My children are teenagers, which means our time together as a family seems increasingly precious to the adults and increasingly annoying to the kids. Skiing is one of the few activities I can suggest that doesn’t get adolescent eye rolls. We talk and laugh as we ride the lifts together, dare each other to try the toughest slopes, and enjoy the tired, cozy après-ski pleasures of sipping hot cocoa, warming ourselves beside wood-burning fireplaces, and, of course, bragging.
Below are 12 of the best ski resorts within a day’s drive of Baltimore, listed in alphabetical order. Most offer tubing, night skiing, terrain parks, snow making, lessons, equipment rental, evening entertainment, on-site restaurants, and much more. For brevity, only adult full-day lift ticket prices are listed. Holiday rates include vacation weeks and weekends. Restaurants and amenities are representative, not inclusive. Now, go ski!
Blue Knob Resort
1424 Overland Pass, Claysburg, PA, 800-458-3403, blueknob.com.
Overview: The highest ski mountain in Pennsylvania offers furnished condos with fireplaces and kitchens.
Ski area: With a vertical drop of 1,072 feet and an elevation of 3,174 feet, Blue Knob divides its 34 trails into beginner, intermediate, advanced intermediate, and expert. Five lifts take skiers and boarders to 100 ski-able acres, including glade runs and a terrain park.
Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri., 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat., 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.
Cost: A five-hour flex pass is $30 Sun.-Fri., $50 Fri. at 4 p.m. to Sun. at 2 p.m.
Other amenities: Indoor/outdoor pool, hot tubs, and saunas for guests who stay in the condos, ski school, equipment rental, snow tubing, cross-country skiing, Black Bear Inn, and Clubhouse Bar & Grill.
Driving distance: Three hours, 15 minutes.
Canaan Valley Resort
230 Main Lodge Rd., Davis, WV, 800-622-4121, canaanresort.com.
Overview: With an average of 180 inches of natural snow a year, this is the place to ski, snowboard, ice skate, tube, or try air boarding on an inflatable sled that can be controlled for turns and stops.
Ski area: It has an elevation of 4,280 feet with a vertical drop of 850 feet, 42 trails, three chairlifts, two magic carpets that take tubers to the top of the hill, nightly grooming, and snow making on more than 75 percent of the mountain.
Hours: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily, with night skiing to 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
Cost: Full-day lift tickets, $32 midweek and non-holidays, $50 weekends and holidays.
Other amenities: Arcade, gift shops, indoor heated pool, whirlpool spa, fitness center, massage services, drop-off child care, sleigh rides, tubing, lessons, and equipment rentals.
Driving distance: Four hours.
Liberty Mountain Resort
78 Country Club Trail, Carroll Valley, PA, 717-642-8282, libertymountainresort.com.
Overview: Deals and packages, particularly for new skiers and boarders, plus an easy walk from the hotel to the slopes makes Liberty a great getaway.
Ski area: Elevation is 1,190 feet high with a vertical drop of 600 feet and 100 acres of ski-able terrain. It has 16 trails and three terrain parks, serviced by nine lifts, with complete snow-making coverage.
Hours: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and non-holidays; 8 a.m.-10 p.m. weekends and holidays. Snow tubing is 4-10 p.m. Mon.-Thurs. and non-peak times, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri., 8 a.m.-10 p.m. weekends and holidays.
Cost: Lift tickets are $55 midweek, $67 weekends and holidays. First-time skiers and snowboarders can get a lift ticket, lesson, and equipment rental for $78 midweek, $92 weekend/holidays.
Other amenities: Tubing, lessons, equipment rental, child-care center, and restaurants and bars. An exercise room, wireless Internet, and a hot breakfast buffet are included with hotel rates.
Driving distance: One hour, 24 minutes.
1822 Resort Dr., McGaheysville, VA, 540-289-9441, massresort.com.
Overview: There are so many activities and events at the Shenandoah Valley resort, that they have an Entertainment Guide to help you plan your time. The Pirates Program at the Kids’ Club is a popular activity for the little ones.
Ski area: It has a 2,925-foot summit with a vertical drop of 1,110 feet, 70 ski-able acres, two terrain parks, seven lifts, 14 trails, and 100 percent snow-making coverage.
Hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
Cost: Lift-ticket prices had not been determined at press time.
Other amenities: Indoor water park, ski and snowboard lessons, equipment rental, tubing, outdoor ice skating, zip line (weather dependent), gift shops and boutiques, restaurants and cafeterias, and child care.
Driving distance: Three hours, 10 minutes.
The Omni Homestead
7696 Sam Snead Hwy., Hot Springs, VA, 800-838-1766, thehomestead.com.
Overview: The ski mountain is really just another amenity of the ritzy, historic hotel on the property.
Ski area: Forty-five acres of wide, well-groomed trails define this five-lift, six-trail mountain, with an elevation of 3,100 feet and a vertical drop of 700 feet.
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends and holidays.
Cost: Lift tickets are $39 on weekdays, $49 on weekends, and $59 on holidays. Resort guests pay $35 on weekdays, $45 on weekends, $55 on holidays.
Other amenities: Ski school, ice-skating rink, an indoor pool fed by warm mineral springs, gift shops, dress-up dinners, a salon, and exercise sessions with personal trainers. You get the idea.
Driving distance: Five hours.
Roundtop Mountain Resort
925 Roundtop Rd., Lewisberry, PA, 717-432-9631, skiroundtop.com.
Overview: Roundtop is an excellent choice for beginner skiers and snowboarders.
Ski area: Ten lifts take downhill enthusiasts to 16 trails, plus a terrain park with a super pipe and half pipe. Elevation is 1,400 feet with a vertical drop of 600 feet and about 103 ski-able acres.
Hours: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. weekdays and non-holidays, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. weekends and holidays.
Cost: An eight-hour lift ticket is $55 midweek and non-holidays, $64 on weekends and holidays.
Other amenities: Fireside Pub and Grill, sports shop, ski and snowboard schools, and tubing.
Driving distance: One hour, 30 minutes.
Seven Springs Mountain Resort
777 Waterwheel Dr., Seven Springs, PA, 800-452-2223, 7springs.com.
Overview: The resort is a kid-friendly, year-round entertainment center, where even non-skiers will find plenty to do.
Ski area: The mountain, at 2,994 feet, has a vertical drop of 750 feet and 285 acres of ski-able terrain, including through-the-trees glade runs and eight terrain parks. Ten chairlifts and a rope tow take skiers and snowboarders to 33 trails.
Hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sun. and holidays. Unlit trails on the North Face close at 4:30 p.m.
Cost: All-day tickets are $58 midweek, $75 weekends, and $80 on holidays.
Other amenities: Snowshoe and snowmobile tours, tubing, indoor miniature golf, indoor bowling alley, game room, roller-skating rink, late-night snowcat tours with the slope groomers, indoor-outdoor pool, fitness center, hot tubs, and 11 dining options. A sporting clays course is open year-round, weather permitting.
Driving distance: Three hours, 30 minutes.
Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort
10 Snowshoe Dr., Snowshoe, WV, 304-572-1000, snowshoemtn.com.
Overview: Snowshoe is the choice for serious skiers with some of the most challenging slopes in the region.
Ski area: With 57 trails, 251 ski-able acres, an elevation of 4,848 feet and a vertical drop of 1,500 feet, Snowshoe is one of the larger ski mountains in the area. It’s divided into three areas: the Snowshoe Basin, Silver Creek, and Western Territory, with options that include glades skiing and terrain parks, all with 100 percent snow-making coverage.
Hours: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Snowshoe; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Silver Creek; 9 a.m.-4:15 p.m., Western Territory.
Cost: $79 midweek, $84 weekends, and $89 on holidays.
Other amenities: Off-road adventure tours, tubing, snowmobile tours, snowcat tours, an indoor playground with arcade games, a climbing wall, hot tubs, an indoor/outdoor pool, restaurants and food courts, lessons, and equipment rental.
Driving distance: Five hours, 15 minutes.
Timberline Four Seasons Resort
254 Four Seasons Dr., Davis, WV, 800-766-9464, timberlineresort.com.
Overview: Its claim to fame is its high elevation, which makes it a snow magnet, averaging 200 feet or more a year. The Slopeside Hotel, as you can guess from the name, is within feet of the main lift.
Ski area: It has an elevation of 4,268 feet with a vertical drop of 1,000 feet, four lifts, 37 trails, 100 ski-able acres, and 100 percent snow-making coverage. It also has the longest run in the South—the two-mile-long Salamander.
Hours: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
Cost: An eight-hour lift ticket is $38 midweek, $58 weekends, $62 holidays.
Other amenities: Lessons, equipment rental, Timbers Pub and Fireside Grille with live music and karaoke, cross-country ski trails, and snowshoeing.
Driving distance: Four hours.
13805 Blairs Valley Rd., Mercersburg, PA, 717-328-9400, skiwhitetail.com.
Overview: This sibling of Roundtop and Liberty is another family-friendly, low-hassle choice, particularly for newbies. Packages for first-timers include equipment rental, lift tickets, and lessons, all for under $100.
Ski area: Elevation is 1,800 feet with a vertical drop of 935 feet. Nine lifts take skiers and boarders to 23 trails and two terrain parks, with 100 percent snow-making coverage.
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
Cost: Eight-hour lift ticket is $58 midweek, $69 weekends and holidays.
Other amenities: Tubing, child care, ski and snowboard lessons, food court, slope-side Windows Restaurant, and adaptive snow-sports program for children and adults with mental and physical challenges.
Driving distance: Two hours.
Rte. 664, Wintergreen, VA, 855-699-1858, wintergreenresort.com.
Overview: Luxury and outdoor adventure live side by side at the resort, where days of challenging skiing are followed by evenings of spa treatments and excellent food.
Ski area: Elevation is 3,515 feet with a vertical drop of 1,003 feet, and 129 ski-able acres. Five chairlifts bring skiers and snowboarders to 26 runs, plus two terrain parks that are continually reshaped for new challenges.
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon., 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Tues.-Thurs. and Sun., 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
Cost: Eight-hour lift tickets, $52 midweek, $74 weekends and holidays.
Other amenities: Two snow-tubing parks, ice-skating, a winter zip line, pool and fitness center with year-round outdoor hot tubs and a therapeutic soak pool; Pilates and yoga classes; and Ridgely’s Fun Park, where children younger than 11 can enjoy snow shoes, a gentle tubing slope, and hot chocolate.
Driving distance: Three hours, 49 minutes.
296 Marsh Hill Rd., McHenry, 301-387-4000, wispresort.com.
Overview: Maryland’s only ski resort is
in a town that is home to Deep Creek Lake and year-round outdoor activities. Stay at the Wisp Resort Hotel or rent a townhouse or condo.
Ski area: Wisp is 3,115 feet at its highest point with a vertical drop of 700 feet and 132 ski-able acres. Seven chairlifts and five surface lifts take skiers and snowboarders to 32 beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails and four freestyle parks.
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri.-Sat. “First tracks,” for multi-day and season ticket holders, begins at 8 a.m.
Cost: $39 weekdays, $69 weekends, $79 holidays.
Other amenities: Tubing, outdoor ice skating, canopy tour with five zip lines (limited winter operation), cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, a “mountain coaster,” and snowmobile tours.
Driving distance: About three hours, 30 minutes.