Revel in the Pennsylvania powder

Kendal Kelly

Winter is undeniably in full swing, and it’s the perfect time to enjoy some winter sports.

Though we would all love to drop everything and head out west to ski or board on some fresh powder out in Utah, there are plenty of ski resorts here in Pennsylvania that provide a solid day of skiing and don’t require more than two hours of travel time.

As a proud Pennsylvania resident I’ve been to several of these Pocono resorts and here is an overview of what some of these resorts have to offer.

Blue Mountain

Blue Mountain, located in Palmerton, is only about an hour-and-a-half away, and the drive is easy with most of the travel taking place on Route 476.

The slopes at Blue Mountain vary in their degree of difficulty, ranging from slow-speed beginner trails all the way up to double black diamond runs.

Blue Mountain boasts the highest vertical drop in Pennsylvania, so the trails tend to be longer, meaning less time wasted riding the ski lifts.

Also, for snowboarders or expert skiers, Blue Mountain has five different freestyle terrain trails.

There are two lodges: the Summit Lodge, which is larger, and the Valley Lodge, which is good for taking a break between trails.

Both lodges house ticket offices and rental shops.

Blue Mountain offers a student discount Monday through Friday with a valid college ID, bringing an afternoon ticket (12:30-5 p.m.) down to $25.

Weekend prices are higher, with an all-day pass running for $49 or an afternoon ticket for $43. For more information about prices and amenities, check out the Web site at

Camelback Mountain

Camelback Mountain is a larger resort that converts to a water park in the summer months. There are 33 trails at Camelback, with about half of the trails rated as novice level and the other half ranging from beginner to expert.

That said, Camelback will offer a great day of skiing to someone with prior experience but who isn’t looking to stay on expert trails all day.

Camelback’s greatest asset is the sheer number of trails, guaranteeing that you won’t get bored.

There are also 15 ski lifts, cutting down on wait time. For snowboarders, there are three terrain parks and two half pipes, all lit for night use, along with the other ski trails.

The drive is only slightly longer than 90 minutes north and takes place mostly on major roads. All day or twilight (12:30-10 p.m.) tickets both run for $49, while an afternoon pass (12:30-5 p.m.) is $43 on the weekends.

For current conditions, more ticket information, and directions, check out

Jack Frost and Big Boulder

Jack Frost and Big Boulder Ski Areas are two mountains operated by the same management.

Big Boulder has a weekly college special running every Wednesday from 3 p.m. to close, with rates at $10 for both snow passes and rentals.

An adult snow pass will cost $40 during the week or $46 on the weekend and is good for skiing trails at Jack Frost or Big Boulder.

There is also a nighttime snow pass (3 p.m. to close) for all ages that is $27 during the week and $29 on the weekend.

What sets Jack Frost and Big Boulder apart is that they are located within a few miles of one another, allowing skiers and boarders to spend a few hours at both locations in one day.

Jack Frost offers more trails than Big Boulder, so it is geared more toward skiers, while Big Boulder has five terrain parks for those looking for difficulty of terrain.

Big Boulder is probably the most appealing destination for a group that is made up of boarders and skiers.

The drive is under an hour-and-a-half and is mostly on Route 476.

Their Web site offers detailed information, such as what trails are open and how much fresh snow they’ve gotten within the past 24 hours.

The Web address is

So if you have a free afternoon or weekend, try checking out these or any other of the local trails right here in Pennsylvania.