Guide to New Jersey’s Ski Resorts
Somewhat surprisingly, there aren’t a large number of downhill ski resorts in New Jersey. Of the state’s three ski areas, two are located at the New York border and one is indoors. Still, each resort has its own unique benefits for skiers and snowboarders.
New Jersey’s amount of snow is relatively low at only 28 inches each year, but the best time to ski is the first week of February. By then the resorts have a great base and there’s a higher likelihood of fresh powder. All of the resorts rely upon snowmaking abilities to supplement nature’s snow.
The ski season in the state is generally from mid-December through late March, though resorts have been known to open as early as November or stay open until the first week of April.
The public transportation system in the northeast makes it relatively easy to access any of these resorts from major cities, including New York City. Campgaw Mountain access requires a brief taxi ride but the inexpensive lift ticket makes it worthwhile.
Outdoor Skiing in NJ
Mountain Creek in Sussex County is one of the snowiest regions of the state receiving roughly 37 inches of snow annually. The ski area’s 41 trails are located on 167 acres of terrain blanketed over four peaks. Mountain Creek boasts the region’s only all-mountain terrain park letting freestylers enjoy 19 dedicated trails.
Because Mountain Creek is the largest mountain in the area, weekends can be packed. The resort is best for more advanced skiers and snowboarders and can be more enjoyable during the week. Fortunately, the ski resort has condos for rent on the property along with dining and entertainment, so there’s no need to rush a visit.
Tickets are pricier than many other eastern resorts, but the ski area’s size and terrain park options are also more impressive. The lift ticket allows night skiing access, for which 100 percent of the terrain is open.
Ski Campgaw at Campgaw Mountain is located along New Jersey’s border with New York and is the closest outdoor resort to New York City. The ski area is tucked in the Watchung Mountains to the east of the Appalachian Mountain Range. The small resort is an ideal spot for learning to ski.
There are only 15 acres of terrain and 12 trails, most of which are beginner or intermediate. Even the advanced runs are at the top of the slope and very short, but that can be a benefit for those learning to ski.
Ski Campgaw has plenty of learning to ski options for every ability. Skiers and snowboarders can opt for the daily group, semi-private and private lessons, or can participate in multi-week programs from ages four through adult. Adaptive skiing and lessons are also offered.
The resort has day and night skiing but no lodging is available on site. Dining and equipment rental is located in the Main Lodge at the base of Campgaw.
Skiing Indoors in NJ
The first indoor ski area in the United States is right in the Meadowlands. Big Snow American Dream is New Jersey’s third ski area and only year-round option. The ski area is located within a six-story 180,000-square-foot complex. While there are learn-to-ski options, it’s also a spot for skiers and snowboarders to practice in the summer months.
Tickets can be purchased as a one-day pass or a multi-session card. Ski packages that include equipment and snow pants are also available for a reasonable price. Big Snow American Dream limits the number of skiers and snowboarders allowed for each two-hour time slot and reservations must be made in advance.
The ski complex has four runs with different types of terrain within each run so that skiers can test their abilities. Spectator tickets can be purchased for those wishing to watch their friends attempt the slopes.
New Jersey also has cross country options and tubing parks, but the variety of downhill ski areas is a reason to consider the state for skiing and snowboarding. While there aren’t a large number of choices for skiing in New Jersey, each ski resort provides a very unique experience for every type of skier.