Sugarloaf is an easily accessible ski and golf resort despite its location in the northern part of the Eastern United States. There are very good air links, and the major metropolitan areas like Boston and Montreal are just four hours away.
The resort itself has the full range of amenities that people may need when they are on holiday. There are plenty of options for eating, drinking and nightlife. Some say the best food can be had off mountain at the Italian restaurant, Hugs, or the master of international cuisine, Tufulios. And if it’s music, beer and barbeque that you’re looking for, then it has to be The Rack.
There is mountain shopping along with complete spa facilities. Plus there are many affordable opportunities for lodging on the mountain.
The range of activities for all the family, adults and children alike, include ice skating, indoor swimming, Nordic skiing, basketball, rock climbing, and movie nights. With its value for money pricing, Sugarloaf is most definitely an ideal family resort.
Where is Sugarloaf Ski Resort?
Sugarloaf Mountain is in the Carrabassett Valley, in West Central Maine. It is about 30 miles from the Vermont border, with Farmington as the nearest major city. Its address is 5092 Sugarloaf Access Rd., Carrabassett Valley, Maine 04947.
Sugarloaf Mountain rises to 4,237ft above sea level. It’s Maine’s second highest peak, higher than the 4,000ft mountains nearby.
At its elevation and in its northern location if offers the only lift served skiing above the tree line in the Eastern part of the country. The 2,820ft vertical that is found here gives it New England’s most continuous vertical – a larger drop than in many western resorts.
Sugarloaf’s area allows for 1,153 acres that are skiable with 154 trails. This makes Sugarloaf the biggest ski area east of the Rocky Mountains. There are 14 lifts in all.
Sugarloaf’s prodigious snowfall and northern location also reward guests with the East’s longest season. It starts in the first weeks of November and often continues right through into May. As much as 95% of the Loaf’s terrain is covered by a very dependable system for making snow if need be.
Skiing at Sugarloaf is definitely Eastern skiing, but probably resembles the Rocky Mountains more than any place in New England. Still, if trying to decide which skis to bring, opt for the good groomed run skis instead of your powder or park skis. They are the right skis for skiing the East Coast.
Skiers are now able to benefit from two distinct ski options at the resort thanks to an expansion that offers backcountry skiing to Brackett Basin/Burnt Mountain. Sugarloaf’s newest terrain is Brackett Basin, which is the beginning of a huge 655 acre expansion onto the neighboring Burnt Mountain.
Brackett Basin, when it is completely open, allows for 405 acres of backcountry glades. These include steeps, cliffs and chutes, all of which make up one of the East Coast’s most unique skiing adventure sites.
It should be noted that as attractive as this new terrain sounds it is vast and holds unmarked hazards like fallen trees, rocks and cliffs that should only be attempted by the most expert and experienced skiers and snowboarders.
Nearby in Kingfield is the home of the Ski Museum of Maine, where you can learn the history behind Maine’s ski industry and find out about the ski world’s most prominent Mainers.
In Kingfield you can also enjoy the snowmobile trails connecting hundreds of miles of routes. The town also boasts the most southern trailhead of a 30 mile network of backcountry paths that have been made available for non-motorized recreation.
The family can all enjoy lots of opportunities to go walking, biking, hiking, running or cross-country skiing on the Narrow Gauge Pathway which follows the route of the Carrabassett River. This runs for six miles along a former rail bed.
In the spring and summer, the Carrabassett River is also excellent for fly fishing.
Getting to Sugarloaf
As well as driving and by taxi, there are flights and Greyhound bus services that are available to nearby Boston, Portland, and Bangor. Amtrak trains are also available to Portland and Boston. Transfer services and rental cars can be had at airports and stations.
The gateway airport is Sugarloaf Regional Airport, and other nearby airports include the Central Maine Airport, Norridgewock, and Steven A. Bean Municipal, Rangeley.
Staying at Sugarloaf
Accommodation for lodging on the mountain at Sugarloaf is available in a range of distinct and different styles. These range from the luxury Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel that evokes the spirit and style of a classic mountain lodge, through to a one-bedroom condo.
Guests can order full membership of the Sugarloaf Sports and Fitness Club during their stay. The Grand Summit Resort Hotel offers 120 rooms, while the Sugarloaf Inn is a quaint, country-style inn offering comfortable rooms and good views of the mountain. There are also vacation rental options.
In addition, there are 900 condominiums on the mountainside that range from five bedroom apartments to studios.
Some of the more popular hotels nearby Sugarloaf are the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel, Mountain View Motel, and the Spillover Motel.
Every choice of accommodation at Sugarloaf is located on the mountain, and the majority have ski-in, ski-out access.
Paul Miller is the Founder of Family Skier. He is an advanced skier and has extensive experience with family travel and ski schools. An accomplished skier, he has skied in 15 states and provinces and 6 countries. In addition to FamilySkier, his writing can be found on many ski-related websites, and as curriculum for many ski clubs in North America.