Hittin’ the Pennsylvania Slopes: The Best Skiing in the Poconos

Discover winter fun and ski slopes in the Poconos'—including Pennsylvania’s first ski resort, Jack Frost Big Boulder. 

Snowboarding at Laurel Mountain Ski Resort

Pennsylvania is probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think of skiing or snowboarding. 

But for those in the know, there are some good turns to be made in the Poconos, with a charm and experience all its own.

Nestled within picturesque landscapes over rolling hills, are some of the least-known secrets in the world of snowsports. Let’s explore what makes skiing in the Poconos a must.  

We’re the Poconos: We Invented Snow 

The Poconos have been a skiing destination for decades. What started as simple trails carved out by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression has evolved into a destination resort visited by skiers from all over the area.   

In 1947, Big Boulder Ski area became the first commercial ski resort in Pennsylvania.

They were also the first to run commercial snowmaking operations—in fact, they played a big part in the invention of the first commercial snowmaking machine. 

This explains how it became a local destination for so many skiers from nearby cities, including New York City, Newark, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and more. 

They're Just a Stone's Throw 

 In just a few hours, city-dwellers can trade in skyscrapers and city hustle for the serenity of snow-capped Pennsylvanian mountains. 

This ease of access makes the Poconos an ideal getaway for weekend warriors and anyone looking for an extended winter getaway / ski vacation.

Surprisingly Snowy, Non-Stop Fun  

The snow in the Poconos might surprise you. As inventors of commercial snowmaking, the area takes pride in its snow and grooming—making for consistent conditions. Add that to surprisingly varied terrain, from first-day greens to black-diamond terrain, and you’re set for fun for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.

Two Mountains, One Trip: Jack Frost Big Boulder

Less than 12 miles apart, Jack Frost and Big Boulder offer two very similar family-friendly daytime ski resort experiences. But Big Boulder also comes alive at night. 

Big Boulder offers night skiing and a park scene, hosting College Nights, and Dew after Dark Night Ski sessions throughout the season. So stop by to get in on the park action, pick up some free samples and swag.

Places to Stay and Things to Do

Beyond the slopes, the Poconos are full of winter fun. The area is rich in history, with charming towns, scenic landscapes, and plenty of fun things to do. 

In addition to skiing, there are local eateries, quaint shops, and family-friendly activities that make the Poconos as much as a vacation destination as a ski trip. 

Here are a few of the basics to introduce you to the area:


You’ll find a variety of options for lodging in the Poconos region. Cozy motels. Rustic  mountain cabins. Historic boutique B&Bs. Luxurious resorts… The Poconos has lodging and accommodations for all types of travelers.   


Taco bars. On-mountain BBQ. Après patios… Jack Frost and Big Boulder serve up all types of on-mountain dining and après options. The same can be said for dining in the Poconos region. From home-spun bakeries to farm-to-table restaurants, The Poconos offer something to satisfy any budget or  preference—from fine cuisine to inexpensive and clean. 


If the slopes aren’t your thing, there are other fun things to do in the Poconos.  

  • Snow Tubing—Find some downhill fun for the non-skiers at the Bubly Tube Park 
  • Events—During the season, Jack Frost Big Boulder hosts a series of live bands and special events for the whole family.  
  • Go for a sleighride—Hit Happy Trails Stables for a horse-drawn trip through the hills.
  • Cross Country Skiing—Enjoy the snow without the slopes in the serenity of forested runs and lakeside trails. 
  • Waterparks—Take it indoors and find your downhill on waterslides that land in heated pools. 
  • Indoor Go-Carts—Find all the excitement, minus the snow, at S&S Speedways.

Skiing in the Poconos offers a perfect mix of accessibility, quality, and variety, making it an underrated gem in the skiing world. 

Whether you're a seasoned pro looking for challenging terrain or a family seeking a winter escape, the Poconos have something to offer. 

And with Jack Frost Big Boulder, it's a destination worth considering for your next ski vacation. 

So, pack your gear, and set your sites on the Poconos!