The state of North Carolina is situated in the southeast of the country. Although not recognized for its snowy winters, North Carolina has some excellent skiing. North Carolina has several high base altitudes, stunning vistas, sunlight, and some of the top ski slopes in the eastern United States. You and your traveling companions will have a wonderful skiing experience. Thanks to the ski resorts in NC Mountains, which offer exceptional snowmaking operations for its slopes.
Most of the state’s ski areas are also near beautiful mountain towns where there are numerous entertainment options and easy access to amenities. Two of North Carolina’s top ski resorts are in Banner Elk, a little town two hours from Charlotte. The ski resorts provide a variety of beginning and more challenging terrain and have snowmaking facilities to ensure an unlimited supply of new snow and ideal conditions. This is the ideal base for skiers who wish to go skiing for more than just a day.
Explore our guide to the best ski resorts in the NC mountains for a detailed look at the best locations to ski and where to stay.
Beech Mountain is the highest ski resort in the eastern USA, with a peak elevation of 5,506 feet. It has 95 skiable acres and a total vertical drop of 830 feet, with 17 slopes. In 2022-2023, the present terrain park will be demolished to make room for a fixed-grip quad to take the place of Lift #1’s double chair.
The tubing facility will have its own snowmaking system, and night skiing is available. Also, the surrounding resort towns of Beech Mountain, Banner Elk, and Sugar Mountain provide lodging. Several hotels and restaurants on Beech Mountain are geared toward skiers, and a little over 300 people live there.
North Carolina’s Appalachian Ski Resort is a traditional ski resort with a focus on families. It includes a huge chalet at the base, three terrain parks, and a lift ticket system. Riders must complete an online or in-person test before they can ride the higher-level terrain parks. Flex tickets are good for eight consecutive hours, and the resort provides night skiing until 10 pm weeknights and until midnight on the weekends. Blowing Rock, Boone, and the Indian restaurant Mint Cuisine are nearby towns with lodging options.
The largest among the ski resorts in the NC mountains is Sugar Mountain Resort, which has eight lifts and 125 acres of skiable terrain. Meanwhile, the previous Oma’s Meadow chair was replaced in 2022–2023 with a high–speed detachable quad lift, which reduced the ride’s duration from nine to two minutes. New computerized lockers, a sizable outside deck, as well as a sitting space within the base lodge are all examples of changes. It is simple for visitors to reach the adjacent Beech Mountain ski resort from Banner Elk, the area’s principal town.
Moreover, even as Banner Elk has a population of only 1,100, it is well-equipped for tourists with B&Bs, small inns, and big hotels. Together with that, it boasts two well-known eateries: Banner Elk Café and Lodge and Sorrento’s Italian Restaurant.
The oldest ski area in North Carolina is Cataloochee Ski Area, which opened a year before Appalachian. It provides night skiing seven days a week during the regular season and includes 18 slopes and one terrain park. A little cabin with a terrace at the foot of the hill serves wholesome fare. Be ready if it’s snowing because the way up is crooked and steep. Maggie Valley, which has motels ranging in price from upscale to affordable, is the nearest location to base oneself for skiing.
The commute from Cataloochee to Asheville takes less than one hour. The package known as the Indy Pass includes Cataloochee.
Around 40 minutes north of Asheville lies the modest yet picturesque ski resort of Wolf Ridge. However, it has 14 lines, four lifts, and provides snowboarding and night skiing. The lodge has two floors of enormous windows and three stone fireplaces. The resort is simple to reach by car, and parking is not expensive. Accommodations in nearby communities also include the Comfort Hotel in Mars Hill, North Carolina, or the Mountain Inn & Suites in Erwin, Tennessee. It’s 30 minutes from Asheville.
#6. Sapphire Valley
Sapphire Valley is an elegant ski resort in North Carolina with excellent skiing conditions, food, entertainment, and stunning vistas. It also offers a community center and holiday homes for families. Ski Sapphire Valley is a mountain ideal for beginners just learning to ski or snowboard. It has 3 lifts, 2 routes, Frozen Falls Tubing, and the River Walk.
The expected start and end dates are December 2022 and March 2023. Furthermore, the community of Sapphire Valley provides opulent vacation properties with breathtaking scenery. Dillsboro and Franklin, two nearby towns with lodging choices, each provide a range of food and retail alternatives.
North Carolina’s Ski Season
Compared to other northern states, North Carolina’s ski season is shorter. Although this varies from year to year, resorts are typically open around mid-to-late November. They are nearly usually open in time for Thanksgiving, with the exception of Wolf Ridge, which can open later. Be ready for worsening weather between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when temperatures might rise and cause snow to melt. Generally speaking, you won’t need to carry a ton of cold-weather clothing if you want to go skiing in North Carolina.
Finally, as the mountains are not very high, the average midday temperature is just slightly below zero. When it comes to skiing, late February and early March are the ideal times. The snowfall base is at its thickest, the days begin to lengthen, and they are typically warm with the sun recovering some of its brightness. Although Wolf Ridge often closes early in March, the season concludes towards the end of March.
How many Ski Resorts Does NC Have?
Choose from North Carolina’s six ski areas and locations: Wolf Ridge, Sapphire Valley, Sugar Mountain, Beech Mountain, and Appalachian.
What is the Largest Ski Resort in NC?
By nearly 20 areas, Sugar Mountain is the largest ski resort in North Carolina (total of 115 acres of skiable terrain). With local hotel establishments, the well-known mountain provides some fantastic stay-and-play ski packages.
What is the Least Crowded Ski Resort in North Carolina?
Wolf Ridge is recognized as North Carolina’s most accessible ski resort due to its near proximity to Asheville. The resort is smaller than others, but it is also far less expensive and frequently a lot less busy. Wolf Ridge offers 15 ski routes as well as night skiing on illuminated paths.