First Timer's Guide

We pride ourselves on convenience, located just two hours from Boston (map),  


The Basics

 Starting Your Vacation at Waterville Valley Resort

Starting Your Vacation at Waterville Valley Resort

  1. The number one thing to know is that getting here is fast and easy.  Just head East on Rt-49 at exit 28 on I-93.
  2. If this is your first time heading to the White Mountains for an adventure... Congratulations!  You've made an awesome choice.  Check out some of our basic tips for coming to play in the mountains this winter.  Click here.
  3. Ski or snowboard equipment is pretty important to ski or snowboard.  Do you have your own?  Cool, bring 'em.  If not, you'll want to pick up some rentals at the Top Dog Rental Center here at the ski area.  Click here to learn more.
  4. Knowing how to ski or snowboard is really important to having fun.  If you've never skied or snowboarded before, then try one of our Learn-to-Ski/Ride packages that includes a ticket, lesson, and rentals.  Click Here.  If you have skied or snowboarded before, we always recommend picking up a lesson every so often so you can learn efficiencies and tighten your on-mountain game.  Click Here to learn more.
  5. Skiing and snowboarding for multiple days in a row is the best way to maximize your experience and get your flow.  While sleeping in your car can be cool and all (we're not judging), a nice warm bed to sleep in and hot water to get ready for Aprés is way more fun.  Check out our many lodging options to find what fits your needs the best.  Hotels, condos, condo-hotels.... we've got you covered.
  6. While in our opinion skiing and snowboarding is the GREATEST activity of all time, we know that fun is all around us in Waterville Valley and you should definitely get out and experience them all.  Sleigh rides, dog sledding, ice skating, cross-country skiing, indoor pool swimming, tubing.... they're all awesome and we'd hate for you to miss out.  Click here to learn more.

Once you get here....

Now that you've arrived at Waterville Valley, the following tips will sail you through the preparation process and get you out on the slopes for a grand day of adventure. We suggest tackling your preparations in this order:

1. Park Your Vehicle

Arrive Early! Just a few of the many benefits of arriving early are:

  • You can obtain a parking space in the lot close to the lodge
  • You'll avoid carrying your belongings a long distance
  • More rental equipment is available early in the day
  • The snow conditions are generally best in the morning as well, and lift lines are the shortest

All in all, it's the best part of the day to be on the mountain.

Valet Parking for $20 is a great help to parents with young children. Or, if you get here late, pull in to the unload area and hand over your keys. At end of day, we'll bring your car to you.

Waterville Valley's lifts operate Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00pm.  On weekends and holidays, lifts run from 8:00am to 4:00pm.  Ticket windows open one-half hour before lifts open.

By arriving early (one-half to one hour prior to lift opening), you're almost assured a good spot in the upper parking lots. Waterville Valley has a single central base area, at the top of the parking lots.

If you cannot obtain a parking spot close to the lodge, feel free to make use of our 5-minute unloading area, located in front of our base lodge.  You can pull into this area, drop off your party and their belongings, and then proceed to a parking spot.  Please note, these areas are reserved for drop off/pick up only.  Vehicles left unattended in these areas will be towed.

2. Store Your Belongings

If you are carrying extra clothing and gear, go directly to the base lodge.  Lockers are available for rent, and your belongings will be secure and accessible to you all day.  We also have a basket check on the 2nd floor of the base lodge, which is a secure and economical way to store your stuff.

3. Need a Lesson?

Lift Tickets are available right at the Snowsports desk!  If you don't need a lesson, skip Step #3 and go directly to Step 4.

We strongly recommend our Learn to Ski/Ride package for all beginners. Using the latest equipment and teaching techniques, our Snowsports Coaches are fully committed to your enjoyment. Also check out our $89 online special and our Take 2 and 3 LTS/R plans for extra savings!

If you're planning to take advantage of our Learn to Ski/Ride package:

Go directly to the Top Dog Rental Shop (located just to the left of the Base Lodge, across the courtyard) to sign up for your lesson. Lessons are at 10:00am and 1:00pm on weekends / holidays, 10:00 and 1:00 on weekdays. You can get your lift ticket at the Rental shop too.

You can sign up for Private Lessons and various other group lessons and clinics at the Snowsports Desks located on the first floor of the base lodge. (Lift tickets are available here too).

Group lessons are available for ages 7 thru adult. Group lesson times are at 10:00am and 1:00pm on weekends / holidays and 10:00 and 1:00 weekdays.

Our Kids Kamp program features an all day Kamp for ages 3 - 12.

Find out more information about Waterville Valley's Legendary Snowsports School right here.

4. Rent Equipment

If you just need to rent equipment, we have a rental shop in the base areas.  The Rental Shop is located just to the left of the Base Lodge, across the courtyard.  You can also purchase lift tickets at the rental shop. We also have high-end demo skis available at the retail shop.  More on the rental shop is right here.

5. Purchase a Lift Ticket

You can purchase a lift ticket by visiting our ticket windows or you can buy online and save up to 55%.   Ticket windows are located in the front of the Base Lodge facing the parking lot. You can also buy tickets at the Rental Shop (left side of the base area), and at the Snow Sports school desk (first floor, base lodge). For current ticket pricing, visit our Lift Tickets page.

That's it! You're ready to tackle the mountain and all it has to offer!

Getting around the Mountain and the Valley

Now that you're on the mountain, it's important that you know what and where everything is.

Base Lodge

Ground Floor

  • Snow Sports Desk / Guest Services
  • Waterville Valley Adaptive Sports
  • Ticket windows (right of the main entrance)
  • Cubbies for Storage
  • Daycare Center
  • Restrooms

2nd Floor

  • Dining Area
  • Cubbies for Storage
  • Marketplace Cafeteria
  • Explorer Kid's Kamp
  • ATM

3rd Floor

  • Dining Area
  • Scouts Kid's Kamp
  • Harpoon Sky Box
  • Buckets, Bones, & Brews
  • Restrooms


  • The Waffle Cabin

Administration Building

Ground Floor

  • Sport Thoma Ski Shop 
  • Sport Thoma Tunning & Repair Center

2nd & 3rd Floor

  • Administration Offices

Top Dog Rentals

Ground Floor

  • Rentals for Ski, Snowboards, and Helmets

2nd Floor

  • T-Bars Resturaunt

Other Mountain Facilities

  • Sunnyside Timberlodge - located mid-mountain just below The Valley Run Quad unload
  • Schwendi Hutte - located on the summit
  • Ski Patrol Headquarters - located on the summit next to the White Peaks Quad
  • Crane Clinic - First Aid  - located next to the Lower Meadow Double Chair lift, just below the Administration parking lot