What to Expect
How to get here and where to go once you've arrived
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.Sugarbush is a big resort with a lot of different places to explore. From lessons to lifts, we’re here to help you get to where you’re looking to go. We’ve also included some tips and resources to use once you here to further help you know how to get to each specific place you are looking for – even how to find the best conditions for your specific skiing/riding preferences.
Where is Sugarbush?
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.
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.
When navigating make sure to use our correct address. Getting Here (Address Link)
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!
Differences Between Our Two Mountains
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.
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. 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 and the award winning Riemergasse Terrain Park. 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, 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.
Where to Stay
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 one to 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.
Lift Tickets and Passes
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.
One of the many benefits of the Sugarbush online store is the convenience of buying your tickets and passes ahead of time.
BUY ONLINE (E-Store Link)
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.rich-text, responsive-table
Get to Where You’re Going
Parking - Ample parking is available at both mountains, but keep in mind that the early bird gets the worm. Prime crunch hours for skier traffic are from 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM so if you can plan around this time period, do it. A limited amount of Handicap Parking and 80+ Parking are available in the front lots at both mountains.
On weekends and holidays, you can expect the Sugarbush Jitney to offer you a ride from your parking spot up to the base area. So, don’t be afraid to skip the drop-off zone and head straight to park your car. The Jitneys typically run from 7 AM – 5 PM, business dependent.
Unique to Lincoln Peak, a limited amount of Valet Parking is available for a fee on a first-come, first-serve basis. Pull straight into the Clay Brook Hotel drop-off where a Valet Attendant will greet you.
Don't miss the bus!
Stay tuned for operation updates and schedule changes for the upcoming season.
From Christmas until the end of March, the two mountains are serviced by a daily shuttle bus, 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.
Find What You’re Looking For
Both Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen have a wide variety of offerings, so as long as you know which mountain you are heading to, we’ll help you get to where you are trying to go.
Lessons at Lincoln Peak
This winter, the Sugarbush Ski & Ride School will be offering private lessons for individuals and small groups of family and friends. Customized seasonal lesson series will also be available. Check out our Ski & Ride School page for new offerings and details.
Home to The School House, our children’s ski and ride center where kids as young as three years old can enroll in day-long adventure programs. Our Ski & Ride School Director, Terry Barbour, always says “We’re not instructors, we’re adventure guides.” So, if you want your child to get hooked on skiing and riding, The Schoolhouse is where it’s at. Right next door you can find The Farmhouse Ski & Ride School for private, group and adult lessons. The Farmhouse is where you can also book a private excursion into our famous experts only, off-piste, Slidebrook Basin, or book a guided snowshoe tour, a great alternative for the non-skier or rider. While in The Farmhouse, it’s worth checking out our Rental & Tune Shop with our brand-new fleet of Burton snowboards, Elan skis and premiere demo options from K2, Volkl, Rossignol and more. This season, rentals will need to be reserved ahead of time. For best options and pricing on lessons and rentals, be sure you book well in advance.
Lessons at Mt. Ellen
Located on the main floor of the lodge, the Ski & Ride School is available for Private Lessons on weekends and holidays. Private Lessons may also be accommodated midweek if reserved. Home to the resort’s premiere terrain park, Riemergasse, Mt. Ellen is the premiere location for those wanting freestyle or park lessons. This desk is where you can also book guided snowshoe tours. Downstairs from Ski & Ride, you can find the Mt. Ellen Rentals and Tune Shop with all your needs and its own fleet of Burton snowboards, Elan skis and sweet demo gear. Just a reminder, rentals must be reserved ahead of time. Insider Tip, if you want to rent gear at Mt. Ellen midweek with the goal of grabbing the 8 AM first chair, be sure you pick up the day before as the shop doesn’t open until 8:30 AM.
Getting Tickets at Lincoln Peak
Visit one of our many Pick-up Boxes (PUBs) located outside of the Farm House. Don’t forget on future visits, you can reload those SugarXpress cards online and skip the ticket lines altogether.
Getting Tickets at Mt. Ellen
Tickets at Mt. Ellen can be picked up from the Pick-up Box located outside of the Ticket Booth.
We have Guest Services desks located at the first floor of the Gate House at Lincoln Peak and on the main floor of the lodge at Mt. Ellen. Stop by to ask our helpful and friendly staff any questions you have, to grab a trail map or extra information about Sugarbush and snag a few super cool stickers for your gear.
Day Care and the Historic Sugarbush Village
The Day School is currently not taking any reservations for this winter. Please stay tuned for winter operation updates and openings.
The resort’s only daycare option, other than private babysitting, is The Sugarbush Day School (open to children 6 weeks to 6 years) located in the historic Sugarbush Village. While the Day School is accessible on foot from the Lincoln Peak base area, we recommend driving. To do so, exit the Lincoln Peak main parking lot and make a left onto Village Road and then your first left after you pass our main entrance. At the top of the hill, park anywhere and walk across the covered bridge to the first building on your left. It is well signed; you can’t miss it. While in the Sugarbush Village be sure to check out the famous French bistro, Chez Henri which has been in continuous operation for more than 50 years, The Reks restaurant, Mutherstuffa’s, a New York style deli & sandwich shop (with the best subs in the Valley) and the Mountainside Ski Shop.
Please visit our Dining & Retail Protocol page to know what to expect when visiting our food and beverage establishments. Updates will continue to be made as we get closer to the season, but be on the lookout for details about a new online reservation and ordering system to be used for our dining locations. We are also planning to add new food and beverage outlets, including "grab and go" options, for our guests as well.
Clay Brook Hotel and Residences located at Lincoln Peak is home to our premiere restaurant, Rumble’s Bistro & Bar, where you can get table service all day long in the winter. Our newly renovated Lincoln Peak Courtyard is where you will find the best après scene on weekends and holidays.
Additional dining options include the Gate House Cafeteria, the Valley House Cafeteria, Castlerock Pub, and the Valley House Wunderbar. Allyn's Lodge and Walt's are both midway lodges at Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen if you need to rest your legs and/or grab a quick snack. Also at Mt. Ellen, the base lodge has the Mt. Ellen Cafeteria and a restaurant/bar called the Green Mountain Lounge. Our Sugarbush Restaurants are also proud members of 1% for the Planet.
Making the Most of Your Visit
We know you’ll have a good time here at Sugarbush Resort, but we want to make sure you have all the necessary resources to get you prepared to take on the mountain.
Download the Sugarbush App
The Sugarbush App is your unique and comprehensive all-season guide to Sugarbush Resort, all at your fingertips. Get up-to-the-minute lift status information, discover trail conditions, tune into the webcams for live footage of lift lines and terrain and so much more! Available on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
The Snow Report
Always be sure to check our Daily Snow Report. This will tell you what is open, what has been groomed, what the snow conditions are, and what the weather is. These are all important things to know before you boot up. And don’t forget to keep checking conditions and stats throughout the day, our Snow Reporters update the report all day long.
Know where to start at Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen with these directions for mountain navigation.
Things to Keep in Mind
The below section is subject to change. Please check back for updates as we get closer to the ski and ride season.
Skier/Ride Responsibility Code
Skiing and Riding is a fun sport, but it can be dangerous, and sometimes fatal, if certain rules are not followed. The National Ski Areas Association issued a Skier/Rider Responsibility Code that all ski areas abide by, including Sugarbush. There are seven points of the code that should be read before hitting the slopes.
Uphill Travel Policy
The Sugarbush Ski Resort and the United States Forest Service (“USFS”) encourage use of public lands. Please be aware that Sugarbush is located on both private and public land. Sugarbush Ski Resort operates under a permit issued by the USFS to Summit Ventures LLC. While enjoying these private and permitted lands, you must abide by Sugarbush Ski Resort’s rules and USFS restrictions and recommendations, including those summarized below and outlined in our winter operating plan. Any violations of these rules may result in suspension of lift privileges or prosecution for a criminal offense. We’ve provided a summary of restrictions and recommendations for Trail use and Uphill Access to give you a little bit of information and education.
In Case of an Emergency
In the unfortunate event you didn’t have your best day on the hill and you find yourself in need of some assistance, our Sugarbush Patrol located on the bottom floor of the lodge would be happy to help. They’ve got your back seven days a week.rich-text, responsive-table