Camelback: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide
Camelback Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Camelback, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsLocated about two hours west of New York City in the heart of the Pocono Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania, Camelback Mountain Resort offers 160 acres of terrain and trails for every skill level. As a major tourist destination, The Poconos are easily accessible from cities in the region by bus or by air to the Pocono Mountain Municipal Airport. Voted the No. 1 ski resort in Pennsylvania by Snow East magazine, Camelback draws families, experienced skiers and snowboarders, novices and extreme athletes.
The MountainCamelback Mountain's summit is 2,100 feet high, with a modest 800-foot vertical drop and 160 acres of skiable terrain, including several challenging runs. The season starts in mid-December and typically runs 100 days a year, including Christmas Day. The mountain receives 50 inches of snowfall a year on average; the natural snow is supplemented with snowmaking machines. The 1,200 snow guns are able to make 12 inches of snow in just one hour, keeping the mountain ski-ready all season long.
Trails and LiftsCamelback has 34 trails for skiing and snowboarding, plus 20 lanes for snow tubing. Almost 40 percent of the trails are classified as novice with 52 percent falling into the intermediate or advanced level categories. One trail, The Cliffhanger, covering 9 percent of the skiable terrain, is for experts. There are plenty of lifts -- 14 in all -- including two high-speed detachable quad-lifts, three triple-lifts, two double-lifts, a magic carpet lift for kids, a Coolmoor surface lift for beginners and two surface lifts for tubing. Camelback's signature trail is the black diamond Marje's Delight.
In The NewsCamelback hosts the Mid-Atlantic Snowboard and Freeski Series, a top snowboarding competition in the region. Regional winners in Alpine, Half-pipe, Slopesyle and Boardercross events may qualify for the USASA Nationals. Competition fees are $20 to $25 for registration, plus discounted lift tickets. Camelback's Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Team is the only instructional team of its kind in Pennsylvania, with some of the top coaches in snowboarding and an impressive record of creating nationally ranked athletes.
CostA basic adult lift ticket, good from open to close, is $49 midweek or $59 on weekends and holidays. Lift tickets for seniors aged 65 and older and juniors aged 6 to 18 are $36 midweek or $43 on weekends and holidays. An online discount, military discount, Ladies' Day Wednesday Buy-One-Get-One-Free ticket and season passes are also available. Terrain park passes are $10 for the season and require a signed waiver and an online test. The cost for basic equipment rental from one of Camelback's three rental shops is $37 for one day. High performance, night ski, helmet and pole rentals are also available. Lessons start at $35 for group instruction. Private lessons, night lessons, adaptive lessons and full-day lessons for kids are also available.
Apres-SkiThe Poconos is a busy tourist region in the winter, so there is plenty to do when not on the slopes. On the weekends, Camelback Resort features live music at the Thirsty Camel Bar & Grill and Glen Lodge Smoke House. Camelback has nine on-site eateries in all, offering everything from pizza to sushi to barbecue. Beyond Camelback, visitors can explore The Poconos and enjoy the area's art galleries, shopping, spas and fine dining restaurants.
Camelback employees hit the slopes after a February 2011 blizzard.