Mid-Atlantic skiing daytrips from DC

A skier looks down a foggy slope at Timberline Resort in West Virginia

I love to ski, but I don’t get out as much as I’d like. Over the last decade or so, I have written about my experiences as a “commuter skier” in the Mid-Atlantic. I typically get in 1 or 2 daytrips a season and the intention here is to help others in situations make that one trip count.

Winter 2021-2022 is the second pandemic ski season and generally speaking, last year’s was pretty good.

Since 2007, I have been writing firsthand reports of my ski trips on my blog. I have also been posting ski news of interest

Mid-Atlantic Skiing map

I have skied many of these places and profiled a number of them as well.

Remember, don’t hate winter, use it!

Latest skiing coverage

No more 4th & 5th grade Pennsylvania snow pass

The Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association has permanently ended their 4th and 5th grade snow pass. Due to the fact that the snowpass program was no…

Don’t count on skiing in 2020-2021 season

My skepticism for a Mid-Atlantic ski season keeps growing. While skiing itself is pretty safe, it’s getting from the bottom of the mountain that’s not.…

DCSki redesign launched

The Mid-Atlantic’s premier independent snow sports site is redesigned.The Washington, D.C. area-based DCSki provides news, resort profiles & forums.

West Virginia 4th & 5th grade ski pass on sale

Discounted skiing for  4th and 5th graders is available for $35, plus tax for administrative fees, from the West Virginia Ski Association: For the 2020/2021 season Winterplace,…

No 4th & 5th grade Pennsylvania snow pass this season

The Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association will not offer their 4th and 5th grades snow pass for the 2020-2021 season. Due to our current inability to…

Skiing: 2020-2021 Indy Pass now on sale

UPDATE: Indy Pass Adds 11 Additional Independent Ski Areas for 2020-’21 Season – Ski MagazineMid-Atlantic ski areas are planning on opening for the 2020-2021 season.…
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Pow(d)er rankings

While I encourage you to read all of my recaps of skiing in the Mid-Atlantic or visiting the map page, the TL;DR format is provided too:

Ski area Rating Visits TL;DR
Big Boulder, Poconos, Pa. 17 My two semesters of college phys-ed were here, so I have a soft spot for it, but since then it’s been turned into a snowboard park and apparently a good one. If I had a month of ski days in a season, I’d take a day there since the bordercross runs are fun. SkiTheEast was there the year before.
Blue Knob, Claysburg, Pa. 1 Rustic, prone to ice and not as big as they claim, but get a little bit of fresh snow and it’s a really fun mountain that I really want to visit again. It’s also an inverted lodge (on top of the mountain) despite being the highest skiable elevation in Pennsylvania. They are on the Indy Pass now, but badly need some new snow-making infrastructure or big storms.
Blue Mountain, Palmerton, Pa. 1 My grade is a bit incomplete since it was a spontaneous trip in March one year, but I think it’s worth a second look. The vertical drop is amongst the best in Pennsylvania. The touchscreens instead of paper forms in the registration area would be welcome everywhere.
Camelback, Poconos, Pa.   5 The biggest ski area in the Poconos has over 30 trails and is very popular, perhaps too popular. I have lots of great memories here, but its a bit far for over 800 feet of vertical and huge crowds on holiday weekends. It’s all interstate highways to get there though.
Elk Mountain, Poconos, Pa.   1 The northernmost ski area in Northeast Pennsylvania, Elk is a “skiers mountain” with quality cruisers and short lift lines not far from Scranton. A bit far for a day-trip, but cheap lodging is available along the I-81 corridor.
Jack Frost, Poconos, Pa. 1 Inverted, small and probably a good choice for younger skiers, but again, kind of far from DC. Biggest plus — shared passed with Big Boulder, so you can ski two hills in one day.
Massanutten, Harrisonburg, Va. ■■ 1 It’s small but several new trails are coming in the next few years; we may have to retire “Massa-nothin'”. The black diamond runs are really fun and the scenery is stunning. The Poconos, it ain’t. I had my best day of skiing here, right after the Pitchers and Catchers Day Storm in 2014. Another one I want to get back again.
Timberline, Davis, W.V. ? 1 In 2013, it was in decline and eventually closed. New ownership reopened it for the 2021 winter and by all accounts it’s a remarkable turnaroud.
Whitetail, Mercersburg, Pa. ■■ 9 The elevation is under 2,000 feet, but is over 900 feet of vertical drop. At only 90 minutes from the Capital Beltway, it’s an excellent option for D.C. commuter skiers. It’s been well-run, but there are grumblings that it’s not the value it was under previous ownership.

William’s Mid-Atlantic skiing coverage

Twitter list

Remember when twitter lists were a thing? I have a fairly extensive one for mid-Atlantic skiing and a little more (it scrolls forever):