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“Great fun for the whole family”

Gunstock Mountain Resort
Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Gilford
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great fun for the whole family”
Reviewed 24 February 2014

We enjoyed two ski days over President's weekend 2014 and loved both of them. We were skiing with a few families including some younger children (between ages 3 and 7) as well as some more experienced children (ages 9-15) and adults, and the mountain offered something for everyone. They always seem to have a ton of snow, and this weekend was no different. The trail maintenance and grooming is outstanding. The entire mountain staff is incredibly friendly and always helpful. In the cafeteria, when a line started to form, an employee materialized and started to direct the human traffic to minimize wait times. The food was really good - indeed, excellent for a ski lodge like this. The chili and chowder were particularly good. Sure it is absurd to have to pay $3.50 for a hot chocolate, but at least it was tasty. It was very busy for the weekend, and the lodge buildings are relatively small, but because they offer free bag check and free ski check, there's not as much stuff everywhere. Also, the staff did a great job patrolling the cafeterias to remove trash and trays and keep tables clean. The main building is a historic treasure - a public works project from the Depression - and it has a charm that is rare. Sure, that means that the facilities aren't configured in as ideal a fashion as a brand new building might, and the bathrooms are pretty small and dated, but it is worth the trade-off in my view, and it was a nice history lesson to boot. Contrary to other reviews, I found the slope signage to be completely adequate. I do agree that we had to plan our next run a bit, so we knew when to pick up speed to get across flats to another chair. That's a little harder with the smaller children/less accomplished skiers, but it was still fine. The longest wait was in the morning for about 20 minutes at one chair. The rest of the weekend it was maybe 5 minutes. The beginner's area with the magic carpet was perfect for the 3 year old to build up some confidence, also with a 5-10 minute wait at times, but nothing too terrible. The steeper runs were arguably "black" diamonds, but enough of a challenge for the expert adults/teens. The main terrain park was competition-grade, and the runs with smaller terrain obstacles were perfect for the kids. And the views are indeed stunning. This isn't a place I would go for an experts-only weekend - it's truly a family-oriented mountain. Be sure to buy tickets in advance, e.g. on Liftopia, for the best prices.

Visited February 2014
Thank nlmama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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274 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Seekonk, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Gun shy at Gunstock”
Reviewed 23 February 2014

I wanted to like this mountain as its location was ideal from the Providence area and the views of Lake Winnipesaukee were stunning, but something was missing. The signage on the mountain was poor as we found ourselves, at times, at junctions and unsure if we were on a new trail. Getting from one lift to another required Nordic skiing, at times, trudging breathlessly to get to the next lift if we wanted to try a different part of the mountain. The most subtle annoyance, which took awhile to detect, was the variation within a trail. Often, the slope or width would change within the same trail from a medium blue to a light black to an easy green. This was more of an issue for beginner to intermediate skiers but of concern, nonetheless. There were also a shortage of true green trails on this slope.

Visited February 2014
Thank Jim L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wakefield, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
35 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Great Trails. Everything Else Annoying.”
Reviewed 18 February 2014 via mobile

I took my eight year old son here on Sunday before Feb break. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Tilton, which was awesome. 30 mins away, great new hotel with a pool.

The trails were absolutely amazing, nice and wide, with good options for new skiiers from the summit. The views were the best. The conditions were perfect. Best skiing all season for us.

However...maybe I'm just getting old but I'm getting so sick and tired of this ski thing. Would it kill a ski place to build lodges that can actually fit all the skiiers and our stuff comfortably? Why do we have to deal with small cramped quarters with a handful of tables that, if we're lucky, we get to awkwardly steal a corner and eat around more bags and boots stuffed in all spaces because there isnt enough room anywhere. You're one of the closest mountains to Boston...please handle your crowds better. So annoying. It's 2014 people.

Gunstock has one highspeed lift to the summit. It took 20 minutes to get through the line and 5 to reach the top. The other lifts were less crowded but tough to get to. It seemed we were constantly trudging up hill, which was tough for my new skiier and tough for me and my uncomfortable rental boots.

Rentals. Oh my word. At Crotched, we paid (inside), put our stuff away in the same big room, went into another big room attached to the first big room and fit ourselves for new boots, then got skis on the other side of the same big room, grab poles out of a big bin ourselves, and after I dropped my boy off at their ski school (yes...same room) I walked outside and the lift was right there! Amazing. I filled out no forms. At Gunstock, the room to put your stuff is way on the other side of the complex, and it was tiny. Outside...inside...outside... We got there at 815 and there were 2 bins left...then how to negotiate the real boot-ski boot thing...ugh. Then in the bowels of the lodge we go... I fill out this ridiculously long form with my license number (seriously?) and then make my way from station to station through tunnels to get handed old equipment from staff with crappy attitudes ("You checked off the wrong weight!") all while holding my papers and trying to keep positive for my frustrated kid. "Papers please." Down the stairs...up the stairs...where do we go for the 1st lift? Oh way the hell over there. Ugh.

So whatever. The conditions were fabulous. The boy was doing great. Time for a rest and food. Yum...the same old unhealthy overpriced deep fried food options in the same old overcrowded mini-lodge with five tables. Ok maybe ten tables. "Steak and just mushrooms? No cheese???? I never heard of that before." Well sorry. Maybe you should get out more. I didnt have the patience to tell the grill dude I didnt want the bun either. Hey I found a salad burried in the cooler! Shuffle shuffle shuffle. Like cattle. Awesome. "Mind if we sit at this tiny little space with you and your group? We'll be quick I promise."

More skiing -yes! Only at 3pm did we start seeing icy patches, and it was time to call it a day. At 4 we finally got back to our car (and we were in the upper lot!) An hour? An hour. To return our rentals down the stairs...up the stairs --oops, wrong stairs. Dig through mounds and peeps to find our stuff and boots. Back to return the boots....please make it stop. All of us parents tired and cranky. Bathrooms? Oh those are up the stairs. My foot is killing me.

So... Overall our experience at Gunstock?

Like my son said as we drove back to RI, "I really liked the skiing part, when we were actually skiing. But everything else... I didnt like very much."

I hear ya, buddy. I hear ya.

3 Thank RhodeTripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great family mountain resort”
Reviewed 12 February 2014

Went there for the first time after getting a Groupon.

Great family mountain with many different options for the younger ones. Reasonable sized mountain for a day out.

Would definitely go back there.

Visited February 2014
Thank Marisol M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andover, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
45 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Family skiing ?? This place is great !!”
Reviewed 28 January 2014

Bar none, Gunstock is the best place for family skiing. Our family liked it at night as much as during the day. The ticket pricing is very flexible in that you can buy what you want - morning, afternoon, evening or all day and night. It is less than 90 minutes from Boston so there are lots of families, but the mountain is well laid out to keep lift line waits to 5-10 minutes (we skied on Sat/Sat night and Sun). Great snowmaking and grooming and the views are spectacular!! Gunstock sells itself as a convenient, beginner/intermediate mountain with a fun terrain park. It is not the steepest, slickest, fanciest place around. Very friendly and helpful staff, both on the mountain and in the lodge. Most people seem to bring their own food here (we did, on the recommendation of friends) but there is food service in the lodge and a separate restaurant called the Pistol Pub. Good food, but stick to beer/cocktails or water - the wine selection is poor (maybe they don't attract many serious wine drinkers who care!!)

Visited January 2014
Thank andovermom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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