At one time, Sunday River was a backwoods local ski area that the locals sarcastically dubbed, ‘Someday Bigger.’ It’s ironic how that joke is now true. Today it is one of the leading major eastern ski resorts that has made its mark by through innovations in trail construction, snow-making, grooming, and ski area design that has revolutionized the sport.
It is not surprising that the skiing and riding is excellent. Although Sunday River’s trademark is groomed, wide, smooth cruisers such as American Express or Rogue Angel, there is much variety for skiers and riders to discover stretching from the steep bumps of White Cap three miles across the resort to the wide boulevards of Jordan Bowl. This resort is huge. Experts can challenge the steeps of White Heat, Shockwave, or Vortex or hit the trees and bumps found in Oz. Intermediates will smile from ear to ear with the wide variety of blue runs that dominate the resort. Beginners have their own area at the heart of the resort with two express quads and some easy, wide green runs. Almost every other area has an ‘easier’ route down so that groups can ski different routes and ride up the same lift.
And speaking of lifts, there are many and they all are pretty fast. The Sunday River Express leaves the Barker Base Lodge and serves a lot of the terrain in the center of the resort. As mentioned, South Ridge has two express quads that get you to the North Peak Lodge and access to all points of the resort. Jordan has its own base-to-summit express quad that serves up some great skiing. Besides these lifts, count on a good variety of fixed grip quads that are spread throughout the resort serving up great terrain.
The ‘River revolutionized snowmaking in the 1980′s and many have come to rely on their legendary snow conditions. When others are struggling with little natural snow, Sunday River is able to offer miles of varied terrain thanks to its expansive snowmaking and grooming capabilities.
Sunday River can be skied in a day or two thanks to the lifts and trail layout, but it is also a great destination resort. For those on a budget, the on-mountain Snow Cap Inn offers decent amentities that are a short bus ride from the lodges. Groups will enjoy the Snow Cap Dorms (hostel accommodations). For romantic getaways, be sure to look to either the Jordan or the Summit Grand Hotels.
This Maine mountain is one that almost every New England skier or rider should visit.