Bretton Woods Mountain Resort in the White Mountains is New Hampshire’s largest ski area. The resort is often considered one of the top resorts in the East for grooming from Ski Magazine, and ranks #1 for 2018. It’s also frequently recognized for its snow quality, family programs, and customer service.
If you’re flying in, three airports are nearby: Portland International Jetport (Portland, Maine), Logan International Airport, and Manchester Boston Regional Airport (both in Boston). You’ll drive two hours from Portland and two and a half from Boston. From Montreal it’s a three-hour drive and from Hartford, Connecticut, four hours.
Annual snowfall is more than 200 inches a year and the ski season runs from early November to mid-April. Base elevation is 1,600 feet and elevation at the summit is 3,100 feet.
Bretton Woods has 62 alpine trails and 35 glades, 45 Nordic trails, 3 freestyle terrain parks for skiers and riders, and 10 lifts (Rosebrook Summit Express Quad, Zephyr Express Quad, Bethlehem Express Quad, West Mountain Express Quad, Learning Center Quad, Fabyan’s Express Triple, B-Lift Double, Telegraph T-Bar, Red Carpet, and Wonder Carpet).
Bretton Woods Mountain Resort has 464 skiable acres; 1,500-foot vertical rise; 25% beginner; 29% intermediate; 46% expert/advanced.
There are three terrain parks for skiers and riders–the largest jumps in Coös Terrain Park.
- Advanced: On Mount Rosebrook, black diamond trails are Bode’s Run, Darby’s Drop, Dave’s Drop, Deception Bowl, Firetower, McIntire’s Ride, Shenanigans, Sly Fox, Snake, Upper Chute, Upper Express, and Zealand. Advanced glades in the area are Among The Clouds, Lizzie Bourne Glades, and Wild West Glade. West Mountain has two black diamond trails (Little Tuckerman and Waumbek) and four black diamond glades (Boundary Line Glade, Cliff’s Cliff, John Grave’s Glades, and Maple Woods). Mount Rosebrook has one double-black-diamond trail, nine black-diamond glades, and nine double-black diamond glades. More advanced and expert glades are found in the Zephyr Area.
- Intermediate: Intermediate trails on Mount Rosebrook are Condo Cutback, Diamond Ridge, Down N’ Under, Fabyan’s Express, Lower In Between, No Regrets, and Panorama. Jacob’s Ladder, Joseph’s Run, Oscar Barron’s, and Starr King are on West Mountain. In the Zephyr Area, the blue squares are Aggassiz, Archie’s Alley, Carroll, Coos Caper, Crawford’s Blaze, Granny’s Grit, and Herb’s Secret. Intermediate glades are Rag’s Run on West Mountain and Black Forest Glade on Mount Rosebrook.
- Beginner: Beginner trails on Mount Rosebrook are Almost Home, Ben, Big Ben, Bigger Ben, Bretton’s Wood, Cascade, High Ridge, Mt. Road Traverse, Outer Bounds, Rosebrook Lane, Rosebrook Meadow, Sawyer’s Swoop, and Snowplay Zone. On West Mountain, green circles are Abel’s Traverse, Alpine Gardens, Avalon, Crawford Ridge, and Presidential. In the Zephyr Area, find Go West, Range View, Short Cut, and Triple Traverse.
Lift tickets begin at $81 for adults (19-64), $60 for teens (13-18), $45 for juniors (5-12), and $25 for seniors (65-79) on midweek non-holiday days. Weekend and holiday tickets cost $93 for adults, $70 for teens, $55 for juniors, and $93 for seniors. Holiday periods for the 2017/18 season include December 26 to 29, January 1, January 15, and February 19 to 23.
Discounts are provided for tickets purchased online in advance, resort guests, half-days (12 p.m. to 4 p.m.), night-skiing, Learning Center Quad only, multiple days, U.S. Military, and for parents skiing at different times with their families. Seniors over the age of 79 and children under 5 ski free at Bretton Woods.
Food and Drink
- Fabyan’s Restaurant: An old railroad station converted into a family-friendly restaurant and lounge, Fabyan’s is across from Bretton Woods. There you’ll find pub fare and casual eats for lunch and dinner, as well as a full bar.
- Slopeside Pub & Restaurant: At the upper level of the Base Lodge, the wide windows at Slopeslide will make you feel like you’re still outside but the seasonal lunch menu (with soups, burgers, and hot sandwiches) will keep you warm and relaxed inside
- Lucy Crawford’s Food Court: With options for breakfast and lunch as well as snacks and hot beverages for night skiing, Lucy Crawford’s Food Court on the main level of the Base Lodge is open all season from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Latitude 44°: For a mid-mountain sit-down lunch with views of Mt. Washington and the Presidential Mountain Range, visit Latitude 44° off of the Bethlehem Express Hi-Speed Quad
- The Grille: Lunch (salads, wings, sandwiches) is served daily at the Grille at the Nordic Center with views of the Presidential Mountain Range
- The Dining Room: A four-diamond breakfast buffet and dinner are served each day at Bretton Woods’ Omni Mount Washington Resort. Enjoy nightly music and local ingredients in an upscale atmosphere. Appropriate attire is required.
- The Bretton Arms Dining Room: At Omni Bretton Arms Inn, you’ll find a more casual option with farm-to-table cuisine and a complete wine list
- Signature Dinner Series: On select nights once a month, experience a special themed fine-dining experience in the Princess Room of the Omni Mount Washington Resort. For example, in January 2018, celebrate the New Year with five different Scottish scotches and unique food pairings.
Rentals and Gear
Reserving equipment online in advance will save you some money. Otherwise, rentals are made at the Bretton Woods Rental and Repair Shop. Rates vary based on package (skis or snowboard/boots/poles, skis only, high-performance) and length of rental (one to five days, half-day, twilight, night). Kids (ages 5-12) and seniors (65+) will pay less than adults.
Lessons and Clinics
The children’s (ages 4-12) program at Bretton Woods is called the Hobbit Ski & Snowboard School. The programs are consistently voted in the top ten in the East. Full-day and half-day programs are offered for skiers (ages 4-12) or snowboarders (ages 6-12). Cocoa breaks and supervised lunches are built into the schedule. There are also nursery and snowplay programs for non-skiers (ages 2 months to 5 years).
Skiing and Snowboarding Alternatives
- Nordic Center: Bretton Woods has more than 1,770 acres of skiable area at the Nordic center. There are 100 km of 45 trails of varying difficulty (34% beginner, 45% intermediate, 21% expert) to cross-country ski or snowshoe. Rentals and lessons are available.
- Canopy Tour: Bretton Woods’ canopy tour includes such features as nine cable ziplines (up to 165 feet high, the longest being 830 feet long, with speeds up to 25 miles an hour), two sky bridges, and three rappels. The tour is three hours long and led by a pair of guides who share details about the surrounding White Mountains, nature, history, and local legends. Reservations are recommended.
- Sleigh Rides: Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one-horse (or two-horse) open sleigh at Bretton Woods, available October through April if there is enough snow on the ground
- Snowtubing: Rent a tube by the hour at the Stone Pillar Lodge and spin, glide, and slide down the tubing run. Night tubing is available on specific days around the holidays.
- Ice-Skating: Skate outdoors with views of the Presidential Mountain Range, using your own skates or renting them for $10 an hour in 2017/18 (weather-permitting)
- Snowmobiling: Snowmobiles can be rented from Mt. Washington Snowmobile Rentals or kids can ride in the Bretton Woods Kids Snowmobile Park. Helmets and instructions are provided before letting the kids loose in the park filled with banked turns and straight stretches. Reservations are recommended. There’s also a playground nearby with a snow-tubing carousel, mini zipline, and more.
- Guided Backcountry Tours: For extra thrills and a custom tour depending on your goals, experiment with backcountry skiing, ice-climbing, or ascending to Mount Washington with an experienced guide. Advanced reservations required.
- Indoor Climbing: On the slopeside level of the base lodge, there is a 624-square-foot climbing wall where you can scale up 30 feet and a 300-square-foot bouldering cave that’s closer to the ground
- Fat-Biking: Rent specially-designed-for-snow fat-bikes (with tires up to 5 inches wide) and ride around the resort on an extensive trail system
- Dog-Sledding: Dog Sled rides are offered in nearby Jefferson, through Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel
Some of the best nearby dining is at the historic (since 1902) and luxurious Omni Mount Washington Resort, also named one of our favorite hotels for prime leaf peeping in the fall. Another option is the adults’ escape of Omni Bretton Arms Inn, with a wrap-around porch, beautiful gardens, and a cozy fireplace. The Lodge has an indoor pool and private balconies with views of the surrounding winter wonderlands. For more space, rent a two- to five-bedroom townhome with a full kitchen and living area.