5 Best Ski Resorts for Beginners in New Hampshire

New Hampshire probably isn't the first place you think of when you think skiing.

Yet, the White Mountains give it some of the best ski terrain in the east.

Most of the resorts aren't far off the highway or outside a major city making them easy to get to. 

If you're a beginner, New Hampshire just might be the perfect place to learn the sport. 

Here are 5 resorts you must check out if you're learning to ski in New Hampshire.

Resort Name

Easy Green Trails

Lifts

Snow Tubing Available

16 Trails

9 Lifts (2 Magic Carpets)

Yes (And More)

22 Trails

10 Lifts (2 Magic Carpets)

No

19 Trails

10 Lifts (1 Magic Carpet)

No (Coaster)

12 Trails

6 Lifts (1 Magic Carpet)

Yes

9 Trails

12 Lifts (3 Magic Carpets)

Yes

Cranmore Mountain Resort

Cranmore was built in 1937 at the time the area was first being promoted a ski destination.

They opened the 2nd ski school in the area focused on teaching people the sport.

Unlike other eastern resorts, they were the first to build wide open trails like those of Austria. 

Perfect for beginners. Today they offer 170 acres of skiing. A lot of history, and a lot of fun! 

Easy Green Trails  

There are 16 easy, green trails for beginners to learn to love the sport.

Magic Carpet Lifts 

Cranmore has a Beginner Basin area for anyone just learning to ski. It's a self-guided progression area. Inside are 2 magic carpets

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Lesson Packages 

For a little more help building your skills, try a lesson with certified instructors. Reserve online in advance for discounts.

  • Adult (13+) Beginner Lesson Passport - Three 2-hour beginner group lessons
  • Adult Get Skiing Level 1 - A 2-hour group lesson to give you basic skills or a refresh
  • Private Lessons - Ages 6+ booked as private or semi-private (up to 3). One 90-minute lesson or a 3-hour lesson.
  • KidsRule Mountain Club - Lessons by age and skill level beginning age 3 to 14. Full & Half Day.  

To view packages and rates or to book, visit their website.

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Rental Packages

Cranmmore offers state-of-the-art ski equipment rentals designed to help you learn to ski. View their rates and a video on their rental experience here.

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Snow Tubing Availability

Not only is there a snow tube park, but Cranmore has been rated #1 for off-hill action because they also offer a mountain coaster, swing ride, and zip line

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Off Mountain Activities

If you're looking for activities off the mountain, Cranmore offers:

  • Fitness Center - Personal training, weight room, yoga studio, cycling classes, and indoor tennis courts.
  • Grab a bite to eat or a drink at 6 restaurant venues.

The resort you book will likely have additional amenities and activities to offer.

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Common Praises

The size is perfect for first-time skiers and families, not too big, not too small.  The staff was amazingly helpful and friendly. The mountain has lots of great trails for skiers of all ages and had all types of activities for kids.

Bretton Woods

Bretton Woods is New Hampshire's largest ski resort with 464 skiable acres.

In 2018, Ski Magazine named them #1 in the east for grooming.

Over the last 5-years they've achieved first or second place in snowmaking and grooming.

They take pride in their space and want to ensure you have a great experience. 

Easy Green Trails  

Bretton Woods offers 22 beginner trails with plenty of variety to spread out, explore, and test your skills when you're ready.  

Magic Carpet Lifts 

The Learning Center Quad offers 2 magic carpet lifts designed to help you get comfortable on your skis before hitting the chair lifts.

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Lesson Packages 

If you're looking to build your skills and confidence, hit the slopes with one of Bretton Woods certified instructors.

  • Adult Group Lessons - Grouped based on skill. Ages (13+). Offered daily for 1.5 hours each.
  • Learn to Ski Lessons - Includes rental, a group lesson, and unlimited access to the Learning Center Quad. Ages 13+.
  • Private & Semi-Private Lessons
  • Hobbit Program - Ages 4 to 12. Includes half & full-day programs designed to introduce them by skill and age.

Check the latest pricing and book here.

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Rental Packages

The rental shop opens 1-hour before the slopes, every day. They have everything you need for a day of skiing.

Book your rentals online for a discount.

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Snow Tubing Availability

There is no snow tube park in Bretton Woods. However, there are many other winter activities:

  • Ice climbing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Climbing Mt. Washington
  • Ice skating
  • Snowmobiling
  • Dog sledding 
  • Fat Tire Bikes
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Off Mountain Activities

When you're done on the mountain, here are some additional things to check out:

  • Spa Services - Massage, facials, body treatments
  • Fitness Programs - Yoga classes, Tai Chi
  • Dining - Visit 8 restaurant venues

The hotel you book will likely offer additional amenities.

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Common Praises

Very nice ski area for kids and families. Most of the slopes are fairly gentle. Their Learn to Ski package is fantastic for first-timers or those that haven't been on the slopes in years.

Attitash Mountain Resort

Attitash Mountain Resort is the largest resort area on Mount Washington.

They not only offer 311 acres of their own skiing, but they partner with Wildcat (20 minutes down the road) to offer even more skiing options. 

For beginner skiers, they offer a novice lift ticket giving access to beginner areas on both mountains.

They even offer a snow guarantee.

Easy Green Trails  

There are 19 easy, green trails at Attitash Mountain. Add in Wildcat for another 9 to explore.

Magic Carpet Lifts 

There is 1 magic carpet area in the Learning Center that was designed with beginners in mind.

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Lesson Packages 

It's never too late to learn. Attitash has several programs for beginners doing just that. Advanced reservations for all ski lessons and programs are strongly recommended

  • Adult Learn To Ski Program - 1-Day First time skier lesson
  • Adult Peak Discovery Program - 3-Day beginner lesson
  • Adult 90-Minute Class - Daily for those with some prior experience
  • Private & Semi-Private Lessons - For individuals up to 3 people
  • Children's Programs: Ski & Play (3-6), Buddy Bears (4-6), Adventure Kids (7-12)

View all options and rates on their website.

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Rental Packages

The rental office is located slopeside in the Adventure Center. They offer both full and half-day rental packages. View rates here.

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Snow Tubing Availability

There is no snow tube park at Attitash Mountain. However, you can take a ride down the mountain on the Nor’Easter Mountain Coaster

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Off Mountain Activities

On the mountain, you will find 9 restaurant venues to enjoy. Otherwise, Attitash is mostly about the skiing.

Stay onsite at the The Attitash Grand Summit Hotel, and add the following:

  • Game Room and Arcade
  • Health & Fitness Center
  • Year Round, outdoor, heated pool
  • Year Round outdoor Hot Tub 
  • Indoor Sauna
  • The Spa: Massage, Facials, Body Treatments, Nails
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    Common Praises

    Attitash is a fun place to ski. They offer long, varied trails. The lines weren't long, and the people working on the mountain were fantastic. The learn to ski program is a great fit for first time skiers. 

    King Pine and Purity Spring Resort

    King Pine and Purity Spring Resort is located near Boston making it a popular destination for skiers. They are known for being a family destination, having the longest running kids ski camp in the country. Ski day or night. This is the perfect location for a ski getaway.

    Easy Green Trails  

    As a beginner, you will find 12 green slopes perfect for growing your skills.

    Magic Carpet Lifts 

    There is 1 magic carpet lift inside the learning area. 

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    Lesson Packages 

    Work 1-on-1 with an instructor or in a small group setting to learn or improve your skills. Here are the options for beginners:

    • Adult Learn To Ski - 90-minute lesson in a small group
    • Adult Novice Group Lesson - 90-minute lesson in a small group
    • Kids 123 Learning Packages - Ages 8-12 - 3-day beginner lessons
    • Private Lessons - 1-hour with a certified instructor
    • Kids Knee Hi Lessons - Ages 3 to 7 based on skill

    Check their website for rates, availability, and to book.

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    Rental Packages

    King Pine's rental shop offers one of the largest inventories in the area, including ice skates and snowshoes. Book multi-day rentals for deep discounts. Check their website for details.

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    Snow Tubing Availability

    King Pine has a lift-serviced snow tube park. In addition, they offer a wide variety of other winter activities: sleigh rides, ice skating, and snowshoeing.

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    Off Mountain Activities

    Stay at Purity Spring Resort to increase your list of activities once you are done in the snow. Not only will it provide ski-in/ski-out, but you will get the following:

    • Fitness Room: weights & cardio machines
    • Indoor heated pool
    • Hot tub
    • Massage therapy
    • Dining: Traditions Restaurant & Pub
    • Apres Ski Scene: Trails End Tavern 
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    Common Praises

    Nice small mountain. This was the best place to learn how to ski. There are a good Variety of trails for all types of skiers. A fantastic spot to bring the family.

    Waterville Valley Resort

    Waterville Valley Resort has long been a popular ski spot for people traveling in from Boston. Back in the day, it even hosted members of the Kennedy family. They have even hosted various World Cup races. The Town Square offers a quaint, New England village center with restaurants and shopping. Everything you need for a great ski getaway.  

    Easy Green Trails  

    Waterville Valley may be a smaller resort, but they still have 9 easy, green trails.

    Magic Carpet Lifts 

    There are 3 magic carpet areas set up for beginners just learning to ski.

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    Lesson Packages 

    Call to book your lessons in advance. Some programs offer discounts. 

    • Learn To Ride Programs - Ages 7+ includes a 2-hour beginner lesson
    • Beginner Group Lessons - 2-hour group lesson
    • Private & Semi-Private Lessons - Booked in 1, 2, and 3-hour increments
    • Kids Camps - Mogul Mites (3), Explorers (4-6), Scouts (7-12)

     Check the latest rates and availability here.

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    Rental Packages

    The rental shop is conveniently located at the base of the mountain and fully equipped to buy lift tickets and set up lessons. Book your rentals for more multiple days and get a discount. Check the latest rates here

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    Snow Tubing Availability

    Waterville Valley offers more than just a snow tube park. They also have an indoor ice arena, dog sledding, fat biking, and snowshoeing.

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    Off Mountain Activities

    When you're ready to leave the mountain, there are other activities around town:

    • On Mountain Dining 6 Restaurant Venues
    • Town Square - Restaurants & Shopping
    • Indoor Rock Climbing
    • Athletic Club - cardio, weight room, indoor pool, indoor tennis, spa, sauna, steam room, and game room.
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    Common Praises

    If you are just starting out, this is a great place to go. The trails are wide compared to other local resorts. The mountains offer gentle slopes, and the staff is wonderful.

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