Palandöken, the resort that stretches away 5km south of town, offers far and away the best skiing in Turkey – more than adequate compensation for being stuck in Erzurum during its habitually arctic winters. With largely north-facing slopes ranging from 2300m near the Palan Hotel up to Point 3140 on Mount Ejder, excellent conditions (essentially nice dry powder on a 2m base) are just about guaranteed. Pistes total 45km, with eight chairlifts, two drag-lifts and a tele-cabin giving access to eight easy, six intermediate and two advanced runs, as well as four recognized off-piste routes.
Palandöken is easily reached by taxi from Erzurum, for a fare, depending on your precise destination, of TL15–20. Bus #5G (TL1.5) also heads this way from various points in the city centre, though since it stops a full 10min uphill walk short of the resort, it’s not worth considering unless you’re really strapped for cash. The handful of good hotels in the resort are your best bets for equipment rental, which costs around TL70 per day.
Note that there’s also good winter skiing at Sarıkamış, west of Kars.