- A decent number of challenging intermediate and advanced runs given it's small size
- Minimal crowds
- Great value lift tickets - night skiing included in ticket
- Unbeatable package deals for beginners or first-time skiers
- Fast and efficient shuttle system transports skiers between lift and lower parking lot
- No tree skiing or glades
- Small terrain means trails can be boring after two days of skiing
- Slow and outdated lift system
- Very limited dining and accommodation options
- Lodge can get extremely crowded at lunchtime
One of the top ski resorts in Pennsylvania, Elk Mountain continually gets the best snow in the state as it's located further North than most resorts. With a variety of terrain across its 180 ac of skiable terrain, the small resort offers up a surprisingly decent amount of challenging intermediate and advanced trails considering its size. It also has one of the best value lift tickets around that covers night skiing until 10:00pm! There are hardly ever any crowds and along with its great terrain makes for a worthwhile weekend visit for locals who are willing to make the drive.
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Philadelphia International Airport
Elk Mountain Ski Resort (2 hours 45 minutes)
With unbeatable package deals for beginners, Elk Mountain is a great place for first-timers to test the waters without digging too deep into their pockets. The uncrowded slopes also make for the perfect stress-free environment for beginners to learn on. Once never-evers have mastered the beginner area, they can proceed onto the West Slope, a wide open trail that's great for practicing on. Our favorite trail for beginners, however, is Tioga. Starting off at the top of the mountain and offering superb views throughout, Tioga is the longest beginner trail at Elk Mountain and meanders down the west side of the mountain before connecting onto West Slope.
Elk Mountain serves up a range of wide and long blue runs with a few twists and turns that will keep intermediates on their feet. The west side of the mountain offers up the best runs for intermediates and best of all, they tend not to be icy or skied off as most skiers track the east side. Our pick for the best run for intermediates would have to be Schuylkill into Kickapoo. Starting off at the top of the mountain Schuylkill is a nice groomed cruiser but once you're in Kickapoo, the sharp twists and turns are bound to offer up quite a challenge!
It might not have the gnarliest terrain but Elk Mountain does offer up some challenging runs that will satisfy any weekend warrior. The west side of the mountain is best for advanced skiers and snowboarders as its less tracked out and icy than the east, plus there is more powder to be found here. When the conditions are right, Tunkhannock is covered with moguls making it a real thigh burner and our favorite for advanced/experts at Elk Mountain!
The best spot to find freshies is on the west side of the mountain, especially on the black runs such as Tunkhannock, Chippewa and Tecumseh. These runs are less tracked as most skiers head to the east side of the mountain.
Ditch the crowds
While crowds are kept to a minimum here, the beginner trails tend to see more skiers than other areas. The Tioga trail is the only exception as it appears daunting for beginners being so high up the mountain and it also requires an upgraded lift ticket. Lifts A, B, C can also see some crowds as its right outside the base lodge. Ski on the west side of the mountain to avoid all crowds and use Lifts E and F.
Non-skiers will find themselves quite bored at Elk Mountain with no facilities and activities to keep them entertained. It's best to consider going to another resort or perhaps consider driving an hour toward the Poconos where there is a range of winter activities such as snow tubing or dogsledding. Chet's Place is the closest place that offers beautiful scenic cross-country skiing and snowshoeing!
Elk Mountain is great for families whose focus is on skiing and snowboarding with nicely groomed cruisers for the whole family to ski down together. The base might not have the kids facilities or activities that might be found at other large resorts, but its family-friendly vibe is enough to keep any powderhound families happy.
|Elk Mountain Ski Resort||Camelback Mountain Resort|
|beginner||22 %||32 %|
|intermediate||37 %||33 %|
|advanced||41 %||32 %|
|child lift ticket||Free||Free|
|adult lift ticket||$67||$67|
|value for money|
|average total snowfall||14″||24″|