Substantial mountainous terrain and oodles of snowfall (and powder-making capabilities) facilitate excellent conditions for skiing and snowboarding in Pennsylvania. Whether you’re a ski bunny or a seasoned shredder, the Keystone State has a diverse menu of places to hit the slopes.
The lines are short, the snow is deep and the trails are well-groomed at the Pocono Mountains' eight major ski areas and resorts: Big Boulder, Blue Mountain, Camelback Mountain, Jack Frost Mountain, Shawnee Mountain, Ski Big Bear and Skytop Lodge.
Blue Mountain has the highest vertical terrain in the state at 1,082 feet, along with 39 trails, 16 lifts and a snow tubing park with 21 slides more than 1,000 feet long. Those developing their ski and snowboarding skills can take advantage of Camelback Mountain Resort’s terrain-based learning program, which lets students strengthen their skills in shaped-terrain areas before hitting the slopes; or Shawnee Mountain’s SKIbaby and SKIwee programs, which cater to tots as young as three years old.
Elk Mountain Ski Resort, featuring 27 slopes and trails, is loved by locals for its consistently groomed trails, fun runs and unpretentious atmosphere. Ski Magazine listed the resort as one of “Six Unsung Heroes” in a compilation of the best U.S. ski destinations. Those who love a steep ride should consider family-friendly Montage Mountain Resort, home to 28 diverse trails, including White Lightning – one of the steepest runs on the East Coast.
Pennsylvania’s largest resort, Seven Springs Mountain Resort has 33 slopes and trails, seven innovative terrain parks, an Olympic-sized half pipe and a rail yard with nearly 100 features. Hidden Valley Resort, located only 13 miles from Seven Springs, offers 31 runs, two terrain parks and 30 miles of dramatic vistas highlighting the beauty of the surrounding countryside. Both resorts now offer new, experience-based learning programs for newbies, who learn to maneuver on skis or snowboards in controlled learning areas.
Twenty-one trails on more than 68 skiable acres await at Bear Creek Mountain Resort, where amenities include a ski/snowboard check with boot driers, storage cubbies and changing rooms, an onsite equipment rental and tuning shop, a indoor pool and hot tub, and daycare.
The slopes at Spring Mountain Adventures draw downhill devotees from Philadelphia, less than 40 miles away. Choose from eight trails, two terrain parks and two snow-tubing runs. Fourth graders receive free season passes at the ski area – just one reason why Spring Mountain is a great place to learn or polish snow skills.
Mount Pleasant of Edinboro’s 320 feet of vertical terrain is credited for helping many beginners develop their ski and snowboard legs. Hit the snow tubing park for four lanes of fun and a squeal-worthy six-story drop.
The recent additions of a new snow groomer and 20 snowmaking stations heighten Roundtop Mountain Resort’s powdery bliss. Spend the afternoon hitting the mountain’s groomed trails, snow tubing or sipping hot chocolate at the cozy lodge.
Liberty Mountain Resort, Roundtop Mountain’s sister property, is located less eight miles from Gettysburg and offers 100 acres of skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing. Enjoy night skiing and snow tubing and new perks like slopeside fire pits and a revamped terrain park.
Located less than eight miles from State College, Tussey Mountain supplies a small trail system for locals craving a quick dose of the slopes. The ski area truly lives up to the slogan “A small mountain with a heart” with short-yet-fun runs, an intimate snow-sports school and friendly folks.
January: Pennsylvania's Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month
Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association, the month of January provides visitors with the opportunity to learn to ski or snowboard this winter. Throughout January, the member resorts of the Pennsylvania Ski Area Association will offer a $5 coupon on all “Learn a Snow Sport” packages. Learn more >>