With mountain ranges stretching across the whole of Pennsylvania you are never far from a ski resort anywhere in the state. You can easily combine a trip to Philadelphia or New York with a high-altitude ski vacation. Though the state does not offer the altitudes of Colorado or California, Pennsylvania’s resorts have excellent facilities for families while also providing challenging terrain for pro and freestyle skiers. From the Blue Mountains to the Poconos, here is a round-up of Pennsylvania’s best ski resorts.
This resort has the highest mountain runs in the state and is one of the largest ski areas, with 34 runs accessed by 6 lifts. Its Alpine Village has fabulous winter facilities including saunas, pools and tennis courts and there is also a large area for cross-country skiers. While there are plenty of easier green and blue slopes, Blue Knob is known for providing the most challenging runs in the states with steep drops, narrow chutes and advanced forest trails.
Camelback Mountain Resort is the largest ski resort in the Pocono Mountains. The site boasts 35 runs and 15 lifts and offers an all-around ski vacation experience with family-friendly activities alongside advanced terrain for the daring. While its trails are plentiful, one of the site’s main attractions is the range of other activities on offer including zip-lining, climbing, disc golf and even a mountain rollercoaster. There is also a great educational program for beginner skiers and two parks of freestyle terrain for the pros.
This is a great resort for intermediate skiers and has spectacular views across the Laurel Highlands. Though seasoned skiers may find the challenges at Hidden Valley limiting, around a quarter of its 26 trails are advanced. Many of the intermediate runs are long, giving you plenty of time to learn the terrain, and 80 percent of the trails are lit up for night skiing.
Jack Frost and Big Boulder
This is a great destination if you want to learn to ski, just a 1-hour drive from Philadelphia and 2 hours from New York. Though it is a relatively small mountain and there are no steep runs, there are a few advanced runs, and you can also freestyle within 5 terrain parks. At the Mountain Dew Terrain Park, part of the Big Boulder Resort, there is a halfpipe and designated area for snowboarders.
With its low altitude, Shawnee Mountain has become adept at snowmaking and its mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced slopes makes it a good destination for families. There are 23 runs in total and the longest stretches over 1.6 miles. Thanks to some steep drops, Shawnee Mountain Ski Area has some great advanced black diamond stretches.
With the highest vertical drop in Pennsylvania, Blue Mountain offers a bit more of a challenge for the advanced. The resort has 40 runs accessible by 16 lifts with superb views across the Blue Mountains. It is known for having the most diverse and open terrain in Pennsylvania. The Central Park and Lower Sidewinder offer challenging S-turns and black diamond runs for advanced skiers and snow tubers have 34 lanes of runs to ride on.