What to Expect
First thing’s first, welcome to the Mad River Valley. The Valley is home to beautiful scenic views, friendly people, amazing food and libations and most importantly – awesome skiing/riding! This section is intended to get you to the mountain as easily as possible, help you know where to stay if you haven’t found a place already, terrain you can expect at the different peaks and chairlifts and how to find the trails that are most suitable for your ability level.
Where is Sugarbush
1bi. Sugarbush Resort is in the Mad River Valley of Northern Vermont in Warren. Located just thirty minutes off I-89 and only an hour from Burlington, getting to us is easy and worth the trip.
1bii. Home to many winter and summer activities, the Mad River Valley is a hub for folks that love to be outdoors. Home to both Mad River Glen and Sugarbush, the Valley is an epicenter of cool ski-town culture. People come here for the wide variety of ski-based terrain and stay for the beauty of the surrounding Green Mountains, the history, the unique people and the genuinely independent-feel of all the above. You won’t find another place like it.
How to get here
ci. Lincoln Peak: 102 Forest Drive, Warren, VT 05674
Mt. Ellen: 626 Mt. Ellen Road, Waitsfield, VT 05673
Human Resources: 2387 Sugarbush Access Road, Warren, VT 05674
Sugarbush Resort Golf Club: 1091 Golf Course Road, Warren, VT 05674
Sugarbush Health and Recreation Center: 148 Sports Center Drive, Warren, VT 05674
Mailing Address: 1840 Sugarbush Access Road, Warren, VT 05674
(Also found on our Getting Here page)
cii. We realize that Northern Vermont doesn’t always seem close, but Sugarbush is just an easy drive from both the Boston and Burlington Airports, and well worth the trip. Map out your drive here:
Where to Stay
di & ii. Clay Brook Hotel & Residences – Offers luxury slopeside lodging accommodations for all occasions and the easiest mountain access.
Sugarbush Inn – Located on the Sugarbush Access Road and Mad Bus shuttle route, the Sugarbush Inn is a traditional Vermont country inn.
Resort Condos – An array of four-bedroom condominiums and country townhomes located within the Sugarbush Resort. Most options are along the Mad Bus shuttle route for easy access to the mountain and Lincoln Peak base area.
diii. When looking for the Resort, it’s important to make sure you’re heading to the right address. While we are the only Sugarbush Resort, there are quite a few businesses in the area with sugar in their names. Places such as the Sugar Lodge are not part of the Resort and putting this into your GPS will not get you where you are trying to be. But don’t worry, it happens all the time!
Lincoln Peak vs Mt. Ellen
ei1. Sugarbush Resort is home to two distinct mountains, our southern mountain, Lincoln Peak, and our northern mountain, Mt. Ellen. The mountains are only located 4.2 miles away from each other from parking lot to parking lot and are connected by chairlift and daily shuttle bus during the winter season.
ei2. From Christmas until the end of March, the two mountains are serviced by a daily shuttle bus called the GMT. Typically, the shuttle picks-up/drops-off about every 20-30 minutes right in front of the main lodge at Mt. Ellen and main base area entrance at Lincoln Peak. This is the most reliable way to commute between the two mountains. These buses also service the greater resort condominium areas, the Sugarbush Inn and all the way into the Mad River Valley business district. Check their schedule here.
ei3. Snowpack levels and temperatures permitting, you can also connect between the two mountains via our upper mountain Slidebrook Express Quad. This lift runs from about 10 AM – 3 PM daily. At Lincoln Peak, you can access this from the Gate House Quad or at Mt. Ellen via the Green Mountain Express Quad. It’s important to remember that if you are a Value Pass Holder or Mt. Ellen Only Ticket Holder you will have access restrictions to this lift. Be sure to read the fine print on your ticket. Riding Slidebrook is an absolute MUST for any new visitor as it is one of the longest and most scenic chairlift rides in the country. Since it connects beginner and intermediate terrain at both mountains, it’s doable for skiers and riders of all abilities. Please keep in mind that due to the length and remoteness of the lift, we highly recommend your little ones ride in pairs.
eii1 & 2. The bulk of our resort’s amenities reside at Lincoln Peak. These include slopeside hotel and condos, our children’s ski & ride programming, most of our resort restaurants and pubs, as well as our day care and fitness facilities. Meanwhile, Mt. Ellen is home to our premiere terrain park, is a designated U.S. Ski Team Development Site and home to the Green Mountain Valley School’s elite ski racing academy, and is the northern Vermont location for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. We prefer to leave the nuance of differences between these two great mountains to the opinions of our guests. But for those of you who may be new to us, we often describe Lincoln Peak as having a little more glitz and glam – more amenities and services; while Mt. Ellen tends to be our local’s favorite with a greater sense of old-school Vermont charm. Make no mistake though the terrain, grooming, snowmaking, lift capacity, food quality and incredible Be Better Here spirit and camaraderie – are dead even among the two. We highly recommend you make time during your visit to experience both mountains, you won’t be disappointed. To learn more about each mountain, click here.
eiii 1 – 3.
As mentioned previously, we feel pretty strongly that our two mountains are dead even in what they have to offer from the terrain perspective, but we’ll give you some of our insider tips so you can better know what to expect when you get here. Bottom line, Lincoln Peak has more lifts, more trails and a larger selection of green circle terrain. For first-time Sugarbush visitors and especially first-time skiers and riders, we generally recommend you start at Lincoln Peak.
With fewer lifts, trails and a smaller selection of green circle terrain – what sets our northern mountain apart? V.E.R.T.I.C.A.L. - also known as Vert. Mt. Ellen is one of Vermont’s Four Thousand Footers standing at 4,083’ - a good 100+ taller than Lincoln Peak. Better yet, it’s got 2600’ of lift served vertical compared to Lincoln’s 2400’, making it one of the best in the entire East. It’s also got early lifts. The Green Mountain Express Quad opens daily at 8 AM, whereas Lincoln Peak lifts don’t open until 9 AM midweek. So, for those of you that crave freshies and first chair, Mt. Ellen is your girl, another reason she’s so popular with our locals.
fi. tickets, you’ll need some of those. We probably should start calling them “cards” as that is what they really are. Ask a ticket agent for a wicket and you’ll receive a quizzical look. You need to have your SugarXpress Card to get on any lift, including base area carpets. For best ticket prices, book well in advance. However, before you hit that final Buy button – we recommend you look at all of our lessons & rentals packages to find the best deals. When in doubt, please give us a call – we’d love to chat with you. When you get here, to pick up your ticket or SugarXpress Card head to the first floor of The Farmhouse or visit one of our many Pick-up Boxes (PUBs) located in the base area. Don’t forget on future visits, you can reload those SugarXpress cards online and skip the ticket lines altogether.
fii. Buy Online – One of the many benefits of the Sugarbush online store is the convenience of being able to buy your tickets and passes ahead of time, cutting down on the amount of time spent at a ticket window or waiting in line once you get here.
- Cuts down on wait time – Already having a purchase number and purchase upon arrival makes your visit at the ticket window both easy and quick. Once our Guest Services representative receives your confirmation number, you’ll be handed a reusable RFID card that can be used again and again for future Sugarbush purchases.
- RFID card kiosks – New to the mountain are our RFID kiosks, which eliminate needing to go to the ticket window completely. Simply find one of our kiosks towards the entrance of Lincoln Peak, type in your confirmation code from your online purchase, and an RFID card (your lift ticket/pass) will be dispensed, and you are good to go for a day of skiing/riding.