Sunday River: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide
12/28/2011 05:06 pm ET
Jan 05, 2012
The Huffington Post
Sunday River in Maine is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Sunday River, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The Sunday River Resort, spanning three miles between White Cap and the Jordan Bowl, has some of the best snowmaking capabilities of any East Coast resort. The resort's boundary-to-boundary policy opens up more than 1,000 acres of terrain to explore, including steeps, glades and rolls on the top of the mountain to wide, flat trails for newer skiers. Sunday River is located five miles from Bethal, Maine, in Newry, Maine, and is accessible via the Portland International Jetport or the Logan International Airport.
Sunday River Resort actually comprises eight peaks spanning three miles. White Cap, the highest peak, summits at 3,140 feet with a vertical drop of 1,630 feet. During the regular season, running from early November through late April, the mountain receives an annual average of 167 inches of snow. To make up for those less snowy periods, the resort's arsenal of 1,900 snow guns produces fresh powder on 525 acres of slope.
Trails And Lifts
The slopes of Sunday River Resort include 132 trails spanning more than 50 miles, and with 43 novice trails, 47 intermediate trails, 26 expert trails and 16 expert-only trails, the mountain offers terrain for skiers of all ability levels. White Heat, the longest, steepest and widest lift-serviced trail in the eastern United States, runs down the slopes of White Cap. In addition to the trails, Sunday River houses one superpipe, one mini-pipe and five terrain parks where boarders and skiers can practice new tricks. Sixteen total lifts, including one high-speed gondola, four high-speed quads, five fixed quads, three triples, one double and two surface lifts, shuttle 30,000 skiers to the tops of the trailheads each hour.
In The News
Sunday River has played host to several international ski and snowboarding events, including ski and snowboarding World Cups and the United States Snowboarding Grand Prix. In 2001, X Games and Olympic athlete Jonny Moseley regained his spot on the U.S. Olympic ski team with a second-place finish in the World Cup qualifier at Sunday River. In 2009, the resort hosted the Snowboarding World Cup, where athletes Benjamin Karl and Amelie Kober took home gold. The Gould Academy at Sunday River trains young athletes over the age of 7 in competitive Alpine and freestyle skiing as well as snowboarding.
One-day lift tickets to Sunday River range from $55 for juniors and seniors to $80 for adults. Extended 12-hour lift tickets that allow skiing until 8 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays cost $3 to $4 more. Discounted tickets are available for groups, military and night-only skiing. Frequent skiers should purchase season passes ranging from $30 for an unlimited pass for children under 5 and seniors over 80, to $1,149 for adults. The rental shop rents ski and snowboard packages starting at $39 per day, with an additional charge for helmets. Skiers and boarders of all ability levels can improve their skills with private or group lessons from the Perfect Turn Ski & Snowboard School, with prices starting from $57 for a half-day clinic for children between the ages of 7 and 14.
After a tiring day on the trails, visitors need not go into town to get their fill of after-ski fun. Instead, they can enjoy one of the several restaurants and lodging options Sunday River has to offer. Diners at Sliders enjoy scenic views of the Jordan Bowl on the sun deck. For a cold beer on the sun deck overlooking Barker and Locke peaks, skiers should head to Barker Pub, and for the night owls and party animals, Foggy Goggles at the South Ridge Lodge is the place to be. Hungry skiers and boarders can head to a number of other on- and off-slope establishments for everything from American fare to Italian cuisine.
WATCH: Sunday River
Get a taste of freshly-made powder throughout the season at Sunday River.