Up until February 2008, I had no idea that I could drive just an hour and a half from NYC to go snowboarding in Vernon, New Jersey at Mountain Creek Resort. I grew up boarding on the west coast in Lake Tahoe where I was spoiled with fresh powder, long trails and relatively mild weather. The East Coast snow is a whole 'nother ball game; these runs are icy, narrow and shortâ€¦and a bit colder than Nor Cal.
As an avid snowboarder these conditions aren't ideal, but because the drive is so short, this mountain is great for unplanned day trips when a fresh layer of snow has come down the day before. You should only go to Mountain Creek the day after it snows in the City to ensure that you won't be boarding on ice. The snow is typically good until about 2pm, but then the ice starts to emerge from under the fresh powder. I have been two times thus far, and just used ZipCar for about a hundred bucks and when split among four people, is a pretty cheap trip.
An all-day lift ticket will cost you $62 on the weekends, but when I went pre-season this year, I paid $49 because only two lifts were open. See you on the slopes!