When the snow is thick on the ground and the mountains beckon, it’s time to pack up your skis and head out to the slopes. Whether you’re looking for a quick day trip, a black diamond weekend, or a full-on mountain resort experience, these are a few of the best options within a few hours’ drive of New York City.
Close to Home
Looking for a one-day getaway? These resorts offer ski and snowboard slopes for all skill levels, family-friendly classes and amenities, and compatibility with time-crunched schedules: They’re all located within three hours of Manhattan.
Camelback Mountain Resort
301 Resort Drive, Tannersville, PA 18372
Adjacent to Big Pocono State Park, Camelback is the largest ski resort in the Poconos. With 166 acres of ski and snowboarding terrain, its 35 trails are rated from beginner to double black diamond. Looking for big air on your snowboard? Camelback has the only half-pipe in the Poconos. Skewed toward novice and intermediate skiers, it focuses heavily on family programming — it even boasts the year-round indoor Camelbeach Waterpark for warming up after a chilly day on the slopes.
Thunder Ridge Ski Area
137 Birch Hill Road, Patterson, NY 12563
If you want to maximize your ski time and minimize your drive time, you can’t do much better than Thunder Ridge. Just 60 miles from NYC (and with a free shuttle from the Ski Train departing Grand Central), it’s an easy out-and-back for a painless day trip. Its 22 trails are compact — you can ski them all in a day — but offer challenges for all ability levels. Skiing on a budget? Check out midweek specials including $30 lift tickets, $30 rentals, and $30 lessons.
Hunter Mountain Ski Resort
64 Klein Avenue, Hunter, NY 12442
If you’ve only got time for one ski trip this winter, you don’t want to be disappointed with a lack of snow. Hunter Mountain has 100% top-to-bottom snow-making coverage, meaning you’re guaranteed plenty of powder no matter when you visit. With a vertical drop of 1600’ and 58 trails to choose from, it’s got a nice balance of beginner/intermediate and advanced/expert skiing. Four terrain parks offer freestyle features from beginner-friendly to adrenaline-junkie. Want to take the slopes lying down? Hunter Mountain’s snow tubing park features lanes nearly 1000’ long, a fire pit, and a carpet lift to get you back to the top — perfect elements for family fun.
If bunny trails and crowds of kids aren’t your thing, the greater challenges and less-crowded slopes of these resorts might fit the bill. Look for expert-rated trails, steep inclines, and super-technical terrain parks.
Belleayre Ski Center
181 Galli Curci Road, Highmount, NY 12441
Owned and operated by the State of New York since 1949, Belleayre Mountain now boasts some of the best-quality trails and terrain in the Catskills. Its 51 trails, parks, and glades include 24 black diamond trails perfect for the thrill-seeking skier. Sharpen your technical skills at the progression park before moving up to the terrain park. Prefer a quieter pace? More than nine kilometers of cross-country trails (open when there’s natural snow) invite exploration on skis or snowshoes, all free of charge.
West Dover, VT 05356
Vermont’s closest major resort to NYC and other major metropolitan areas, Mount Snow combines spectacular Green Mountains scenery with a huge range of ski and snowboard options. Its 86 trails (66% blue square and 18% black diamond), twelve terrain parks, and “Superpipe” with 18-foot walls provide challenges for intermediate- to advanced-level athletes. (Check upcoming events before making a date — Mount Snow is a regular host to the Winter Dew Tour and other snow sport competitions.)
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
4323 VT-108 South, Jeffersonville, VT 05464
With a vertical drop of more than 2600 feet and the only triple black diamond trail in the state, Smugglers’ Notch appeals to experienced skiers seeking a real challenge. Three big mountains surround the self-contained central village, offering both a wealth of trail options and 22 gladed areas for free-form exploration. But in addition to top-rated slopes, the resort offers cushy amenities like snowmobile tours, heated indoor pools, and even a zipline through the wintry canopy.
When you’ve got a few days (or maybe a whole week) to devote to a ski trip, you’ll want a destination that has plenty to offer beyond the slopes. Each of these spots fits that bill with luxury lodging, high-end restaurants, and more to explore.
Whiteface Mountain/Lake Placid
Wilmington, NY 12997
Brought to international attention as the site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid still earns its place among the East Coast’s premier winter destinations. Whiteface Mountain Resort, 13 miles from the village, played host to Alpine skiing events. Now you can follow in Olympians’ tracks with a guided tour that takes you down their championship routes (recommended for expert skiers only). Off the slopes, sample fine craft beers and spirits at Top of the Park, overlooking scenic Mirror Lake. Enjoy culinary classics at Interlaken Inn and Restaurant (reviewers recommend veal chops and crème brulée). Or join a pickup hockey game or impromptu sled race on the frozen lake.
Dubbed “The Ski Capital of the East,” Stowe is home to Mt. Mansfield, the state’s highest peak, where Stowe Mountain Resort’s 116 trails accommodate everyone from raw newbies to elite athletes. It’s also a postcard-perfect New England village with quaint clapboard buildings, inviting shops, and Instagrammable views in every direction. Stay slopeside at Stowe Mountain Lodge, or amp up the cozy at the 19th-century Green Mountain Inn. Vermont’s top chefs concur that Hen of the Wood is the place for an unforgettable dinner; or, relax in the kicked-back vibe of Von Trapp Brewery & Bierhall.
Mohonk Mountain House
1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz, NY 12561
This former hotspot for Gilded Age high society has roots firmly in the past, yet features thoughtful upgrades that have brought it gracefully into the modern age. The historic property is crisscrossed by a network of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails; adventure seekers can spend a day on the slopes at nearby Belleayre or Plattekill Mountain before returning to the village for some restorative relaxation. Its 30,000-foot spa wing, named the top spa in the country by Condé Nast Traveler, serves up a menu of more than 80 spa and wellness treatments. On-site dining options range from soda-fountain casual to white-tablecloth meals in the historic Main Dining Room.