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Killington ski resort is by far the biggest Eastern USA ski area, dubbed the 'Big K' and 'The Beast', it spans six densely forested mountains in the heart of the Green Mountains in central Vermont. Great for families and lively group ski holidays, and best suited to beginners and intermediates.

Overview

Killington is a popular year-round recreation area, offering an 18-hole championship golf course plus miles of hiking and mountain biking trails during the summer months, it's not really a 'resort' as such, because it lacks an actual resort village; it does have plenty of adjacent accommodation, plus numerous shops and a great choice of dining and entertainment venues, but they are mostly strung out along the long approach road to the ski area, not clustered together in a pedestrian-friendly village.

This is therefore a classic American drive-in/drive-out destination; most visitors arrive here in their own vehicles and each of Killington's five base areas have their own large car parks and day-lodge services buildings. There is, however, an efficient and free bus service in the area which operates from early morning until well after midnight, and although Killington does lack the focus of a centralised village it certainly doesn't lack amenities or atmosphere and is renowned for its lively apres ski and nightlife.


Ski area

Killington's highest mountain, Killington Peak (1,292m), is the second-highest summit in Vermont's Green Mountains, which are a range in the Appalachian Mountains that run south to north for over 400km from the border with Massachusetts to the province of Quebec in Canada.

Although these East Coast mountains are minor in comparison to the scale and altitudes of the USA's western alpine ranges of The Rockies and the Sierra Nevada, the climate here is very different, with very low temperatures over a long winter season. Killington is also a world leader in snowmaking and has invested heavily in state-of-the-art technology. The low base altitudes here also mean that the overall vertical drop is still very respectable.

Killington's extensive ski area is spread over six linked mountains, all of which are forested, providing shelter and good visibility; piste grooming is first class and the ski lift network is efficient.

Beginners are king at Killington, royally catered for at the largest learning zone in North America, and the choice and length of green-graded trails throughout the area is impressive.

The toughest advanced-level runs are those on the face of Killington Peak and on Bear Mountain, which offer steep and mogulled fall-line descents, but the majority of the terrain at Killington is best suited to intermediates and covers a great range of long cruise-able 'groomers' on which to rack up the mileage, together with straightforward steeper sections and introductory-level glade areas where intermediates can work on building their skills.

Killington also boasts two halfpipes and six terrain parks, including one of Burton's 'The Stash' zones that features rustic wood-built modules.


Off the slopes and apres ski

Since there's no centralised resort village at Killington, there's not much in the way of off-slope resort ambiance at any of its base areas and there's very little for non-skiing visitors to do here. Nevertheless, that doesn't seem to detract from the overall buzz and sense of fun that pervades this big and busy recreation area and there's certainly an animated atmosphere here during the day and in the evenings.

Alternative daytime activities include snowtubing, snowmobiling, dog-sledding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing; there are also a number of hotel-based spas.

There are lively bars and restaurants dotted around the mountains and the base areas, with many more along the main Killington Road access route, alongside a fair number of road-side shops, supermarkets, and provisions stores.

The Roaring Brook Umbrella Bar is the liveliest afternoon spot on the mountain; later apres ski and nightlife along the Killington Road is very lively and lots of fun, with a good choice of live music venues, cabaret-bars and sports-bars, together with a couple of nightclubs: the Slopeside Bar and JAX are the best bets for live music, whilst the Wobbly Barn and Outback are usually packed and rocking from sundown to closing time. All are within a short drive or free bus trip from most accommodation.

// HIGHLIGHTS //
Apres Ski
7
Families
8
Lift System
6
Off the slopes
2
Off-piste
1
Resort Charm
2
Ski Area
7
Vertical drop
968m
Altitude range
325–1293m
Ski area
469
Parks
6
Resort height
325m
Summit
1293m
Airport
Burlington
Train station
Rutland
beginner
28%
intermediate
33%
expert
39%