As one of the most densely populated states in the United States, you may be surprised to find that New Jersey is home to two stunning ski resorts. However, with an average snowfall of 40 to 50 inches per year in the northern region the conditions are perfect for hours of winter fun on the slopes. With only two resorts in the state, it can be a tough choice to decide which one to visit. So, join us as we explore what the two resorts have to offer and decide which one provides the best skiing in New Jersey.
Located in Vernon Township, Mountain Creek Resort is New Jersey’s largest ski resort. Spanning a vast 167 skiable acres and four peaks, this premier resort is widely popular with beginners and experts alike. Mountain Creek has a massive 1,040-foot vertical drop and boasts 46 runs and nine ski lifts.
The vast array of runs caters for all abilities as there are 11 beginner runs, 26 intermediate, and nine advanced. The longest run is Southern Sojourn, which is an incredible two miles long. There is also night skiing available as well as a snow tubing park with a magic carpet lift offering hours of fun for the whole family to enjoy. There are 67 whopping acres that are dedicated to terrain parks of various sizes and difficulty levels.
Mountain Creek also has a ski and snowsports school for adults and children of all ages and abilities. There are both private and group lessons available as well as children’s programmes for ages four and above. However, one of the best things about Mountain Creek is its unique initiative, which uses terrain-based learning to teach. This initiative uses specific small snow features such as gently rolling slopes and banked turns to make learning easier as well as fun.
Mountain Creek also runs various ski racing programmes and is the home of New Jersey High School Racing and the Special Olympics of New Jersey. It is also the largest venue for US ski and snowboarding racing in the region. It has an alpine development programme for young skiers who want to race competitively. This allows them to train at Mountain Creek but race at ski resorts across New Jersey and New England.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Mountain Creek for skiing or snowboarding is during February, based on the quality and amount of snow. Mountain Creek receives an average snowfall of 39 inches per year which peaks in February at 15 inches. The base depth is typically between 15 and 20 inches and there is snowmaking in operation as required.
However, Mountain Creek is a four-season resort which means that it offers year-round fun. During the summer there is a water park open which features rapids, wave pools, and slides. There’s also a bike park, zip lining, an alpine mountain coaster, and golf to enjoy. Mountain Creek also offers slopeside accommodation with mountainside views. Plus, access to an outdoor heated pool and hot tub as well as two restaurants on-site make it the ultimate holiday experience.
Located in Mahwah, Campgaw Mountain Ski Area is the closest ski resort to the New York metro area. It has 23 skiable acres and features 12 runs with a vertical drop of 274 feet. There are also six ski lifts which consist of two double chairs and four surface lifts.
Campgaw Mountain caters to skiers of all ability levels with four beginner runs, four intermediate, three advanced, and one expert. It also offers night skiing across the whole area and snowboarding. Plus, there is an 800-foot-long tubing park which boasts 17 lanes and a magic carpet lift.
One of the best features of Campgaw Mountain is its snowsports academy which is the heart of the resort. Campgaw Mountain has been specialising in teaching for 50 years and has some of the most highly qualified instructors in the region. Although there are private and group lessons available for both adults and children, Campgaw also features a specialized children’s programme for ages four to six. There’s also an adaptive programme. This program aims to help people with disabilities get out on the slopes and have fun.
Best Time to Visit
Campgaw Mountain has an average snowfall of 19 inches. Although there are 100% snowmaking facilities available and a base depth of 12 to 18 inches, the best time to visit is based on snowfall in February which receives an average of eight inches.
Campgaw Mountain has a café and snack bar, but there are no other facilities or accommodations available. However, there are still plenty of hotels and lodges nearby given its close proximity to New York.
Which is Better: Mountain Creek or Campgaw Mountain Better?
Ultimately, Mountain Creek offers the best skiing in New Jersey. With its vast array of runs as well as all the other options such as snow tubing and terrain parks, there is always something to do. Not only that, but Mountain Creek offers high-quality lessons and programmes with innovative teaching methods to suit all ages and abilities.
However, if you don’t fancy the hustle and bustle of Mountain Creek and just want a day of fun out on the slopes with the family then you may want to consider the less crowded Campgaw Mountain.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/anyaberkut
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