Skiing at Gunstock Mountain Resort in New Hampshire

Having moved back to New England a few years ago, we have been trying to explore different ski and snowboard resorts. We know some folks with season passes to Gunstock Mountain Resort, so we joined then a few weeks back, using their friends-and-family discount in the process. While this isn’t a typical destination ski resort, it is popular with the locals and is worth a visit if you’re in the area.

(We learned afterwards that the resort apparently is talking about a plan to add some hotels and more lifts – albeit alas with probably higher prices; such is probably what eventually happens to many local resorts like this.)

The Logistics

Gunstock Mountain Resort is located in New Hampshire and is accessible by both Highways 95 and 93 and is located just north of Alton Bay on the western side of Lake Winnipesaukee.

While Gunstock can feel quite remote, Lake Winnipesaukee is a popular summer destination with quite a few inns, cabins, and beach houses available for rent. If you need accommodations, Gunstock recommends a few places, but otherwise Expedia or are both good places to start.

Hours: Gunstock’s hours of operation vary, but in addition to regular hours, night skiing is also often available.

Weekend/Holiday Lift Tickets: Tickets for Adults/Youth(6-22)/Child(0-5) $99/$75/Free. Can be half price if you know someone with a pass 🙂

Midweek Lift Tickets: Tickets for Adults/Youth(6-22)/Child(0-5) $87/$63/Free

Trails: As a caveat, Gunstock is doesn’t have a ton of good green beginner trails. They have some bunny slopes for true beginners, but there’s a gap between that and the low-intermediate trails (though the easier blues there are fairly accessible for blues). On the harder end of the scale, they have plenty of blues, blacks, and glades if you’re fearless like our 14-year-old. See the trail map.

Lessons: Prices for Ski Lessons vary by package, but are really quite reasonable and great if you are a true beginner or are trying to up your game on the harder slopes. Just be aware that the jump between the hardest green and the easiest blue is quite significant.

Other Activities: Terrain Parks, Tubing, Cross Country Skiing, and lots of Summer Options as well!

Dining: The main Ski Lodge at Gunstock is quite nice and you will feel like you are in New England as you enjoy your hot chocolate or lunch. It is a great place for non-skiers to hang out. There are a few other dining options as well.

Our Experience


We decided to visit Gunstock Mountain Resort on a Saturday where the tickets ended up selling out (we bought them online the night before). We arrived about an hour after opening and were a little concerned by both the sold out sign and the line of cars waiting to get into the parking lot. Fortunately, the cars moved along fairly quickly and we didn’t have to park too far away from the main lifts.

Upon arrival, we stopped by the office to pick up our pre-reserved RFID cards and then we were off to the slopes! On this particular day, one of our kids decided to do something else, so it was just the three of us, plus one other family, so I borrowed my son’s skis rather than renting. It’s a fascinating time period when teenage sons have the same size feet as their mothers. Quite convenient when you don’t have skis of your own!

Even though it was a busy day the mountain seemed to absorb all of the skiers. The lift lines were alright and the slopes weren’t too crowded. We were glad that they didn’t seem to over-sell the resort.

The Greens

I mostly ski green slopes at other resorts, so I headed off to go check them out. After a few runs, I realized that the Penny Pitou Silver Medal lift and such were fairly short and decided to join the rest of the group at the blues.


If skiing isn’t your thing, there is a nice tubing track next to the Penny lift. We didn’t go, but it looked fun!

The Blues

After meeting up with Jeremy and John, we were advised to head to the right after getting off the Panorama lift and do one of the panoramic trails down to the bottom.

I’m pretty sure it was Flintlock to Derringer, but really can’t remember. The views were amazing!

While the trail was definitely not for true beginners, it also wasn’t all that hard either. I wore myself out trying to be too controlled with my speed, but I didn’t fall. A few runs with too much snowplowing and I was done for the day.

The Blacks and Glades

John mostly preferred snowboarding on the blacks and glades, where you crazily ski among the trees.

Neither Jeremy nor I do blacks, but since we were skiing with another family, they took turns skiing with John. Sometimes we just give John an AirTag, tell him to try to make a friend, and let him enjoy himself, but it was nice knowing that if he ran into real trouble that someone would be with him.

The Lodge

One really nice thing about Gunstock is the lodge. The walls are done in wood and while you sit at your table, you feel like you are in a quintessential New England ski lodge. Quite pleasant!

We had lunch at the lodge and when I was done for the day, I hung out there until everyone else was ready to hang out. Of course, John wanted to stay as long as possible, so we split up – Jeremy and I ended up driving one of the kids from the other family home while John continued skiing with the rest of their family. Everyone was happy!

Keep reading our travel blog for more skiing and mountain adventures:

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