How many of you out there share my personal goal of skiing every state (with viable resorts) in the US? I imagine there’s quite a few. If Pennsylvania is still on your list, I highly recommend Elk Mountain Ski Resort in Union Dale, PA. Check out Week 1 of the hidden gem series here.
The Poconos, in Eastern PA, are not know for massive vertical, nor a copious amount of snowfall. Despite that, they still serve as legitimate destinations for skiers and snowboarders in the Mid-Atlantic region. Camelback Mountain and Blue Mountain are two of the more popular hills due to their proximity to NYC and Philadelphia. Each resort is *roughly* two hours from both cities. Because of this, Elk Mountain Ski Resort is sometimes, well…forgotten. Which makes Elk the premier destination in the Poconos for skipping lift lines, and getting the same quality of skiing (arguably better) than the more popular resorts. For an extra 45 mins to an hour, it is well worth the drive.
One thing I love about Elk is the steep terrain. Most of the black trails at Elk feel closer to a black you would find in VT, or elsewhere in New England. I personally recommend Susquehanna and Slalom. The mountain feels larger than most in the Poconos. With ~1000 ft of vertical you can get some solid turns in before hopping back on the chair. In fact, Elk frequently uses the phrase, “It’s like skiing Vermont without the drive.”
I grew up in Delaware, a little over three hours from Elk. It was always easier for us to drive to a closer resort, but my family frequented Elk for the terrain and for the overall experience.
If you’re looking to check PA off your list, or just looking for a good hill near NYC or Philadelphia, consider driving the extra 45 minutes to Elk, and thank me later.
Elk Mountain Ski Resort Stats
Summit: 2696 ft.
Base: 1693 ft.
Vertical: 1000 ft.
Night Skiing: Yes
Average Snowfall: 60 inches
Number of Lifts: 7