A decade ago, the Camelback Resort in the beautiful Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania could have been a location that was not well-known by amusement park enthusiasts across America. With the incredible development that has completely transformed this park in the last decade, however, anonymity is not a likely trait for this park to maintain. Known for over one half of a century as a ski resort with over thirty trails and more recently two terrain parks, the resort has been diversifying its entertainment amenities to guests at a rapid rate.
Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark
A mainstay during summer months at the resort for almost two decades is the Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark. The waterpark’s unique setting places it at the base of the ski trails which affords beautiful views looking up towards the fingers of grass through the trees to the top of the mountain, which serve as the skiing corridors during wintertime. The park has numerous slides to keep patrons entertained throughout the day, including some of the best tube slides and family rafts slides you will find anywhere. Riptide and Sidewinder are notable for allowing three person rafts, which is unusual for a tube slide. For families with younger kids, it is great to see that the four tube slides and three family raft rides can accommodate children as short as 42 inches as long as they are accompanied by an adult. This gives little ones a lot of options in the park along with the wave pool, Pharaoh’s Phortress, which contains many kids slides, Checkered Flag Challenge, Flowrider, Mummy’s Oasis, Spin Cycle (their bowl raft slide), and the Mat Slides. Smaller kids will not have to sit out for many of the attractions. Camelbeach also has a few more aggressive slides for the thrill seekers like Triple Venom and Vortex, their body bowl slide.
Mountain Adventure Park
As good as Camelback’s skiing and outdoor waterpark are, their recent additions have raised the resort to a much higher level. Their Adventure Park has enough activities to keep guests entertained for a good portion of the day. The Appalachian Express Mountain Coaster is a special treat which can really get the blood pumping if you as the rider choose to blast down the mountain without applying the brakes too much. My oldest son and I had an exhilarating ride as we barely touched the brakes heading into the helices while my mother-in-law rode with my younger son, and they enjoyed the ride immensely, moving at a slightly more-controlled speed. The setting of the ride helps as well, flying through the trees like a scene in a certain Star Wars movie.
Alpine slides are an attraction that seemed to go the way of the dinosaurs in recent years. These attractions were infamous at different parks for being a bit hazardous, with even some parks showing pictures of people with burns on their bodies from accidents. Turns out some people ignored the “Slow Down” signs around some of the tighter turns, leading to ugly accidents. In the olden days, these slides featured concrete troughs with a small sled with a single stick where the rider could control the breaks. Camelback’s Alpine Slide closed in 2003, and it was joyous news this year when they announced that they would be opening the Pocono Pipeline Mountain Slide, a modern take on the Alpine Slide. The newer trough is made of fiberglass which leads to a smoother and safer ride. While this certainly makes for a tamer ride compared to the concrete versions, this seems like a good thing to ensure a much-improved safety record.
The park also features the Double Barrel 1000′ Dual Zip Lines, North America’s longest zip flyer, which offer beautiful panoramic views of the Poconos. The ride concludes with an exciting finish over the Camelbeach waterpark. The Treetops Adventure Course gives thrill seekers a chance to conquer 100 aerial obstacles while climbing through the trees. The Kids TreeTop Explorer Course, Soaring Camel 4000′ Twin Zip-Flyer, and Mountain Segways tour add to the many choices that guests have when they arrive at Camelback.
Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark
At $163 million, the Lodge and Aquatopia indoor waterpark has been Camelback’s most impressive investment, and this is easily seen when walking through the front door into the impressive lobby. A unique combination of beautiful, dark woods and modern sculptures and touches, the restaurant, bar, and lobby are a welcoming sight to the new visitor. The downstairs arcade also presents numerous activities for kids to do, including miniature bowling. The lodge also features a rope course and miniature golf. The highlight is certainly Aquatopia, though, voted #1 indoor waterpark in the U.S. by USA TODAYS’s “10Best Readers’ Choice” poll. In a bit of brilliant engineering, only four of the adult slides are visible inside the building, as the majority of slides snake outside of the building, giving it an open feel. The lazy river is especially well done, with lighted tunnels, waterfalls, and an especially swift current. The large quantity of slides entices the patron to spend many hours at a time in the waterpark.
If Camelback Mountain Resort is a name that has not been on your radar, this incredible list of activities on one property should definitely peak your interest in taking a trip to this gem of a property. Not far from the metropolitan monoliths of New York and Philadelphia, a trip to the Poconos can be paired with so many other activities. This gem’s shine will undoubtedly continue to shine brighter in the future.