Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Massachusetts is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsWachusett Mountain Ski Area, in Princeton, Massachusetts, is about an hour west of Boston. Wachusett Mountain is the tallest mountain in the state east of the Connecticut River. The first skiing trails at Wachusett opened in the 1930s, and the first lifts were added in the 1960s.
The MountainThe summit elevation at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, which is traditionally open from the day after Thanksgiving until early April, is 2,006 feet and the ski area boasts a 1,000-foot vertical drop. Guests have access to a variety of long and short runs over 110 skiable acres. The longest run at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area measures 1 1/2 miles. Wachusett has 100 percent snowmaking capabilities, ensuring that the trails have at least 3 feet of snow. The ski area has a terrain park for snowboarders and freestyle skiers to practice their skills. Guests also have access to a demo center where they can try the latest skiing and snowboarding gear right on the slopes.
Trails And LiftsThe ski area has 22 trails, which are groomed twice daily with a group of five snow grooming vehicles. Thirty percent of the trails are for novices, 40 percent for intermediate skiers and snowboarders and 30 percent are more difficult. Guests access the trails by one of eight lifts, including a pony lift for beginners, two high-speed quad chairs, two triple chairs and three carpets. The ski area also offers night skiing opportunities.
In The NewsSeveral races are held at Wachusett Mountain. The National Standard Race (NASTAR), the world's largest grassroots ski racing program, encourages guests of all ages and ability levels to compete and improve their skills. Wachusett Mountain has a NASTAR course where skiers can be timed to see how they fare compared to the professional racers. Entrance fees range from $8 to $12. The ski area also hosts the Wachusett Mountain Race Team for skiers ages 7 through 19. The Ralph Crowley Classic is open to expert skiers and takes place on the Smith Walton trail.
CostLift tickets range in price from $15 for children 5 and younger, $44 for juniors 6 to 12 and $58 for adults during midwinter weekends and holiday periods. Tickets are discounted by $5 during the early and late seasons. Wachusett Mountain offers an unconditional guarantee: If guests are not satisfied with the mountain conditions, they can return their ticket for a future visit within an hour of purchase. Season passes cost between $349 for a weekday only pass and $649 for an unlimited pass. Ski lessons run between $89 and $199 for beginners and $40 and $160 for group classes. Private lessons are priced between $80 and $345. An adult rental package that comes with skis, boots and poles or snowboards and boots costs $34 for a full session, and helmets are an extra $10.
Apres-SkiWachusett Mountain Ski Area has several dining options. The Black Diamond Restaurant, with views of the slopes, offers sandwiches, nachos and other pub fare. The Coppertop Lounge serves up drinks in front of large-screen televisions. Guests can also eat at the Wachusett Cafeteria or get a cup of coffee at the Balance Rock Coffee Company. The historic on-site Bullock Lodge Cider House offers fresh cider doughnuts and apple cider, and the Wachusett Mountain Base Lodge makes a perfect place for guests to warm up and meet with friends. Guests can stay at the Wachusett Village Inn.
WATCH: Wachusett Mountain Ski Area
Take a look at what keeps guests coming back to Wachusett Mountain Ski Area.