Camelback Mountain is mostly known for their ski resort but their summer fun has expanded to cover so many activities, it’s rivaling all the competition in the area. And at just 1.5 hours drive from NYC it’s quickly becoming a top family destination for city dwellers. We planned an overnight trip with the idea of maximizing both our arrival day and departure day taking advantage of the outdoor water park, Camelbeach and indoor water park, Aquatopia. It’s hard to say which is my favorite, but here’s how our 24 hours of fun went!
Upon our arrival we received vouchers for each person in our party to use Camelbeach. We could access this outdoor water park one day for free, if we wanted to use it both days we’d have to pay for the additional day. We decided to try the Camelbeach first since the weather was perfect and we hadn’t seen it before. You can take a shuttle bus from the hotel over to Camelbeach but we chose to drive and easily found free parking. Upon arriving at the water park, we passed through tight but friendly security which does not allow any food or drink into the park. We were amazed to see how they transformed the mountain from a ski resort to a rambling water park full of dozens of slides we couldn’t wait to get on!
Our first stop was Pharaoh’s Phortress, this is a kiddie area fairly close to the entrance. We rented a cabana here and used this area as home base throughout the day. The kids in our group ranged from 6 months to 6 years old, so having this shelter and dedicated area to meet was really helpful. Another nice touch about the cabana, they bring a fruit basket early in the day and a cookie and brownie platter in the afternoon. It was a great bonus to an already awesome experience. All of the slides in this area are accessible to kids 42″ and up, but there are still many options for littler ones and the kids in our group had a ball here.
After splashing and sliding for about an hour at Pharaoh’s Phortress we set out to explore the mountain. We rode the lazy river, splashed with the younger kids in Mummy’s Oasis, raced with the bigger kids down Checkered Flag Challenge and screamed as loud as we could on the longest slide we’ve ever been on, the Titan. Other favorites were the Triple Venom, which a couple of us actually caught some air on and the Sidewinder. The larger ‘family slides’ where several of us rode together in rafts were my favorites, these were the Dune Runner and the Sandstorm, aka the toilet bowl.
Unfortunately a storm moved in as the late afternoon arrived, so the park shut down a little early. We didn’t have a chance to explore the Vortex, Spin Cycle, Kahuna Lagoon or Flow Rider. Our day at Camelbeach was so fun though, it may be my favorite water park day ever. It’s really cool being on a mountain and seeing the ski lifts and runs at the top of the mountain, yet bask in the sun and splash in the refreshing water below. Everything is quite spread out so it takes time to walk from end to end.
We also had a chance to try the Mountain Coaster which was a ton of fun. You ride in a car which totes up to two people to the top of the mountain, and you glide down on rails, using a hand brake as needed. To get a peek of this, check out our video. They are also building a Pocono Pipeline for ages 3+ which looks like a lot of fun but it’s not open yet.
Tips for Camelbeach:
- I recommend spending an entire day there to cover all of the rides, after all it is Pennsylvania’s largest outdoor waterpark.
- Be sure to bring your own towels, sunscreen, hats and bug spray.
- There are many food options and restaurants on site, reasonably priced.
- There are many bathrooms with changing areas.
- The staff here is great.
- We’re happy we rented a cabana, the day we visited the best priced ones were in Pharaoh’s Phortress.
- They also offer zip lines, treetop adventures, climbing walls, gem mining and bungee jumping!
Check out our video of their outdoor water park, Camelbeach:
The following day we spent at Aquatopia, the indoor waterpark, which happens to be the largest indoor waterpark in the Northeast. Access to this water park is included all days during your stay including arrival and departure day. We all had a blast here and I think the adults probably enjoyed some of the more terrifying rides here more than the kids. This huge indoor waterpark is enclosed a glass atrium, allowing sun to come through during the day but as night sets in they change the atmosphere of Aquatopia with colored lights, giving it a very fun party scene (appropriate for both kids and adults). We didn’t rent a cabana here but made home base near Kartrite’s Quest, a huge water structure with slides, dumping buckets and geysers. This area looks like it’s just for kids but some of the slides require heights of 48″ minimums. We have two favorites, the Storm Chaser, which is the longest water coaster in the country and the Venus SlydeTrap, an insane family raft ride that leaves you disorented, dizzy and laughing your head off as you splash into the basin at the bottom. My boyfriend’s favorite feature is the Bombora Flowrider where he can surf the simulated waves or slide around on a boogie board. Our 5 year old daughter is starting to get good on this too! There is also a wave pool, small kiddie pool with little slides for tiny kids, hot pools, a lazy river and tons of other slides which twist and turn, even 2 vertical drop slides that you start by the floor dropping out from under your feet. The variety of slides here is fantastic to thrill all ages.
- One small towel is provided using a towel card you receive upon check in (we brought our own).
- Outside food and drink are not allowed.
- The food is acceptable, we played so hard we worked up an appetite and enjoyed it.
- Even though its indoor you may still need sunscreen in some of the sunnier parts. Also sun glasses.
- The staff is all very nice.
I think Camelback may be one of my favorite places to visit with my active family. It’s also a heck of a lot of fun to go with friends. The lines weren’t too long at either water park and the resort manages crowds very well. If you haven’t visited, it should go on your short list of places to check out, either summer or winter. I know I’ll be back this winter to hit the slopes, and visit Aquatopia again.
Check out our video of their indoor water park, Aquatopia: