Stratton is one of Southern Vermont’s best ski resorts. Standing 3,875 ft. tall, it is the highest peak of “the golden triangle” – which is completed by two nearby resorts; as well as the leader in snowmaking and grooming. When conditions are icy and crusty elsewhere in mid to southern Vermont, Stratton is loaded with groomed carpet and powder stashes.
Stratton is made up of two main areas - the front side, or main area, and the Sun Bowl area, and the peak offers trails for all levels. Your best way to the top, especially on wind blown days, is the Stratton gondola. When riding the gondola be prepared to make some friends because they pack them in (for a shorter wait jump in the singles line and meet your party at the top). Once at the summit I often opt to head down Drifter for what I call a warm up run. After another gondola run back to the summit, you can set off on an adventure on several different parts of the mountain. If you need to warm your bones or grab some quick eats, you can enjoy a full service mid mountain lodge, with a bar, at the bottom of North American trail.
Once you have experienced the main mountain, make your way to the Sun Bowl. It has varied terrain where both beginners and advanced skiers and riders can get their fill. This area is served by two high-speed six-person lift chairs, and offers some excellent bump runs if you’re feeling a little adventurous. This year the Sun Bowl has a few new things to offer: two new trails, a boarder cross course, après ski activities like snowmobiling and a lift served tubing area which is great for families. The Sun Bowl will also play host to monthly full moon parties (I have yet to go but I will make sure and fill you in when I finally check them out).
Also of note, Stratton hosts the longest running snowboard event, The US Open. Every year on the 3rd weekend of March you can experience this outrageous snowboard event at the Sun Bowl in the ½ pipe/superpipe and slopestyle course.
Speaking of parties, if you leave the Sun Bowl in search of fun and food look no further than the main base lodge area. Besides an assorted selection of shops, you will find many après options like Grizzly’s with its open area deck right by the gondola, and Mulligan’s with its many rooms for food and drink (including a local secret spot called The Green Door Pub which is located underneath). Continue walking through the surrounding rustic village, and you will come across Mulberry Street Restaurant where you not only get great martinis and calzones, but you can find a family friendly atmosphere.
Whether you’re staying a night or a week at Stratton, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from for lodging. The Long Train House and Rising Bear both have large condos, an outdoor heated pool, and hot tubs. If you are on a budget, The Inn at Stratton is a recommended choice. If you are interested in slope-side, there are plenty of rentals available.
Stratton has taken a beating for its high priced lift tickets, but if you plan a stay mid-week you can get some excellent deals if you combine lodging with your lift tickets. Otherwise, their snow quality, town life, high-speed lifts and terrain options are worth it.