11 Best Adirondack Ski Resorts

Best Adirondack Ski Resorts

Getting out there for your winter recreation can be less enjoyable when a ski resort is overcrowded. How are you supposed to enjoy some fresh pow or teach your best buddy how to shred if there are hundreds of people on the slopes with you? Although you can have a great day on the mountain in a crowd, if really want to enjoy your day, hit up some local Adirondack Ski Resorts for a good time.

While many of the big mountains of the East might be overrun, some of the best Adirondack Ski Resorts remain *mostly* untouched. If you’re looking to get out this winter and enjoy the snow, I have a list of 11 local Adirondack Ski Resorts that are sure to be less crowded than some of your more popular East coast mountains. Find the perfect place to ride with the whole family or the best place to catch the first chair and ride well into the night with this list.  

Best Adirondack Ski Resorts

Although most of these might be better described as Ski Areas as opposed to resorts, they’re still a lovely place to visit. Whether you’re coming for the day or spending the whole weekend in town with the family, these ski areas will not disappoint!

In order from least popular Adirondack Ski Resort to more popular…

1. Mt. Pisgah

The gentle slopes and welcoming, knowledgeable staff at Mt. Pisgah make this a wonderful place to learn. A single T-bar lift provides access to 15 acres worth of beginner trails. The beautiful thing about a T-bar is that YOU can choose the length of your ride… hop off wherever you’re most comfortable and enjoy the slopes. Mt. Pisgah might not actually fall into the category of Adirondack Ski Resorts, but it’s a great low key place to learn or ski and snowboard as a family.

This may be a small, very local ski spot, but this doesn’t mean they don’t have some big mountain amenities. The centrally located lodge provides views up skiers and snowboarders across the whole slope. Mt. Pisgah also offers ski and snowboarding lessons, tubing, and snowshoeing opportunities. With some of the most affordable prices in the Adirondacks, you must stop here with your family. 

2. Hickory Ski Center

Located just north of Lake George in Warrensburg, Hickory Ridge Ski Center is nestled in the scenic Adirondack Mountains. Founded in 1945 by veterans of the famed ski troops of the American 10th Mountain Division, it was originally named “Hickory Hill”. Its location is a profoundly beautiful spot in the Adirondacks;  sheer rock massifs surround the confluence of the Schroon and Hudson Rivers making this a uniquely stunning Adirondack view.

Hickory Ridge Lodge is straight out of the 50s. The front porch runs the whole length of the lodge and looks up at the Poma 1 and Hickory’s Main Slope, the Hunny Run. Three lifts provide you with access to all different kinds of terrain; 19 different family-friendly trails await you at the ‘summit’ of Hickory Ridge. It’s important to note that Hickory Ridge is not a ski resort, it is a true local spot where generations of Hickory Ridge Skiers spend their winters.

3. Woods Valley

Located just south west of Adirondacks, Woods Valley is a great local spot to take the family skiing. Although it is not inside the Adirondack park boundaries, its location will make you question how close you are to the city of Rome. The ski center provides beautiful views of Delta Lake.

Of the fourteen trails, ten are open for night skiing Wednesday-Saturday. There are 2 double chair lifts, a T-bar, a magic carpet, and a snow tubing area. Purchase to Learn to Ski or Learn to Snowboard packages if you’re new to the sport and looking for a great deal. Packages include an Easy Acres lift pass, Rental Equipment, and a Group Lesson.  The Easy Acres lift pass and rental equipment are valid until close on day or night of purchase

4. Snow Ridge

Located right in the middle of the Tug Hill Plateau, Snow Ridge mountain is inundated with snow each winter. They receive over 230” of snow each season. Six lifts lead to 26 different trails and 2 terrain parks; small mountain vibes with big mountain snow make this a great place to learn the tricks and tips of the trail. 

This family-owned ski and snowboard center also offers night skiing on Thursdays and Fridays.  Grab a beverage or a full meal at Tavern230; the newly invigorated Candlelight Restaurant has a new name, new menu, and the coziest hillside seating area around the fireplace. You’re bound to enjoy this slope-side ski lodge atmosphere after a full day on the mountain!

5. Titus Mountain

This Northern Adirondack Ski Mountain is just a short drive from Potsdam, Plattsburgh, and the Canadian Border. This ski resort offers 50 runs, 3 terrain parks, and night skiing! The main base area is open for night skiing, making Titus Mountain the longest ski day in New York. Ride long after the sun has set on 15 lit trails and 2 lit terrain parks.

This family-focused mountain also offers a newly renovated tubing hill, Mo’s Moon Valley Grill, and a “Skin and Ski” ticket for those looking to earn their turns. Seemingly a jack of all trades, Titus Mountain is also the home of Moon Valley Maple; local maple syrup born on the slopes of the mountain! Be sure to bring home a souvenir that keeps on giving by grabbing your bottle of syrup on your next visit. 

Titus Mountain also has a Ski School and a really awesome 411 deal. All 4th-grade students who participate in the “Intro to Ski” School program will leave with a free season pass and rental. This deal also comes with one free lift ticket and rental for a parent or guardian to join in on the fun as well. Fourth graders from participating schools are eligible for this program. 


This southern Adirondack Ski Resort boasts 22 alpine trails over 230 acres of terrain. Two T-bars and 1 quad allow for an uphill lift capacity of 3,000 skiers per hour; you’ll never leave Oak Mountain feeling like you didn’t get enough runs in. Oak Mountain also features 4 lanes of snow tubing for those family members who might not be one for the alpine skiing or snowboarding action.

 At Oak, there is terrain to suit everyone’s needs at an affordable rate! The mountain is home to an outstanding Ski and Snowboard School, is accessible by snowmobile, and provides miles of Snowshoeing trails. You can take a hike/snowshoe through the forest, enjoy a breathtaking view from the top of the chairlift, or dine in the relaxed atmosphere of the Acorn Pub and Eatery. All who visit are sure to create long-lasting memories and have a great time.

Oak Mountain Quad Lift Off

7. McCauley Mountain

This local, family-oriented ski mountain is open on average, 105 days out of the year. This means that there are 105 days you can spend on the mountain with family and friends. Two T-bar tows, two rope tows, and one double chairlift provide access to 23 different runs. 26% of these runs are at the beginner level, 43% intermediate, and 30% advanced. McCauley is also home to one terrain park.

McCauley offers some of the very best lift ticket rates out of all Adirondack Ski Resorts. They also offer a number of specials. These specials include serious deals, such as the $ 5-afternoon pass to ski with your kids Mondays thru Thursdays from 2 pm to 4:15 pm. If you’re local to the Old Forge area or looking for a low-key Adirondack winter get-away, this is definitely the spot.

Stay 15 Minutes from McCauley Mountain at The #1 Adirondack Resort

8. West Mountain Ski Resort

At the foot of the Adirondack Mountains, just minutes off of Rt 87, West Mountain offers day and night skiing and snowboarding, tubing, a tuning and rental shop, and the West Mountain Bar and Eatery. This Ski Resort also offers ski lessons, stay & play holiday camps, a ski club, and a masterclass series for adults. With affordable lift ticket prices and close proximity to several local hotels, you can’t go wrong with a weekend trip to West Mountain.

At West Mountain, you’ll find 31 trails across 126 acres, ranging from easy, gentle learning slopes to challenging, expert terrain. One of the best parts of a day at West is that you don’t have to plan on leaving when the sun goes down. West Mountain is one of the few that offers night skiing on 15 trails. This allows visitors to ski for hours longer than they could at other Adirondack Ski Resorts.

9. Gore Mountain

Gore Mountain may be the biggest Ski Resort in New York State. It’s 42 miles and 439 acres of fun are tucked away into the small mountain town of North Creek. Arguably, the best Adirondack Ski Resort, Gore is home to 14 lifts, 110 trails, and 7 terrain parks, bringing Big East energy to a small town. 

Gore Mountain brings serious big-time Ski Resort vibes. With cozy lodging options and on-mountain dining so you can really optimize your time on the slopes. Gore Mountain also has a rental shop where you can rent your gear for the weekend or tune/repair the gear you’ve brought along. Gore participated in RFID ticketing which allows you to skip the ticket window by reloading your SKI3 card prior to your trip.

10. Whiteface

Whiteface definitely falls into the busy East Coast Ski Resort category. With that in mind, it’s one of the very best Adirondack Ski Resort experiences for the more experienced skier or snowboarder. This premier Ski resort is only 13 miles from Lake Placid, making it an Adirondack Ski and Snowboarding Hot Spot. There are ample lodging opportunities in the surrounding areas and a number of delicious restaurant options. 

With the most vertical drop of all the East Coast Ski Resorts, it’s no surprise that Whiteface was the location for the 1980 Winter Olympic Games. Twelve lifts, including one gondola, provide access to 288 skiable acres. 87 names trails, 53 acres of glades skiing, and 4 terrain parks are bound to keep skiers and snowboarders of all abilities entertained. Although Whiteface may be one of the busiest ski spots in the Adirondacks, it’s worth the trip and every penny!

11. Big Tupper *CLOSED*

We’re falling out of order here with number 11… Big Tupper is not the most popular ski spot in the Adirondacks – however, it easily could be and definitely should be on the list!

At one time in history, five lifts could transport skiers and snowboarders to the summit of Mt. Morris. In the last two decades, Big Tupper has failed to stay open. This ski center has the potential to service the locals of Tupper Lake by providing both a great local recreation center for residents to utilize while increasing winter tourism. 

Free Skiing and Snowboarding in the Adirondacks

There are a few free downhill skiing opportunities in the Adirondacks as well. They may not fall into the Best Adirondack Ski Resorts category, but free skiing and snowboarding is actually the best kind.

  • Indian Lake Ski Hill & Skating Park is a community mountain where you can take some turns free of charge. Although it may be small, all activities offered here are free of charge!
    1-518-648-5611 | Route 30, Indian Lake, NY 12842
  • Dynamite Hill Recreation Center provides an opportunity for beginners to gain confidence on the snow for free! The other amazing thing about Dynamite Hill is that it is pet friendly… so make sure you bring those adventure pups along for the fun.
    1-518-494-2722 | 3 Dynamite Hill,Chestertown, NY 12817
  • Otis Mountain is another free recreation and music festival venue in the Adirondacks. There are four seasons of fun at Otis Mountain; you can ski, snowboard, mountain bike, hike, or snowshoe for free.
    1-518-523-1365 | 2 miles south of Elizabethtown on Route 9, turn left onto Lobdell Lane

Please leave these free skiing opportunities better than you found them! There is always an opportunity to to give back to the space which provides you joy.

Which of our Adirondack Ski Resorts is Best?

Well… that’s for you to decide! Everyone looks for something a little different in their Ski/Snowboard trip experience. Personally, I suggest you try them all. They each offer a unique experience; advanced snow bums & bunnies will most likely prefer a different mountain than a family trying to learn the ins and outs of the slopes. Your unique situation matters! Choose the mountain that seems best for your needs.

Due to proximity and small-town vibes, McCauley Mountain is my number one choice for some Sunday turns. If I’m trying to plan a full weekend with a group of friends, I’m definitely going to try and head to Whiteface or Gore. Although I’ve yet to shred Gore Mountain, it’s first on my list for this winters Big Ski Trip. As badly as I want to head back to Killington in Vermont, Gore is calling my name!

If you plan for a ski weekend and are met with conditions that aren’t ideal, don’t forget that you can always head out for a winter hike. Enjoy the beauty of winter with one of these 7 best Adirondack Winter Hikes and if you’re in the Lake Placid area, try to eat at one of these bangin’ restaurants.

Trying out multiple mountains this winter can be made easy with the Adirondack Ski Resort reciprocal skiing program. Through this program, you can ski for free or at a discounted rate at all participating local mountains. The attached flyer is from the 19-20 season!

Published by expeditioneducation

Hi there, I'm Kati! I'm an outdoor recreation loving public school teacher who plans epic adventures on her school breaks. If you like to explore and experience beautiful new places on a budget, then let me help you plan your next trip!

Share your thoughts Cancel reply