I call it the Lake Tahoe of the East. You ski from the panoramic summit with magnificent scenery of snowy mountains and a grand lake below. It's no Heavenly, but the views of Mount Washington and Lake Winnipesaukee are still divine. And what's not to love about six-minute rides on the base to summit Panorama Quad to ski the entire 1,400-foot vertical?
I admit it; Gunstock is near to my heart since I learned to ski here when I was three years old. Gunstock is a bit of legend too, started in 1937 by Roosevelt's WPA, featuring the first chairlift in New England, and the second in the U.S. behind Sun Valley in Idaho.
Don't be gun shy to take you family here, it's an easy drive (two hours from Boston), the terrain is ego-pleasing, and nothing is very steep, but ever turn is super scenic. Your kids will be amped for all 55 ammo-laden trail names - like Trigger, Gunsmoke, and Pistol - plus there is a designated Blundersmoke Terrain Park loaded with big hits. Sauntering scenic trails like Flintlock feature perfect, white cord, but there are a few gritty runs like Hot Shot and Redhat plus recently-added glades - Gunsmoke, Recoil and Birch Glades - all with great, natural snow this season. Après ski at the Powder Keg Pub is lively in the grand ole base lodge, and your kids can night ski and tube, as half of the mountain is lit up.
Gunstock is loaded with snow from this winter's frequent storms. You should pack up your posse and aim for the mountain this winter. Check out their Sunday family pack or their six-pack of interchangeable tickets.
Photos by Greg Burke For more of Heather's family ski tips go to www.familyskitrips.com
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familysktitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.