Ever wish you could push the easy button for a ski day? Then make the short trip to Loon. The winner for Access (No. 1) is a mere hop from I-93 in the heart of the spectacular White Mountains. Nor does “easy access” stop when you park the car. Three well-placed high-speed quads and a gondola put Loon’s best terrain—spread across three peaks and reaching up 2,100 vertical feet—within quick reach. Start the day with a speed fix on North Peak’s Angel Street or Walking Boss, or warm up with a gondola ride and the family-friendly variety of Loon Peak. Five well-maintained terrain parks (No. 6) and six gladed areas provide entertainment for all interests. Be sure to hit South Peak to check out Loon’s newest terrain and base area. While you’re there, test yourself on double-black Ripsaw or kick back on relaxed, cruisey Boom. Return via the Tote Road Quad for an outstanding view of Mt. Washington. Nonskiers and kids enjoy tubing and riding the train between base areas. The well-manicured terrain might be what makes this a “real ego-boost mountain,” but Loon scores big points with readers for taking the hassle out of every part of a ski day. The hill is “easy on, easy off.” It has “a nice lodge to get ready in,” an oft-mentioned “friendly staff,” and an ample supply of lodging, dining and après options minutes away in Lincoln/Woodstock. As one regular says, “It’s like an old shoe: comfortable.”—E.T.M.
What’s New: New energy-efficient snow guns; a supersized Prinoth Beast groomer; more chairs (and less wait) on the North Peak Express Quad.
Mandatory Run: Aptly named Cruiser, for its views, variety and the sundeck that awaits at the Pemi Base Camp Pavilion.
Local Tip: Fresh doughnuts, made all day at the Whistle Stop Café.