Northeast of Burlington near the town of Jay, the Jay Peak ski area is arguably the best ski area in New England if you are looking for any challenge. It has 76 runs over 385 acres with a maximum vertical of 2,150 feet. There are 8 lifts, including the 60 passenger tram runs from the base to the peak. Jay Peak is pretty far north, so be prepared for intensely cold weather. The lifts are all pretty slow, except for one. If you plan to take the tram up, you will want to be on the first tram otherwise the morning lines can be long even on weekdays.
For the most part, Jay peak is known for its advanced terrain over four bowls, including its exceptional glades. There are over 100 acres of glades to explore, so make sure to check out Everglade, Buckaroo or Beaver Pond Glades, The Face or Tuckermans Chute. The Face is exception for chutes that are steep and rocky. Keep in mind that you are really on your own when off the groomed runs so be prepared. The glades (aka woods) are very tight and generally not trimmed. It takes a lot of fresh snow to make the woods enjoyable, or even open for that matter. You really do not want to venture down the glades if there is no fresh snow since they will most likely be icy or even closed.
If you are looking to go really big and are up for the challenge, there is lift-accessed backcountry off the summit tram. After heading out the gate, you’ll head to Big Jay Peak. The route drops way out of bounds, so plan ahead for a ride back to the resort.
This ski area really needs at least a reported 36 inch base to be worth checking out. Even with 36 inches, there will be bare spots and many exposed ice sections.
For apres ski, check out Belfry in Montgomory Center. For nightlife, try the Rustic Tavern in Lowell.
To reach the snowboarding at Jay Peak from Burlington, head north on US89 to Exit #19 (St. Albans). Then, proceed to the northeast on SR104 to the junction with SR105. Continue on SR105 eastbound to East Berkshire. Turn right on SR118 heading southbound into Montgomery Center. Turn left heading east on SR242 to the entrance to Jay Peak.
Note: Before coming up to this ski area, make sure you are watching trail reports and weather reports for several weeks prior. The more challenging runs will be closed if there is not enough snow or it is too icy. Watch the weather reports for warm weather or rain, which could lead to trail closures on cold days.
Overall, Jay Peak Resort is the 6th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 12 snowboarding resorts in Vermont.