6 Top Ski and Snowboard Resorts in North Carolina
Wondering where to ski, snowboard, snow tube, or ice skate this winter? The winter sports season is here so it’s time for a roundup of the six top ski and snowboard resorts in North Carolina.
Ski season in North Carolina typically runs from mid- to late November through early April. Sugar Mountain is the largest ski area in the state and Beech Mountain is reported to be the highest ski area in the eastern US.
North Carolina is home to six full-service ski areas with 90 slopes for all abilities, from beginner to double black diamond, as well as freestyle terrain parks, ice skating, tubing and much more.
When you make your winter ski and snowboard plans, look no further than these six great North Carolina ski resorts:
Cataloochee Ski Area
Enjoy a ski holiday on the exciting Cataloochee slopes in Maggie Valley, North Carolina! The Ski Area features winding trails and a friendly, helpful atmosphere. Twilight and night skiing are available every day from December 17, except for Christmas Eve.
With a top elevation of 5,400 feet and a base of 4,660 feet, the 770 feet of vertical drop offers a slope for every skill level. Cataloochee has 100% snowmaking coverage of their slopes that include eighteen skiing and snowboarding slopes and trails that are 44% beginner, 39% intermediate, and 17% advanced to expert.
Ski and snowboard lessons are available for everyone from the novice to advanced and Cataloochee has a huge line of rental equipment that is updated every year.
Maggie Valley and nearby Waynesville are family-friendly destinations all year long. You’ll find plenty of restaurants open during the winter where you can enjoy genuine southern hospitality in a relaxed and quaint town atmosphere.
If you need lodging, The Ski Area provides listings for lodging in the Maggie Valley / Waynesville area. You’re sure to find something to fit everyone’s taste and budget from rustic cabins to comfortable hotel rooms.
As a Maggie Valley local, I can attest that this area of Western North Carolina is a real treat everywhere you look. Check out my article that details sixteen things to do in Maggie Valley and get ideas for exciting activities that are available in the area.
Beech Mountain Ski Resort
Beech Mountain Ski Resort is near Elk Valley, NC and features 95 acres of skiable terrain with 17 slopes and trails , three beginner, seven intermediate, four advanced, two freestyle terrain area, in addition to a 700-foot long tubing park. Peak elevation is 5,506 feet – higher than any slope in the East. Vertical drop is 830 feet.
Lifts include four doubles, a quad and a high-speed quad with a panoramic vista of the local area.
If ice skating is more your style, there’s a 7000 square foot outdoor rink located in the center of the Beech Tree Village. If you have young children, kids 4 and under skate free with paying adult.
Anyone with physical challenges will love Beech Mountain Adaptive Snowsports Center which caters to kids and adults with disabilities.
Beech Mountain Resort also offers a state-of-the-art tubing park adjacent to the Alpine Village at the base of the slopes. With chutes up to 700 feet in length, all ages can enjoy an exhilarating ride. The tubing area is serviced by a magic carpet conveyor, which transports riders quickly to the top!
After a day on the slopes, check out Beech Mountain Brewing Company. The brewery provides the perfect atmosphere to relax after a long day of mountain activity and features a bi-level facility with a large fireplace that is accessible for all visitors. No need to participate in resort activities to visit, the brewery is open to the general public.
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort
Ski the Wolf! Conveniently located in Mars Hill, NC just 5 miles off I-26 and 30 minutes north of Asheville, Wolf Ridge Ski Resort is a great destination for year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.
The Wolf is a family-oriented resort with 15 trail offerings for the ski, snowboard and tubing enthusiast. Lighted slopes mean that winter sports fun can be found day or night.
The rustic lodge overlooks the slopes and features three stone fireplaces with a large viewing area. A cafeteria, gift shop, rental shop, and group sales department can also be found in the lodge.
With a top elevation of 4,700 feet and a base elevation of 4,000 feet, skiers and snowboarders enjoy 700 feet of vertical drop. The lift system has 4 lifts total: 1 Quad, 1 Double, and 2 Moving Carpet Surface Lifts.
If you need lodging, there are several options from cabins, to townhomes, to nearby hotels.
Whether you are a beginner or expert, long-time regular or first-time visitor, you are sure to find exactly what you’re looking for at Wolf Ridge.
Appalachian Ski Mountain
Appalachian Ski Mountain in Blowing Rock, NC has twelve slopes, including two terrain parks and is serviced by one double chairlift, two quad chairlifts, two conveyor lifts, and one handle-pull lift.
The base lodge covers 46,000 square feet, is smoke-free, and has complimentary WIFI in the restaurant.
Appalachian Ski Mtn. features 27 acres of skiable terrain with 12 slopes and trails with three beginner, six intermediate, and three advanced. Peak elevation is 4,000 feet and vertical drop is 365 feet.
North Carolina’s only Zamboni maintained outdoor ice rink, Appalachian Ski Mtn. offers an outdoor ice-skating arena as a great complement to the slopes and is fully lighted for skating under the stars seven nights a week. Skaters and non-skaters alike can view the action and warm up by the rinkside bonfire. Skate rentals in traditional figure skates, as well as hockey skates are available.
Appalachian Ski Mtn. is the perfect getaway all year long with several lodging options for those wanting to stay overnight.
The onsite restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Enjoy the amazing view of the slopes from the dining room where visitors can sit, relax and warm themselves by the large stone fireplace.
Sapphire Valley Ski Area
Sapphire Valley Ski Resort offers affordable snow sports opportunities as part of a 5700-acre four-season resort. The resort features a moderate slope fit for intermediate skiers and ideal for youth and beginners.
Along with the Frozen Falls Tube Park and Winter Zip Line Experiences on The Vordach, Ski Sapphire is a great family retreat!
Sapphire Valley is nestled in one of the most scenic corners of the Blue Ridge mountains and is the closest resort to Atlanta, GA. The resort offers 8 acres of skiable terrain with two trails, one beginner, one intermediate, and a 500-foot tube park. Peak elevation is 3,780 feet with a vertical drop of 200 feet.
Lodging at Sapphire Valley includes villas, condos, and private homes. When your hunger gets the best of you, choose from small plate tapas to fully loaded gourmet dining because Sapphire Valley Resort has your taste buds covered.
My favorite food and beverage option is Sapphire Mountain Brewing Company, where you will find the only wood-fired pizza in the area. Yum!
Sugar Mountain Resort
A four-season resort, Sugar Mountain Resort is the largest resort in North Carolina and shines in the winter as a sought-after destination for skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, tubing, and ice skating. As a bonus, child care is available for an additional fee.
Located just off NC Hwy 184 approximately 2 miles east of Banner Elk, NC, Sugar Mountain is considered one of the premier winter sports destinations in North Carolina.
Sugar Mountain Resort features 125 acres of skiable area with 21 slopes and trails (seven beginner, 11 intermediate, three advanced), a tubing park and ice-skating rink. Sugar Mountain recently revamped its experience with new groomers and snow-making machines, new rental equipment, and a larger sports shop.
With a peak elevation of 5,300 feet and a vertical drop of 1,200 feet, Sugar Mountain has the most vertical drop of all NC ski areas. The longest run is 1.5 miles. Lifts include four doubles and one triple.
Sugar Mountain also offers a 700-foot, multi-lane tube run; ice skating; guided snowshoe tour; and public racing program.
Lodging options are extensive, so if you want to stay overnight or even longer, there are quite a few options to choose from. There are plenty of dining options too, so everyone in your party should find something to their liking.
So, choose a season, any season, and enjoy the incredible views and amenities of Sugar Mountain, North Carolina.
Check out any or all six North Carolina options for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports activities! Choose from:
Cataloochee Ski Area, Maggie Valley NC
Beech Mountain Ski Resort, Beech Mountain NC
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, Mars Hill NC
Appalachian Ski Mountain, Blowing Rock NC
Sapphire Valley Ski Area, Sapphire Valley NC
Sugar Mountain, Banner Elk NC
Have you visited any of these North Carolina ski, snowboard, and winter sports destinations? Let me know in a comment below what you liked the most about your visit!
Going to have to pass these sites on to a friend whose big into skiing!
Please do, especially if your friend lives near the Southeast part of the US. 🙂
I can’t wait to try out one of these winter escape retreats soon! I am from Charlotte, NC and can you believe I’ve never tried out any of these places during the colder months for vacation?
Charlotte is an easy day trip to any of these great resorts. I hope you’re able to give on a try this winter. Each resort offers lessons if you are in need of ski instruction before you hit the slopes.
As usual Bibi, great photos and excellent information. There’s always such useful details and insider information in your articles! And the photos always make me want to go there, even if it wasn’t in my plans!
I just moved to North Carolina and was talking with my husband about teaching the kids to Ski in January or February! Thank you so much for this resource. You saved me an hour of googling! haha
I’m moving to Maggie Valley next month…we should meet at Cataloochee!
I love snow a lot but didn’t sking yet. I wish I will do. It looks like you enjoyed a lot.
I didn’t learn to ski until I was in my mid-50’s. If I can do it, anyone can!
I’ve been wanting to visit Beech mountain for awhile now!
I will be moving to Maggie Valley next month so Cataloochee with be my go-to resort, but the rest are pretty fantastic too!
I am definitely going to check these out. I just recently moved to NC so I want to see all it has to offer! Looks so fun!
Oh, yes, North Carolina truly has it all as far as recreation and things to do is concerned.
This is awesome!! I love skiing but its been many years since I’ve been!
You should think about giving skiing another try. I just learned a few years ago and I’m pushing 60 years old.
I would adore going to a snowboard resort! These places all look amazing! Thank you for the awesome winter get-away inspiration :).
The western part of North Carolina is special in many ways, but the mountains and all the recreation opportunities they offer make this part of the country superb!
I actually lived in North Carolina when I was a teenager for awhile… but I never skied! I still don’t, and now I’ve just moved to Montreal, where there is another amazing ski area too. I think I had better take some lessons to enjoy this activity!
Yes, Chelsea, I think it’s time for you to take some lessons and enjoy the slopes!