For those looking to hit multiple ski resorts this winter, staying in Pittsburgh is a convenient option as it is close to nine ski areas within a two-hour drive. While western Pennsylvania may not be at the top of winter sports enthusiast’s bucket lists, locals to the area know that there are a few prime locations near the “Steel City” during the colder months.
Unlike states like Vermont and Colorado, whose seasons extend past April, a majority of these ski areas near Pittsburgh are only open from mid-December through mid-March. Depending on the weather and the resort’s snowmaking capabilities, some of the areas are able to stay open later, giving skiers and riders on the East Coast a little extra time on the slopes.
Whether you’re looking for a good ski area for beginners, a site with a history dating back to WWII, or the highest skiable mountain in Pennsylvania, any one of these sites is a great option
Here are the 9 of the closest ski resorts near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in order of proximity:
Boyce Park Ski – Pittsburgh: 16 miles | 20 minutes
Boyce Park is relatively close to downtown Pittsburgh and is a much larger ski area than some would assume. During the summer, it’s used for various activities, including camping, hiking, golfing, but when the seasons change, the park is converted into trails, open and frequented by Pittsburgh locals.
Many natives to the city claim that Boyce Park Ski Area is a great place for beginners, as it’s just minutes from downtown and offers plenty of space to learn the ropes.
There are ten runs at Boyce Park, all are rated as either beginner or intermediate. Night skiing is offered daily and the resort also boasts a half-pipe for snowboarders as well as snowmaking capabilities.
The base elevation at Boyce Park is about 1,100 feet while the peak sits at 1,272 feet, providing a 180-foot vertical drop. If you’re looking for famously affordable rates and a beautiful escape to the mountains while staying close to the city, check out Boyce Park.
675 Old Frankstown Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15239 (Map) | (412) 350-4636
Hidden Valley Resort – Somerset: 58 miles | 1 hour
Hidden Valley is a family-friendly ski area providing relatively easy terrain for beginners. The resort is conveniently located within just 200 miles of several major cities, including Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Columbus, and Cleveland.
There are 11 lifts servicing 26 runs at Hidden Valley Resort, with about 25% for beginners, 25% for advanced, and 50% for intermediate athletes. There are 110 skiable acres equipped for 100% snowmaking and night skiing, giving skiers and snowboarders more hours and days in the season to shred some powder.
Hidden Valley’s base elevation is 2,405 feet, with a peak elevation of 2,875 feet, and a vertical drop of 470 feet. On average, the resort receives an average of 140 inches of snow annually.
One of the main draws to Hidden Valley its top-notch ski and snowboard school for beginners. For those who need a little rest and relaxation, especially after a long day on the slopes, The Trillium Spa offers a list of services, such as massages, manicures, and pedicures.
Many visitors recommend staying at the nearby Seven Springs Mountain Resort, where rooms are comfortable and affordable. And when you start getting hungry, there are three places to dine on the mountain: Clock Tower Restaurant, Glaciers Pub, and Sunrise Sunset Cafe.
1 Craighead Rd, Somerset, PA 15501 (Map) | (814) 443-8000
Seven Springs Mtn – Champion: 60 miles | 1 hour
Located in the southwest part of the state, about an hour from downtown Pittsburgh, Seven Springs Mountain Resort is a high-elevation haven for city folks and out of towners. There are 285 skiable acres at the resort, with 100% snowmaking capabilities and night skiing on 200 acres.
Seven Springs has seven terrain parks and 33 runs, aimed at mostly beginners and intermediate athletes, though there are a few advanced and expert trails. The base elevation at Seven Springs is 2,240 feet, with a peak elevation of 2,994 feet and a vertical drop of 750 feet. On average, the resort gets about 135 inches of snowfall annually.
Seven Springs Mountain Resort has a great snowsports program, broken up into age groups, as well as the “Mountain Adventures Teams” program. Equipment rentals and retail options are available on a first-come-first-serve basis, and there are many dining establishments ranging from casual to sit-down restaurants.
Additionally, there are many mountainside accommodations available, including the Slopeside Hotel and cabins. Furthermore, vacation packages are offered, bundling expenses for those looking for a decent winter getaway.
777 Water Wheel Dr, Champion, PA 15622 (Map) | (814) 352-7777
Laurel Mountain Ski – Boswell: 63 miles | 1.25 hours
Laurel Mountain Ski Resort is truly a snowsport lover’s paradise, as it used to be known as the ski resort of Pennsylvania. Opened in 1940, just before the United States entered WWII, Laurel Mountain was designed by European ski legend Johann Schneider.
There are 20 runs, and two lifts, on Laurel Mountain Ski Resort’s modest 70 skiable acres, with 55% for beginners, 30% for intermediates, and 15% for advanced athletes. Laurel Mountain Ski Resort’s base elevation is already pretty high at 2,000 feet, with a summit elevation of 2,800 feet and a vertical drop of 800 feet.
Private skiing and snowboarding lessons are available for all ages and skill levels in one or two-hour blocks. For a quick bite after a day on the slopes, the Laurel Cafe, which opened in 1947, serves up warming winter favorites such as chili, pizza, and hot beverages.
The resort also has many lodging options, including the hotel, chalets, cottages, or townhomes that accommodate 5,000 people for those looking to stay the night.
347 Summit Ski Rd, Boswell, PA 15531 (Map) | (724) 238-2801
Mystic Mountain – Farmington: 70 miles | 1.5 hours
Mystic Mountain at Nemacolin Woodlands Ski Resort is a smaller ski area that’s usually open from December to March. The resort opened in 1995 and, thanks to its less-than-intimidating terrain, is regarded as the perfect place for first-time skiers.
There are seven runs at Mystic Mountain rated as 40% beginner, 35% intermediate, and 25% advanced. Mystic Mountain has 25 skiable acres that are fully illuminated for night skiing. The resort’s base elevation is 1,730 feet with a peak elevation is 2,030 feet, providing a 300-foot vertical drop.
Ski and snowboarding lessons are offered at Mystic Mountain in addition to snow tubing trails, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing paths. For those looking to extend their trip, there are a few overnight accommodations including luxury rooms, homes, chateaus, and The Falling Rock Hotel.
This is definitely a location for guests looking to experience a healthy mix of pampering and spending time in the great outdoors.
1001 Lafayette Dr, Farmington, PA 15437 (Map) | (866) 344-6957
Blue Knob Resort – Claysburg: 92 miles | 2 hours
Blue Knob All Seasons Resort is Pennsylvania’s highest skiable mountain, making this location one of the most popular. The resort’s base elevation is 2,074 feet with a peak elevation of 3,146 feet, providing a whopping 1,072 feet of vertical drop. There are 100 skiable acres with 34 runs made up of 15% beginner, 41% intermediate, 26% advanced, and 18% expert trails.
At Blue Knob, having enough snow to shred is definitely not a problem. The area averages around 120 inches annually in addition to the resort’s 84% snowmaking capability.
The resort is truly a ski vacation destination, with its cozy mountain lodging accommodations, ski equipment rental, and snow sports lessons offered right on site. Furthermore, 42% of the terrain is equipped for lighting for twilight skiing, and snow tubing is available for those looking for less of an adrenaline rush.
Many guests choose to take advantage of the “stay and ski” package offered at Blue Knob that bundles the cost of a hotel and ski pass. If you’re feeling a touch famished, the Black Bear Inn and the Clubhouse Bar & Grill are two greats options for a meal.
1424 Overland Pass, Claysburg, PA 16625 (Map) | (814) 239-5111
Wisp Resort – McHenry, MD: 95 miles | 2 hours
Located near Deep Creek Lake, Wisp Resort is the only four-season downhill ski resort in Maryland. Just two hours south of Pittsburgh, Wisp Resort opened in 1955 for its first winter season, and by 1966, it was capable of producing man-made snow.
Wisp Resort has on-site lodging that is both luxurious and conveniently near the slopes. Like many other ski resorts, Wisp also offers deals where visitors can bundle their ski experience with an overnight stay.
There are several different locations to dine or grab a snack at Wisp Resort, including the Wispers Bar, Sundown Cafe, The Pumphouse Cafe, and Alpine Eatery. There are also a few shops to buy outdoor essentials and equipment rental services.
Snowsports lessons are available for newcomers to skiing and snowboarding, with separate classes for children and adults of all skill levels.
296 Marsh Hill Rd, McHenry, MD 21541 (Map) | (301) 859-3159
Mt Pleasant – Cambr. Springs: 109 miles | 1.75 hours
Located in the “ski country belt “ of the state, Mount Pleasant of Edinboro is a smaller Pennsylvanian ski resort. This little resort is known for its welcoming environment and family-friendly atmosphere, making it a great spot to learn to ski or ride with the rest of the family.
For those who don’t like skiing but still want a healthy dose of fresh air, the resort also has snow tubing and snowshoeing paths. Take a break after a few runs to refuel at the Slopeside Grill, a great spot at Mount Pleasant of Edinboro, to grab a burger or slice of pizza.
Mount Pleasant of Edinboro’s base elevation is 1,200 feet with a summit peak of 1,540 feet and a vertical drop of 340 feet. There are only 40 skiable acres at this resort, and 35 of them are equipped for night skiing and snowmaking.
Mount Pleasant has ten runs that are comprised of 22% beginner, 56% intermediate, and 22% advanced level terrain. This area of the Keystone State gets around 100 inches of snowfall each year, making Mount Pleasant an easy choice for day skiing.
14510 Mt Pleasant Rd, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403 (Map) | (814) 734-1641
Brandywine – Sagamore Hills, OH: 120 miles | 2 hours
The Brandywine Ski Resort in northeastern Ohio is a great place to get away for a few days and enjoy some fresh air on the slopes. While there are no mountainside accommodations, there are very affordable lodging options within five minutes of the ski area’s base.
Brandywine Resort’s base elevation sites at 631 feet with a peak elevation of 871 feet, giving this ski area a smaller vertical drop of 240 feet. The 85 skiable acres are all equipped with lighting for night skiing as well as 100% snowmaking capabilities. Seven lifts service the 11 runs that consist of 27% beginner, 27% intermediate, and 46% advanced level terrain.
Dining at Brandywine Ski Resort mostly consists of cafeteria-style service, but guests are welcome to bring their own water and snacks as well.
The Slopeside Shop and Tuning Center is a great place to get your equipment checked before hitting the slopes and there is also equipment available to rent from the mountain’s rental shop. For anyone looking to take skiing and snowboarding lessons, there are private, group, children’s and adult’s lessons, as well as various racing and seasonal programs offered.
1146 West Highland Rd, Sagamore Hills, OH 44067 (Map) | (330) 657-2334
No matter where you decide to visit, you are sure to have a trip packed full of non-stop fun in the snow. And if you have a little extra time and wish to explore a few more ski areas in Pennsylvania, check out these resorts near Harrisburg and Scranton!