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“Still one of the best in PA, with some caveats”

Blue Mountain Resort
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Palmerton
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Year round Family Friendly Outdoor Adventure. Nestled in the Pocono Mountains, Blue Mountain Resort is just a short day trip from several major cities including New York City and Philadelphia. Come check out all the fun!
Useful Information: Lockers / storage, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Stairs / elevator, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities
New Jersey
Level Contributor
37 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Still one of the best in PA, with some caveats”
Reviewed January 2, 2013

This is my second review of Blue Mountain, updated for 2013. Blue gets good marks for terrain, snowmaking and grooming. The staff is generally friendly and helpful. The downside of Blue is they keep ratcheting up prices, eliminating discounts and that it can get very crowded on the weekends or holidays.

As far as terrain, Blue has something for everyone. There is good beginner terrain, intermediates will like Lazy Mile or Paradise. Expert skiers will like the steepness of Challenge or Razor's edge. You can find some bumps on Nightmare and Upper and Lower Main Street. There is a terrain park, they usually offer NASTAR and there is a good skier and boarder-cross trail. If you're a pure beginner, you might be happier at Shawnee, where there is probably more selection of top to bottom green runs. I have skied most of the Eastern PA resorts, and I would rate Blue and Elk highest for difficulty in PA.

Also on the plus side are some amenities at Blue, such as the slopeside patio area with outdoor bar, full service ski shop and free ski/board check. The Summit lodge is nicer than the base lodge, and has a few different dining options. Food is pricey and don't expect gourmet food. There is free wireless internet in the lodge (actually works) and they usually have open outlets you can use. One thing I don't like at Blue is all the people smoking. They tend to congregate right outside the doors of the lodge, on the patio and in the lift lines. Not sure what the mountain can do about smoking. Maybe create a designated smoking area so that those going in and out of the lodge don't have to walk through a cloud of smoke.

Blue has gotten pricey, with $60 tickets on the weekends, and I think a night ticket has gone from $30 to $35 this year. Also gone is the ski club discount on Thursday night that would have saved $10 off the ticket price. Blue has to consider the locals, who support the mountain mid week and evenings. They should offer more 1/2 day, mid week and night discounts for those who live nearby. If you've seen the surrounding area, its far from Beverly Hills, so give the locals a break!

As far as crowds, all the local areas will be busy on a holiday weekend. If you don't like lines, then avoid those times. Otherwise, get there early, take an early lunch and ski when others are taking lunch. Also, the best conditions will be first thing in the morning, as the mountain will tend to get skied off and icy later in the day and at night. I have seen ski Patrols checking for out of control skiers, they need to do this more, as I did see some riders and skiers going way too fast.

Blue features two high speed chairs (a quad and six person) which get you up the 1000 ft vertical very quickly. The rest of the chairs are outdated slow fixed grip double chairs. Snowmaking capacity is excellent and they do their best to get trails open early in the season. One thing I've had issues with is the e-tickets. The past 2 times I visited I went to recharge them and the desk had a hard time getting it to work.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank atomicdoug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Jersey
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“First Time, Great Time!!”
Reviewed December 31, 2012

I just got back from a trip to Blue Mountain with my son (16) and nephew (9). I purchased the first time learners package for the three of us which included ski/snowboard rental and lift tickets to the "beginners" hills. The price was very reasonable and I definitely feel that we got our money's worth.

The lesson instructors were very welcoming and energetic. They covered everything that we needed to know about skiing/snowboarding. After a couple of hours of lessons, we were skiing/snowboarding with confidence. It was a wonderful day!! My nephew and son loved snowboarding, and I loved skiing.

The ski rental shop staff was a fine group of enthusiastic young people who were very helpful. The cafeteria food is sufficient to take away the lunch time hunger-bug, but it's very much overpriced. I paid $50 for 3 burgers, fries, and drinks.

There's plenty of free parking and the view of the mountain is absolutely breathtaking…especially at night time.

The only reason that I did not give Blue Mountain an "Excellent" is because all of the trials were not open as it is still the beginning of the snow season...I guess. So we were only able to experience one of the "beginners" hills. However, we will definitely return, this season, for more fun!

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelGurl80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“A trusty fav... that recently let me down. DO YOUR HOMEWORK”
Reviewed December 31, 2012

I've always loved skiing Blue Moutain. Its one of the closer mountains to Philadelphia (where I live) so it has that going for it. Additionally, its big! It's got longer runs for the Pocono mountains, and pretty efficient lifts so the lines aren't too terribly long. I've skied here many many times. They recently improved their lodge areas too so its a much cozier experience hanging out.

I just went yesterday 12/30 with some friends though, and had a really disappointing experience. I tell you this with the hopes that you'll double check which trails are open prior to heading out! We got to the mountain around 11a, and got our lift tickets and rentals. I was told by the cashier to bury my lift ticket in a pocket away from my credit cards and cell phone as to not deactivate it. That left me 1 obscure inside pocket. I then i had to produce that card 3-4 times before getting onto the mountain which entailed removing my gloves so i could take off my coat so i could get to the inside pocket. After the first time, I prob. should have wised up... but no such luck. Then they essentially scan you like a grocery to make sure you're clear to ski. This system must be a bit buggy cuz I saw a lot of people getting stuck. Mine worked fine though so no complains.

We got on the mountain and decided to ski down the bunny trail to Burma. Only when we got to the orange fence did we know that it was closed... so we waited in a 1 1/2 hour lift line to get to the top of the bunny trail. Once we got up there, we learned that all of the other substantial green circles were closed too. As a pretty unconfident skiier on my first run of the winter, my options were to try a blue square for the first time, or dodge learners and other uncofident skiiers in the tiny bunny slope and then wait in line for 1 1/2 hours to do it again. I sure would have loved to know this prior to spending $100! I would have sat in the lodge, drank beer, and watched football.

So I went down the blue square one. I was absolutely terrified, hated every minute of it, and really was cursing blue the whole way down for not giving me the information to make an informed decision as a consumer. We had checked their mountain report on their website and all it showed was the weather. We tried to learn if all the trails were opened, and we saw NO indication whatsoever that only the blue squares and black diamonds were open! If you're a good skiier, my review has little value to you. If you're a beginner like me... beware! In retrospect, I went back to the website and tried to understand how they possibly get away with this, and I noticed that under 'maps' they show which trails are open. Wouldn't have thought to look under maps for a condition report!

Sure thought to look at maps when I made it to the top of the 5-man lift after going down the Lazy Mile (which is far from lazy if you ask me!). I had the intention of skiing Paradise, which I learned was closed too, after getting to the top. The maps of the mountain were covered in a frozen layer of slush so the whole time we had no idea where we were, or how to get to where we were going. The maps were only at the top of the mountain too... so we were pretty much guessing. I finally tried to find the maps on the phone and came up empty handed since the site was a bit advanced for web browsing.

All in all, we spent a lot of money and really felt gouged. We would have saved our time and effort for another weekend that we would have enjoyed more if we knew the trails we wanted to do were 100% closed! Blue didn't make this info well known. We tried to make the best of it, but really were forced into skiing beyond our ability, and therefore didn't really get to enjoy the runs.

I've had good experiences here before, thus I'll be back at some point, but I'll be sure to call down there and get confirmation prior to purchase that everything is open. They really let me down this time. What a bummer!

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank CohenLaurenA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Snow tubing”
Reviewed October 22, 2012

The great Outdoors, Snow, Tubes, Laughter and Outdoor fire pits -- a good time had by all! Always worth the visit.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank lynn w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
40 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Slopeside Grill”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We had the opportunity to visit the slopeside grill at Blue Mountain during the summer. First, both the setting and the facility is wonderful - however, we won't be returning. We waited greater than 1 hour for our order (grilled chicken on a roll?). The order was under or overcooked. No explanation - the place was not overly crowded, so we are not sure what the problem was. Similar results for a second visit a couple of weeks later.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank bobecus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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