Is Saddleback a longer drive than Sugarloaf?

Post updated August 2023

There is a common perception that the drive to Saddleback is much farther than Sugarloaf. If you are coming from the east (Bangor area), Sugarloaf is about 30 minutes closer. From the west (Gorham NH) Saddleback is closer by about 15 minutes. 

The way many of the day-trippers drive to Saddleback and Sugarloaf is from the south. While there are many back road "secrets" out there, the primary way to get to either mountain is through Farmington, and then stay on Route 4 for Saddleback or Route 27 for Sugarloaf.

From the Route 4 and 27 intersection just north of Farmington, the drive time to the parking lots is ~45 minutes for Sugarloaf, ~55 minutes for Saddleback. About a 10 minute difference. But read on for other factors to consider to get from your car to the chairlift.

Farmington to Sugarloaf Drive Time

Farmington to Saddleback Drive Time

Other Saddleback factors to consider in your drive time to the chairlift:
  • Route 4 in Madrid has been recently rebuilt / repaved and from Smalls Falls to Rangeley is newly paved in the summer of 2022.
  • The Saddleback Mountain access road was rebuilt in the fall of 2022 and finish coat of pavement in the summer of 2023. Dallas Hill Road was also repaved in 2023 as well. A significant improvement! (Please keep to posted speed limits!)
  • Saddleback offers the opportunity to drop your gear at the base lodge before parking. The friendly Saddleback hosts folks will help you unload your gear too.
  • The parking lots are a short drive & easy walk from the base lodge. On busy days they may park vehicles down the access road but they run shuttles to get visitors to the base lodge quickly. Typically, no parking lot to lodge shuttles are required at the beginning (or end) of your day saving significant time.
  • The shorter time unloading the car to the chairlift at Saddleback more than makes up for the 10 minutes longer of drive time.
There are a lot of great reasons to ski Sugarloaf, and there are a lot of great reasons to ski Saddleback. Both are fantastic mountains and we at MaineSkiFamily visit both each year. But don't let the misconception of Saddleback being "much farther away" than Sugarloaf deter you from visiting Saddleback. It is simply not true!

Considering a trip to Saddleback? Check out our First-Timer's Guide to Saddleback Ski Area.


  1. Great to hear the Saddleback access road has been improved, small potatoes maybe but those divets were unnecessarily jarring!

  2. One thing to add is more all wheel drive dependent because Dallas Hill Rd. Is steep and often snow and ice covered. I can’t image getting up that in a rear wheel drive vehicle. They need to do a better job of maintaining that road.

  3. Dallas Hill Rd. IS NOT STEEP. ONLY THE FIRST 150 feet is a hill which they plow and sand ALL the time. All cars can can do it , ?????? Really. Yes.

Hi - thanks for taking the time to comment. Please keep the comments on-point and lets be nice to each other!


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A Family Skiing in Maine: Is Saddleback a longer drive than Sugarloaf?
Is Saddleback a longer drive than Sugarloaf?
The drive times from Farmington to Saddleback and Sugarloaf are closer than you think.
A Family Skiing in Maine
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