Trail and Uphill Use Policy

Devices that are Allowed

  • Skis
  • Snowboards
  • Snowblades
  • Monoskis

Devices Not Allowed

  • Snowskates
  • Plastic Snowboards
  • Airboards
  • Snowdecks
  • Ghosky
  • Snowbikes
  • Body Sleds
  • Sleds/Discs
  • Inner Tubes
  • Snowscooters
  • Toboggans
  • Snowmobiles
  • Skibikes


The Mt Tecumseh Ski Area belonging to Waterville Valley Ski Resort is located entirely on the White Mountain National Forest. WVSR holds a Ski Area Term Special Use Permit issued by the USDA Forest Service. There is a Nonexclusive Use Clause in the Special Use Permit that reads as follows…

E. Nonexclusive Use. The use and occupancy authorized by this permit are not exclusive. The Forest Service reserves the right of access to the permit area, including a continuing right of physical entry to the permit area for inspection, monitoring, or any other purpose consistent with any right or obligation of the United States under any law or regulation. The Forest Service reserves the right to allow others to use the permit area in any way that is not inconsistent with the holders rights and privileges under this permit, after consultation with all parties involved. Except for any restrictions that the holder and the authorized officer agree are necessary to protect the installation and operation of authorized improvements, the permit area shall remain open to the public for all lawful purposes..

Every year the company is required to file with the USFS a Winter Operating Plan. One of the things that this plan includes is the Policy of the Waterville Valley Ski Resort regarding Trail Use and Access. This policy has been evolving over the years as operational needs, liability concerns, and recreational needs also evolve. What follows is WVSR’s Rule’s of Use- Special Restrictions policy as it appears in the Winter Operating Plan. This not a new policy but it has been refined over the years. It has been agreed to by both the WVSR management and an authorized officer of the USFS.

It’s intent is to allow WVSR protect our installation, our operation of a safe and successful resort, and at the same time provide access to public lands.

D. Special Policies

  • Rules of Use – Special Restrictions
    Rules of Use may be established that address legitimate health and safety concerns and/or activities that interfere with the holder’s operation of its business. Every rule of use will be submitted to the Forest Service and approved in writing by an authorized officer before it may be enforced at the site. Waterville Valley is responsible for implementation of its Rules of Use; violations of Rules of Use that also violate federal, state, or local laws may be enforced by the appropriate law enforcement agency.

    All Rules of Use will be posted at ticket counters and on Waterville’s website.

    • Waterville Valley’s lifts and trails are designed for use by the skiing guest using alpine skis, Nordic skis, snowboards or mono-skis affixed to their feet by a range of binding systems. The use of certain disabled skier skiing devices is permitted on many lifts.
    • Each ski or board shall have in operation a strap or other device capable of stopping the ski or board, should it become detached from the skier.
    • Bulky and carried items such as large backpacks, hang gliders, para gliders, ski bobs, etc. will not be allowed on the lifts.
    • Sledding is not allowed within the ski area boundary.
    • Snowmobile operators must complete a Waterville Valley Ski Resort certified snowmobiles operators course, display a functional headlight, and a 6-foot whip with an orange triangle flag.
    • Dogs must be leashed and under the owner’s control at all times while within the ski area boundary.
    • Animals of any type, service or otherwise, will not be allowed on lifts. Reasonable accommodations for guests requiring service animals will be made through the Resorts Adaptive Skiing Program for those requiring assistance.

    1. Use of Waterville Valley Trails and Lifts

    a. Late Fall and early Winter, prior to lift operation.

    • Late Fall and early Winter snowmaking, grooming activities, pre-operation testing, and associated vehicle traffic pose public safety hazards. During this period, Waterville Valley may post trails as closed during ongoing snowmaking and maintenance activities. Users of trails and glades do so at their own risk.

    b. During normal winter season lift operating hours

    • Use of lifts, trails, and glades at Waterville Valley Ski Resort during the operating season is for skiers and riders with approved devices and is granted only after a lift ticket has been purchased for the day or with a season pass. (see also Spectator Policy, below)
    • The tickets carry a Waterville Valley Ski Resort, LLC. liability waiver.
    • On occasion, use of lifts, glades and trails is granted to Forest Service personnel, maintenance personnel or other contractors or guests required to perform work on the mountain; a lift ticket will be provided.

    c. During the winter Season and outside of normal lift operating hours

    • Because of ongoing snowmaking, grooming, and maintenance and in order to protect public safety, use of Waterville Valley ski trails and glades is prohibited before and after operating hours during the winter operating season. Hazards include maintenance activities including grooming, snowmaking, winchcat operations, limited visibility, power lines, high pressure water and air lines, and winch cables.
    • In certain weather and snow conditions, Waterville Valley Resort Management may allow limited employee-guided uphill access before operating hours on pre-identified trails. The employee must carry a radio and be in communication with the Ski Patrol and the Lead Groomer. Prior to the trips each member of the group will be required to sign a waiver and have a valid lift ticket for that day or a season pass.

    d. Spectator Use of Trails During Normal Operating Hours (Spectator Policy)

    • Races, competitions, and other events are held at the T-bar race hill, the Sunnyside area, and in the Exhibition Park.
    • Spectators may hike or snowshoe to the event site on days of scheduled events. Uphill users will travel along designated routes, generally along the extreme sides of the trails. No trail pass is required for event spectators.
    • No other uphill use, including hiking, snowshoeing, or uphill skinning is allowed on Waterville Valley trails or glades.

    e. Post-Season Use of Waterville Trails

    • There are many risks associated with “after season” use of Waterville trails and glades. These risks include but are not limited to unrestricted daytime Snowcat and snowmobile traffic, on going clean up efforts, and unmaintained snow surfaces.
    • Any access at this time is dangerous and entirely at the risk of the participant.

    2. Trail Use

    • Skiing on closed trails or terrain features is prohibited. Open or Closed status is identified by rope and/or signage and daily trail reports.
    • Waterville Valley Ski Resort reserves the right to modify its Spectator Policy due to weather, grooming issues and /or other conditions during special events.
    • Non-fee hiking, snowshoeing and backcountry skiing access to Mt. Tecumseh is available via the Mt. Tecumseh hiking trail; the trailhead is located adjacent to Parking Lot #1. Descent is via the hiking trail; downhill use of Waterville Valley ski trails and glades is allowed only with the purchase of a lift ticket or season pass.
    • All Waterville Valley ski trails are open for summer hiking except as posted for construction, mowing, brush cutting, etc.