Ski and snowboarding season is officially here! So if you’re ready to start planning your ski and snowboarding adventure and take it to the North Carolina or West Virgina slopes, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve had many people reach out for suggestions on where to ski in North Carolina so I wanted to share my top picks to make it easier to plan your mountain trip this winter.
Although I’m more of a Florida girl, I’ve lived in North Carolina now for 15 years and have done my share of exploring the best of what North Carolina has to offer. I’ve even thrown in a couple of my West Virginia favorites that are not too much further out if you choose to venture a little further north.
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Image is credited to Ski Sugar
Lets start out with…
Sugar Mountain Ski Resort
Sugar is great for beginners and experts alike with plenty of runs to choose from. It’s also a top pick for snowboarders with one of the longest runs on the mountain. I would recommend this one if it’s your first time snowboarding or skiing.
The lodge has a large outdoor deck as well as a cozy indoor sitting area with a bar and restaurant, a large stone fireplace for warming up and a wall of windows that overlooks the slopes so you can see all the action from the inside while keeping warm. It’s probably the best lodge out of all the ski resorts in NC, if you ask me.
Sugar also offers tubing, ice skating, and snowshoeing if you want to give that a try.
View the resort trail map to get a complete look at the lifts and slopes currently open.
Beech Mountain Ski Resort
This one leans more toward the intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders if you want more challenging run options. It’s got a peak elevation of 5,506 feet, which makes it known for being the highest ski area in the eastern US. It also offers a Burton Learn-to-Ride center for the inspired snowboarders 6-12 years of age.
I love the vibe at Beech Mountain and the cute villages nearby that make the area quaint and cozy. The drive up the mountain is beautiful but with that you’ll find a lot of tight twists and turns so be sure you have a 4-wheel drive and good snow or all season tires before venturing out.
Get the lo-down on the lifts and trails here.
The lodge offers a bar and restaurant as well as an indoor and outdoor sitting area. Ice skating and tubing are also options at Beech Mountain for those not interested in the slopes. Be sure to check out the events page to schedule your trip on or around them as they always have something fun going on.
Winterplace Ski Resort
If you want to venture up to West Virginia, Winterplace Ski Resort is awesome and is just about the same distance from Charlotte as Sugar is, except going north. It’s great for skiing and snowboarding with lots of trail options from beginner to advanced with the longest trail run being 1.25 miles. Long runs are ideal to make it more enjoyable and less time in line for the lift.
They also have the largest snow tubing park in West Virginia with 2 lifts and 20 chutes spanning 800 feet long if tubing is more up your alley.
What I love about Winterplace is that their snowmaking is 100% based on weather which means no man-made snow. You get the real stuff! 🙂 They have 27 slopes, 10 lifts and 1 terrain park. You’ll want to keep the mountain’s trail map on you to make it easier to navigate.
*The terrain park is currently closed due to weather conditions so check before going if that’s something that interests you.
Dining is basically fast food there but you can opt for far better food options in the surrounding area.
Snowshoe Mountain Resort
Snowshoe is my ultimate fave! It’s the next best thing to the midwest and consists of trail options spanning across three separate ski areas –
The Snowshoe Basin which sits right off Snowshoe village and is ski-in and ski-out. Here you’ll find slopes for all levels from beginner to intermediate to expert level. With 37 trails to choose from, 2 terrain parks and 7 lifts there is fun to be had by everyone! The lifts are pretty fast too so waiting in line is less.
Silver Creek is known for its night skiing which is popular among locals. Here you’ll find 15 trails, 12 for night skiing, 6 lifts, a tube park with 8 runs, and 3 terrain parks. There are trails for beginners as well as expert level.
Western Territory (now Cupp Run) has more advanced terrain and is more for the adventurous and “no fear” skier who prefers the steeper runs and a good challenge. Here you’ll find 4 trails and 1 lift.
Snowshoe states they make their snow but where it sits on the mountain, there is always plenty of the natural stuff making the slopes perfect for skiing or snowboarding. On average, they get about 15 feet of snow each season so you can definitely expect the fluffy powder stuff!
And, from what I understand, the resort has recently invested in new snowmaking equipment to guarantee that Snowshoe has 100% snow coverage across the mountain if for some reason Mother Nature doesn’t pull through. Otherwise, you get a free lift ticket to use on your next visit if they don’t have more snow than any other resort in the area.
My favorite part of Snowshoe is the village where you’ll find retail shops, restaurants, cafes and more. I would suggest booking your stay in the Snowshoe Basin at the village so you can walk around and enjoy all that it has to offer including Split Rock heated pool and hot tub. Makes a perfect end of the day wind down after a long day of skiing or snowboarding. There’s also a sauna among many other activities to choose from.
The pool sits across from Alleghany Springs which I highly recommend considering a stay at or Rimfire which is smack dab in the middle of it all and has a Starbucks that sits just outside of it. Highland House is also nice and closer to the beginner slopes.
Snowshoe is definitely worth the trip for an experience you’ll always remember.