Did you do a double-take when you read the “Closest Ski Resorts to the Big Apple”? Was your initial thought along the line of “How many days drive is that?”. The reality is that there are over a dozen places to ski within two hours drive of New York City!
If you are looking for a nearby ride, or are still a beginner, the slopes closest to the city, though modest, are the perfect place to start.
Here are the closest ski areas to NYC, NY, in order of driving proximity:
Big SNOW American Dream, NJ – 11 miles | 14 min
Big SNOW American Dream is the newest ski area in the United States, located inside the American Dream entertainment mall in New Jersey. Big SNOW holds a steady temperature of 28°F and, instead of having an artificial surface, is the first indoor location to use snowmaking equipment.
Big SNOW American Dream has a vertical drop of only 160 feet with the longest slope being 1000 feet. There is a first-time skier area that is served by two Magic Carpets.
A quad chair lift brings you up to the top of the intermediate trail, Switchback while a Poma lift takes you to the more difficult Northern Lights trail. The Northern Lights transitions into a terrain park, allowing visitors to choose between throwing a few tricks or simply gliding down the slopes.
The resort operates with a two-hour lift ticket and has rentals and lessons available. While other resorts will become hiking trails in the summer, Big SNOW will still have a two-foot base!
1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ 07073 (Map) | (973) 864-6600
Campgaw Mountain, NJ – 36 miles | 45 min
Do you have a limited amount of time and still want to go skiing? Campgaw Mountain, located in Mahwah, NJ, is the closest outdoor ski resort to New York City.
The ski area has 12 trails divided equally between beginners, intermediate, and advanced trails. However, with only a 275-foot vertical drop and the longest trail being only 1,600 feet, it is generally viewed as a location for beginners.
While it is on the small side, covering just 24 acres, it is all covered by snow-making equipment, and half of the trail available for night skiing. The black diamond (advance) trails are served by two double chair lifts. Additionally, there is a ski school and tubing offered at Campgaw Mountain.
200 Campgaw Rd, Mahwah, NJ 07430 (Map) | (201) 327-7800
Mount Peter Ski Area, NY – 56 miles | 1.25 hours
Situated in Warwick Valley, Mount Peter is one of the last family owned ski resorts left in the United States. This 85-year-old resort has 14 trails across 69 acres of land, served by one quad and two double chair lifts. The resort, which has a 450-vertical foot drop, uses snow-making equipment for the slopes and terrain park.
Mount Peter is renowned for its beginner program, offering first-time skiers and snowboarders free lessons on the weekends and holidays. Additionally, Mount peter has a 600-foot long multi-lane tubing run as well as the Little Tikes Tubing run for small children.
No day of skiing is complete without après-ski. There is dining in both the base lodge and the Sunrise lodge and on weekends local bands play at Pete’s Pub in the base lodge.
51 Old Mt Peter Rd, Warwick, NY 10990 (Map) | (845) 986-4940
Mountain Creek, NJ – 52 miles | 1.25 hours
The closest multi-peak ski resort near New York City is Mountain Creek in Vernon, New Jersey. This resort has 46 trails and a 1,480-foot vertical drop. The lift network is extensive and includes an 8 passenger gondola, two high-speed quads, and one double chair lift, to name a few.
The resort has 167 acres of skiable terrain, all of which have snowmaking equipment and lighting for night skiing. The terrain parks are located on the South and Vernon Peaks and are spread across 67 acres, with 12 specific trails and 80 features. Those just learning freestyle skiing and snowboarding will be delighted to know that Twist Park at Vernon Peak is entry-level.
The ski school at Mountain Creek has adapted the Terrain Based Learning™ method of teaching. The program is not just for beginners, as the instructors are there to help you improve on whatever skills you wish to learn. Like other resorts, Mountain Creek has a rental service offering a variety of skiing and snowboarding equipment.
They also offer rentals of the ski-bike Sno-Go, which you can ride on all of their trails!
200 NJ-94, Vernon Township, NJ 07462 (Map) | (973) 827-2000
Thunder Ridge Ski Area, NY – 55 miles | 1.25 hours
Thunder Ridge Ski Area is located in Patterson, New York, and prides itself on being a family destination. The resort offers 100 acres of skiable terrain across 22 trails and 1 terrain park.
Thunder Ridge appeals to beginner and new intermediate riders being that the vertical drop is around 500 feet and the longest trail is only 2,200 feet long. The trail mix is 40% easy slopes and 40% intermediate, while the remaining 20% is comprised of advanced runs.
Thunder Ridge has a discounted promotional package with Metro-North. The package combines lift tickets with rail transportation from NYC to the Patterson train station, transportation from the station to the ski area, and the return trip.
137 Birch Hill Rd, Patterson, NY 12563 (Map) | (845) 878-4100
Skiing PA’s Poconos and beyond
Since we are already on the subject of nearby ski areas, it would be fair to mention a few resorts found in Pennsylvanian’s Poconos Mountain region! Less than 2 hours away, these ski resorts are a popular getaway destination throughout the year.
Here are some of the larger ski resorts in the Poconos that meet the 2-hour limit:
- Big Boulder Ski Area
- Blue Mountain Resort
- Camelback Mountain
- Elk Mountain
- Jack Frost Mountain
- Shawnee Mountain Ski Area
- Ski Big Bear at Masthope Mountain
The National Ski Areas Association, a trade association for ski area owners and operators, has 470 members in 32 states. New York City is surrounded by great skiing, even well beyond its boarders.
- NY – The state with the largest number of members is New York with 51 ski areas.
- NJ – Across the river from New York City is the small state of New Jersey which has 3 ski areas.
- PA – New York City is just a short drive to Pennsylvania, which has 26 ski areas.
- NH – A slightly longer drive will bring you to New Hampshire with 30.
- VT – Vermont has 23.
- MA – Massachusetts has 13.
- CT – Connecticut has 5.
- RI – Rhode Island has 1.
Have a great time on the slopes of the Tri-state area and beyond! Safe travels from NYC to one of its nearby ski resorts.