Sunday River (ski resort)

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Sunday River Ski Resort
Sundayriver logo.png
Sunday River Ski Resort is located in the United States
Sunday River Ski Resort
Sunday River Ski Resort
Location within the United States
Sunday River Ski Resort is located in Maine
Sunday River Ski Resort
Sunday River Ski Resort
Sunday River Ski Resort (Maine)
LocationNewry, Maine, United States
Nearest major cityPortland, ME
Coordinates44°28′24″N 70°51′25″W / 44.4734°N 70.8569°W / 44.4734; -70.8569Coordinates: 44°28′24″N 70°51′25″W / 44.4734°N 70.8569°W / 44.4734; -70.8569
Top elevation3,140 ft (960 m)
Base elevation800 ft (240 m)
Skiable area870 acres (350 ha)
Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg 33% Beginner
Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg 36% Intermediate
Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg 19% Advanced
Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg 12% Expert
Longest runLollapalooza 3 mi (4.8 km)
Lift system15 (14 chairs):
  • 1 Chondola
  • 4 High-Speed Quads
  • 5 Quads
  • 3 Triples
  • 1 Double
  • 4 Surface Lifts
Snowfall155 inches (390 cm) per year
Night skiingYes

Sunday River is a ski resort located in Newry, Maine, in the United States. It is one of Maine's largest and most visited ski resorts. Its vertical drop of 2,340 feet (710 m) is the second largest in Maine (after Sugarloaf) and the sixth largest in New England. Sunday River has the most terrain among the East Coast skiing destinations, including eight different peaks.[1] The resort features 135 trails across eight interconnected mountain peaks, and is serviced by a network of 18 lifts.

Sunday River and its sister resort Sugarloaf have been operated by Boyne Resorts since being sold by American Skiing Company in 2007 for a combined $77 million.[2] The resort's land has been owned by CNL Lifestyle, then Och-Ziff Capital Management, and leased back to Boyne.[3] Boyne purchased the resort in March 2018.


The resort opened in 1959. It has 18 lifts.[4]

Vertical descent[edit]

Vertical Descent of the mountain, as well as the vertical descent from the chairlifts.

  • Total Vertical: 2,340 ft.
  • White Cap: 1,630 ft.
  • Locke Mountain: 1,460 ft.
  • Barker Mountain: 1,400 ft.
  • Spruce Peak: 1,500 ft.
  • North Peak: 1,000 ft.
  • South Ridge: 500 ft.
  • Aurora Peak: 1,100 ft.
  • Oz: 1,100 ft.
  • Jordan Bowl: 1,490 ft.


The following describes the different mountains of Sunday River (From left to right:

  • White Cap: Located at the eastern end of the resort, it contains mostly difficult terrain consisting of steeps and glades. White Heat is an expert run, one of the steepest at Sunday River. White Heat is a main attraction, with Shock Wave on skiers right. Obsession is a long advanced to intermediate trail full of rolls and variation in pitch.
  • Locke Mountain: The resort's original peak. Features predominantly intermediate trails like Cascades, Monday Mourning and T2. The lower section of Locke is also home to Lift 5; a T-Bar going directly under the Locke triple for Gould Academy to train on lower Monday Mourning. Monday Mourning and the race arena parallel to it host a variety of alpine ski races.
  • Barker Mountain: Features a high-speed quad serving a variety of terrain. Three Mile Trail is a beginner run that winds across the mountain. Ecstasy and Right Stuff are other important trails leading over to T2 and White Cap. Also under the Barker Lift is Sunday Punch and the Flow State boardercross course.
  • Spruce Peak: Contains 2 intermediate trails, Risky Business and American Express. Downdraft is a short and steep difficult run that often contains moguls, or is iced over. The peak also offers quick access to the western side of the resort with the beginner trail Sirius. Spruce peak is at the middle of the mountain is the only lift to have a three-person loading conveyor.
  • South Ridge: South Ridge services mainly beginner trails. Broadway, and Sundance are the most kid-friendly, with Mixing Bowl also being a popular trail with beginners. The South Ridge area services 3 magic carpets, a high speed quad, and a Chondola lift (high speed six-pack + 8-person gondolas).
  • North Peak: Has the mid-mountain Peak Lodge that offers food and beverages. Also contains a high-speed quad (Lift #6) and that services more beginner and intermediate terrain. North Peak is oriented toward "family" skiing, so jerries and gapers are always plentiful. There are many beginner trails on North Peak. The Dream maker trail is a long and wide beginner to intermediate trail that is another favorite for families. North Peak is also home to the terrain park T72, Maine's biggest park. During most nights, North peak offers night skiing on two trails, Escapade and Dreammaker, both serviced by the Chondola.
  • Aurora Peak: A mix of intermediate and difficult trails serviced by a quad chairlift. There is also a double chairlift (Lift 13) that connects the base of Aurora to the base of Jordan Bowl
  • OZ: A unique bowl with difficult and expert terrain. Runs are a mix of glades and open trails that emphasize natural terrain features and steep pitches. This peak only opens on the weekends and holidays due to its difficulty and light snow cover.
  • Jordan Bowl: Contains a mix of terrain that covers all ability levels. The Jordan Grand Resort Hotel is located off the beginner trail Lollapalooza. Other runs include Rogue Angel and Excalibur.
  • Merrill Hill: Under Construction

Out of these "peaks," only one actually has a topographic prominence great enough to be an actual peak. White Cap, Locke Mountain, and Barker Mountain are, technically, all part of a mountain called Barker Mountain. Barker Mountain's peak (el. 2,594 ft or 791 m), inaccurately, is the peak that the ski area calls "Locke Mountain." North Peak, Spruce Peak, Aurora Peak, OZ, and Jordan Bowl are technically all part of Black Mountain (el. 3,162 ft or 964 m). The highest point of the ski area is what the resort calls OZ, which is technically on Black Mountain (el. 3,140 ft or 960 m). Although OZ is the highest point of the Sunday River ski area, it is not Black Mountain's summit.

Lift System[edit]

Main Lifts:[5][edit]

Number Name Type Builder Built Notes
#1 Barker Mountain Express High Speed Quad Yan Lift / Poma 1987 Built in 1987 to replace the old Barker Double. Retrofitted by Poma in 1998.
#2 South Ridge Express High Speed Quad Leitner-Poma 1992 Services the South Ridge beginner area. Open for night skiing.
#3 Quantum Leap Triple Hall Ski-Lift 1992 Travels up the backside of North Peak to the top of lift #6.
#4 Locke Mountain Triple Triple Borvig 1984 Has a mid-station for early season use.
#5 Alera Group Competition Lift T-Bar Doppelmayr USA 2019 This lift was funded by the Alera Group, and used by Gould Academy for ski racing and training. Not open to the public.
#6 North Peak Express High Speed Quad Doppelmayr USA 1996 1 of 2 lifts that serve North Peak.
#7 The Chondola Chondola Doppelmayr USA 2009 The Chondola hybrid express lift, having 1 gondola cabin for every 4 six-person chairs. It is also open for night skiing.
#8 Spruce Peak Triple Doppelmayr USA 2017 Has a loading carpet.
#9 White Cap Fixed Grip Quad Yan Lift 1987 First of 3 White Cap lifts, also known as the “Tempest” quad.
#10 White Heat Fixed Grip Quad Yan Lift 1988 Main lift to White Cap summit.
#11 Little White Cap Fixed Grip Quad Yan Lift 1988 Runs adjacent to the Grand Summit Hotel.
#12 Aurora Peak Fixed Grip Quad Yan Lift 1991 Main lift out of Aurora basin.
#13 Jordan Mountain Double Hall Ski-Lift / Garaventa CTEC 1994 Riders can load in both directions on either side.
#14 Jordan Bowl Express High Speed Quad Doppelmayr USA 1994 Planned to be replaced with an 8 Passenger chairlift in 2022.[6]
#15 Oz Fixed Grip Quad Doppelmayr USA 1995 Runs from 10am to 2pm on weekends, and is the highest lift on the mountain.
#16 Lower Sundance Magic Carpet Sunkid 2019
#17 Middle Sundance Magic Carpet Sunkid 2019
#18 Upper Sundance Magic Carpet Sunkid 2019
#19 Merrill Hill Triple Doppelmayr USA 2021 Will run on select dates for winter of 2021-22, but will open officially in 2022.[7]

Former Lifts[edit]

Number Name Type Builder Years Active Notes
#5 Fall Line Double Double Borvig 1985 - 2008
#7 South Ridge Triple Borvig 1986 - 2008 Replaced by the Chondola.
#8 Spruce Peak Triple Borvig 1986 - 2016 Suffered a catastrophic failure in the summer of 2016.[8] Not replaced until winter of 2017.


The Chondola during the fall. Notice the chairlift converted to carry a mountain bike.

In the summer months, Sunday River is a summer resort with activities including golf, disk golf, geocache tours, hiking, and scenic lift rides. There is also a series of annual music festivals from late July to August, located at the south ridge lodge. Weddings are also a frequent occurrence at Sunday River, mostly at the summit of North Peak, but also the Grand Summit and the Jordan Hotels.

In 2019, the Bike Park at Sunday River was discontinued, after 13 years of operation. According to resort officials, "Topography and other factors contributed to the decision to close. Riding areas and lessons for beginner riders are a large part of a successful bike park and Sunday River was unable to provide this to their resort users without a substantial monetary investment."[9]


The Sunday River Golf Club is a Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design and has been ranked as the '#1 course in Maine' by Golfweek magazine and one of the 'Top Ten Best New Courses in the World' by Travel + Leisure Golf.[citation needed]

The 7,130-yard (6,520 m) course offers dramatic elevation changes. The club also features a large log and stone clubhouse with a pro shop and grille, as well as a mountainside practice facility. While the course is open to the public, memberships are also available from Harris Golf, who operates the golf club in partnership with Sunday River.



Sunday River is home to the Gould Academy Competition Program for skiing. The program is for junior skiers in Alpine skiing (slalom, giant slalom, super G and downhill), Freestyle skiing (moguls and freeride), and Snowboarding (halfpipe, slopestyle, Slalom, Giant Slalom and boardercross), and runs from mid November through March.[10]

Sunday River is home to the Dumont Cup created by Simon Dumont.

  • Dumont Cup

In 2009, Simon Dumont wanted to create an opportunity for young and rising skiers to gain exposure and decided to host it at his home mountain, Sunday River in Newry, Maine. Six Dumont Cups later, the success stories of amateur skiers like Nick Geopper and Gus Kenworthy winning the Dumont Cup and stepping into the pro scene has help achieve Simon's vision. The event was eventually officially discontinued in 2016, and the last competition held in March 2015 on the T72 terrain park.

  • Frozen Rush

In early 2014, the first Frozen Rush race was held on the slopes.[11] It was the first off-road race of its type on snow.[11] The event featured a match race of the United States' top short course off-road racing drivers racing their trophy trucks.[11] Ricky Johnson beat Johnny Greaves to win the inaugural event.[11]

See also[edit]

Sunday River Ski Train


  1. ^ Aloisio, Alison (2019-11-27). "Sunday River, Ski Eight Peaks". Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine). Retrieved 2021-10-02.
  2. ^ Syre, Steven (2007-06-06). "American Skiing rejects Otten bid for Sunday River, Sugarloaf". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-04-24.
  3. ^ "No big changes expected with new owners at Crested Butte Mountain Resort". The Denver Post. 2016-11-08. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  4. ^ "Mountain Statistics". Sunday River Skiway Corp. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  5. ^
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  8. ^
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  10. ^
  11. ^ a b c d Scott, Evans. "Red Bull Frozen Rush 2014". Motor Trend. Retrieved December 8, 2014.

External links[edit]