Skiing Upstate NY: West Mountain
One of the best places to ski in upstate NY is West Mountain, New York. Located in Queensbury, NY, West Mountain offers a wide variety of activities in the winter such as skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. In addition to the winter sports, West Mountain is a major attraction in Upstate NY in the summer, fall, and spring! West Mountain, NY is located just minutes off the Northway, north of Saratoga Springs, and south of Lake George. The mountain is one of the best NY ski resorts and has some of the best things to do in Upstate New York at any time of the year.
Winter at West Mountain
One of the reasons we love skiing at West Mountain in Queensbury is because it is perfect for all ability levels. Whether it is your first time skiing in NY, or you have been skiing for years, West Mountain will have something to offer for all ski levels (and snowboarders too). Known as a family-friendly mountain, West is the ideal place for the family to learn to ski, or to continue to improve the skills.
Skiing West Mountain
If you are looking to ski upstate new york, West Mountain can not be missed. This mountain is a great location for NY skiing that is super easy to get to and it is only about a three-hour drive from Manhattan. So if you are looking for one of the best places to ski near NYC, you have to add West Mountain to your list. And if you are local to the Capital Region in upstate NY, West Mountain is the perfect family-friendly ski resort in NY for the adventure-seeking family looking for affordable and convenient winter fun. There are 31 trails on the mountain that can be accessed via 5 chair lifts, and there are a good mix of green, blue and black diamond trails. Even when NY isn’t having its best winter, West is sure to still have plenty of snow thanks to the 15 snow guns they power up. The trails usually open in December, and snow is still on the mountain through the end of March/early April.
Ski Lessons at West Mountain
Our kids have been taking ski lessons at West Mountain since they were old enough to sign up. There are a variety of ski lesson options offered at West, including both private lessons, semi-private, and group lessons. Group lessons start as young as four years old, but if you are an adult new to skiing you can also sign up for ski (or snowboarding) lessons. The lessons at West Mountain, NY are all taught by experienced instructors over the course of six lessons. Not only can you get ski lessons, but also snowboarding lessons for all boarders over the age of 4 as well. Skiers and snowboarders are taught the skills they need to ski independently and safely. West Mountain ski lessons are one of the best things to do in the winter in upstate New York for the entire family. Included in your lesson is a lift ticket for a few hours after the lesson which is a perfect way to spend a winter weekend in Upstate New York. For our family, this is a great opportunity for the kids to learn to ski, but then get to practice their skills as a family after the lesson is over. West Mountain also offers equipment rentals if you do not have your own gear, for both skiers and snowboarders. In addition, they have some winter essentials for purchase in the rental shop, such as hats, masks, and gloves.
Tubing at West Mountain, New York
So maybe you aren’t into skiing or snowboarding, but you want to get out and have fun on the mountain? Snow tubing is the perfect option for you then! No skill required and really no effort either because for West Mountain tubing all you need to do is grab your tube and let the magic carpet whisk you to the top of the mountain for some fun downhill tubing!
Tubing tickets are sold in 2-hour increments and it is highly suggested that you book in advance. Many weekends in the winter can be sold out because it is such a popular activity for everyone to enjoy. Buy your tubing tickets here: West Mountain Tubing Tickets.
There are 10 total tubing lanes, 6 shorter and 4 longer, all which are open to anyone. There are two different options for tubes, a single and a double (double can only be used on the shorter lanes). Both the short and long lanes are tons of fun and really other than length aren’t much different. Although I will say that the adults agreed the shorter one was way faster than the longer ones, and we only did that one once – haha! At the top of each lane, there are West Mountain employees who can give you a push (and a spin – check out my Instagram highlights for videos of the spin action) and they also determine when you can start the downhill journey to ensure no one gets knocked out at the bottom. My two kids (ages 5 and 8) had an absolute blast and even were comfortable going up for a few runs just the two of them towards the end.
West Mountain Dining
West offers a few different options for food onsite at the mountain. In the main lodge on the first floor, you can grab food such as rice bowls, pizza, sandwiches, and ice cream. Also, there are drinks and snacks located at the West Express Cafe which is located right in the main lodge area. On the second floor, you will find the West Mountain Bar & Eatery which is the perfect place to sit down and have a meal. There is also a great bar upstairs and plenty of seating in and outside. We love to also watch ski racing from the top porch after the morning of skiing. A full menu can be found here, and they also have a pretty amazing beer list. The West Mountain Bar & Eatery also has live music a few days a week throughout the winter season. There is also another small lodge located at the Apex chairlift which offers snacks, drinks, beer, and they had soup when we visited last. This lodge has nice bathrooms too and is a great place to take a mid-day break.
If you are interested in eating off-site, there are some of the best Upstate NY towns not too far off with a plethora of options for dining. Drive 10 minutes into Queensbury for some decent options for dinner, or if you are headed south after your day at West, be sure to stop in Saratoga Springs, NY for some of the best restaurants in Upstate NY. In addition, the area has some of the best breweries of Upstate NY, including one of our favorites: Common Roots Brewery.
Events at West Mountain, New York
Year-round West Mountain holds different types of events on the mountain.
- Fire on the Mountain – event features fireworks, torchlight tubing, live music, food, bonfire, a parade and more!
- Yearly ski/snowboard gear swap
- Snowfest – snow wagon rides, bonfire, face painting, food and drink specials, live music
- Slush Cup/Cardboard Sled Derby
- Northwest Fest
- Monday Night Ski Racing
Other Seasons at West Mountain, New York
Winter is by far not the only season to have fun at West Mountain, and all three other seasons offer a variety of outdoor activities. Some popular things to do at West Mountain in the “off-season” are to climb around at the Tree-Top Aerial Adventure Park, mountain biking, scenic chairlift rides, and hiking.
Why we love West Mountain and return year after year…
We have been taking our family to West Mountain for the past 5 years for skiing lessons and ski fun. We obviously love the mountain for many of the reasons which are posted above, but also we love it for how close it is to home and how accessible it is. We have skied at other mountains in the area, but for the area, West Mountain is by far the best ski resort in the Southern Adirondack area. It is a perfect option for families in Upstate New York looking to take on a new winter hobby. And the fact that West also offers tons of things to do year-round, makes it one of the best attractions in Upstate NY for families! Find out even more about West Mountain here!