- Overall Rating 3
- Family Friendly 3
- All-Mtn. Terrain 3
- Terrain Park 4
- Nightlife 2
Pros: Short drive for many, Fast Lifts, Solid snowmaking
Cons: Crowded, Long Lift Lines, Night skiing can be a pain
Recommended For: Singles, Family Friendly
Date Visited: Dec 1, 2005
Mountain Creek has come a long way from the days of being Vernon Valley/Great Gorge. The improved snowmaking has made the mountain more reliably open and has expanded the type of terrain that is kept open for the bulk of the season. The new lifts that were put into the resort have made a huge impact on helping to clear many of the lift lines that pile up at the bottom, and have generally allowed skiers and riders to get in more action with less waiting.
But problems remain, as they always will. The relatively small vertical is compensated for in some ways by the resort being spread out, but there is only so much that can be done with a smaller hill. The terrain offered is generally not that difficult and certainly those who consider themselves to be advanced or experts, and are familiar with the terrain in northern New England and out west, will not be challenged. That being said this can be a very solid mountain for learning to ski and getting better at skiing if you are more at the intermediate level.
Yet, even with improved snowmaking this is still a northern New Jersey ski area and conditions can be shaky in the early months of the season. Generally by the time Januray rolls around this is not much of an issue.
The biggest concern for many who travel to Mountain Creek are the crowds. Night skiing during the week can be packed and weekends during the day and night are worse. Even with the faster lifts the lines can still pile up. But while helping to resolve the problem of long lift lines the faster lifts have made the "elbow-room" issue worse. Some trails can feel like packed highways during rush hour, as the lifts generally get people back up the hill quickly and in some regards the lift capacity outguns the trail capacity. This is especially problematic when the conditions are rough and not a lot of the mountain is open.
Overall, Mountain Creek is a solid, close-by ski area that allows many to learn or improve their skiing and riding. If you are looking for somewhere to go without sitting in the car for hours, Mountain Creek might be right for you.