Tucked away in the northeastern part of the United States, New Hampshire is often an overlooked state regarding tourism, especially when it comes to ski resorts. The Granite State’s motto of “Live Free or Die” is a perfect way to describe their attitude towards outdoor recreation, as many New Englanders flock to New Hampshire each winter to experience the freedom of riding down the slopes.
While Manchester may be a small city of just 112,000, there are numerous ski areas nearby ranging in size, amenities, and lodging. It’s an ideal East Coast ski destination for individuals and families of all numbers.
Whether you are an expert rider or just learning, Manchester boasts a myriad of runs as well as terrain parks, snow tubing, and nordic trails. And with 11 ski resorts to choose from within a 2-hour drive, guests to the area will have ample options for their snowy adventure.
Below are the 11 closest ski resorts near Manchester, New Hampshire, in order of driving time:
McIntyre Ski Area – Manchester: 1.5 miles | 5 minutes
While it might not be New Hampshire’s biggest ski resort, McIntyre is undoubtedly one the closest to Manchester at just five minutes away from downtown. This well-loved ski area has been serving locals with quick access to slopes and outdoor winter recreation since 1971 and continues to add improvements.
In 1977, the ski school opened and taught both children and adults how to master the slopes for a fun winter workout. Having over 50 years of experience in the ski community, McIntyre Ski Area has been a place that locals enjoy returning to each year for its simple, yet inclusive, runs and fresh snow.
McIntyre Ski Area has a base elevation of 340 feet, a peak elevation of 510 feet, and a vertical drop of 169 feet. The resort has nine runs and four chairlifts, making this location a very modest ski area. In addition to skiing, there are ten tubing lanes stretching over 420 feet in length. Ski lessons and equipment rental are available on the mountain and if you’re hungry, The Hill Bar & Grille is a great place to stop for a snack.
50 Chalet Ct, Manchester, NH 03104 (Map) | (603) 622-6159
Pats Peak Ski Area – Henniker: 31 miles | 35 minutes
Half an hour away from downtown Manchester, Pats Peak Ski Area is a family-friendly, picturesque ski area located in Henniker, NH. There’s something for everyone at Pats Peak with ski and snowboarding lessons for visitors of all ages, homecooked food at the mountain’s restaurant, and snow tubing Friday-Sunday.
Pats Peak Ski Area has a base elevation of 690 feet, a summit elevation of 1,460 feet, and a vertical drop of 770 feet. There are 115 skiable acres, 93 of which are open for night skiing, at the resort with 100% snowmaking capability. Of the 28 runs on the mountain, 50% are rated as beginner, 21% intermediate, 11% advanced, and 18% expert.
For visitors traveling with friends or family that aren’t into skiing and snowboarding, Pats Peak also offers snow tubing. Accommodations can be booked in Henniker and other nearby towns less than 20 minutes away. Parents looking for a little time out to themselves will be delighted to know that Pats Peak also has its daycare program on the mountain.
686 Flanders Rd, Henniker, NH 03242 (Map) | 1 (888) 728-7732
Crotched Mtn – Bennington: 27 miles | 45 minutes
New Hampshire is known for getting a lot of snow, but at Crotched Mountain Resort, many locals will comment on how amazing the powder is, especially since the resort has 100% snowmaking capability. Besides having ski and snowboard equipment rental available on site, there are also several group and private lessons for people of all ages and skill levels.
There are 100 groomed skiable acres at Crotched Mountain Resort, encompassed by tree glades and challenging steeps. The resort has a thrilling 1000 foot vertical drop with a base elevation of 1,050 feet and a peak elevation of 2,066 feet. Crotched has three terrain parks and 25 runs made up of 28% beginner, 40% intermediate, and 32% advanced level trails.
Even though there are only five lifts, one of them includes the state’s only high-speed detachable quad chairlift. Additionally, Crotched is the only ski resort on the East Coast that allows visitors to stay on the slopes until midnight.
615 Francestown Rd, Bennington, NH 03442 (Map) | (603) 588-3668
Ragged Mountain Resort – Danbury: 49 miles | 1 hour
Ragged Mountain Resort, just an hour away from Manchester, has everything an individual, couple, or family could want in a ski vacation. Two classic New England-style lodges provide all the amenities one could need, and the ski school program is designed to teach new and recurring visitors of all ages how to get the most of the slopes.
Ragged Mountain Resort has 250 acres of skiable terrain, 200 of which have snowmaking capability. The resort’s base elevation starts at 1,000 feet and goes up to its peak elevation of 2,250 feet, giving it a vertical drop of 1,250 feet. There are three terrain parks and 57 runs made up of 30% beginner, 26% intermediate, 37% advanced, and 7% expert trails. The resort has six ski lifts, one of which is New Hampshire’s only high-speed six-pack.
620 Ragged Mountain Rd, Danbury, NH 03230 (Map) | (603) 768-3600
Mount Sunapee Resort – Newbury: 49 miles | 1 hour
Mount Sunapee is home to the biggest mountain in the southern part of The Granite State. While the resort has been open for over seven decades, it has been family owned and operated since 1998 and offers a wide range of restaurants and lodges.
The resort has 232 skiable acres with 66 runs and 215 acres of snowmaking capability. The terrain at Mount Sunapee Resort is broken down into mostly beginner and intermediate trails, but there are a few advanced and expert runs. There are ten lifts and four terrain parks at Mount Sunapee, and with 100 inches per year on average of natural snow, it’s no wonder why people keep coming back for more.
Mount Sunapee has many different kinds of accommodations nearby, ranging from cabins and bed & breakfasts to hotel and motel stay within proximity of the mountain. Furthermore, it is one of the perfect places in southern New Hampshire to learn how to ski, snowboard, and take advantage of the state’s gorgeous winter weather.
1398 New Hampshire Rte 103, Newbury, NH 03255 (Map) | (603) 763-3576
Gunstock Mountain Resort – Gilford: 53 miles | 1 hour
What was once known as the “Belknap Mountain Recreation Area,” Gunstock Mountain Resort was completed in 1937 as a project instigated by the Works Progress Administration. Over the years, it has continued to evolve into a fun and family-friendly ski resort that has attracted tourists and natives alike.
There are 227 skiable acres on the resort with 48 runs, most of which are aimed at intermediate and advanced riders. Gunstock’s base elevation is 900 feet, peak elevation is 2,300 feet, and the vertical drop is 1,400 feet. There are six lifts in total, and the resort has a snowmaking capability on 176 of its acres, making it a place with reliable powder and fewer crowds.
Additionally, Guntcok has a wide range of winter activities including alpine and downhill skiing, tubing, and snowshoeing as well as the region’s most prominent night skiing areas.
719 Cherry Valley Rd, Gilford, NH 03249 (Map) | 603-293-4341
W.V. Resort – Waterville Valley: 79 miles | 1.35 hours
Waterville Valley Resort is one of the state’s most significant and fanciest ski destinations, with beautiful accommodations along with places to dine, shop, and explore. Waterville has hosted multiple races and competitions and has often been frequented by famous visitors, like the Kennedy family.
There are 265 acres on the Waterville property with 62 runs made up of 15% beginner, 57% intermediate, 25% advanced, and 3% expert-level trails. Additionally, there are four terrain parks and numerous other winter activities, including snow tubing, nordic skiing, and even ice skating.
Waterville Valley Resort also has a ski school available for athletes of all skill levels and ages, offered in both group and individual formats. And while there are places to stay at Waterville Valley, daytrippers often come in the early hours to get the best snow.
1 Ski Area Rd, Waterville Valley, NH 03215 (Map) | (603) 236-8311
Loon Mountain Ski – Lincoln: 83 miles | 1.35 hours
Loon Mountain is around an hour and a half away from Manchester and has been opened since 2007. Located within the scenic White Mountain National Park, Loon Mountain is a winter wonderland that boasts skiing and rider and snow tubing, ziplining, cross country skiing, and terrain parks.
Loon Mountain Ski Resort’s base elevation is at 950 feet, while its summit peak is 3,050 feet, giving it a vertical drop of 2,100 feet. The resort has 370 skiable acres with eight tree-skiing areas and 61 trails made up of a majority of intermediate terrain.
Snowmaking at Loon Mountain is available across 99% of the resort, and with 11 lifts continually running, there is plenty of powder for everyone.
Snowsport lessons and equipment rental are available on the mountain, and there are several places within the resort to dine. Accommodations for this Loon Mountain Ski Resort are all over the place and range from cozy cabins to moderate hotels situated within the White Mountains.
60 Loon Mountain Road, Lincoln, NH 03251 (Map) | (800) 229.5666
King Pine Ski Area – Madison: 88 miles | 1.5 hours
Skiers and snowboarders all over New England travel to King Pine Ski Area each winter for its excellent snow conditions, family-friendly atmosphere, and affordable rates. The same family has owned the resort since the late 1800s and since the 1930s, it has also served as a ski camp and family camp for children and adults.
King Pine Ski Area has a modest base elevation of 500 feet and a peak elevation of 850 feet, which means its vertical drop is 350 feet. There are 48 skiable acres, 45 of which have snowmaking capability, and 17 runs on the terrain. Of the trails, 44% are made for beginners, 31% are for intermediate, 10% for advanced, and 15% for expert athletes.
Night skiing at King Pine is only offered on Tuesdays, Fridays, and specific holidays. Adjacent to the property, visitors can enjoy the Purity Spring Resort, which offers lots of dining options and lodging.
1251 Eaton Rd, Madison, NH 03849 (Map) | (603) 367-8896
Cranmore Mountain – Conway: 100 miles | 2 hours
The Cranmore Mountain Resort first opened its doors to outdoor enthusiasts in 1937 and was owned for almost five decades by the Schnieder family. It’s currently owned by a group of New England businessmen who have plans to grow and expand the property.
There are 57 runs at Cranmore Mountain that are made up of beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails on its 170 skiable acres. The resort can make snow for 192 acres and has a total of 8 lifts, including one high-speed quad lift. Cranmore Mountain has a vertical drop of 1,200 feet due to its base of 600 feet and its summit peak of 2,000 feet.
Locals have loved this location for day skiing for several years now, and with each new renovation, it seems to attract more people each open season. On-mountain lodging is available at Cranmore Mountain Resort, and in addition to the slopes, there are areas for snow tubing and ski school programs for all ages.
239 Skimobile Rd, North Conway, NH 03860 (Map) | (800) 786-6754
Attitash Mountain Resort – Barlett: 128 miles | 2 hours
Attitash Mountain Resort is recognized as a classic New England ski resort destination with luxurious lodging options, large outdoor property, and stunning winter scenery. Located in the White Mountains, Attitash was thought to be “red carpet skiing” when it first opened in January 1965.
The resort is home to two interconnected peaks, Attitash and Bear Peak, and draws in visitors from near and far to this New Hampshire winter haven. There are 311 skiable acres at Attitash Mountain Resort, 240 of which can have snow made on-demand.
The resort has three terrain parks and 68 runs that consist of 26% beginner, 46% intermediate, and 28% advanced terrain. Attitash Mountain Resort has a base elevation is 600 feet and a summit elevation is 2,350 feet, giving it a whopping 1,750-foot vertical drop.
While there are several attractive lodging options, the two most sought after are the Attitash Mountain Village and the Grand Summit Hotel at Attitash at the mountains’ base. And when it comes to dining options, Attitash hosts several great places such as McGraths Tavern and Tuckerman Brewing Company right on site.
775 US-302, Bartlett, NH 03812 (Map) | (800) 223-7669
New Hampshire, though one of the smallest states in the United States, has a myriad of ski areas ranging from small and local to luxurious and in high demand. With 11 ski resorts to choose from in a 2-hour radius, Manchester is the perfect place to set up a base camp and explore the slopes!