There are plenty of reasons to visit the City of Brotherly Love, but skiing and snowboarding aren’t always top of the list. With a number of ski resorts within a short distance from Pennsylvania, a downhill ski trip can easily become a priority.
A couple of ski areas are just outside of Philadelphia, but the Poconos offer the best options for downhill skiing. These mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania are only a few hours away from Philadelphia and are home to many different ski resorts. The resorts in the Poconos have dozens of year-round activities, lots of amenities, and a variety of ski slopes for all skill levels.
Spring Mountain Adventures – Schwenksville: 35 miles
Spring Mountain Adventures only has a 428 vertical drop, two terrain parks, and eight trails, yet the ski area outside of Philadelphia has established itself as an ideal place to learn to ski and snowboard. With a dozen different types of lessons, it’s easy to find the right fit whether for a single private session or a multi-week session that includes ski rental.
Lift tickets may be purchased for the entire mountain or just for the magic carpet. Parents who aren’t actively participating in skiing are able to watch from the warmth of the lodge. The lodge’s pub and café offer full dining menus. If someone in the group isn’t interested in learning to ski or snowboard, ice skating lessons are another popular choice at Spring Mountain Adventures.
757 Spring Mt Rd, Schwenksville, PA 19473 (Map) | (610) 287-7900 | springmountainadventures.com
Bear Creek Mountain Resort – Macungie: 58 miles
At Bear Creek Mountain Resort, skiers and snowboarders can explore the 20 slopes and trails, or test their skills at three progressive terrain parks. The slopes, covering 86 acres, are lighted for night skiing and are supplemented by snowmaking throughout the season. Although green slopes can be accessed from every lift, there are a few short black diamonds across the mountain.
While Bear Creek has plenty of slopes, there is far more to do in the resort. In its 330 acres, Bear Creek offers skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, hiking, biking, boating, tennis, and golf among other fun activities. The year-round resort is an escape just a short distance from Philadelphia with banquet rooms, pools, and hot tubs.
101 Doe Mountain Ln, Macungie, PA 18062 (Map) | (610) 682-7100 | bcmountainresort.com
Blue Mountain Resort – Palmerton: 77 miles
This outdoors-centric resort in the Poconos doesn’t slow for any season. Activities range from zip-lining and rock climbing to downhill racing and freestyle skiing. Blue Mountain has a whopping five terrain parks for all skill levels, plus 40 trails to explore. The 1,082-foot vertical drop is one of the tallest in the area.
Tickets must be purchased online, and tickets may sell out during busy times of the year. Plenty of packages are available to stay on the property and enjoy dining and other activities while taking a ski vacation.
1660 Blue Mountain Dr, Palmerton, PA 18071 (Map) | (610) 826-7700 | skibluemt.com
Camelback Mountain Resort – Tannersville: 104 miles
The largest ski area in the Poconos is Camelback Mountain Resort, with 39 trails on 166 acres of skiable terrain. The resort has a wide number of year-round activities for the entire family. Ski lessons can start as early as age four. Parents can watch their children’s lessons from the Kids Learning Center. Teenagers can join a group lesson or a private family lesson. The ski resort boasts the only halfpipe in the region and two terrain parks.
Even in the winter, guests who stay at the resort can enjoy the resort’s indoor water park for free. A resort shuttle takes guests to each activity and to dining options. For non-skiers, the resort has other activities and lessons, such as a bowling alley, pottery painting, and a climbing wall.
301 Resort Dr, Tannersville, PA 18372 (Map) | (570) 629-1661 | camelbackresort.com
Jack Frost Mountain / Big Boulder Ski Area – White Haven: 100 miles
The best deal in the Poconos combines Big Boulder Ski Area with Jack Frost Mountain, where skiers and snowboarders can hit the slopes of two ski resorts with one lift ticket. The ski areas are located at a similar elevation above 2,000 feet but have other differences.
Big Boulder is a slightly smaller resort, with a 475-foot vertical drop and 15 trails. Jack Frost Mountain has 20 trails at a 600-foot vertical drop. However, Big Boulder has five terrain parks compared with two for Jack Frost. Although they rely on natural snowfall for their base, the two resorts also rely heavily on snowmaking across all of their slopes.
There is no shuttle between the resorts, but they’re only about five miles apart. The resorts boast the longest ski season in the area, usually opening in early December and closing by late March, meaning plenty of time during the season to visit and enjoy time at these two resorts.
434 Jack Frost Mountain Rd, White Haven, PA 18661 (Map) | (570) 443-8425 | jfbb.com
Shawnee Mountain Ski Area – Stroudsburg: 108 miles
Shawnee Mountain Resort’s compact 125 acres are filled with 23 downhill slopes, two terrain parks, and snow tubing. The ski area is located at the edge of the Poconos not far from the New Jersey border. The slopes are primarily green and blue, with a few black diamonds. Shawnee Mountain has a separate learning area for beginning skiers with a dedicated carpet lift.
The resort also has many opportunities for learning to ski, whether through private lessons or as part of a group experience for schools, scouts, corporations, or organized clubs. The mountain offers plenty of ski-related discounts starting with their participation in the 4th grade Snow Pass program, giving students a free lift ticket. Their Miser program is a three-ticket package, and those staying at Shawnee Inn receive a discounted rental rate.
401 Hollow Rd, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301 (Map) | (570) 421-7231 | shawneemt.com
Roundtop Mountain Resort – Lewisberry: 118 miles
To the west of Philadelphia lies Roundtop Mountain Resort on 600 skiable acres. It’s one of the closest ski resorts to Harrisburg, PA’s capital city.
Of the resort’s 20 slopes, only a third are for beginning skiers leaving plenty of challenging trails for more advanced skiers. The resort offers three terrain parks of rails, jumps, and natural features. The park’s elements change throughout the season so skiers and snowboarders can continue to improve their skills.
Beyond skiing and snowboarding, Roundtop Mountain Resort has dining and ski rentals on the property. Although there is no lodging on-site, options are only a short drive away.
925 Roundtop Rd, Lewisberry, PA 17339 (Map) | (717) 432-9631 | skiroundtop.com
With so many ski resort options near Philadelphia, skiers and snowboarders have plenty of slopes to explore in the surrounding area and the Poconos. So many of these resorts have year-round activities and incredible views of mountains, forests, and lakes, making them perfect for a weekend getaway or week-long adventure.
Some of these ski resorts are ideal for learning to ski and snowboard, while others are an excellent next step for those who are ready for a greater challenge. It’s not difficult to find a ski resort near Philadelphia that combines variation for any type of skier with enough activities to keep non-skiers entertained.
Consider spending your off day checking out some of the historical sites around Philadelphia.