What a dilemma! The forecast says slopes and trails will be piled high with fresh new snow, but the roads are expected to be icy dicey. What to do? Simple. Plan a day ahead, trust the forecast and book a bed right at the mountain for the night of that big snow – so close, you can fall out of the sack and onto the slopes. Wake up in the morning to discover fresh powder and pristine, uncrowded trails. Where do we find “ski-in, ski-out” lodging at some of our favorite Pennsylvania mountains? Follow me! – Jay Lloyd
You can’t get closer than alongside the slopes. Step out the front door of a fully furnished condo, click in your bindings and away you go to a lift at Jack Frost Mountain in the Poconos. When the skiing and riding ends, slide right back for an evening by the fire and dinner crafted in the fully equipped kitchens of homes built to accommodate between 6 and 10 friends or relatives. A variety of packages start at about $150 a night and can be tailored to include lift tickets.
All the amenities of a resort hotel are as close as nearby Berks County, smack at the base of Bear Creek Mountain . Pole and glide straight from the mountainside door to a nearby chair lift that’s just yards away. You can ski right back for lunch in an array of eateries that range from cafeteria to an upscale lounge and restaurant with a mountain view. There’s a full spa, indoor pool and popular bar. Skiing, dining and nightlife are on tap without ever having to venture off the property. This hotel is frequently sold out, but a phone call can often score a room on a recent cancellation. Call 1-866-754-2822.
A pair of private condo complexes adjoins Camelback Mountain at Tannersville. A number of the homes are for rent by the week, month or season through the ski area realty office. Camelback Village has ski-in, ski-out homes located right off the west side slopes that provide instant access to gentle terrain and an easy run to the lifts. Northridge is just above the slopes and requires about a 1/4 mile drive or hike over a road that is regularly plowed by the mountain staff. All of the homes are fully furnished with completely equipped kitchens.
Liberty Mountain near historic Gettysburg features a 99 room hotel connected directly to the main lodge. Once you arrive, just park the car — you won’t need it again till you leave. Midweek bed and breakfast packages here can be had for $215 a couple. There’s Pub Grub lunches and dinners, après ski drinks and weekend entertainment at the slopeside tavern. And should the roads be cleared in a timely way, there’s an opportunity to visit the nearby Gettysburg battlefield and attractions.
Other regional ski areas that have accommodations within a mile of the mountain include Spring Mountain, Big Boulder, Shawnee and Elk Mountain.