Happy Travelers wouldn’t let a little chill keep them trapped indoors – they embrace the spirit of winter and yearn for fresh flakes to grace Pennsylvania’s perfect slopes. At these altitudes, powder hounds play all winter long at resorts including Seven Springs Mountain Resort, the largest ski and four-season resort in Pennsylvania; Blue Mountain Resort, boasting the highest vertical in the state; and Ski Denton’s lit snowboard park in a beautifully rustic area known as "God's Country." What are you waiting for? Pack up your gear and gather your friends for a weekend winter adventure pur-“skiing” your happiness in Pennsylvania! For more ski deals and up-to-date snow conditions at Pennsylvania’s 20 ski resorts, visit www.skipa.com.
Camelback Mountain Resort
The largest ski resort in the Pocono Mountains is Camelback – touting 34 trails, 16 lifts, two high-speed quads, a snowboard half-pipe, multiple terrain parks, a wide selection of trails for all ability levels and the largest snow tubing park in the United States, with 42 lanes. The resort also newly launched Galactic Snow Tubing, an after-dark LED light show! Camelback Resort is the premier four-season resort being voted the No. 1 Favorite Winter Resort by Snow East Magazine four years in a row. Thrill-seeking skiers and boarders can safely attempt aerial maneuvers on the recently added 50-foot by 50-foot Take Flight air bag. For ski-in, ski-out convenience, guests can stay at the Camelback Lodge, a luxurious resort with an indoor water park for guests to enjoy year round.
Blue Mountain Resort
Blue Mountain Resort boasts five terrain parks, 39 trails and the highest vertical in Pennsylvania. The resort recently expanded its ski trail offerings with the Lower Sidewinder trail and the Central Park trail, which has been enhanced to include a jump line. The resort also has updated its snow grooming capabilities with the addition of the new Pisten Bully 400, which helps optimize snow surfaces from terrain parks to moguls and cruising trails. Season pass holders can enjoy added convenience, with automatic savings for every ski, ride or play, as well as discounts for every purchase made at Blue Mountain on lift tickets, rental gear, dining and more. The mountain also has a Big Air Bag specially designed for skiers and snowboarders, allowing them to practice jumps and tricks safely before taking to the slopes.
With 125 acres for skiing, 23 trails and two terrain parks, Shawnee Mountain is an ideal spot for winter sport enthusiasts. The resort even offers the Tomahawk Express Quad lift, whisking skiers and riders to the 3,100-foot summit in three minutes. The lift has the ability to transport 2,400 people per hour, giving guests the chance to experience even more trips down the mountain. This season, the Shawnee Mountain Resort will give freestylers two new terrain parks. One of Shawnee’s signature events is its annual Costume Carnival Day, when anyone dressed in full costume receives a free lift ticket.
Jack Frost Big Boulder
Big Boulder was built on the site of the first commercial ski resort in Pennsylvania, and it was here that snowmaking was first used successfully in a commercial application. Eight parks make Jack Frost Big Boulder the premier destination for skiers and riders to come and test their skills. In fact, TransWorld SNOWboarding has rated the park a Top Five Terrain Park on the East Coast of Canada and the United States. Jack Frost and Big Boulder ski areas are offering a Peak Pass this season giving guests access to all seven northeast resorts for one price. Peak Resorts is also proud to launch the “Peak Discover Program,” a new step-by-step lesson product aimed at giving skiers the opportunity to learn, practice and explore at any Peak Resort in the northeast.
Ski Big Bear
Eighteen trails and two terrain parks make up Ski Big Bear, while a snow tubing park makes it an ideal destination for any family with non-skiers. Ski and snowboard lessons are available for groups or individuals. Ski Big Bear also offers five lifts, including two Magic Carpet lifts, and 650 feet of vertical.
Seven Springs Mountain Resort
Seven Springs Mountain Resort is the state’s largest ski and four-season resort featuring 33 slopes and trails. A perfect winter getaway resort, Seven Springs can accommodate more than 5,000 overnight guests in its 10-story high-rise hotel and nearly 1,200 condominiums and townhomes, eight cottages and nine chalets. Seven Springs boasts seven terrain parks and an Olympic-sized superpipe, one of only two 22 inch halfpipes on the East Coast. Purchase a Highlands Pass for unlimited skiing and snowboarding between Hidden Valley and Seven Springs Mountain Resorts.
Laurel Mountain Ski Area
Opening for the 1940-1941 winter season, the Laurel Mountain Ski Area was originally a prestigious club that often attracted prominent Pittsburghers like the Heinz and Mellon families. Over the years, more middle-class families became interested in resort vacations, and Laurel Mountain eventually became known as “The Ski Capital of Pennsylvania” after it opened as a public resort. Guests will once again be able to enjoy the highest vertical drop on Pennsylvania’s Laurel Ridge at 761 feet and the 60-percent slope of the double diamond Lower Wildcat, as well as some of the ski area’s original structures like the storied Midway Cabin.
Hidden Valley Resort
Hidden Valley is the perfect winter destination for families offering 26 slopes and trails, two terrain parks and on average, nearly 200 inches of snow each year on 110 acres of skiable terrain in the Laurel Highlands, one of the most mountainous regions of Pennsylvania. Offering a winter getaway that will fit your budget, groups are encouraged to take advantage of discounted lift tickets between Hidden Valley and Seven Springs Mountain Resorts.
Mystic Mountain at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
Mystic Mountain is western Pennsylvania's ideal learning environment for first-time skiers, with 25 acres of short lines, friendly trails and experienced instructors. Downhill skiing and snowboarding are available on six slopes, with difficulty ranging from beginner to expert. Mystic Mountain has a 300-foot vertical drop, three lifts and is 100 percent illuminated, making night snow sports great fun. Visitors can also enjoy the terrain park – The Yeti's Lair – perfect for beginners. Mystic Mountain will debut special package offerings this season: The “Friends and Neighbors” package offers a reduced lift ticket and equipment rental on Thursday nights; “Learn Under the Lights” package includes a lift ticket, one-hour private lesson and equipment rental for beginners. For those looking to unwind after the day, there’s always the Apex Restaurant which offers some of the best views of the Laurel Highlands.
Dutch Country Roads
Whitetail is one of the best places to learn to ski or snowboard in Pennsylvania. In advance of this season, Whitetail Resort has invested more than $1.1 million into upgrades including a snow making system, snow tubing enhancements and inventory of the latest gear. Its programs for beginners were recognized as the best in the country by the National Ski Areas Association during the 2010-2011 winter season. Open until 10 p.m. every night of the season, Whitetail has an uphill capacity of 15,000 skiers or snowboarders per hour, making trekking down the mountain’s 23 trails quick and easy. The resort was recently expanded to better meet the needs of guests.
Liberty Mountain Resort
The four-season Liberty Mountain Resort is nestled near the scenic Catoctin Mountains on 400 beautiful acres. In the winter, guests can enjoy more than 100 acres of skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing trails, three terrain parks, ice skating rink and a Children’s Learning Center. For this winter season, Libery Mountain Resort got a new snowmaking machine to ensure there will be snow throughout the season. The resort is also offering an exclusive ice skating season pass for $75, which provides unlimited ice time and skate rental anytime the rink is open.
Roundtop Mountain Resort
A short drive from tourist destinations like Hershey and Gettysburg, Roundtop Mountain Resort, formerly Ski Roundtop, is a four-season resort with plenty of snow sports to keep visitors busy. Roundtop and nearby ski resorts Liberty and Whitetail are under the same management, so skier discount cards and season passes are transferable among them.
Bear Creek Mountain Resort
Bear Creek Mountain Resort & Conference Center is a first-class facility located on more than 330 acres in scenic Lehigh County, featuring skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing. A perfect choice for urban skiers from Philadelphia, Bear Creek has three separate terrain parks and more than 86 acres of skiable terrain. Winter sports enthusiasts can look forward to snow, and lots of it this season with new enhancements to Bear Creek’s already robust snowmaking system, providing the best conditions all winter long. The resort has also expanded its midweek deals offering a $25 all-day lift ticket for college students, Ski Club members, police officers, fire department employees and EMS employees on Mondays through Thursdays (non-holidays). For those not into the outdoor weather, a slope-side hotel and spa offer après-ski warmth and relaxation. The resort also has a daycare that provides childcare services during the winter season.
Blue Knob All Seasons Resort
Often considered Pennsylvania’s best-kept secret, Blue Knob is the highest skiable mountain with the most challenging slopes in the state. Cross-country skiers can enjoy groomed and non-groomed trails, and non-skiers can still have fun in the snow at the snow tubing parkAfter a day of skiing, dine at Alpine Village, which includes several dining options: The Black Bear Inn, for fine dining; The Clubhouse, for a low-key snack; and Mueller’s Pub in the main lodge, the perfect place to meet with friends. The resort features condominium lodging where guests have access to use the indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs, tennis courts and saunas, all located in Alpine Village. This year, Blue Knob is offering new day and twilight sessions and tubing discounts for season pass holders. Weekday specials include discounts for seniors, college students, military and first responders.
Known as “a small mountain with a large heart,” Tussey Mountain offers skiing on 50 acres with eight trails and three ski and snowboard lifts. A short drive for Penn Staters in University Park, Tussey’s terrain park features boxes, rails, pipes and assorted jumps. Guests (21 and over) are invited to grab a drink at the Mountainside Bar after taking some runs and warm up by the fire pit and heatlamps.
Eagle Rock Resort
Short lift lines and uncrowded skiing are the hallmarks of Eagle Rock Resort. The mountain has 14 lighted slopes ranging from beginner to expert. Boarders and skiers alike will enjoy the 1,000-foot long super half-pipe. The latest snowmaking equipment and high-powered snow guns ensure a powdered mountain and a quality skiing, snowboarding or tubing experience.
Elk Mountain was one of the first commercial ski areas to open in Pennsylvania in 1959. Today, Elk has seven lifts and 27 slopes, including some of the most challenging in the region. The resort also has its own distinctive character; the resort regularly plants Norway spruce and red and white pines. Since the mid-1980s, more than 13,000 trees have been planted. This season, the resort has put together a “Midweek Group Special” that rewards groups with a free ski trip after booking two individual group trips.
Montage Mountain offers day and night skiing and a professionally staffed ski school. Snow is plentiful throughout the winter, thanks to 200 snow guns. Known as the steepest vertical drop ski resort in all of Pennsylvania, Montage is also accompanied by 26 slopes, tubing, a full-service lodge and restaurants.
Crystal Lake Ski Center
Crystal Lake Ski Center caters to cross-country skiers, and certified Nordic instructors are available for lessons. Nestled beside Crystal Lake and just minutes from Wild Rice Lake, Crystal Lake Ski Center is the Hughesville area’s winter playground to be explored on skis, snow shoes or ice skates.
Ski Sawmill Family Resort
Ski Sawmill Family Resort offers 12 slopes suited for beginners, intermediate skiers and boarders and experts with a vertical drop of 515 feet. A fun place to learn to ski, families can spend the weekend at Ski Sawmill in one of four lodging options at the resort, ranging from a farmhouse to the Mountain Inn. A recent addition to the mountain is Sawmill’s Tube Slide featuring three runs, one lift and a powerful snowmaking system to ensure a smooth ride.