Burke Mountain is definitely NOT on the beaten path of East Coast ski resorts, making it a wonderful and challenging spot to visit. I felt like I stumbled on a #localsonly nook. Over 300 miles from NYC, you need a purpose to plan your trip to Burke. Our purpose was finding powder and checking out the Burke Mountain Academy. I decided the time was right for a Burke Mountain Lodge review.
The mountain has a reputation for being racers-only, the local academy has been home to tons of Winter Olympians and to our daughter's hero, Mikaela Shiffrin. Our trip took over seven hours from NYC—President's Day weekend traffic can be brutal. Once we we on 91, things sailed along smoothly.
I arrived late at night to the newly opened Burke Mountain Hotel and Conference Center. The initial impression was that is was a modern thoughtfully designed lobby, but that the staff was a little too Vermont laid-back. Rolling in at 11 PM, it would've been nice to get some help with our five tons of ski gear. Didn't happen.
Burke Mountain Ski resort just opened. From what I hear, they got an infusion of money to turn this sleepy spot with wonderful snow and loads of character into a destination resort. Lots of it they got right: the architects made the most of the views and the stellar skiing were left undisturbed.
Most rooms are spacious suites. We stayed in a one-bedroom that had plenty of space for us to spread out. The decor was rather meh. All function, no form. On the upside, the bed was comfortable. The kitchen area was brand new. It had all the appliances we wanted and the basics when it comes to cooking equipment.
The dining is well-thought out. There is a casual spot, an upscale spot and a coffee bar. We cooked in while we were visiting (for a weekend shopping list check out our ski guide here).
The hotel has a gym which I didn't visit because we worked out on the slopes. The heated outdoor pool is in the perfect spot—right at the base of the mountain.
Slope access: Ski in, ski out, you are steps away from the slopes
No crowds. Burke Mountain remains undiscovered. You'll never wait more than a few minutes for the high-speed quad at the Mid-Burke Base.
The views are spectacular. From the top of the mountain you'll see Willougby Gap and the nearby Lake Willoughby.
The price is right! Adult tickets are only $64 and Junior (6-18) / Senior (65+) $47.00, kids 5 & under FREE
What Doesn't Work:
The parking situation is a nightmare. The hotel has about 12 dedicated spots for more than 100 rooms. It was pretty wacky. We had to park and walk from a seriously satellite lot. Schlepping back and forth wasn't very fun.
The ski lockers broke on us two times during our trip.
The room decor is uninspired.
Now let's get to the fun stuff, the skiing. Since Burke is so far north, it's got pretty reliable snow. On our visit we had tons of fresh powder and blue skies. The mountain has two areas, a small base that serves the beginners and then the larger mid-Burke base—this is where we spent most of our time.
Hop on the quad express lift and zoom up to the top. From here you've got tons of options. Our local friends suggested we try the East Bowl—score! It was a zippy heavenly black slope—perfect to start the day. We also were steered toward The Gap a blissfully bumpy short and steep run near the base.
There's loads of variety on this mountain. The racers stick to Warner and do laps with the Poma Lift. Notable observations—there were very few snow boarders and just about NO beginners. Everyone knew what he or she was doing!
Burke Mountain by the Numbers
Snowmaking: 200 acres
Average Snowfall: 217"
Skiable area: 250 acres
Vertical Drop 2011'
Plan your trip to Ski Burke
223 Sherburne Lodge Rd, East Burke, VT 05832
Other things you should know about Burke? Their Bloody Marys at Mid Burke are fantastic. This low-key spot is the perfect place for a mid-day chili (the only food they serve—soup or chili) or a Bloody. The aprés-ski scene here also involves live music.
Nordic Skiing is alive and well in Burke. Mr. Momtrends and I spent a morning at the Burke Nordic Center. The full-day pass is just $15. We rented equipment and toured along the groomed 15K worth of track. It was a splendid way to spend a morning.
Overall impression? You come for the snow! It's not convenient, it's not posh, but it does supply epic snow and a tremendous variety of terrain. And, hey, you might be sitting next to an Olympian on the lift.
For more great ski ideas visit our 2016/17 Family Ski Guide
This is not a sponsored post.