Skiing and snowboarding are one of the top most participated sports in America. With the number of skiers and snowboarders in the United States being 14.94 million and 7.56 million, respectively, the game’s popularity is not going down any time soon. For such ski lovers, Bristol Mountain is a must-visit ski resort.
Being one of the best ski areas in the country, there are many activities at Bristol Mountain that attract skiers from all over America. Discover everything you must know bout Bristol Mountain by reading more below.
Where Is It?
Bristol Mountain, or Bristol Mountain Ski Resort, is a winter resort located near the Finger Lakes region in Bristol, New York.
Bristol Mountain can be found 30 miles from Rochester, New York. The nearest city to Bristol Mountain is Canandaigua which is only 10 miles away on NY 64.
There are many activities at Bristol Mountain, which is popular for its trails that differ in difficulty, going from easiest to most difficult. Bristol Mountain has a vertical rise of almost 1200 feet, with a top elevation of 2150 feet, higher than the Rocky Mountains ski resorts.
Bristol offers many features such as terrain parks, chair lifts, ski shops, renal facilities, and more.
Chairlifts at Bristol Mountain
Bristol Mountain has six chairlifts installed, which include:
- Two high-speed detachable chairlifts
- One surface lift for beginners, which rises to 60 feet.
- One double chair lift
- One triple chair lift
- One quad chair lift
1. Galaxy Express
The Galaxy Express is a four-seat chairlift that was installed in 2009 and is one of Bristol Mountain’s high-speed detachable quads. It is installed at the Lower Galaxy on the mountain’s Northside and is only opened during the winter season.
The Galaxy Express takes two thousand passengers every hour. The complete ride takes about five minutes to get to the Upper Galaxy.
2. Comet Express
The Comet Express was installed in 1999 and is the first high-speed detachable quad chairlift of Bristol Mountain. The chairlift provides access to all terrain and takes four minutes while transporting two thousand passengers every hour. The lift takes the passengers over the Outer Orbit and the Comet.
3. Morning Star
The Morning Star Quad was installed in 2000 at the mid-mountain area, providing a ride to easy and intermediate trails, only rising 600 feet and taking eight minutes.
4. Rocket Triple
The Rocket triple was first installed in 1984. It was removed and then rebuilt in 2000. The ride takes 1800 passengers every hour and takes 12 minutes to ride, providing passengers access to intermediate and advanced trails.
5. Sunset Double
The Sunset double was installed in 1992 and is the oldest operating chairlift at Bristol Mountain. The lift carries 1200 passengers every hour and rises to 400 feet, providing passengers access to intermediate and advanced terrain.
6. Lunar Launch Magic Carpet
The Lunar Launch was installed almost alongside the Galaxy Express and is the only conveyor lift at Bristol. The lift takes 1500 passengers every hour and rises to 60 feet.
Trails at Bristol Mountain
One of the most popular activities at Bristol Mountain is its trails. Bristol Mountain consists of 39 trails with 160 skiable terrains (154 acres at night). The longest trail stretches to two miles and consists of three trails, the Milky Way, the Eclipse, and the Infinity.
The trails are named based on space, including the Morning Star and Shooting Star Terrain Parks. In 2015, Bristol introduced Rail Garden on Galaxy and a Family Cross on Orion’s Belt. In 2016, Bristol added a new trail, the Lower Universe Trail.
How it All Began
The history of Bristol Mountain dates back to 1964 when Fred Sarkis bought 360 acres of land in South Bristol. He then cleared 50 acres for a base lodge which opened in mid-December of the same year. In 1965, new lifts and snowmaking capabilities were added to the land.
The resort soon became popular, enough for then-Senator Robert F Kennedy to visit in 1967. Bristol started receiving more than a hundred thousand skiers a year in just a decade of its opening.
In 1999, the resort added its first high-speed detachable chairlift, the Comet Express, which has become the main lift in the resort for almost all trails. A decade later, the Galaxy Express, another high-speed chairlift, and a new trail, the Lower North star, were added to the resort. The new trail was 2600 feet long and added more than seven acres to the mountain.
Bristol Mountain introduced a three-acre aerial park called the Aerial Adventures, which consisted of seven courses and ten zip lines.
Why Visit Bristol Mountain
The many fun activities at Bristol Mountain make it an adventure you cannot miss. During the winter, visitors can explore all 138 acres of the resort, including the Nordic trails, slopes, and inclined paths. With 120 inches of snow piling in the winter, the resort is one of the best skiing areas in America.
Additionally, they possess snowmaking systems that can cover 97% of the terrain and is a large illuminated skiing area, with 96% of the paths lighted at night. The resort doubles as an aerial adventure park with zip lines and crosses elevated bridges in the summer.
Below are some fun activities at Bristol Mountain that attract visitors from all over America.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Skiing and snowboarding are the most popular activity at Bristol, with over 35 trails, five terrain parks, and six lifts, including three quad lifts.
Morning Star Race Park
The resort consists of Open Gates, allowing skiers or snowboarders to enjoy without extra charge, and the NASTAR Timed Racing, which allows skiers or snowboarders to compete for the title of the best.
The Nordic Centre is open for around 129 days a year and consists of two miles of trail, perfect for any level and a bit of a challenge.
Zipline Canopy Tour
In the summer, the resort offers a Zipline Canopy Tour at Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventure, which explores seven zip lines measuring five thousand feet long and four bridges.
Aerial Adventure Park
The Aerial Adventure Park is perfect for families and consists of zip lines, tightropes, bridges, and rope ladders.
Kids Adventure Park
For a kid-friendly activity, guests can visit the Kids Adventure Park, which consists of two courses for kids between four and seven.
Worth it or not?
Without a doubt, the Bristol Mountain skiing resort is a must-visit area for families and bachelors alike. There are many activities at Bristol Mountain that you can do, irrespective of the season. For someone living in New York, visiting New York, or for someone who loves adventure, Bristol Mountain is on the top of the bucket list for places to visit.
Visit Bristol Mountain at 5662 NY-64, Canandaigua, NY 14424, USA, or follow the map here.