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Saddleback Family Skiing in Maine

Saddleback is currently for sale, awaiting a buyer for new ownership and investment, not open for skiing this season. When and if it does re-open, get your posse to the ‘Back. Saddleback in Rangeley Maine was once among our top family ski resort in New England, for its charm, big mountain ski terrain, and down home hospitality you hope for in Maine skiing.

On a weekend visit, we skied deep soft mid-winter snow on every trail at Saddleback, including the incredible 44 acre Casablanca glades. Also soaked in fresh powder, we blazed the legendary Muleskinner, a New England skier rite of passage on the far skiers’ right, snowboarders be warned: it’s a haul/hike to get to.

So much of Saddleback’s terrain is unique, unaltered, and natural, not heavily trafficked. That’s due to the fixed grip lifts, and the somewhat remote location. Saddleback draws mostly locals and families from away that have a condo here, no commuters, thought a few Sugarloafers are sneaking over here for freshies and less crowds.

Groomed runs like Silver Doctor and Tightline offer spectacular lake and mountain views, while gritty glades like Dark Wizard and Nightmare Glades keep you on your toes and remind you of real skiing on naturally contoured runs covered in Mother Nature’s inimitable soft snow. Saddleback has snow making, but its northern location and high elevation help a lot with snow quality and quantity.

Saddleback’s base elevation is the highest in New England at 2,460’ and the 4,120’ summit rivals nearby Sugarloaf’s 4,237’. Saddleback has 66 trails of varying terrain, plus immense glades and backcountry. The place is mellower than the high speed resorts since there are no high speed lifts (there’s even a t-bar), but you have trails to yourself. 

Families will enjoy the single base area and the fun events throughout the season. The beginner area is completely separate from the upper mountain intermediate and expert terrain served by its own quad and provides a gentle unintimidating area for kids and adults learning to ski or ride.

If you haven’t skied this Maine gem overlooking the Rangeley Lakes region, now is the time to saddle up and go. Saddleback is humble, a real Maine crowd – not many Mass or NY license plates, but it’s also wicked friendly with a beautiful base lodge and happy après at the Swig and Smelt.

Saddleback lift tickets stayed below the $50 mark, another priority for the Berry Family owners, keep costs down and keep the skiing genuine and unhurried. Stay tuned for what becomes of this classic ski mountain in Rangeley.

More Saddelback Ski Photos and Saddleback Maine skiing vacations
All Stories by Heather Burke
All Photography by Greg Burke
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