• 131 trails
• 49.8 miles of trails
• 667.7 skiable acres
• 1 Superpipe, 4 terrain parks
• 16 chair lifts
• 3,140ft summit elevation
• 155 inches annual snowfall
Sunday River is considered big skiing for Maine. The Resort’s 132 runs are mostly long, steep, and groomed, and are spread out across eight interconnected mountain peaks that each offer a different skiing experience. WhiteCap offers some of the most challenging terrain and the legendary mogul run, White Heat. The OZ is a unique bowl with advanced black and double black terrain and open runs. Since backcountry options are limited, the natural features at the OZ provide an excellent alternative. Barker Mountain offers a variety of terrain from beginner cruisers to aggressive black diamonds. Locke Mountain has narrow and fast blue trails and is home of the superpipe and terrain park. Spruce Peak consists of short, steep, bump runs and long beginner runs. North Peak provides various beginner and intermediate runs. Aurora services a mix of intermediate and black diamond runs, including celestial one of the best glades on the mountain. And Jordan Bowl is home to a solid mixture of runs - from challenging glades to beginner slopes - and the best scenery on the mountain.
With only about 155 annual inches of snow (a relatively low snowfall) icier conditions seem to persist this Resort. But when the snow is fresh and deep, visitors pour in from not only Boston, but from most other New England cities as well. With eight peaks, beating the crowds is relatively easy here. Coupled with the breathtaking views from the summit (especially on a clear day), it’s pretty easy to accept and get used to any lack of snow.
Overall, the skiers and visitors of Sunday River are a diverse crowd looking for everything from terrain parks, to bump runs, to groomed runs, and even extreme runs and challenging terrain. Though mostly from the NE, they are welcoming to anyone that appreciates what makes their mountain special.
Once off the mountain, dining options and shops are limited. But there is one fine dining experience that seems to make up for the lack of choices. A chondola ride will bring you to the North Peak Lodge where, upon arrival you are served hors d’oeuvres and complementary champagne before being whisked away into the dining area. Here you will have an incredible view of the Sunday River slopes through the restaurant’s large glass windows. It really shouldn’t be missed.
Another option for dining and après ski is to take the trolley to Bethel. There you can enjoy everything form sushi and fine dining, to classic American food and pizzerias. Be advised, if you are between the ages of 21 and 35, Bethel has a very limited nightlife and the majority of destinations close early each night. Sunday River skiers are really there for one reason only – skiing.
*all photos courtesy of Sunday River