Poconos: Mountains Of Fun Close To Home -

Skiing or boarding in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania means enjoying 146 slopes and trails for all abilities. There are five major resorts in the Poconos and each has its own flavor.

Alpine Mountain Ski and Snowboard Resort is in Analomink. This is a small area with three chair lifts and two surface lifts, opening up to about 60 acres. The vertical drop is 500 feet.

Blue Mountain in Palmerton is a good-sized ski area – the highest skiable mountain in Pennsylvania – with 100 acres and a vertical drop of 1,072 feet. There are 34 runs serviced by five lifts including two doubles, two triples, and one surface lift. Blue means 42 acres of night skiing, too.

Camelback Ski Area is located in the heart of the Pocono Mountains in the town of Tannersville. There are 33 trails and 13 lifts including two high-speed quads, snowboard halfpipe, two terrain parks, and a wide selection of trails for all ability levels. Night skiing is available on all trails. Laurel Glade Park is a learning park and Rhododendron Glen is set aside for advanced skiers and riders. There's a halfpipe on Oak Grove.

Jack Frost and Big Boulder are "sisters" and near one another. Jack Frost has its base in Blakeslee, while Big Boulder is at Lake Harmony. Jack Frost has 30 slopes and trails, beginner through expert, served by nine lifts and one magic carpet. Snow tubing also is available with eight chutes (singles and doubles) and four lifts.

Big Boulder has 15 slopes and trails, beginner through expert, and seven lifts. There's a good terrain park and halfpipe for snowboarders. Snow tubing is available with 12 single chutes, a double chute, family area, and five lifts.

Shawnee in Shawnee-on-Delaware has earned a reputation for aggressive snowmaking and quality grooming. Shawnee offers day and night skiing, snowboarding, and a tubing park.

There's plenty of lodging options, including rooms with those infamous heart-shaped Pocono tubs, throughout the region. This is almost exclusively a drive market.

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