On a winter day in 1979, the Shah of Iran had already been deposed. What’s this have to do with skiing? I’ll tell you. I was sitting in a Pocono Mountain Lodge interviewing Jean Claude Killy, one of the all-time great ski racers, for KYW-Newsradio. He had designed a ski area for the Shah outside Tehran and was complaining that when the Persian reign ended, so did his checks. When we met, the Olympic champ was designing trails for Shawnee Mountain. Killy’s hand can still be felt on this family friendly, summit of fun. The mountain was clearly laid out with the novice and upwardly mobile snow-slider in mind. Let’s jump into the starting gate and take the tour. – Jay Lloyd
Shawnee Mountain offers a unique interconnecting trail system that gradually eases a skier or rider into advancing skills. Novice skiers can begin honing their talents right from the summit on long gently graded runs that connect to intermediate and moderately steep terrain. This terrain gives advancing skiers any number of options to take that next step up the “challenge” ladder.
Vertical Drop: 700 feet
Slopes and Trails: 23
Terrain Parks: 2
Night Skiing: 99%
Tubing: 6 chutes, 2 carpet lifts
WHAT IT COSTS
Adult all-day Lift Ticket: $50 midweek, $60 weekends
Youth (under 18) Lift Ticket: $40 midweek, $45 weekends
Senior (62-69) Lift Ticket: $40 midweek, $50 weekend
Over 70 & Under 46 inches: Free
Check other prices and discounts here.
Ski and Snowboard Rentals: $35 daytime, $28 nights
Check multi-day and all equipment prices here.
The Shawnee Ski School is definitely kid-intensive, with programs designed for progressive age groupings and skill levels. One of the most highly regarded entry level platforms is the nationally recognized SKIwee plan for the four- to six-year-old crowd. It’s a three-hour group lesson experience that is standardized across the country. Your child can pick up where he or she left off wherever you vacation that offers SKIwee. At Shawnee, the $100 cost includes rental equipment and a lift ticket. Other lesson programs, both group and private, take the kids from post-SKIwee to teens. For adults, group lessons are $35, private instruction checks out at $90.
EATS AND SIPS
Shawnee hosts a variety of eateries and sipperies in both sections of the main lodge. Hickory Licks is the spot for an adult sit-down lunch or dinner with full bar service. Look for pub grub, warming soups and familiar pizza. Two cafeterias get the kids fed and back on the slopes in a jif. For a nosh, head for the greenhouse snack corner.
The nearby Shawnee Inn is a refurbished classic Pocono hotel, dating back to the early 20th century. It features 21st century room appointments, fine dining, a lively pub and weekend entertainment.
Rental Townhomes that accommodate up to 10 — complete with fully equipped kitchens and working fireplaces — are available near the mountain. Check the options here.
For a couples ski getaway, I always chose the Inn; for family trips, a condo.
Take the PA Turnpike Northeast Extension to the Route 22 East exit at Allentown. Follow Route 22 East to Route 33 North into I-80 East to PA Exit 309. Follow Route 209 North and look for the Shawnee Mountain signs.