures Snowfield skiing and riding in December. Skiers and riders seeking challenging terrain can experience the Snowfields; while others have four three mile long cruising runs that follow the west ridgeline from the summit all the way down to the base.

Perfect Turn Clinics are on offer to skiers and 'boarders several times a day and you just turn up for as many as you like. Level One is for those who have never skied or snowboarded. Levels Two and Three are geared towards novice skiers and riders. Levels Four and Five take intermediates to the next level. Levels Six to Ten are for advanced intermediates and experts with concentrations on varied snow surfaces, terrain features, competitive skills and tactics.

First timers are likely to start off on The Birches and The Landing. This is the learning area of Sugarloaf/USA and is serviced by two double lifts; Sawduster and Skidder and one triple lift, Snubber. The terrain is gently sloped for those skiers and riders who are just starting out. One big advantage is the lift loading areas are downhill from the base lodge, so beginners can become comfortable on their skis or boards during their initial run down the hill before getting on the lift. Slightly steeper slopes are available at The Double Runner Area including lower Winter's Way, Boardwalk and Lower Narrow Gauge, all trails that stretch over half a mile and are characterized by gently sloped terrain - wonderful for polishing up those developing skills. Two double chairlifts, Double Runner East and West, service this area.

The Whiffletree and West Mountain areas areas have nice wide cruising trails that allow developing skiers and riders to practice their skills. Buckboard and Cruiser offer gentle, slow-winding true fall line trails, while Springboard and Pole Line offer more challenging terrain. The other runs in the Whifftletree area offer something in between.

For steeper descents The King Pine Bowl is a natural snow bowl serviced by the King Pine Quad. From the top of the bowl, skiers and riders have a choice of black diamond most difficult and blue square more difficult terrain. Haulback is a steep fall line trail that features bumps on one side and groomed conditions on the other side. Ripsaw a favourite among locals, is one of the Wild Things, a trail kept in its natural state. With no snowmaking and no grooming, Ripsaw is the local's favourite.

Choker, Widowmaker and Flume all have steep fall line pitches and serve as downhill training runs for the U.S. Ski Team. However loyal Sugarloafer's believe Central Mountain is the East's most legendary terrain. It offers some of the steepest terrain in the East along with a long continuous fall line. Go east off the Spillway chairlift and drop into several different chutes and trails including Upper Winter's Way, Gondola Line, Bubblecuffer, Lower White Nitro and Lower Powder Keg for steep trails, and Max Headroom and Cant Hook for glade terrain. Take one run down Bubblecuffer and you can see why Sugarloafers are so loyal. Go west off the Spillway chairlift and find the famous trails of Sugarloaf/USA. Narrow Gauge, the trail of champions, is the only trail in the East that FIS has homologated for all venues: Downhill, Super G, Giant Slalom and Slalom. Skidder is a world class mogul run.

Advanced skiers will also want to try out Boundary to Boundary skiing. It's not part of the mountain, rather a license to explore. Boundary to Boundary encompasses the resort's 570 hectares (1400 acres) of terrain. The resort warns that it requires additional skill and caution and those trying it should always ski or ride with two or more people.

Sugarloaf offers good sking, particularly, for Expert and Intermediate skiers.

Snowboarding in Sugarloaf

The Sugarloaf/USA Pipedreams Superpipe measures 400 feet in length (aprox 100 metres). During the mid-season the halfpipe's walls are 16 feet (five metres) high offering riders the opportunity to catch big air with pitches of up to 19 degrees. The superpipe is built to match or excede international standards for the Olympics and FIS sanctioned events. The pipe is named in honour of local pro rider Seth Wescott.

Sugarloaf also offers a halfpipe, also 400 feet long, with ten feet (3.2m) high walls that are ideal for confidence building.

Sugarloaf/USA has been the host of numerous snowboarding and halfpipe competitions beginning with the 1995 US Snowboard Champions and the 1996 inaugural US Snowboard Grand Prix.

Location and Map

Where is Sugarloaf?

Sugarloaf is in Boulder, Colorado, United States.

Map of Sugarloaf

Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Map of Sugarloaf.

How to get to Sugarloaf

 By Air

The nearest airports to Sugarloaf are Denver International, Colorado Springs and Portland. There are five airports within three hours drive. Denver International is just one hours drive away, in good driving conditions, so you can be on the piste quickly.


Ski Lift Capacity

The 15 ski lifts of Sugarloaf are able to uplift 21,805 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Sugarloaf is able to make snow, on 80km50 miles of ski runs, with 1000 snow cannons.

Sugarloaf Season Dates

When is Sugarloaf open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates for Sugarloaf.

NOTE:- Lift and Piste openings are always subject to Snow Conditions in Sugarloaf.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Sugarloaf, 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 Sugarloaf Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Sugarloaf

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

Sugarloaf Aprés Ski

For Après skiing the choice is between staying by the slopes in the growing village, or heading to one of the nearby towns and village to check out the local scene. The Widowmaker lounge is a top après spot slopeside with live bands, radio promotions, concerts and give-aways. Other slopeside spots include the Shipyard Brewhaus with a big selection of the best of Maine's micro-brewery business.

The Sugarloaf Brewery Company offers another wide selection of microbrews. Local Carrabassett Ales, Misery bitters and Dead River Potters are all on tap for a relaxing après ski 'mug o' frothy.'