Best Skiing in NC This Winter 2021 – 2022

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5 Best Skiing Resorts in NC

Looking for the best places to go skiing and snowboarding in NC? You will be happy to learn North Carolina has some amazing ski resorts and lodges in the Blue Ridge Mountains (which is a part of the Appalachian Mountains)! In this guide, we will be covering the best places to visit in North Carolina to go skiing and snowboarding. Make sure to add these ski resorts to your NC bucket list this winter! 

Roan Mountain in Winter

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Sugar Mountain Ski Resort

One of the most popular places to go skiing in NC is likely Sugar Mountain Ski Resort. This Ski resort is located right in the adorable town of Banner Elk located in North Western NC. Sugar Mountain has been open for skiing for over 50 years, offers 21 runs, 125 acres of skiable acres, and has a summit elevation of 5,300 ft! 

On top of that, Sugar Mountain resort just added a new high-speed 4 person chair lift to get skiers and snowboarders up the mountain in record time. The mountain now offers a total of 8 lifts, a vertical drop of 1,200 ft., and the longest run of 1 and a half miles. 

Of their 21 runs (15 runs at night), they classify 14% as expert, 52% intermediate, and 34% beginner. They offer something for every ski level with tons of green and blue trails.

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort also offers some of the best snow tubing in NC, ice skating, and snowshoe guided tours. During your visit, you will have access to the free shuttle, on-mountain dining, and their ski rental shop and lockers.

If you’re interested in seeing current snow conditions, Sugar Mountain has set up live cams of the mountain. 

Lift tickets are sold in sessions and prices are dependant on the day of the week and holidays. Lift tickets for Sugar Mountain range from $33 – $80 USD. They also offer season passes.

Sessions are broken down as Full Day: 9 AM – 4:30 PM; Half Day: 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM; Twilight: 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM & 6 PM – 10:00 PM (closed 4:30 – 6:00pm); Night: 6 PM – 10:00 PM.

For more information on tickets, Ski conditions, live cams, and more head to Sugar Mountains website here.

The best places to stay around Sugar Mountain include the towns of Banner Elk (closest), Blowing Rock, and Boone. All 3 towns offer Winter Wonderland vibes in the USA.

Rentals: Yes 

Snowmaking: Yes

Address: 1009 Sugar Mountain Dr, Sugar Mountain, NC 28604

Telephone: (828) 898-4521

skiing in nc

Beech Mountain Resort

Another really popular place to go skiing in NC is at Beech Mountain Ski Resort. Beech Mountain is actually the highest ski mountain in North Carolina along with the entire east coast with a peak elevation of 5,506 ft. 

Beech Mountain has been open for skiing since 1967 and offers 17 trails, 95 skiable areas, and a 1-mile long run. 

Of the runs, 3 are marked as easy, 7 are moderate, 4 are difficult, and 2 are freestyle terrain.

Moreover, this NC ski resort offers ice skating, snow tubing, 4 restaurants (including Beech Mountain Brewing Company and sky bar), 2 shops, and a full rental shop. 

Season passes are on sale now with the expected open date of November 20th, 2021.

Lift tickets are sold by Day: 9 AM – 5 PM; Morning Half-Day: 9 AM – 1 PM; Afternoon Half-Day: 1 PM – 5 PM; Twilight: 1 PM – Close; Night: 5 PM – Close; Beech Pass: 9 AM – Close. Ticket prices range from $35 – $87 USD.

Adults 70+ can ski for free!

For more information on tickets, rentals, and live snow condition cams, check Beech Mountain Resort here.

The best places to stay around Beech Mountain include the towns of Banner Elk (closest), Blowing Rock, and Boone, North Carolina.

Rentals: Yes 

Snowmaking: Yes

Address: 1007 S Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain, NC 28604

Telephone: (800) 438-2093

Visit the ski slopes during the winter with a weekend in Boone, NC

Appalachian Ski Mountain Resort

Located in one of my favorite North Carolina towns, Blowing Rock, Appalachian Ski Resort is smaller than the others and has more of a local feel.

When skiing or snowboarding at this NC ski resort, you will find 12 slopes, 6 lifts, 3 Terrain Parks (what they are most known for), and a peak elevation of 4,000 feet. 

If you plan on hitting the freestyle terrain parks, you will need to fill out an application online or in-person beforehand for safety reasons. This application can be found here.

The longest run is 1/2 mile, and there are 3 easy runs, 6 more difficult runs, and 3 most difficult runs. Additionally, you can enjoy an ice skating arena, a restaurant, nursery, Ski rental, and gift shop. 

This year they are scheduling to open for winter activities on November 19th, 2021 – March 26th, 2022. All tickets need to be purchased ahead of time on their website here. 

Sessions are offered in Multi-day ski tickets (2-5 days); 8hr flex consecutive hours: 9 AM -5 PM; Super Session: 9 AM – 10 PM or Midnight; Night session: 5 PM – 10 PM; Midnight Blast Session: 5 PM-Midnight. They also have season memberships and other special rates. Prices range from $24 – $69 USD. 

The best places to stay around Appalacian Mountain include the towns of Blowing Rock (closest), Boone (still close), and Banner Elk (a little further).

Rentals: Yes 

Snowmaking: Yes

Address: 940 Ski Mountain Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Telephone: (828) 295-7828

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

If you are looking to go skiing or snowboarding closer to Asheville, NC, consider heading to the Wolf Ridge Ski Resort. Their ski lodge is located about 30 minutes north of Asheville near the Tennessee border. 

The Wolf Ridge Ski Resort opened in 1969. Present-day, you can enjoy 14 runs, a top elevation of 4,700, a vertical drop of 700 ft, 54 acres of ski terrain, and 4 ski lifts. Additionally, you can also go tubing! 

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort offers 4 easy trails, 9 intermediate trails, and 2 difficult trails.

Lift tickets are sold as follows: Day Area Pass: 9 AM – 4:30 PM; Half-Day Pass: 1 PM – 4:30 PM; Night Area Pass: 6 PM – 10 PM; Twilight Area Pass: 1 PM – 10 PM; Extended Area Pass: 9 AM – 10 PM. Tickets range from $28-82 UDS.

Wolf Ridge recommends you “purchase your lift tickets online 24 hrs advance. If you do not purchase in advance you can purchase directly at the walk-up ticket window. NO refunds on tickets purchased online. Any changes in bookings are based on availability and require 72 hr notice. Tickets must be redeemed at the Ticket Booth. Please bring a valid ID and a copy of your receipt.”

For more information on lift tickets and rentals check Wolf Ridge’s Rate sheet. 

Rentals: Yes 

Snowmaking: Yes

Address: 578 Valley View Circle Mars Hill, NC 28754

Telephone: (828) 689-4111

Cataloochee Ski Area

Known as the oldest ski resort in NC opening in 1961, the Cataloochee Ski Area resort is located in the quaint town of Maggie Valley in the Smoky Mountains. This NC ski resort offers 18 slopes and trails including the “Cat Cage” Terrain Park.

During your trip to the Cataloochee Ski Area, you can experience a top elevation of 5,400 ft., 50 acres of ski terrain, a 740 ft. drop, and Tube World in Maggie Valley (snow tubing) with up to 10 lanes!

Of the 18 tails at Cataloochee Ski resort, 44% are for beginners, 39% for intermediate and 17% are advanced to expert.

Lift tickets are sold by 4 hours, 6 hours, night tickets, and season passes. The tickets range from $26 – $76 USD.

For more information on tickets, rentals, and ski conditions, check the Cataloochee Ski Area website.

When planning a trip to Cataloochee Ski Area, consider staying in Maggie Valley, NC, or Asheville, NC. 

Rentals: Yes 

Snowmaking: Yes

Address: 1080 Ski Lodge Road Maggie Valley, NC 28751

Telephone: (828) 926-0285

skiing in NC Cataloochee Ski Resort Mt. at sunset
Photo Credit: lukesuttonphoto.com

When to Go Skiing, Snowboarding, and Tubing in NC

The best time to go skiing in NC and do winter activities is in the months of mid-November through March. Since the weather can still get pretty warm in the south, all the North Carolina Ski resorts do make their own snow, but they are still dependant on weather as well. 

Every year is different, so it is always best to call ahead of time. Additionally, if North Carolina is experiencing a large snowstorm in the mountains, it takes a while for them to clear the roads and many things shut down. 

man and women on the top of the ski mountain with skis on, hats, and goggles leaning into each other.

Where to Stay for Skiing in NC

When thinking about where to stay in NC for skiing, one thing to know is Sugar Mountain, Beech Mountain, and Appalacian Mountain Resort are all relatively close to each other. You could spend a weekend in Boone, NC (3 days) and be able to visit all 3 ski mountains if you wanted to.

The Ski season is very popular in NC, so I’d recommend booking your accommodations ahead of time. Our favorite towns to stay in for the above 3 ski resorts include Boone, Banner Elk, and Blowing Rock. All 3 towns will be within 15 minutes to an hour away from the slopes depending on which ski mountain you are interested in. 

Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock (Lodge) | Hampton Inn & Suites Boone | Courtyard by Marriott Boone | Banner Elk | Vacation Home

For Cataloochee Ski Area and Wolf Ridge Ski Lodge, you are better staying in or around Asheville, NC.  Some of the best places to stay in Asheville are: The Omni Grove Park Inn | Cambria Hotel Downtown Asheville | Crowne Plaza Resort | Vacation home

Skiing in North Carolina Tips

Now that you know some of the best places to go skiing and snowboarding in NC, here are some tips to know before you visit the mountain.

  • Dress in layers. You can always take clothes off, but you can’t put more on.
  • Bring sunscreen. On sunny days, you can still get sunburn from the snow reflecting.
  • It is recommeded to have waterproof jackets, bibs, snow pants, etc, especially if you are a beginner. It is not fun being cold and wet. If you don’t want to buy your own, most places rent bibs to use.
  • Goggles are worth it!
  • Most ski resorts don’t allow drones. Sorry.
  • Don’t bang your skis or snowboard while on the lift. Bindings can get lose and fall off.
  • Follow all additional rules the ski lodge puts in place.
  • When in doubt, call the mountain or get in touch with an employee.

Best Places to go Skiing in NC: Wrap-up

This concludes the top ski and snowboard resorts in NC! I hope you have the best time hitting up the Blue Ridge Mountain slopes in Western North Carolina!

You may also be interested in: Blue Ridge Mountain Road Trip | North Carolina Fun Facts | Free Things to do in Raleigh

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Skiing in NC - North Carolina Ski Resorts and Lodges

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