The Mount Washington Hotel in the foreground of Bretton Woods.
I have to write a story to my beginnings as a skier, learning at the family friendly and scenic Bretton Woods, which also happens to be New Hampshire’s biggest ski resort. The view is breathtaking from any of the trails, which all seem to have a photo worthy moment of Mount Washington or its historic namesake hotel. The ski school is world renowned and the trails forgiving to the novice skier. This mountain is ideal for introducing that inexperienced boy/girlfriend or husband/wife to skiing. The Mount Washington hotel provides lodging and lift tickets at a reasonable price. The hotel also features a former “speakeasy” in the basement, perfect for nostalgia and/or history buffs.
As I said earlier Bretton Woods is not the most challenging of ski resorts, this is not to say it is a complete waste for a more experienced skier. The addition of the West Mountain provides the more advanced skier with a wide variety of glades (notably “Cliff’s Cliff” and the “Boundary Line Glade”) as well as a few black diamond runs, such as “Waumbek” and “Little Tuckerman”. Unfortunately most of the more challenging runs at Bretton Woods are too short to really get into and before you know it your coasting down to the lift on one of the many blue squares which would pass as green circles at many other mountains. The “Rosebrook Canyon Glades” do offer more difficult runs but again, there length is their greatest detriment. Aside from the short runs Bretton Woods has historically been reliable for good natural snow and plenty of snow making coverage, providing access to the majority of the 101 trails from mid December right through late April.
The Bretton Woods area has some great opportunities for lodging, and with at least a three hour drive from Boston you will want to find a place to stay for the night. I mentioned the Mount Washington hotel earlier, with its historic significance and spectacular views from the back veranda the hotel is worth at least visiting even if you decide to take advantage of other lodging options. There are also several townhouse options for those going with a large group. Some are located right next to the trails while the majority are located across the street. Both the townhouses and the Mount Washington hotel offer complimentary transport to and from the base of Bretton Woods. My last trip to Bretton Woods we managed to jam twelve adults comfortably into one of their townhouses in the “Rosebrook” development. The townhouses were spacious, well maintained, and offered beautiful views of Bretton Woods from the porch off the back. In addition to the skiing the area offers unique experiences, such as horse drawn sled rides and lessons for dog sledding! My parents made the trip this season to watch the dog sled races and I was told it was a great time.
Although I would never recommend the mountain for a group of advanced skiers, it offers a good introduction to the novice skier and forgiving trails to someone who is looking to get back into skiing after a few years off. Coupled with some decent nightlife and good food this is a mountain that anyone or group could enjoy a weekend at.