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Elk Mountain (Ski Resort) Reviews

Positive Reviews


Got Moxie


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...
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Negative Reviews


Not a good place to go


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...
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More Reviews


Most fun in PA


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!

Pleasant Eastern PA area


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...
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Best skiing in Pa.


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.

Agree that Elk has the best trails of the PA mountains. Short lift lines.


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.

Best skiing/snowboarding in NEP


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...
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Best MTN in PA


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.

Best in Eastern PA!


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...
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Best Skier's Mountain in PA


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. ...
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Extraordinary Grooming


Pros: Excellent Conditions

Cons: Dated lodge-Some lift operators inattentive.Limite night skiing to one area. Not cheap.

I have skied Elk about 15 times over the past two years and it has become my home mountain. It is not the most convenient for me. I live in Northern NJ so Hunter, Windham, Belleayre, Mtn.Creek, Camelback and Blue are all closer. But the conditions at this place are really significantly better than any place I have skied at (and that includes Okemo who do an excellent job also). Let me elaborate. First they are really adept at snowmaking. They have very good equiptment and make a lot of snow with low moisture that holds up quite nicely throughout the season. And as I have stated they are excellent groomers. Elk has been sited in Ski Magazine as being one of the top groomed mountains in...
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Best in PA!


Pros: trails are wide with good pitch from top to bottom.

Cons: not enough demo days,

Elk is the only ski area i care to ski in PA, well worth the drive from philly, i've been skiing there for years! I really like the country atmosphere and the patrons are usually always very civil, family like, friendly people. One caveat. The last time i was there a seasoned skier friend needed rentals and elk didn't have anything over 170cm. However the good news is that the local ski shop at the T intersection to the access road, rents better gear and demo's and are very reasonable compared to other areas and my local ski shops.