- Overall Rating 5
- Family Friendly 5
- All Mtn. Terrain 4
- Terrain Park 4
- Nightlife 3
Pros: Great terrain, Great grooming, Great facilities.
Cons: Expensive season pass!
Recommended For: Singles, Family Friendly, Empty Nesters
Date Visited: Jan 1, 2011
Despite offering an expensive season pass, skiing Elk is still a tremendous value with the 4 hour morning weekday lift ticket at $36. What you get are very well maintained trails on probably the best terrain that you will find in the mid-Atlantic states area. While geography might limit the quality and quantity of natural snow, they do a fantastic job of making it and keeping it expertly groomed (they do it far better than comparably sized resorts farther north). I do not encounter ice nearly as much as elsewhere (e.g. Greek Peak). Situated on what most folks out west would call a foothill, Elk Mountain's trails are thoughtfully laid out maximizing the skiing possibilities. From fast, steep, & straight shots to twisty-turny rambles there is enough to variety to please most skiers. (And there are plenty of bumps, too). The lift drop-offs are nicely situated so that you do NOT have to skate uphill to get to trailheads (an obvious feature that so many NE ski resorts seem to maddeningly overlook!)
I see some folks have complained about the "slow" lifts but here is my take on this: You won't find any high-speed flashy painted gondolas but all of the lifts seem to be very well maintained. There is one quad on the west side of the mountain but it's not considered a "high speed". Lift lines are usually not very long and even on it's busiest days do not seem move quickly. I would dread the addition of "faster" lifts because if you move too many people up the mountain too quickly, that translates into too many skiers on the trail at any one time. I kinda like how things are now. Speculation on my part.
The facilities and lodge are certainly resort quality. The restaurant serves very good food and the bar has a decent selection of booze (bar is cash only).
There is no real nightlife to speak of in this remote section of PA unless you want to travel to Scranton. However, only 3 minutes away, there is a honkey-tonk called Chet's Place for burgers and beers. The beautiful Stone Bridge Inn is nearby for those who prefer finer drinks and dining.