By Jay Lloyd

High-flying skiers and riders can find a soft landing on a “Big Air Bag,” half a dozen terrain parks with features for every skill level and long runs that range from easy cruisers to double black diamond steep. The combination makes BLUE MOUNTAIN one of the most versatile snow sports resorts in eastern Pennsylvania. And, did I mention that it’s close to home – just 17 miles north of Allentown? So what can you expect to find? Step into those bindings and follow me. – Jay Lloyd

(credit: Blue Mountain)

(credit: Blue Mountain)

There’s a buffet of choices at Blue Mountain, but the first is parking. If you plan to ski and ride from top to bottom, head for the upper lots, which access the main lodge. Get here early enough and you might score a spot within 100 feet of the door. If you’re tubing or taking lessons on the teaching slopes at the base, the lower lots are your best bets. Tickets and rental equipment are available at both locations.

Now, a look at the mountain!


Vertical Feet: 1,000
Slopes and Trails: 39
Terrain Parks: 6
Lifts: 16 including 3 tubing lifts and 3 learning area conveyors.
Tubing: 21 chutes
Extras: Big Air Bag
Snowmaking: 100%
Night Skiing: 100%


From Yeti to Sidewinder, the Blue Mountain terrain parks are a springboard for every riding level, from newbie to competition-ready experts. Features become progressively more challenging, and so does the tilt of the terrain. It’s all here, from jumps to jibs with rails, boxes and rollers in between. Central Park is home to the “Big Air Bag”, which is just what it sounds like – a soft landing spot after grabbing a lot of air.


A long meandering cruise from lodge to base can get you started over Burma Road. Since I’m more of a cruiser than aggressive skier, it’s a great warm-up run. For a short cut with a few bumps to hold your attention, jump on Midway. From there, work your way across the mountain on an interesting combination of intermediate and black diamond trails, flanked by a cruiser’s paradise that’s appropriately named Paradise. Mountain developer the late Ray Tuthill was an engineer who was meticulous about carving his slopes to create a constant pitch wherever possible.


Blue Mountain has simplified ticketing this season. There will be only two types of lift tag, the night ticket and the EZ Slope tag. The EZ Slope starts your session when you board for the first lift ride. Like an EZ Pass, it’s scannable, even through a parka, and is sold for 6 or 8 hour sessions.

Night Ticket Midweek: $35 Weekend: $35

EZ Slope Midweek 6 Hour: Adult: $55 Youth: $45
EZ Slope Weekend 6 Hour: Adult: $65 Youth: $50
EZ Slope Midweek 8 Hour: Adult: $53 Youth: $43
EZ Slope Weekend 8 Hour: Adult: $63 Youth: $48

(Note: Adults are age 22 and over. Youth tags are sold to anyone 21 and under.)

Check discounts here.

(credit: Blue Mountain)

(credit: Blue Mountain)


Group and private lessons are available on protected terrain at the summit and base learning areas. Advanced lessons can be taken anywhere on the mountain, from novice to advanced terrain. The school accepts students as young as four. Never been on skis or boards? A “First-Timers” package including rental equipment, a lesson and learning terrain lift ticket clocks in at $89. Group lessons are $35. Private lessons start at $100.

(credit: Blue Mountain)

(credit: Blue Mountain)


The use of rental equipment for a day checks out at $37 for standard equipment. If you’re ready for high performance gear, it’s available for $50 a day. The rental shop also offers a seasonal rental package that makes sense for growing youngsters. Rather than buy equipment which will be outgrown after one season, just rent. Check out the prices here.


Blue Mountain is awash in spots to grab a nibble, a nosh or a full-blown meal and everything in between. There’s even an outdoor court for those sunny days and a fireplace warmed lounge and bar to unwind after a day on the snow. In the main lodge cafeteria, the soups and stews are tops.

Blue Mountain tips: Because Blue Mountain is close to major population centers, it can get busy. I make it a habit to arrive early for the best parking in the summit lots. As the day moves on, most skiers and riders head to the Comet Quad chair for the uphill ride. The Challenge Express gets you to the same terrain and draws a smaller crowd. The Last Run Lounge is the apres ski stop for conversation and brews.

(credit: Blue Mountain)

(credit: Blue Mountain)


From Philadelphia and most suburbs, head for the PA Turnpike’s Northeast Extension. Get off at the Allentown exit and drive east on Route 22 to 145 North. Follow 145 about 8 miles to Blue Mountain Drive. Make a right onto Blue Mountain Drive and continue 7.3 miles to the mountain.

Think Snow.