Best Ski Resorts in Pennsylvania

At first glance, Pennsylvania might not be associated with incredible ski resorts, a large snowfall, and mountain ranges with views that take your breath away. However, that first impression is quite misleading, for there are many ski resorts that provide their visitors with stunning views, well-groomed slopes suitable for all skiing levels, and comfy accommodation options.

Even though the resorts we’re about to list aren’t as big as those in other states that are more ski-focused, they are still famous in their own right. Here are some of the most loved resorts located in Pennsylvania.

Blue Mountain Ski Resort

Located near Palmerton, this grand resort is one of the most popular ones in the country. It’s known for its high vertical and diverse terrain that features many different levels of runs. Great for beginners and advanced alike, this resort promises some serious fun and is guaranteed to help you create long-lasting memories. There is always an event to attend and a deal to grab.

Pros

  • Open year-round
  • Close to several major cities including New York City
  • Amazing packages offered on their website
  • Friendly and knowledgeable staff

Cons

  • The mobile ticket machine is known to crash several times
  • They no longer offer family tubes which disappointed some customers

Famous for: steep vertical, great deals and prices, variety of activities during wintertime.

Town

Even though there are several major cities located around Blue Mountain, the nearest one is Palmerton. Located only a 15-minute drive away from the resort, this town is a great option for anyone looking to make a day trip not too far away. It offers several tourist attractions like the Halls of Horror and Truespa, and you’re always welcome to some of their pubs like the Blue Mountain Pub.

Ski Terrain

Ski lovers won’t be disappointed to find out that there are 40 runs in total in Blue Mountain. As you know by now, the terrain is quite diverse, so you can choose between some difficult and challenging runs, or runs suitable for beginners or children. The longest run is 6,400 feet long. The snowfall averages around 33 inches, and you also have the option of night skiing. If you aren’t a big fan of skiing, you can always opt for snow tubing or snowboarding which seem like really fun options.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

When it comes to the number of people who visit Blue Mountain, you can expect to get away from any crowds you might be dreading. Although this place is popular, it doesn’t seem to be overly crowded, which is always good news.

You have 13 lifts at your disposal in this resort. Three of them are double chairlifts, one triple chairlift, one high-speed quad, one high-speed six-pack, and several surface lifts. Lift tickets can be purchased from their website. Their price is around $60 for an 8-hour lift ticket and $70 during peak season and weekends.

Accommodation

Looking for a place to stay at Blue Mountain? It seems like visitors have a few options to choose from. The first is renting an Airbnb and the second choosing some of the local hotels located nearby. Some of the available hotels are Country Inn & Suites, Mahoning Inn, the Inn at Jim Thorpe, or Days Hotel. The price per night differs depending on the hotel as well as the size of the room.

Verdict

Blue Mountain Ski Resort is definitely the place to be at if you’re looking to have lots of fun during the winter. You can choose between skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing, all of which sound pleasurable. One of the perks of staying at Blue Mountain is the proximity to some major cities that can offer the perfect change of scenery.

Camelback Mountain Resort

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another perfect option for enthusiastic skiers who are looking to work on their technique is Camelback Mountain Resort. Around 40% of the available runs are suitable for beginners, making this place a no-brainer if your goal is to start skiing or work on your skills. It’s located in the Pocono Mountains in Monroe County, and a part of it covers the Big Pocono State Park. Whether you’re looking for a nice winter getaway or you just want to have some fun skiing, you should definitely consider the Camelback Mountain Resort.

Pros

  • Variety of slopes to choose from
  • Breathtaking scenery
  • Beginner-friendly with lots of runs designed for beginner

Cons

  • Can be a bit dull for advanced skiers since not all of the terrain is challenging enough
  • Gets a bit crowded during the weekends and peak season

Famous for: beginner-friendly, great views, snow tubing.

Town

The city closest to Camelback Mountain Resort is Scranton, which is a 40-minute drive away from the resort. Known as the “Electric City”, this city has some historic sites which can’t be missed, such as the Steamtown National Historic Site, the Electric City Trolley Station and Museum, and the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum. If you like spending time in nature, there are lots of options available in the outdoors, like the Scranton Lake Walking Oath or the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail.

Ski Terrain

With 35 available terrains on the property, everyone can find one that works for them. Most of the terrains (~40%) are beginner-friendly, so beginners are more than welcome here. The annual snowfall is 50 inches and the skiable area is around 166 acres.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

Despite the fact that this resort covers a lot of land, it can get a bit crowded at times, so certain visitors have had a problem with that. If you’re not the type of person who enjoys being surrounded by lots of people, then maybe this resort isn’t a good option for you.

There are 16 lifts in total. Two are high-speed detachable quad chairlifts, three are triple chairlifts, five double chairlifts, four surface lifts, and two tubing surface lifts. There are two terrain parks available and the longest run is around 5,280 feet. The price for a daily ticket during the weekends for adults is $75. If you book in advance on their website, you can save up to $20.

Accommodation

Are you a fan of indoor waterparks? Then you will love what I’m about to share with you. Camelback Lodge contains an indoor waterpark, which promises a lot of fun activities for both adults and children. Other than that, this resort contains a spa, shopping facilities, and a family entertainment center. Depending on the type of suite you choose, the price can go up to $600 a night.

Verdict

Camelback Mountain is a good option for those who like to have everything at one place. One of the main drawbacks is that it can get a bit crowded. It’s known for being beginner-friendly with lots of runs to choose from.

Hidden Valley Resort

Hidden Valley Resort is located in the Laurel Highlands – a picturesque location that provides visitors with breathtaking scenery and lots of adventurous trails. If you ever need a break from all the skiing or snowboarding, you can visit some of its relaxing facilities like the gorgeous spa that offers manicures, pedicures, and massages. Great for couples and families, this resort is the perfect option for a relaxing, yet activity-filled holiday. 

Pros

  • Amazing instructors
  • Outstanding views
  • Helpful staff
  • Family-friendly

Cons

  • Restaurant orders can take some time to be delivered

Famous for: snowboarding, wintery scenery, lots of runs.

Town

The town located near Hidden Valley is West Norriton Township, part of the Norristown Area School District. This town isn’t as big or populated as some of the other neighboring cities mentioned on this list, however, there are still many things to do while you’re here. You can enjoy some of the local cuisines in many of the different restaurants available, or you could visit the museums or parks.

Ski Terrain

Hidden Valley doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the skiable area. With 110 acres and 26 different trails available, you are bound to have a great time on your skies. Regardless of your current level of expertise, you will find a trail that works perfectly for you. There are two terrain parks available and you also have the option of night skiing, which is definitely worth a try.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

Hidden Valley Resort doesn’t really get too crowded. You may encounter more people during the weekends and during the peak season, but it never feels cramped. This means that there are rarely any lines in front of the ski lifts, so if you’re the type of person who doesn’t get along with long lines, you will definitely enjoy your time here.

There are only four chairs available in Hidden Valley Resort, however, it seems to be enough for its visitors. There haven’t been too many complaints regarding long lines in front of the lifts or in terms of the efficiency of the existing lifts. The prices for the ski tickets are around $75 for adults during the holidays and $65 for children. During the weekdays their prices drop, and they can get as low as $45 for adults and $35 for children.

Accommodation

In terms of available accommodation, you can get your hands on some amazing packages on their website. The price for two nights of lodging per adult is $229 from Sunday-Thursday and $310 for Friday and Saturday per person. Up to two children can lodge for free, assuming they’re 11 or under. This offer comes with complimentary continental breakfast.

Verdict

Hidden Valley Resort is one of the best resorts in the country for families. It offers not only the perfect conditions for skiing and slopes for any levels of expertise, but you will also gain access to the many facilities found in the area like the spa. Additionally, there are many affordable deals in terms of accommodation at hand.

Elk Mountain Ski Resort

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

As one of the oldest ski resorts in Pennsylvania, Elk Mountain is a true escape for all ski enthusiasts. Prepare to enjoy gorgeous scenery, diverse terrain, and the beautiful nature surrounding the resort. Elk Mountain is located in the Endless Mountains in Susquehanna County. One of the things this resort is most known for is its many challenging slopes. For anyone who has had years of experience and is looking to test that knowledge and level of expertise, Elk Mountain is the way to go.

Pros

  • Exciting runs appropriate for experienced skiers
  • Well-groomed slopes
  • Welcoming staff
  • Amazing atmosphere

Cons

  • Some of the lifts are quite outdated

Famous for: black diamonds, challenging terrain, great staff.

Town

Just like Camelback Mountain Resort, Elk Mountain is also located near Scranton, so all the recommendations as to what you should do in this town still apply. It’s a great option for anyone wanting to take a break from skiing and see some new sights. History enthusiasts will especially enjoy the vibe of this city.

Ski Terrain

The terrain at Elk Mountain is a paradise for any experienced skier who likes a dose of adrenaline and adventure. Its black diamond runs are some of the most popular in the whole country. There are 27 runs in total, over 45% of which are extremely difficult to navigate and require years and years of experience. The longest run is 1,75 miles and there are two terrain parks available. The average snowfall is 60 inches.

Beginners have many runs available to practice their craft on, so don’t feel excluded if you don’t have a lot of experience regarding skiing.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

Despite the fact that this resort is quite popular for its challenging terrain and the fact that it’s one of the oldest in the country, there aren’t huge crowds of people during the weekends and during holidays and winter months.

There are 7 lifts available in Elk Mountain – one rope tow and six chairlifts. The price of the ski lifts for beginners is lower than that of experienced lifters. The beginner lift tickets cost around $37, whereas adult ski lift tickets cost from $55 to $69, depending on which day of the week you choose to visit the resort.

Accommodation

Elk Mountain offers quite a few suggestions as to where you should stay while you’re visiting the resort. You can choose between suites, inns, cottages, and hotels. The price per night varies depending on the place. You can find detailed information regarding the addresses of the abovementioned places on their official website, as well as a contact number and information about the approximate distance from the resort, which is particularly useful.

Verdict

Elk Mountain will surely bring you lots of joy and adventure if you are somebody who has had years of experience on the slopes. It’s the perfect place to show off all your amazing skills and impress your friends and family. There are quite a few accommodation places to choose from, and you can always visit the town of Scranton that’s located nearby for a little city break.

Bear Creek Ski and Recreation Area

Perhaps one of the most popular options on this list, Bear Creek offers a lot more than skiing and snowboarding. Bear Creek is a resort in the Berks County region. It’s open year-round and it offers a lot of options in terms of activities even in the summer like hiking, biking, or boating.

Anyone who gets easily bored with sports is bound to have a spectacular time staying here due to the diverse range of activities at your disposal. Whenever skiing gets too tiring, head on over to the spa and treat yourself to a relaxing massage or a facial.

Pros

  • Groomed trails
  • Lots of activities to choose from apart from skiing
  • Solid food and drink options
  • Family-friendly

Cons

  • Some of the beds in the suites are reported as being uncomfortable

Famous for: a wide range of activities to choose from, great spa, maintained trails.

Town

Allentown is only a half an hour drive away from Bear Creek. Due to the wonderful nature sights, there are many outdoor places to explore while you’re there. Some of the most visited attractions include the Allentown Rose Gardens, the America on Wheels Museum, the PPL Center, and the Coca-Cola Park.

Since it’s so close to the resort, we’d definitely recommend you make a short visit to this place if you’re traveling by car.

Ski Terrain

You can choose any of the 21 runs available on the property. They’re very well-groomed making them not only safe but also fun to explore. There are three terrain parks available on the property and the snowfall averages around 30 inches per year. The longest run is 0.9 miles long.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

Bear Creek isn’t as crowded as some of the other resorts on this list. It’s a magnificent place for couples to enjoy a relaxing getaway, as well as families who are looking for some quiet time and stunning scenery. 

Regarding the ski lifts, there are seven in total. You can purchase daily as well as seasonal lift tickets from the official website of Bear Creek. The price for a daily ticket is $43 during weekdays and $57 during weekends and holidays for adults, and $33 during weekdays and $37 during the weekends and holidays for youths and seniors.

Accommodation

The hotel at Bear Creek has single rooms and suites available for lodging. If you’re traveling with your family, make sure you check out their packages. The price per night for the guest rooms is around $170, whereas the suites are a bit more expensive.

Verdict

Bear Creek is one of those places where you can never get bored. There are so many things happening at once that you may find it hard to choose where to divert your attention. For those who prefer some tranquility, you can always visit their spa for a refreshing treatment or two.

You can check out more on our USA Ski Resorts page.

Article by:
Abby Ward
Senior Content Writer at Bluehouse
Last Updated

May 2020