Scranton has a wealth of interesting ski areas to the south of the city in the Pocono mountains, but can also claim its own ski resort on the outskirts. Elk Mountain, within half an hour’s drive north, and Ski Big Bear to the north-east complete the choice of winter destinations.
Although the general resort altitude and summit elevation might not match some of the higher skiing to the east or west, most of the ski areas offer good snowmaking coverage over the winter. A number of them also keep a ski lift or two open for night skiing.
Montage Mountain Ski Resort
Montage Mountain resort may be within a short drive from Scranton but it is far from the usual limited city ski hill. Once known as Sno Mountain, it boasts some of the toughest skiing in the state on the advanced and expert slopes which drop below the base lodge.
The seven chairlifts and two drags cover 1000 feet of vertical and cover 140 acres of terrain.
Distance from Scranton: 7 miles
Elk Mountain Ski Resort
Elk Mountain is one of Pennsylvania’s historic ski areas located in a fairly rural area of the Endless Mountains but still situated within a reasonable drive from Scranton.
The skiing mainly consists of runs suitable for the advanced and intermediate skier on nearly 1000 feet of vertical. The lifts – six chairlifts and a rope tow – cover 180 acres of terrain.
Distance from Scranton: 28 miles
Camelback Mountain Ski Resort
Camelback Mountain resort is the largest ski area in the Pocono mountain range and offers the closest skiing to Scranton in this region. The resort has expanded into year-round operations, but is still best known as a winter area.
The 16 lifts cover over 800 feet of vertical and 166 acres of skiable terrain, as well as the largest snow tubing park in the USA.
Distance from Scranton: 34 miles
Jack Frost | Big Boulder
The two ski areas near White Haven in the Pocono Mountains are under the same ownership and share a lift ticket, although the character of each resort is deliberately aimed at different markets.
Jack Frost, the more traditional ski resort, has the bigger skiing vertical of 600 feet and a couple more lifts than Big Boulder, which is known as the ‘boarders’ mountain’ with its terrain park options.
Distance from Scranton: Jack Frost 39 miles – Big Boulder 42 miles
Ski Big Bear
Ski Big Bear at Masthope Mountain (to give it its full title) is a smaller ski resort north of Lackawaxen near the New York state line. It is owned and run by a private residential community which opens it to the public.
The ski resort offers a vertical drop of 650 feet with four chairlifts and three surface lifts covering 18 ski runs.
Distance from Scranton: 45 miles
Shawnee Mountain Ski Resort
Shawnee Mountain is situated near East Stroudsburg and close to the New Jersey state line. It is one of the moderately-sized ski resorts in the Pocono Mountains but still offers 100% snowmaking coverage.
The mainly intermediate level terrain of 120 acres is served by six chairlifts which serve a vertical of 700 feet. There are also four surface lifts for beginner slopes and a snow tubing area.
Distance from Scranton: 51 miles
Blue Mountain Ski Resort
The skiing at Blue Mountain resort is some of the most extensive in Pennsylvania and is still within relatively easy reach of Scranton. The popular ski area has the biggest vertical drop in the state with 1082 feet of altitude difference.
The six chairlifts and four surface lifts access 40 runs, with a good proportion of them at a challenging level, over 164 acres of terrain.
Distance from Scranton: 63 miles
More information: Pennsylvania’s Biggest Ski Resorts