5 Top-Rated Ski Resorts in North Carolina (2022)
Are there any Ski Resorts in North Carolina? While the east coast may not have a reputation for Skiing, North Carolina is exceptional. The Western mountains of North Carolina are home to a handful but tempting Skiing destinations. This winter wonderland of immeasurable beauty attracts skiing enthusiasts from far and wide. The dominant western mountain landscape in the state features snow-capped hills and valleys, towering trees, crystalline lakes, and all of that, which makes a dreamy winter escapade. While the size and Skiing of North Carolina resorts aren’t comparable to the other U.S. States, they don’t even deserve ignorance.
Skiing in North Carolina has a family-friendly reputation. The unexpected pleasures for skiers and visitors here stay throughout the long winters. Though North Carolina receives its fair share of snow, the Ski resorts here are well equipped for snowmaking in case the weather goes slightly unexpected. Besides that, Skiing in this Southern U.S. State is quite affordable to many other destinations in the west. Here’s our depth research for a complete look at the best places to Ski in North Carolina.
5 Top-Rated Ski Resorts in North Carolina
The 5 Top-Rated Ski Resorts in North Carolina will surely leave you with some exciting choices. Have a look:
1. Sugar Mountain Ski Resort
Sugar Mountain Resort is the best Ski resort in North Carolina, featuring the largest ski area. It features a vertical drop of 1200 feet with some of the most diverse range of runs. Sugar Mountain Ski resort is home to 125 acres of skiable terrain featuring 21 runs, 8 lifts, and grounds for tubing, ice skating, snowshoeing, and snowboarding. The resort receives an average of 78 inches of natural snow each winter and operates from November end through March. Snow conditions, though, may vary each year, but all the slopes here have modern snowmaking capabilities to make up for it all. Enthusiasts can enjoy several options, including a full day, half-day, twilight, or even night session.
The Sugar Mountain Resort also features a 10,000-square-foot ice rink along with 700 feet of tubing lanes. Enthusiasts who want to stay back can choose from Secluded log cabins and Mountaintop condos. There’s even a base lodge with an indoor sitting area and a large outdoor deck. Skiing charges at Sugar Mountain range from $49 to $80 for full-day service.
TIP: The town of Banner Elk is just 10 minutes from Sugar Mountain Resort. The town is well set for visitors with reliable hotels and excellent dining options. Staying at Banner Elk also allows individuals to access another destination, the Beech Mountain ski resort.
2. Appalachian Ski Mountain
Appalachian Ski Mountain sits at 4,000 feet and is the lowest ski resort in North Carolina. Featuring only 27 acres of skiable acreage, it though is North Carolina’s smallest ski resort; however, both locals and visitors count it as their favorite. Appalachian Ski Mountain features three terrain parks, 10 ski runs, 1 handle pull lift, 1 conveyor lift, 2 double chairlifts, and 2 Quad chairlifts. The well-groomed and non-threatening slopes here are great for beginners and intermediate-level skiers. However, if you are an expert, the lack of challenges might disappoint you a little. The ski season at App begins on the Friday before Thanksgiving and stays on the chart until the first weekend of April, the longest in North Carolina.
Operating since 1962, Appalachian also features a stunning 46,000-square-foot Bavarian-style base lodge. Besides that, it is also home to a 200-foot observation deck, a restaurant, ski shop, video game room, meeting rooms, gift shop, and a kid’s nursery. Skiers can also go for slopeside lodgings and stay at vacation homes with 180-degree views. Skiing charges at Appalachian Ski Mountain from $29 to $69.
TIP: The town of Blowing Rock is just an 8-minute drive away from Appalachian Ski Mountain. This lively college town has a downtown, a decent selection of hotels, and some excellent restaurants and shops.
3. Beech Mountain Ski Resort
Beech Mountain is a local’s favorite and one top-rated Ski resorts in North Carolina. With a summit of 5,505 feet, it is also the highest ski area in the eastern USA. The ski resort is spread over 95 skiable acres, featuring 17 runs and a total vertical drop of 830 feet. Besides that, it is home to 8 lifts, a huge terrain park, a Burton Learn-to-Ride center for kids, top-to-bottom and freestyle runs, and the best snowmaking. Beech Mountain Ski Resort has a unique and fun vibe, making it a local’s favorite. It hosts several fun events throughout the skiing season, including the Retro 80s weekend in February. This crazy skiing event is considered the social event of the winter and is quite fun to be a part of.
Beech Mountain Ski Resort is also popular for its tubing and skating adventures. Individuals who are done with Skiing and seeking added options can visit the on-site skating rink and tubing park. The best part about Beech Ski is its kids’ friendly nature. The resort features a school that offers beginner and advanced lessons for young enthusiasts. Other popular features of the resort include our restaurants, a rental facility, and two sports shops. Skiing charges at Beech Mountain range from $32 to $37.
TIP: Banner Elk and Beech Mountain’s towns are near the skiing resort. Individuals can find multiple resorts, lodging, and dining options within less than 2 miles.
Caution: Beech Mountain Ski Resort sits at an elevation of 5,500 feet. The elevation won’t affect you if you are from a nearby region. However, visitors from coastal and other near sea level towns should come with precautions considering the effects of altitude. Specially individuals with respiratory diseases must consult their doctor before planning a visit here.
4. Wolf Ridge Ski Resort
Wolf Ridge is a charming and small Ski resort minutes from Interstate 26 and a 40-minute drive away from Asheville, and 30 minutes from Mars Hill. The resort spans over 54 acres of skiable terrain, 15 runs, 1 quad, 1 double, and 2 surface lifts, and a total vertical drop of 700 feet. The resort mainly caters to beginners and intermediate-level skiers, ideally families. Though it receives a good amount of snow through the winters, Wolf Ridge has 100 percent snowmaking capabilities even if the weather cheats. Apart from Skiing, individuals can also indulge in snow tubing. The resort features a huge slope with dimensions like 350 feet in length, 100 feet in bottom width, and 60 feet in top width.
Wolf Ridge’s proximity to prominent cities makes it one popular weekend destination as well. Friday through Sunday, the resort is heavily crowded. However, for managing every visitor with ease, it has its impressive in-house lodge, with charming rustic décor, three stone fireplaces, a café’ style grill, a gift shop, a rental shop, and a ski school. Skiing charges at Wolf Ridge range from $35 to $70.
TIP: Though Wolf Ridge is an easy day trip destination, in case you want to stay back, there are a few options nearby. Hotels and Cabin rentals nearby accommodate both individuals and groups. Nearby town Asheville also has a range of great accommodation and dining choices.
5. Cataloochee Ski Area
The oldest ski destination in North Carolina, Cataloochee Ski Area impresses with its panoramic views of the famous Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Boosting one of the longest Skiing seasons in the State, Cataloochee is easily accessible from Asheville as well as the towns of South Carolina and Tennessee. It features 50 acres of Skibale terrain, one terrain park, 18 runs, 3 aerial lifts, 2 moving carpet lifts, and excellent snowmaking technologies. The elevation at Cataloochee reaches up to 5400 feet and has a vertical drop of 740 feet. Skiing season here begins in November and stays lively through March.
Besides Skiing, the Cataloochee Ski Area is also popular for its Tubing opportunities. It features a Tube world with safe and well-groomed slopes. There’s also an on-site PSIA-AASI Member School that provides lessons for all types of snow activities. At the base of the skiing hill lies a rustic lodge with a patio where people can sit, relax, and will themselves with something warm. Skiing charges at Cataloochee Ski Area ranges from $35 to $76.
TIP: Maggie Valley is the closest settlement to Cataloochee Ski Area. It is just a few miles from the hill and houses a range of budget to mid-range hotels. Alternatively, Asheville is just an hour’s drive away from the ski area.