Updated: Apr 5
Loon Mountain in New Hampshire is a ski resort close to major cities in all directions. This resort is known for its chairlift that seats eight people and is heated. I have some tips on making this trip cheaper for yourself and some helpful mountain info.
Where to Stay
Simply enough, if you are looking to save some money, do not stay at the resort. You will need to be driving to get to a place like this anyway, so staying a little further away will save you some money. We stayed at the Days Inn in Lincoln, New Hampshire. This option was about 8 mins away from the slopes and only cost us $230 for a two-night stay, which was a perfect deal compared to staying at the mountain. The hotel came with a complimentary breakfast each day and was enough for our needs. I also signed up for the Wyndham rewards so that if I have more stays at any of their locations, I can save up points or get discounts. The room had a mini-fridge and microwave. This allowed us to bring our food from home to cut costs even more.
My best advice is to get to the slopes at 7:30 am. The mountain is known for filling up all of its parking and turning people away. The Saturday, we got there around 7:45 am, most of the main parking lot was already full. The main lot is nice to park in because it is in between the two main lifts; the gondola and the 8-person lift.
The kancamagus 8 chair; is the main reason we wanted to check out this resort. This chair is the true meaning of luxury and being spoiled. This chairlift can bus people quickly to the top. It is not only a sheltered chair with a bubble, but the seats are also heated. It is such a comfortable ride. When we went on Sunday, it was pouring rain, and that chair made all the difference for getting in more runs.
I would say, however, they need someone to make sure 8 people get onto each chair. It seems funny, but the lines are not as long as they seem; they would move much faster if the chair were at the actual capacity. People cannot count to 8, so adding a person to direct people in the lift line would help them a lot at this lift.
The gondola at the resort is a 4 person gondola that brings you further than any other lift at the mountain. The lines move quickly, which I know is a concern for many people. While I was in the lines, I did not feel like I was waiting a while.
The resort boasts 61 trails, and when we went, there was about 57 open. We made 45 trails on our first day, not knowing the mountain. It was a bluebird day, and day tickets were sold out. It is easy to lap the mountain, and the lines do not affect much. We skied from 8 am - 2 pm. We probably could have skied all of the trails, but in the afternoon, it was brushed and what was left was primarily green trails.
I understand that Ikon pass holders who wish to travel here next season will have to make a reservation first. That is a good idea considering the size of the mountain and the parking issues the mountain is facing.
Base Lodge Food
We had lunch at the Pemigewasset Base Camp. This is located at South Peak. The lodge had a variety of foods for kids and adults. I had a hard time here because everything, and I mean everything contained dairy. I was so surprised that even the salads had cheese or croutons (usually dairy). I was lucky enough that the chili they had that day had no dairy: but that was the only option, and if you were vegan, there would be no options for you. I was told to try a different lodge for more options. Personally, if the lodge is at the base and has road access, there isn't much excuse for not having multiple food options for all common allergens.
If we come back, I will pack my own food now that I know. So, if you have an allergy be aware that there won't be many options and plan accordingly.
There are shuttles at the resort that will take you from location to location. Some are actual school busses, and some are modified busses. It is impressive they have transportation to make it easier on guests. The one remark I would suggest is that they put a sign, saying which busses go where. The yellow busses will bring you to south peak, but the blue busses won't. Having a sign with a map would make it easier for guests to know which bus they need to get on to go where they want to go.
It is a lovely mountain with some excellent features. It is accessible for many people coming from all directions. Their new lift is a sight to see; I recommend coming if you are a new to intermediate skier. Advanced skiers will quickly lap the mountain trails and woods and might run out of places to go.
They have some pretty epic features and a half-pipe if you like terrain parks. Excellent practice spot for you future Olympians.
Check out Loon Mountain: https://www.loonmtn.com/