In a winter where snow is scarce and COVID restrictions vary across the U.S., planning an extended ski vacation can feel like an expensive risk, especially for those new to the sport. Tristate families can minimize the risk and maximize the fun by planning a winter trip to Camelback Resort in the Poconos region of Pennsylvania.
It’s an easy drive from New York City and this 560-acre resort offers everything from equipment rentals and lessons to a wide variety of dining options and night skiing.
Camelback is a Good Place to Learn to Ski or Snowboard
For those new to skiing or snowboarding, Camelback Ski Mountain is the perfect place to learn. Since COVID safety protocols in place, book ahead for group or private lessons offered by incredibly friendly (and patient!) instructors.
With hundreds of professionally trained instructors, group lessons are small enough that each new skier gets the attention they need as they watch demonstrations and are given personalized advice and adjustments as they try it for themselves.
Equipment Rental is Easy
Skis, snowboards and accessories can be expensive and cumbersome, especially if you’ve got kids in tow and don’t get to the slopes often. But Camelback has you covered.
Rent equipment easily. Rentals are kept in good condition so you can feel confident that you’ll be safe in gear that fits and is adjusted to your experience level. In addition to skis, boards and boots there are goggles and helmets available to keep your kids warm and safe.
Skiing and Snowboarding Facilities
Once you learn the basics and are ready to explore more of the mountain, you won’t be disappointed. Fourteen lifts give you access to 39 trails that vary widely in their steepness, offering an adrenaline rush for experienced skiers but also plenty of terrain — nearly 40% — for those still learning. With over 1,200 snowguns across the mountain, even during an unusually dry winter, the majority of the trails are open and groomed to make for high quality skiing.
And sunset doesn’t mark the end of the ski day! Continue skiing throughout the evening because all the trails are fully lit. Book ahead for a lift ticket (discounted for Lodge guests) or a Twilight ticket. If you make it up to the mountain after 3pm, you’re not only saving some money but also guaranteeing shorter lift lines.
Largest Snowtubing Center in the US
Those with tired legs after a morning of skiing can head to the Snowtubing Center to sit back and let gravity do the work. With 44 lanes, Camelback boasts the largest snowtubing center in the United States and it truly is fun for all ages. Adults and children alike are whisked down the lanes in single or double tubes that offer plenty of padding and protection.
And then it’s back up to the top. Thanks to a “magic carpet” apparatus, the ascent is painless as you simply pull your tube onto the belt with you and hold on as it carries you up the slope. This truly is magical, offering all the fun of extreme sledding without the misery of carting kids and tubes uphill. Check out Galactic Snowtubing to enjoy disco lights and music to power your best rides and slides.
If that’s not enough, there’s ziplining and Pennsylvania’s only mountain coaster for more speed-demon thrills.
Apres Ski Options at Camelback Resort
A favorite on-the-slopes place to meet up is the Summit House, a ski in, ski out beer garden with outdoor and indoor seating. Chow down on wursts and German beer or any of their hearty mountain fare. If Bavarian cuisine doesn’t appeal, there’s always pizza, ice cream or the Waffle Shack.
Whether you’re coming in from tubing or skiing, Trail’s End Pub is the perfect place for a bite to eat after a full day on the snow. Ski right up to the pub’s outdoor balcony to sit by one of the fire pits or head inside to warm up with a burger and fries. Regardless of where you choose to rest, you can look out of the giant windows which offer a great view of some of the most popular trails on the mountain.
Aquatopia Water Park & Indoors Fun
Most notable for the family apres-ski is Aquatopia, a cavernous indoor waterpark that houses 13 slides for all ages and thrill-levels plus several pools. Similar to the ski mountain’s variety, the water attractions range from a series of pools designed specifically for young children to a surfing activity that’s challenging or extreme enough so older kids won’t bore quickly. Note that during the pandemic, different households cannot share tubes or rafts and masks are required when not in the water.
And, perhaps most attractive after a long day of skiing, the giant hot tub does wonders for aching muscles. Cabanas are available for rental, outfitted with TVs and food service, and they provide an excellent place for families to gather, store towels or dry off.
If the slides and pools aren’t enough to keep your little ones entertained, there are plenty of other indoor activities at the Lodge. Enroll in Donut Decorating and get a kit with various toppings each morning for a small fee. There’s reptile viewing, balloon sculpture and magic shows to keep kids busy at other times of day. Everything about this expansive place is dual-purpose: entertain (and tire out) kids while providing adventure and relaxation for adults.
Tips for a Camelback Resort Getaway
Camelback truly delivers a winter and waterpark wonderland.
If you are looking for a wintery weekend or extended vacation, the convenience and amenities of Camelback Lodge are unparalleled. Choose from 453 units ranging from studios to two-bedrooms, or fully-stocked condos up to three bedrooms (sleeping 14) in size. Apres ski, work out in the fitness center or chill at the spa. The lodge has been recently refreshed in Phase 1 of a resort-wide renovation and feels new, clean and inviting.
Driving? Less than two hours by car from New York City, a visit to Camelback is an easy day trip. Set your GPS to Camelback Mountain, 301 Resort Drive, Tannersville, PA 18372. For current rates and information about skiing and staying overnight, please visit Camelback Resort or call them at 570/629-1661.
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