Best Poconos Ski Resorts
When you think of America's best skiing locations, Pennsylvania probably doesn't register. Skiing in the Poconos isn't nearly as extreme as the top Colorado or Lake Tahoe ski resorts out west. The trails at Poconos ski resorts are certainly tamer, but for beginning skiers and families with kids, the Pocono Mountains are a fantastic winter destination. Expert skiers and snowboarders won't be bored here, either -- there aren't any fourteeners in the Poconos, but there are plenty of black diamond slopes, terrain parks, and more.
Best Poconos Ski Resort for Beginners: Alpine Mountain Resort
Alpine Mountain is a small, open, un-crowded Poconos ski resort with 21 gently sloping, straight, wide trails. It's the perfect kind of mountain to master the basics of downhill skiing and snowboarding, and the resort offers lots of programs for kids. You won't wait in long lines for lifts and you won't have to swerve around other skiers as you make your way down the slopes. When you've had your fill of skiing, there's plenty more to do at Alpine Mountain. There's a snowboard park with a halfpipe and snow tubing on the resort, and just down the road you find snowmobiling and cross country skiing recreation areas.
Largest Poconos Ski Resort: Camelback Mountain Resort
Camelback ski resort has some of the best variety of slopes in the Poconos. Its 34 trails break down like this: 9% expert, 26% most difficult, 26% more difficult, and 39% easier trails. This Poconos ski resort has put millions of dollars into upgrades over the past few years, including new terrain, increased lift capacity (with two high-speed quad lifts), lighting for night skiing on all trails, a snow tubing park, and improvements to its lodge and facilities.
Favorite Poconos Ski Resort for New Yorkers:Shawnee Mountain
Shawnee ski resort is a favorite Poconos ski resort for its variety of trails, great snowmaking and grooming (for a longer season), and its easy access from New York and New Jersey. The 23 slopes at Shawnee have great lift capacity, so you'll get plenty of skiing and snowboarding in even during crowded times. This is a great ski resort for intermediate skiers, with 50% intermediate slopes (25% each beginner and expert), as well as a snow tubing park and two terrain parks.
Best Poconos Ski Resort for Serious Skiers: Jack Frost Ski Area
Jack Frost is one of the few Poconos ski resorts with a majority of its trails in the intermediate to advanced category, with 40% expert trails, 40% intermediate, and 20% beginner slopes. Lift tickets at Jack Frost are reciprocal with the nearby Big Boulder, which features more beginner-level trails. There's no night skiing at Jack Frost, but you can head to Big Boulder for more fun after dark if you haven't had enough. You'll also find snow tubing, terrain parks, and cross-country skiing.
Poconos ski resorts aren't exactly the place to train for the next Olympics, but Pennsylvania is a great place to learn to ski, enjoy the snow with your family or a group, and try a variety of winter activities beyond just downhill skiing.