The beauty of Stratton is the variety of trails for every level of skier and rider, beginner and advanced, young and old, making the mountain particularly inviting for families. The mountain boast 11 lifts and 94 trails, including a base-to-summit gondola and four six-passenger lifts, and even on a crowded day, the lift lines move quickly. The mountain is divided into three parts and includes the Snow Bowl on the western face and the Sun Bowl on the lower eastern face, an intermediate area that softens quickly when the sun is strong but provides welcome warmth on a colder day.
In addition, on the lower half of the mountain off to the east side, there is a learning park perfect for beginners. The main chair lift in the learning park is slower (so don’t get stuck on it if you’re in a hurry), but beginners may enjoy the rest between runs, especially on a sunny day. There’s really no choice area that’s clearly better than another at Stratton, each skier will find his or her own favorites and enjoy hopping about the mountain searching for the best snow of the day.
For more serious skiers, the fastest way to the top is via the high-speed chair lift just outside the base lodge, American Express, and then onto Shooting Star, a second high-speed lift that starts half-way up the mountain and takes you to the top. Once at the top, advanced skiers enjoy skiing the top half of the mountain for at least a few runs. Although a bit slower and only accessed from the base of the mountain, the Summit Gondola may be preferred on a colder or stormy day as it does provide some protection from the elements.
And even beginners can quickly make their way to the top and take it slowly down Easy Street, a scenic trail that winds down the west side of the mountain. With their impeccable grooming, taking the bumps off of all but a few trails, there are also plenty of wide-open cruisers for intermediate to advanced skiers (try Kidderbrook, Polar Bear, Frank’s Fall Line). But even the most expert skiers will find a few challenging trails that keep it interesting (Bear Down, World Cup). There are a variety of terrain parks throughout the mountain and it’s fun to watch the riders jump and turn as you’re riding up the chair lifts.
For those in need of rentals, the process is easy and streamlined — you can even order your equipment online before your arrival and equipment is available for pickup at 3 p.m. the day before and an hour before the lifts start running in the morning. Any additional gear or supplies needed are easily purchased in the lodge and village ski shops.