Happy Travelers don’t let a little chill keep them trapped indoors — they embrace the spirit of winter and yearn for fresh flakes to grace Pennsylvania’s diverse slopes.
At these altitudes, powder hounds can play all winter long at resorts like 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 ski resorts, visit the Pennsylvania Ski Area Association website.
1. Laurel Mountain Ski Resort
20 trails | 2 lifts | 761 ft. vertical
Nestled in Laurel Mountain State Park, Laurel Mountain Ski Resort is an iconic and revered skiers’ mountain. Not only does Laurel Mountain boast the highest vertical drop on the Laurel Ridge at 761 feet, the mountain is famous for its double diamond Lower Wildcat Slope, the steepest in the state which averages near a 60 percent slope. Lower Wildcat is a breathtaking run that, for the avid skier, simply must be taken. The slopes were originally designed by European skiing legend Johann “Hannes” Schneider, the renowned Austrian ski guide and inventor of the Arlberg Method, the basis of modern alpine ski technique. The resort opened in 1940 and some of the original structures, including the storied Midway Cabin, still grace the property.
2. Bear Creek Mountain Resort
23 trails | 7 lifts | 510 ft. vertical
Bear Creek Mountain Resort & Conference Center is a first-class facility on more than 330 acres in the scenic Lehigh Valley, featuring skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. A perfect choice for skiers from Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, and Washington D.C., Bear Creek has three separate terrain parks and more than 86 acres of skiable terrain. A slope-side hotel and spa offer après-ski warmth and relaxation. The resort also has a daycare onsite.
3. Blue Knob All Seasons Resort
34 trails | 6 lifts | 1072 ft. vertical
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 park. Alpine Village at Blue Knob includes several dining options including 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.
4. Mount Pleasant of Edinboro
10 trails | 2 lifts | 2500 ft. vertical
Nestled in the snowbelt region of northwestern Pennsylvania in Erie County, Mount Pleasant of Edinboro offers family-friendly winter fun for all ages including 40 skiable acres with 10 trail runs and a 600-foot snow tubing hill with eight lanes. Most of the trails are lit up at night to allow for safe night skiing and snowboarding. Mount Pleasant has recently introduced cross country skiing and snowshoeing to its recreational offerings and each trail access pass includes a chairlift ride up and down from the trails.
5. Blue Mountain Resort
40 trails | 16 lifts | 1082 ft. vertical
Blue Mountain Resort boasts five terrain parks, 16 lifts, 40 trails, and the highest vertical (1,082 feet) in Pennsylvania. 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.
6. Camelback Mountain Resort
39 trails | 16 lifts | 1082 ft. vertical
The largest ski resort in the Pocono Mountains is Camelback — touting 39 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. It was impressively 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.
7. Spring Mountain Adventures
8 trails | 4 lifts
Located in Spring Mount, just minutes from the Lansdale Exit (#31) of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Spring Mountain Adventures features eight trails, two snow tubing runs, four lifts and two terrain parks. It is the ideal place for families to begin their tradition of enjoying winter sports. Newbies to the sport of skiing and snowboarding will find a diverse offering of learn to ski and snowboard lessons and packages. Families can start getting their children enrolled in ski lessons from as young as age three. There are even special adult lessons available designed to meet specific skill needs. Lessons are available as a group or individually.
8. Elk Mountain
27 trails | 7 lifts | 1000 ft. vertical
Elk Mountain was one of the first commercial ski areas to open in Pennsylvania in 1959. It is set in the picturesque "Endless Mountains" about a half hour north of Scranton. 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.
9. Hidden Valley Resort
26 trails | 9 lifts | 470 ft. vertical
The mountain at Hidden Valley offers 26 trails to challenge experienced skiers. On average, it boasts 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, Laurel Mountain and Seven Springs Mountain Resorts.
10. Whitetail Resort
23 trails | 9 lifts | 935 ft. vertical
Whitetail Resort is one of the best places to learn to ski or snowboard in Pennsylvania. Its beginners’ programs 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. Whether it’s getting the day started with a hot cup of cocoa in the Daybreak Cafe, an Italian specialty for lunch from the Mountain Hearth Pizzeria, or a relaxing dinner after a day on the slopes in the new Solstice full service restaurant, these popular offerings are sure to add to an already fantastic experience on the mountain for all.
11. Jack Frost | Big Boulder
Jack Frost: 20 trails | 9 lifts | 600 ft. vertical
Big Boulder: 16 trails | 10 lifts | 475 ft. vertical
Jack Frost and Big Boulder are nestled in the Pocono Mountains just an hour from Philadelphia and two hours from New York City. 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 snow boarders to come and test their skills. It presents an out west vibe with glade skiing and riding. In fact, TransWorld SNOWboarding has rated the park a Top Five Terrain Park on the East Coast of Canada and the United States.
12. Liberty Mountain Resort
22 trails | 8 lifts | 620 ft. vertical
The four-season Liberty Mountain Resort is nestled near the scenic Catoctin Mountains on 400 beautiful acres. In winter, guests can enjoy more than 100 acres of skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing trails, three terrain parks, and a Children’s Learning Center. Liberty's devotion to families begins with programs for all ages and extends to a full range of diversions designed to keep everyone happy. From a baby-sitting service that takes children as young as six months and a special kiddie tubing park for two to four-year olds, Liberty covers the youngest crowd. During the summer, Carroll Valley Golf offers an 18-hole championship course set at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Just eight miles southwest of historic Gettysburg, the resort is conveniently located to both the Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.
13. Mystic Mountain at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
6 trails | 3 lifts | 300 ft. vertical
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 and 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.
14. Roundtop Mountain Resort
20 trails | 9 lifts | 600 ft. vertical
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 is a popular resort for families and a great place for beginners. The resort’s Learn to Ski and Snowboard program was recently named the “Best in the Country,” by the National Ski Areas Association. Roundtop and nearby ski resorts Liberty and Whitetail are under the same management, so skier discount cards and season passes are transferable among them.
15. Ski Sawmill Family Resort
12 trails | 4 lifts | 515 ft. vertical
Ski Sawmill Family Resort offers 12 slopes suited for beginners, intermediate skiers, 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. Sawmill’s Tube Slide featuring three runs, one lift, and a powerful snowmaking system to ensure a smooth ride.
16. Shawnee Mountain Ski Area
23 trails | 10 lifts | 700 ft. vertical
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. One of Shawnee’s signature events is its annual Costume Carnival Day, when anyone dressed in full costume receives a free lift ticket.
17. Ski Big Bear
18 trails | 7 lifts | 650 ft. vertical
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 seven lifts, including two Magic Carpet lifts, and a 650 feet vertical drop.
18. Seven Springs Mountain Resort
33 trails | 10 lifts | 750 ft. vertical
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, Laurel Mountain and Seven Springs Mountain Resorts.
19. Montage Mountain
26 trails | 7 lifts | 1000 ft. vertical
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. Montage has a higher percentage of advanced and expert terrain than most other areas in the state. Fully 35% of the mountain is rated advanced while another 45% is rated intermediate.
20. Crystal Lake Ski Center
20 miles of trails | 100 ft. vertical
Crystal Lake Ski Center caters to cross-country skiers and certified Nordic instructors are available to provide lessons on more than 20 miles of groomed trails. 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.
21. Tussey Mountain
7 trails | 5 lifts | 500 ft. vertical
Known as “a small mountain with a large heart,” Tussey Mountain offers skiing on 38 acres with seven trails and five ski and snowboard lifts. A short drive for Penn State’s 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 heat lamps.
22. Eagle Rock Resort
14 trails | 4 lifts | 550 ft. vertical
Short lift lines and uncrowded skiing are the hallmarks of Eagle Rock Resort. The mountain has 14 lighted slopes ranging from beginner to expert. Snow boarders and skiers alike will enjoy the 1,000-foot super half-pipe. The latest snowmaking equipment and high-powered snow guns ensure a powdered mountain and a quality skiing, snowboarding, or tubing experience.
To learn more about Pennsylvania’s ski resorts, visit the Pennsylvania Ski Area Association website, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great trip ideas and places to visit around our state.