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Elk Mountain (Ski Resort)


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Trail Map
Trail Map


From Philadelphia, Allentown , Southern New Jersey or Delaware: Use the N.E. Extension (Interstate 476) to Exit 131 (formerly Exit 39), then I-81 North to Exit 206 (formerly Exit 63) to Route 374 East. Approximate drive time from Philadelphia area: 2 hrs., 20 minutes


From N.Y.C. or Northern New Jersey: Use I-80 West to I-380 North to I-81 North to Exit 206 (formerly Exit 63) to Route 374 East. Approximate drive time from Stroudsburg, PA - 1 hour: 15 minutes


From Binghamton, NY: I-81 South to Exit 211 (formerly Exit 64) and follow signs. Approximate drive time from Binghamton: 55 minutes


Name Description    

Hilton Scranton and Conference Center



Convenient location offering 175 guestrooms, complimentary Internet access, refrigerator, indoor pool, spa tub, and complimentary airport shuttle.




Hampton Inn Scranton Montage Mountain




Convenient location offering 129 guestrooms, complimentary breakfast and Internet access, indoor pool, spa tub, fitness center and complimentary airport shuttle.





Comfort Suites


Convenient location offering 100 guestrooms, complimentary continental breakfast and Internet access, kitchenette, indoor pool, spa tub, fitness center and complimentary airport shuttle.    
Holiday Inn Express - Exit 219 I-81, 1561 Oliver Rd., New Milford PA 18834 • (570) 465-5544
Closest "chain" hotel to Elk Mountain. Free hot breakfast, families, groups welcome. 68 rooms, jacuzzi, whirlpool suites, heated indoor pool, fitness center, game room, free Wi-Fi. Easy on and off I-81. Ski Packages available.    
Hampton Inn Clarks Summit - 890 Northern Blvd., South Abington Twnshp., Clarks Summit, PA 18411 • (570) 586-1515 / Fax: (570) 586-5252
Website: www.clarkssummit.hamptoninn.com


Complimentary wireless internet access, secured ski storage, complimentary hot Deluxe Breakfast, complimentary hot beverages, freshly baked cookies, cozy fireplace, indoor hot tub. Ski packages available. Conveniently located off I-81 in Clarks Summit near the junction of I-81 and I-476. (20 minutes to Elk)


  • Additional dining options may be found in Scranton and Uniondale, PA. 



There is a restaurant and bar on site.




Elk Mountain (Ski Resort)

During its opening year of 1959, Elk featured a small base lodge (now the picnic lodge), a 2,200 foot T-bar and several slopes, as well as some rope tows and a small warming hut built a few years earlier by the Scranton Ski Club. The mountain's first Hall Double chairlift was installed in 1961, heralding the development of five expert trails and various intermediate trails from the top. Elk's first expert trail, completed before the chairlift itself, was host to the 1960 Pennsylvania State Championships. Enthusiastic competitors and gatekeepers actually walked to the summit from the top of the T-bar to run the race.

Snow making percent
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Magic carpet
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Rope tow1
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Poma
Lifts-Surface Lifts-T bar
Lifts-Surface Lifts-J bar
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Single
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Double5
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Triple
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Quad1
Lifts-Chair Lifts-High speed quad
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Five person
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Six person
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Eight person
Lifts-Coggle train
Lifts-Total number of lifts7
Lifts-Total lift capacity
Trails-4-Expert only
Trails-5-Terrain park2
Trails-6-Half pipe
Runs-Steepest run
Runs-Longest run
General-Base elevation1693'
General-Vertical drop1000'
General-Mountain range
General-Annual skier visits
General-Back country access
General-Total area in bounds180 acres
General-Snow making coverage146 acres
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC


Pros: Best terrain in PA, nice charm, good layout, good mogul runs

Cons: Home of the worlds slowest chairlifts, thaw cycles, horrible trail names

I call Elk 'Little Alta'.  Let's be clear, the terrain and snow are nothing like Alta, but there is a charm that is very reminencient of my favorite place on earth.

It really does have the best terrain in PA.  The mountain layout is excellent.  There are not too many people bottlenecks, and the vertical is higher than other resorts in the area.

Another  thing I like about Elk's terrain is the way the trails are cut.  Many trails are curvey, so every trail does not feel like the same thing (example - Bellayre).

I also like some of there bump runs.  They are pretty long, pretty steep, loads of fun.

The crowd is a little less urban and fast paced than places like Camelback, and most of my experiences with the staff have been plesant. 

Hey - Elk is no Killington, but it is only 2:40 from NY.  I like Elk Mountain.


Pros: Interesting slopes, not terribly crowded, good grooming

Cons: Slow lifts, not the best snow making capacity, iffy night skiing.

My only comparison is Roundtop and Camelback.  For me Camelback is 2 hours, Elk is 2:40 - I would drive the extra 40 minutes everytime to skip Camelback and get to Elk - much better.  Terrain parks are pretty weak - if that's what you desire look elsewhere.  The black's are not terribly steep, but in my view very fun and offer enough of a challenge.  The blues are very fun, winding trails.  It gets really cold at night!


Pros: 1000 feet of vertical

Cons: People, lifts, conditions

Went to Elk Mountain for a Friday to get out of the office, hoping for a fun day.  The conditions were not good.  There had been no snow lately but they weren't blowing snow either.  I checked the next morning and they hadn't blow any snow for the weekend.  The weather was perfect to blow snow but they just didn't do it.  That means the slopes are all ice.  Also all of the slopes feel the same except for a couple blue's that have some corners.  Everything is groomed, flat and boring.


The lifts are in really bad shape and often break down, leaving you swinging in the wind.  They are old lifts that smack you in the back/head/legs when picking you up since the lift operators do nothing to help.


Generally it looks like they either a) take the profits and run or b) are in real financial trouble.  


I won't go to Elk Mountain again unless I'm in the area for another reason and there happens to be a lot of natural snow.  


Pros: Good snowmaking and grooming, decent variety of terrain, not crowded

Cons: Slow chairlifts, minimal lodge facilities

I had the chance to ski Elk four times in 2014 and was not disappointed on any occasion. It is a tiny hill by western standards and a small one by even New England standards, but it has a decent number of trails, a couple of which are downright fun to ski, if not particularly challenging. I suspect the advertised 1,000 feet of vertical is a bit exaggerated, but it's close enough and the layout of the hill is pleasant. Snowmaking coverage is good and the grooming is great, bordering on excellent with the crew usually doing a terrific job of keeping glare ice to a minimum. As noted by others, the overall elevation of the mountain is relatively high, something that certainly helps with the snow.


Perhaps the biggest plus however is the lack of crowds. I'm sure Elk is somewhat crowded on weekends but on all four of the weekdays I was there, lift lines were essentially non-existent (I'm sure Elk's rather remote location plays a big part in this). As others have noted, Elk is home to some of the slowest chairlifts in North America and maybe the world. In fact, the only slower lifts I can recall were the single-chairs at some of the runs in the Chamonix valley that you carried your skis on while riding (this was years ago - I'm sure that they no longer exist, and the Elk chairs at least don't require you to run off of them to unload the way the ones in the Alps did).


Overall, Elk is probably the best of the PA areas and compares quite favorably with smaller VT resorts like Bromley. My rating is relative however: Elk deserves four stars when compared to similarly sized areas but obviously not when compared to Stowe or Alta.


Pros: Good run variety, original lodge, great views

Cons: Walking back down to parking lot

I live in Pa. and work in the ski industry.  I've also lived in Colorado and Switzerland, in ski country.  So I don't judge ski areas for their size or fame.  


Elk is a mighty little mountain with a good variety of runs for all skill levels, with my personal favorites being Tunkhannock for bumps, Slalom for steepness, and Lehigh for a gentle meander through the wooded slopes. 


It's claim as the best skiing in Pa. is not unfounded - everyone who goes there seems to report back a positive experience.


Pros: Good trails, short lines

Cons: SLOW lifts. Very slow.

Good family place.  If you can spare the extra time skip Camelback (LONG lift lines, crowded).  I think Elk is worth the drive but for me it is just beyond my range for a daytrip so I don't go there unless I can spend 2 days.  Liked it when I did though.  Very friendly people there.  My rating is relative to PA (Pocono) skiing.   Trails are VERY good for PA but the extra drive time and slow lifts discount the overall rating a bit.


Pros: True 1,000 vertical,best snow due to the 2600' abocve sea level,double diamond runs,short lift lines.

Cons: Long Drive,Distance 95 miles from Pottsville

Elk Mountain is Eastern Pa's highest vertical drop with challenging runs,and superb snow conditions. Fact:Elk Mt is 2600' plus above sea level. The bottom is 1600' meaning 1,000' vertical drop. As a comparison Blue Mt is 1407' above sea level.This means excellent snow for skiing/boarding meaning less ice,granular and crud meaning those conditions that make it difficult to ski/board. Elk Mt is truly in the snow belt.This ski area is an excellent choice for intermediate and expert skiers/boarders.By the way there is an excellent learning slope for beginners,plus a challenging mogul slope which has moguls all the time for the true expert. If you hear Elk Mt is Pa's Best and comparable to Vermont then you heard correctly. I use Elk Mt to get into shape for Killington due to its steep and long runs that burn the quads. Killington has more expert runs such as Outer Limits,Devils Fiddle and Ovation,However most of the time Ovation and Devil's Fiddle are closed due to ice and poor conditions,plus only the very best are on Outer Limits which is 45 degrees incline and where the US Olympic Ski team use to train. If I take away the above three runs then the only difference between Elk and Killington are the length of the runs. On the down side Elk Mt has an old fashion lodge with slower lifts than some of it's competitors,however since the lines are never very long you will get in many more runs.It's a great place to ski/board and one my favorite besides Camelback and Montage. Have a safe and enjoyable trip to Elk Mt.


Pros: Decent sustained pitch, good natural snow when it snows, not far from Philadelphia, long season for PA

Cons: Kinda far

Loved skiing here when I lived in PA. Worth the extra drive time esp if you have good company. Nice lodge and stuff. They get more snow than the more southern mtns in PA, and its colder so their season lasts longer. Good skiers here too. Gave 5/5 relative to PA and mountains nearby.


Pros: Variety of Trails, Good grooming, Decent Lodge, Long Trail on Tap

Cons: Lack of hotels of close proximity, Unlighted trails close at 4:30

For a real skier's mountain in eastern PA, drive past the rest in the Poconos and go to the best!  Elk Mountain boasts a great variety in trails and grooms them very well. 

Their snowmaking is adequate, lift lines are very small, and the general public knows proper skier's etiquette.  This is much more of an intermediate/advanced mountain for the Eastern PA region.  There have been much planting of Norway Spruces, White Pines, and Eastern Hemlock trees throughout the resort to give it more of an alpine feel plus it also creates a much better wind break to retain the snow on the trails and reduce its movement to the woods.

The lodge is has a nice aesthetic feel and has quite a bit of room.  The bar/restaurant has a great feel with plenty of windows to view the mountain.  Plus it has Long Trail on tap to give it a bit of a feel of Vermont!  The food in the cafeteria and the restaurant is very reasonably priced for a ski resort and is of good quality. 

My only gripe is that there are a lack of hotels in close proximity of the resort, stayed in Scranton, and the unlighted trails are closed too early in the month of March when there is still an abundance of sunlight.

Overall, I throughly enjoyed my 2 day trip with friends to Elk Mountain and would happily return! 


Pros: Great Snow, Interesting Trail Layout, No Crowds, Good Bumps

Cons: Far Away, Overpriced, Exaggerated Vertical, Small Base Lodge, Slow Lifts, No Glades

The Good: Elk Mountain consistantly provides the best skiing conditions and mountain experience in PA.  I've skiied Elk many times over the years and they always seem to have the best snow, the least crowds, and the best skiers anywhere else in PA.  There are no true steep runs and the mountain skis only 926 vert feet (dispite the 1000 ft they claim); however, Elk Mountain more than makes up for that in long runs that wind thru the woods. The slower lift system does help to keep the slopes less crowded.


The Bad: The base lodge is no-frills and it is very small (gets extremely crowded very quickly), there is no close lodging, and it's in the middle of nowhere.  Also, the current trend in PA seems to be glade skiing (see Blue Mountain, Jack Frost, Sno Mountain, and Camelback). Apparently Elk is very much against opening up the trees.  Elk is also the most expensive mountain in Eastern PA.  While that wouldn't be so bad, but it seems that the management doesn't use any of that money to upgrade the lift system or expand the base lodge. 


All in all, Elk Mountain is still my favorite place to ski in PA because it consistently skis the best.