A three hour drive from New York City, ELK Mountain in the northern Poconos is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Elk doesn’t feel like it’s in Pennsylvania, rather somewhere in the central part of the country. Highway driving leads to back country roads, and then eventually to Elk. It’s a nice drive and that’s always a bonus.
Parking is free, but you must take an open motor cab to the base. I thought it would be a huge inconvenience, but it’s really not that big of a deal.
The Mountain is no frills; basic lodge, nice bar with music and standard food. Much different from the extravagance of Camelback or even Blue Mountain in PA. No big restaurants at the base or summit lodges.
The mountain is fun. It’s not super big, and the trails are not super long, but I had a good time. The snow was decent in mid January, not too icy at all. The lift lines (only two major lifts, with one line) can get a big crowded during the mid day peak, but it was not too bad. Worst case you’re waiting maybe 20 mins tops.
Ultimately, this is a great mountain to learn to ski or ride, and/or prep for a big trip to Killington, VT or out west. I was a bit underwhelmed with the amount of terrain and the length of the trails, but you will have fun.
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