Ski New Hampshire, courtesy Omni Mt Washington Resort
Our checklist for picking the best ski resorts for families with teens includes a lodging set-up that allows teens a fair amount of independence and a range of on and off slope options for everyone in the group. We found the following three resorts that fill the bill in New Hampshire.
Omni Mount Washington Resort at Bretton Woods
The Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods is New Hampshire’s largest ski area with 464 acres of skiing and snowboarding on 102 trails and glades, four terrain parks and nine lifts. Located in the heart of the White Mountains’ Presidential Range, the scenery is spectacular and the choice of available activities is impressive.
Omni Mount Washington Winter Canopy Tour, courtesy Omni
There are no specific teen lesson programs but an innovative Family private lesson option pairs up to 5 family members of any age with 2 instructors for a one hour private lessons to get every one started or to brush up on skills. Teens 13 and older can participate in adult group or private lessons. The Terrain Parks offer lots of options for boarders. Teens age 13-17 get a $14 daily discount off of adult rates and additional ticket discounts are available to visitors staying at the resort.
Off the slopes the resort has 100 km of nordic trails and many other activities including family sleigh rides, snow tubing, dog sledding, and a 25, 000 square foot spa. Teens 16 and older can experience any spa service while younger teens and tweens can accompany parents for manicures, pedicures or hair services. New this year, the Bretton Woods Canopy Tour, provides one of the longest canopy tours in the U.S. including the Williwaw Racing Zipline. Together they allow you to get a view over the treetops from 150 feet up in the air.
The resort offers ski in/ski out condo rentals, a family friendly lodge, 34 rooms in the historic Bretton Arms Inn and 200 rooms and suites in the recently renovated grand Mount Washington Hotel.
Cranmore Mountain Resort
Located in North Conway in the heart of the Mount Washington Valley, the Cranmore Mountain Resort features a good size mountain with 2000 feet of elevation, 54 trails and 10 lifts. Teens age 13-17 get a $10 daily discount off of adult rates. Less expensive night tickets are available for skiing on Saturdays when there are fireworks and select school vacation times when the mountain stays open after dark.
In the parks at Cranmore Mountain Resort, courtesy John Webster
The area is compact enough that teens can navigate it on their own with buddies or make some new friends in the terrain parks. The 3 parks aptly named the Lucky Loop, the Other Side and the Darkside were designed by SPT, a group that also consults to the X games.
The resort has recently opened the twisting, turning Mountain Coaster sled on rails and expanded its popular snow tubing park to 10 lanes wide with lift service.
There are no condos right on the mountain but many lodging options are available very close by in the numerous hotels, inns, and condo rental complexes available in North Conway. Many have heated indoor pools and hot tubs available. Check the Resort’s web list of lodging partners – many will include free lift tickets, breakfast and other incentives in their stay and ski package promotions. Not a skier? Drop the teens at the mountain and head down the street to North Conway for lunch and tax-free shopping.
One of the closest big mountain ski areas to Boston, Waterville Valley resort is a self-contained outpost located in the White Mountain National Forest.
The mountain has vertical drop of 2,020 feet with 52 trails at all levels, including moguls, a half pipe and a superpipe. Overnight lodgings are not permitted within the National Forest but the base village hosts a range of condo, suites and hotel options is a short shuttle ride away. Teens age 13-17 get a $10 daily discount off of adult rates
The resort is not fancy and does not have mountain coasters or zip lines. However, the self-contained nature of the area and the short ride from Boston makes it a good option for a weekend getaway. We have found the lessons to be top notch. This is the resort where hockeyprincess learned to snowboard last winter and we expect to make a return visit this year.
Mountains Open Early This Year!
It is already shaping up to be a good ski season in New Hampshire as the temperatures are falling and the snow guns are going. Waterville Valley and Bretton Woods, as well as several others, were open for skiing on Thanksgiving and Cranmore has a good turnout for the opening of its Mountain Coaster. Whether you ski, snowboard, shop or go to the spa New Hampshire’s mountains make for a fun family winter getaway with teens and tweens.