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The elevations might not be the highest here, but Poconos ski resorts have long enjoyed the fame of an easygoing and hassle-free way to hit the powder for residents of New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington. One of the gems of Pennsylvania, this area is a beautiful land of heavily-forested peaks, mountain rivers, and endless outdoor recreation opportunities. You won’t find glamour or exceptional stats here, but the local deal is all about relaxing family fun in a picturesque setting.
The scarcity of snowfall is substituted by state-of-the-art snowmaking facilities so you can be sure of good conditions at any time during the season (December, January, and February are the best times to come). Check out these best ski resorts in the Poconos and plan your next ideal winter vacation in Pennsylvania.
You’re getting a superb Poconos experience at Camelback Mountain, officially the largest ski resort in the region. A top ski resort in Pennsylvania, here both the beginners and the experts will feel at home. There are 166 acres of skiing terrain, an elevation of 2,133 feet, 800 feet of vertical drop, and 35 slopes of different levels. It’s a perfect choice for families with kids with a riding school, 40 snowtubing lanes, and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark for splashy fun. Snowboarders have a chance to master their half-pipe skills, the resort is the only place in the Poconos with this feature. As in the majority of ski resorts in the region, you’ve got full snowmaking coverage here. A special resort perk is a night skiing option, so be sure to try it. In 2022, Camelback is adding an expanded terrain park, a new enclosed high-speed lift, snowtubing (including an all-lit nighttime tubing experience), immersive water slides at Aquatopia indoor water park, and snowboarding and skiing lessons for all skill levels.
One of the companion resorts to other Poconos skiing highlight Big Boulder, Jack Frost is a prime family pick. There are 20 trails serviced by 12 lifts as well as 2 terrain parks. Vertical drop stands at 600 feet and you’ve got pleasant, gentle slopes that would work great for beginner skiers. There are various activities too like snow tubing, snowmobiling, and even dog sledding so you won’t have a problem finding a thrilling adventure for your kids to embark on. And an amazing thing about Jack Frost is that you always have a chance to try the slopes of Big Boulder which is only 5 miles away and shares ownership and management.
Snowboarders rejoice, there’s a fantastic place in the Poconos for you to master tricks and have a rewarding riding time. The name is Big Boulder, and you’ve got 50% of the resort trails specifically catering to snowboarders with a diverse choice of terrain parks. Still, the skiers aren’t left behind and there are 15 trails with 475 feet of vertical drop to offer good riding conditions. On-site Ski and Ride School will come in handy if that’s your first time hitting the slopes. For dining, you have several bars and restaurants to properly enjoy the mountainside Poconos location and have a hearty Pennsylvania meal.
Looking for a place where you and your kids can start your skiing or snowboarding journey? Shawnee Mountain is one of the best ski resorts in the Poconos just for that. Devoted to families, it has some of the best learning programs in the region, good rental options, 100% snowmaking, and 23 runs. It’s that boutique, family-owned ski resort that doesn’t scare you off with crowds and provides smooth and easy access to winter activities. Profit from the night skiing option, get into the snowtubing lanes and enjoy the relaxed lounge bar at the summit lodge. There are two terrain parks to play in. Delaware Park would be perfect for experienced snowboarders boasting a variety of multi-jumps, tabletops, and rails.
An all-in-one kind of Poconos ski resort, Blue Mountain has the offer to please every kind of skier and snowboarder. Vertical drop standing at 1,087 feet is the highest in Pennsylvania, you’ve got 40 slopes that range in difficulty levels, and 5 terrain parks provide enough space for snowboarders to feel the thrill. Excellent riding conditions are ensured by the full snowmaking coverage and the slopes are well-lit at night for magical skiing under the stars. The resort boasts 4 extremely difficult trails so the pros will be delighted to try the powder there. Slopeside Pub & Grill is a great place to have a meal with the mountain view and the Valley Food Trucks area is for the street food delights. For the 2022-2023 ski season, Blue Mountain has multiple upgrades, including a new high-speed six-person lift, snowmaking upgrades, and a nighttime snow tubing experience with music and disco lighting.
Right on the New York State border and a 2-hour drive from NYC, Ski Big Bear is a Masthope community-owned hill and kind of a hidden gem of the northern Poconos. It’s that place where you come for relaxed, calm skiing without queues and hassle. Loved by the locals and frequented by the guests of the region, it offers 18 trails of different levels, a vertical drop of 650 feet, and snowtubing lanes. Affordable prices, family orientation, and a cheerful atmosphere make Ski Big Bear a good choice among ski resorts in the Poconos to avoid crowds and save on passes. A terrain park here is also an ideal place for your kids to try snowboarding under the guidance of instructors.
Montage Mountains stands out among the top ski resorts in the Poconos in several ways. First of all, it’s situated right next to Scranton. Such a strategic position allows you to combine urban exploration with adventures in the snow. Then, Montage Mountain is home to White Lightning, which is the second-steepest slope on the whole East Coast. Add the 1000 feet vertical drop, 27 trails on 140 acres of skiable terrain, and the exciting snowtubing park, and you have an ultimate Poconos ski resort that delivers a top-notch time in the snow (snowmaking is 100% here). After an adrenaline-filled day on the mountain, relax at the vibrant apres-ski bars, and have a hearty meal at the slopeside restaurant. And you can always combine a visit here with a trip to Scranton, a city that boasts a fine selection of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture and exciting city life. You may recognize it as the location of the fictional Dunder Mifflin company from The Office TV show.