About two hours from New York City, tiny Plattekill is harder to get to than Hunter or Wyndham, but worth the effort for its more challenging terrain and backcountry feel. This four-lift mountain has a steep and sustained pitch and holds more ungroomed powder after a storm than nearby ski areas. This family-owned spot is only open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (and holiday weeks), but accessible any other day of the week to uphill skiers who are up for ascending the 1,100 feet of vertical without the help of lifts. With the only tele-skiing school and rentals in the area, Plattekill caters to a hardcore local crowd who seem to ski off its out-of-bounds backside as often as they do to its down-home-style base lodge. Two of the best runs are the trees between Blockbuster and Freefall, or the glades off of Ridge Run where it meets Overlook. Lift tickets are $59.
Where to Stay: Plattekill is where you come to really get away, so rent a luxury log cabin in the countryside from Kerry Catskills. Some have rec rooms with foosball, card tables, darts, and vintage pinball machines, and one is just a few miles from the resort.
Insider Tip: Seek out Snowsports School Director, Jeff Crane — there's a good chance he'll point you toward the best out-of-bounds options on the weekends.