While Philadelphia, Pennsylvania might be best known for the Liberty Bell and its famous cheese steaks, there are a lot of outdoor gems to discover in the surrounding areas. Surprisingly, there are several world-class snowboarding and ski areas near the city. While it may feel daunting to plan a trip to one of the ski resorts near Philadelphia, it’s actually surprisingly simple! To help you plan a winter getaway to the slopes this year, we compiled this list of the best places for snowboarding and skiing near Philadelphia.

A quick note on transportation: Most of the places on here are most easily accessible by car. As carless city dwellers ourselves, we always use and recommend Avis for your adventure car rental needs.

Photo Credit: Massacusetts Office of Tourism & Travel (Flickr CC)

Best Ski Resorts for Beginners Near Philadelphia

Spring Mountain Adventures

  • Location: Schwenksville, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 35.5 miles (45 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience Levels: Beginner

Spring Mountain Adventures is less of a ski resort and more of an all-around adventure sports facility, but since it’s the closest of the ski resorts near Philadelphia, it warranted a spot on our list nonetheless. It’s just 45 minutes from the city center, so you could easily hit the slopes for a day or a few hours.

There are 8 beginner-friendly trails and 4 lifts at Spring Mountain, and they’ve got gear rentals and lessons for skiing or snowboarding as well. Additionally, Spring Mountain Adventures offers tubing for those who want the thrill of snow riding without having to learn any technique.

Bear Creek Mountain Resort

  • Location: Macungie, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 58 miles (1 hour, 15 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at Bear Creek Mountain Resort
  • Experience Levels: Beginner and intermediate

Of all of the places to go snowboarding or skiing near Philadelphia, Bear Creek Mountain Resort is the closest that offers a more traditional “winter getaway” experience. It’s located just 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Philadelphia, which can be done as a day trip or an entire winter vacation. It’s a smaller resort, with just 86 acres of skiable acres, but it’s a fun spot for groups or families to ski together!

Bear Creek’s 23 trails are very accessible to beginners – 70% of the trails are beginner or intermediate-friendly, so they’re suitable for first-timers as well as those looking for more of a challenge. With an on-site lodge and several recreational options, you can ski all day and then relax around the resort in the evenings.

Photo Credit: Shinya Suzuki (Flickr CC)

Camelback Mountain Resort

  • Location: Tannersville, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 104.5 miles (1 hour, 45 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at the Camelback Lodge
  • Experience Levels: Beginner and intermediate

For beginners to intermediate skiers that want to gain more experience on the slopes, Camelback Mountain is a fantastic option for ski resorts near Philadelphia. It’s located just under 2 hours from the city and you can take a bus there if you don’t have a car.

Many of slopes at Camelback Mountain are beginner-friendly, even the ones that start at the top of the mountain, so you can try your hand at some of the longer trails even if you’re just getting started on skis or a snowboard. When you’re not skiing, they’ve also got an indoor water park that makes for some fun and family-friendly apres-ski activities!

Laurel Mountain

  • Location: Boswell, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 242 miles (4 hours)
  • Accommodation available? 
  • Experience Levels: 

Best Ski Resorts Near Philadelphia for All Levels

Blue Mountain Resort

  • Location: Palmerton, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 78 miles (1.5 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site; closest hotel is The Lodge at Woodstone Country Club
  • Experience Levels: All levels

If you’re looking for a place to go skiing near Philadelphia that has a good variety of beginner to expert-level trails, look no further than Blue Mountain Resort. At just 1.5 hours from Philadelphia, this ski resort is packed with thrilling slopes. For beginners, Blue Mountain Resort is unique because you can ski on beginner-friendly slopes starting at the very top of the mountain (most resorts reserve the bottom of the mountain for beginners).

As we mentioned before, Blue Mountain has a fairly even spread of easy to challenging runs, which means it’s a great place to learn how to ski and level up your skills. There are also gear rentals and group lessons available for first-timers. For non-skiers or snowboarders, there’s also tubing available at the resort.

Jack Frost Big Boulder

  • Location: White Haven, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 99.2 miles (1.5 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience Levels: All levels

Jack Frost and Big Boulder Resorts, known as JFBB, are a conglomerate of trails that make up a small and locally beloved spot for skiing near Philadelphia. The JFBB resort area consists of just 36 trails, fairly equally distributed between easy, intermediate, and advanced-level terrain.

As it’s just 1.5 hours from Philadelphia, Jack Frost Big Boulder is a wonderful place to take a ski or snowboarding day trip and tackle several of their various slopes. Like most other resorts on our list, they’ve got rentals available, as well as hands-on guidance and group lessons for skiing and snowboarding first-timers.

Eagle Rock Resort

  • Location: Hazle Township, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 104 miles (2 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at Eagle Rock Resort
  • Experience Levels: All levels

Eagle Rock Resort is a large Pennsylvania resort that has a variety of outdoor activities year-round, including skiing and snowboarding in the winter! Their snow sports area is tiny, with just 14 trails, but there is a variety of beginner and advanced runs that you can try as a guest at the resort.

They’ve also got a ski gear shop as well as a tubing course for those looking to slide down the mountain rather than skiing or snowboarding!

Photo Credit: Mount Washington Chamber of Commerce (Flickr CC)

Shawnee Mountain Resort

  • Location: East Stroudsberg, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 108 miles (2 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort
  • Experience Levels: All levels

Shawnee Mountain is one of the most beloved places to go snowboarding and skiing near Philadelphia. It’s a mid-size resort that provides a variety of trails for all levels of skiers, and there are several family-friendly events year round. Located in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, this gem is a local hangout for a good reason!

On site, Shawnee Mountain has 23 trails that range from green to black diamond. There’s also an extensive tubing park, gear rentals and shops, and lessons available to first-timers or beginners.

Ski Roundtop Resort

  • Location: Lewisberry, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 118 miles (2 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience Levels: All levels

For families or couples that want to ski and play, Ski Roundtop is a fantastic Pennsylvania ski resort that’s home to several ski slopes suitable for all levels. At just 2 hours from Philadelphia, it’s easily accessible from the city center, perfect for a day trip or a short weekend getaway.

At this medium-sized resort, you’ll find several ski slopes ranging from easy bunny hills to double black diamond terrain. There are also lessons, rentals, and tubing available for those who have less experience.

Ski Roundtop is part of the 3X program, which gives a discount for a 3-visit pass that’s valid at several East Coast ski resorts. Note that there’s no accommodation on the resort’s grounds, but you can find some places to stay nearby.

Photo Credit: Rich Perry (Flickr CC)

Montage Mountain

  • Location: Scranton, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 123 miles (2 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience Levels: All levels; 70% intermediate to advanced

For adventure junkies, Montage Mountain Resort boasts some of the most challenging trails for snowboarding and skiing near Philadelphia. Only 20% of the resort’s 26 trails are beginner-friendly, with 45% tagged as intermediate and another 35% recommended for experts only. Complete with a terrain park, several black diamond and double black diamond trails, and night skiing, Montage Mountain isn’t for the faint of heart.

If you’d like to visit but don’t have much experience with skiing, there are rentals and lessons available for beginners, as well as tubing that’s suitable for all ages. While there’s no lodge on the premises, you can eat at the Slocum Restaurant or in the no-frills food court on-site.

Mountain Creek Resort

  • Location: Vernon Township, NJ
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 131 miles (2.5 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at The Appalachian
  • Experience Levels: All levels

Located 2.5 hours from Philadelphia, Mountain Creek Ski Resort is an ideal day trip or weekend getaway from the city to hit the slopes. With 46 trails over 160 ski-able acres, Mountain Creek is a medium-sized resort that’s perfect for a peaceful weekend getaway on the slopes. There’s also a wide variety of difficulty levels at the resort, from easy, smooth green hills to black diamond drops.

Not only does Mountain Creek have skiing and snowboarding, but they also have tubing, which is a family-friendly activity that anyone can enjoy. At the resort, you can also rent gear, take lessons, or enjoy the terrain park to change things up a bit.

Elk Mountain

  • Location: Union Dale, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 151 miles (2.5 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience Levels: All levels

At 2.5 hours from Philadelphia, Elk Mountain close enough for a day trip. According to locals, it’s one of the best options for terrain skiing near DC in the beautiful Endless Mountains (near the Poconos). It’s got trails for all levels of skiers, night skiing, and several challenging terrain areas to cater to any experience and thrill level you’re looking for.

On the resort’s grounds, you can rent or buy gear, take lessons up to intermediate level, and enjoy the terrain park. While there’s no lodge on the resort, you can hang out in the Winter Garden restaurant and a cafeteria to warm up in between hitting the slopes.

Liberty Mountain Resort

  • Location: Fairfield, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 155 miles (2.5 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at Liberty Mountain Resort
  • Experience Levels: All levels

Located 2.5 hours from Philadelphia, Liberty Mountain Resort is one of Pennsylvania’s favorite ski resorts. With fantastic ski packages and resources for beginners, Liberty Mountain Resort is a fantastic place to learn to ski among friends and family. Because it’s close enough to Philadelphia, you can take a day trip to the resort or stay the night at the resort’s beautiful lodge.

Aside from being the most convenient ski resort to access from DC, they also have fantastic specials to encourage you to return over and over again. One of its most popular offerings is the 3X deal, which is a steep discount on lift passes and (optional) rentals for one price. What’s even better is that this 3X deal is good for many different resorts, including a few on this list.

Like the others on this list, Liberty Mountain does offer beginner lessons, rentals, and packages, so don’t sweat it if this is your first time on the slopes! The resort will make sure you’re in good hands to learn how to ski or snowboard with ease.

Thunder Ridge

  • Location: Patterson, NY
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 160 miles (2 hours, 45 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site; the closest hotel is Station Inn
  • Experience Levels: All levels

Thunder Ridge Ski Area is a smaller gem of a ski resort, and it made our list for two reasons: it’s less than 3 hours from Philadelphia, and lift tickets are much cheaper compared to some of the larger, more commercial resorts. This is a great spot for snowboarding and skiing near Philadelphia, perfect for an affordable weekend getaway on the slopes.

There are just over 20 trails, with a pretty even mix of easy, intermediate, and expert slopes. Thunder Ridge also has two beginner ski areas and a terrain park for first-timers to get some experience under their belt.

Ski Big Bear at Masthope Mountain

  • Location: Lackwaxen, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 151 miles (3 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience Levels: All levels

Ski Big Bear is located in the mountains near the New York-Pennsylvania border. This park is ideal for skiers of all levels as its 18 trails are split evenly between beginner, intermediate, and advanced. This resort has a unique set-up in which the lodge and ski shops are located at the top of the slopes, meaning you take the ski lifts up after you reach the bottom of the trails. Skiers from Philadelphia will find this resort charming and secluded.

Pro tip: If you happen to live in the area and be a member of the Masthope Mountain Community, you can ski here for free!

Tussey Mountain All Seasons

  • Location: Boalsburg, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 187 miles (3 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience Levels: Beginner to intermediate

Tussey Mountain is an ideal location for skiers close to Penn State. The park is small in size, with 7 runs total split mostly between blues and greens. This resort is widely known for its strong ties with the community and various, year-round events and programs.

Advanced skiers who live nearby can take part and train with the Tussey Mountain Alpine Racing Team. Additionally, there is an amphitheater on site that hosts events, like the locally famous WingFest, year-round.

Whitetail Resort

  • Location: Mercersburg, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 193 miles (3 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience Levels: All levels

Located in Pennsylvania just 3 hours from Philadelphia, Whitetail Resort is another fantastic option for those wanting to hit the slopes as close as possible to the city. Whitetail Resort is a day use recreation area with access to ski slopes, gear rentals, dining, lessons, and more. Complete with 23 ski trails for all levels, beginner to advanced, as well as a terrain park, there’s no shortage of activities at Whitetail Ski Resort.

Ski Sawmill Resort

Ski Sawmill is a tiny ski resort located on a small hill about 3.5 hours away from Philadelphia. Don’t let its small size deceive you. Ski Sawmill is geared towards the intermediate skier as the majority of its 12 slopes are blue or higher in difficulty.

This resort is a perfect location for someone looking to escape the crowds at other larger ski resorts near Philadelphia. As of Fall 2019, ticket prices range from $30-$50.

Blue Knob All Seasons Resort

  • Location: Claysburg, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 226 miles (3.5 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at Blue Knob Resort
  • Experience Levels: All levels

Blue Knob Resort is a year-round resort that offers winter sports, namely skiing and snowboarding, but we’ve included it in this section because it’s one of the few resorts that offers cross-country skiing near Philadelphia. With its immense variety of snow sports, as well as an on-site lodge, Blue Knob is a well-rounded resort where you can try all kinds of winter activities.

Day use and rental fees for the Nordic/cross-country ski area are very affordable, giving all visitors the opportunity to give this different type of skiing a try. There are also lessons available for both snowshoeing and cross-country skiing for beginners wanting to learn new skills and techniques for the sport. Of course, if you realize that cross-country isn’t your thing, you can hit the regular, downhill trails on skis or a snowboard as well!

Seven Springs Mountain Resort

  • Location: Champion, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 236 miles (4 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, in the Seven Springs Mountain Resort
  • Experience Levels: All levels

Known as one of the best ski resorts near Philadelphia to “get some air,” Seven Springs Mountain Resort’s slopes include beginner-friendly bunny hills to adrenaline-inducing double black diamond slopes and terrain parks. For the thrill-seeking skier, there are few competitors to Seven Springs’ 33 ski trails.

For beginners, there are group and private lessons available with a handful of easy slopes to practice on. There are gear rentals available as well that you can pick up at the lodge. Ten different ski lifts dot the park to help you get around from trail to trail, and there are a handful of different lodges on the resort grounds where you can grab a hot meal or take a break from the slopes.

Hidden Valley Resort

  • Location: Hidden Valley, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 250 miles (4 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at The Inn at Hidden Valley
  • Experience Levels: All levels

If you are looking for an escape into the mountains, look no further than Hidden Valley Ski Resort. This ski resort is the perfect location for beginners looking to improve their skills. At 26 runs in size, and 27% beginner trails, Hidden Valley is one of the ideal ski resorts near Philadelphia to become the advanced skier you’ve dreamed of becoming.

Lift tickets are priced reasonably, and Hidden Valley also participates in a local network along with Laurel Mountain and Seven Spring Mountain. One ticket gets you access to all three parks in a weekend.

Mystic Mountain at Nemacolin

  • Location: Farmington, PA
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 290 miles (4.5 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
  • Experience Levels: Beginner to intermediate

Mystic Mountain is a small, family owned ski resort located within the larger Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. There are 6 runs total: 2 are beginner friendly, 2 are intermediate level, and the last 2 are advanced. The resort also has a terrain park that is built to give beginners some extra help while training to transition to the advanced trails. At night, the entire ski hill is illuminated, making this destination an excellent location for nighttime skiing.

When you get tired of skiing, pop into the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort for some extra attractions and some much needed relaxation. Spend time in the spa and wellness rooms, play a round of golf, or test your luck at the casino. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is the ideal location for skiing near Philadelphia, perfect for groups who want additional experiences after the slopes.

Canaan Valley Resort

  • Location: Davis, WV
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 318 miles (5 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at Canaan Valley Resort 
  • Experience Levels: All levels

While there are several fabulous ski resorts on the East Coast, we couldn’t finish this list without mentioning Canaan Valley because it’s a beloved, well-rounded option for skiing near Philadelphia. With 48 ski and snowboard trails with a vertical drop of 850 feet, Canaan Valley Resort draws in new and repeat visitors from all over the East Coast year after year.

Complete with a year-round resort, as well as a spa, fitness center, and several dining options, Canaan Valley Resort is a perfect spot to enjoy winter in West Virginia. Even if you’ve never skied before, there are plenty of options to rent gear and take lessons. More advanced skiers can take advantage of the several black diamond-rated trails and the affordable season passes.

Skiing Near Philadelphia: Additional Resources

What to Pack

  • Waterproof outerwear – Possibly the most critical pieces of clothing for your ski trip packing list is durable, waterproof outerwear. Burton and Helly Hansen are famous ski brands for having best-in-class clothing that will keep you warm in the coldest, snowiest conditions. Click here to shop ski jackets and compare prices.
  • Thermal layers – Thermal baselayers are absolutely critical for a smooth skiing experience, as these will keep you warm and dry underneath your outerwear. The best kinds of thermal baselayers are made of Merino wool, which is moisture-wicking and comfortable. Our favorite brand of thermal layers is SmartWool – their tops and leggings are soft, lightweight, but warm and durable for all kinds of outdoor activities, including skiing. Click here to shop thermal tops and leggings and compare prices.
  • Ski goggles – No ski trip packing list would be complete without a pair of fog-resistant ski goggles, especially if you’re going somewhere that makes artificial snow. Ski slopes often have snow blowing into the air several times a day and it can be hard to keep freezing snowflakes out of your eyes, even during clear days. We use and recommend these ski goggles. However, you can shop ski goggles and compare reviews/prices here.

For our complete (downloadable!) list of things to bring on a ski trip (and our favorite gear suggestions), head to our complete ski trip packing list.

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Author

Kay Rodriguez is the Chicago-based travel writer and photographer behind Jetfarer and Skyline Adventurer. When she's not blogging furiously on her laptop or editing photos, you can find Kay running, hiking, or paddling in a new city.

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