When you think of snow skiing, normally, North Carolina isn’t the first place people think of. Now let me warn you, this is in no comparison to skiing out West in the Rockies, but here in the East with the Blue Ridge Mountains, we do have some options for North Carolina ski resorts. The beautiful thing is you don’t have to fly across the country to get some snow skiing in.
Southern skiing relies almost 100% on snowmaking; as the day goes on, the snow can get groomed down and get icier. The key to accessing optimal conditions, most days, is to get out early and ski as much as you can before lunch.
The heart of the ski season is really between two months, January and February, when the conditions are at their best, but a lot of the ski resorts below push to open in November.
North Carolina Ski Resorts
Beech Mountain Ski Resort
Beech Mountain Resort first opened in 1967 and is currently the highest ski area in Eastern America. They have a total of 17 trails, one terrain park, and eight lifts. At Beech Mountain, you will find 95 acres of skiable area; the top elevation is 5,506 ft, and the base elevation is 4,675 ft, which gives you 830 ft of vertical drop. They have the capacity for over 10,000 skiers per hour. Their longest run is 5,280 ft.
In addition to skiing, they provide snow tubing as well. Located away from the regular slopes, you will find their upgraded terrain park for freestyle skiers and snowboarders. The terrain park includes half-pipes and other features and jumps.
If you are looking for snow, the area of Beech Mountain gets, on average, 84 inches of snowfall per year. For 2022, they are projecting their opening day to be tentatively Saturday, November 19th. This is one of the more popular North Carolina Ski Resorts.
The Lodge offers quick food and drink options. It’s a great place to meet up with everyone during the day to warm up! It’s cafeteria-style on one side, and on the other side, you’ll find a small area for adult beverages. Enjoy an amazing view of the slopes from the floor-to-ceiling windows, sit by the fireplace, and relax.
Check out our article on snow tubing. The snow tubing park is located adjacent to the ice skating rink in the resort village, with sweeping north-facing views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Just one more activity to enjoy at Beech Mountain is ice skating. They provide a 7,000 sq ft outdoor ice skating rink, which is located in the resort village. Enjoy beautiful views of the mountain vistas during your two-hour session. Admission includes the skate rental.
They have two restaurants, a full sports shop, a full rental facility and they provide wireless internet.
Check out their Skybar, a 5,506 ft circular, glass-enclosed bar and restaurant. Located near the chairlift at the top of the mountain, it’s a fantastic way to take a break and get amazing views of the mountaintop during your ski day! It’s the highest indoor/outdoor Skybar and restaurant east of the Mississippi.
They offer quick snacks and beverage options. While you are enjoying your beverage, sit in one of their Adirondack chairs and take in the views of the mountains. You will also find heated bathrooms to warm up! Please note you must have a lift ticket to access the Skybar.
Beech Mountain Brewing Company
They have their own craft brewery on location, and there are two options to enjoy in the resort village.
- Taproom & Grill is the larger of the two options. They serve food and drink in a traditional ski lodge setting. They offer lunch, dinner, or just stop for a cold beer. You will find sandwiches, burgers, salads, and wings.
- The Brewhouse is next to the Taproom & Grill. This is where they make all craft beers. It’s more of a traditional brewery experience; order a flight, and you can sample many of their beers. You will find trivia and karaoke available at certain times.
The Red Baron Room is located downstairs of the Taproom & Grill. It’s their version of a speakeasy. It’s a French-style bar serving craft cocktails and rare bourbons. It’s a fantastic place to grab a quick bite and have fun playing a game of billiards after a day out on the slopes.
They have the latest performance ski equipment from Rossignol and snowboard technology from Burton. They offer multi-day rentals, making it easier to ski for more than one day and no need to wait in line daily. They also provide clothing rentals; there is no need to purchase ski coats or ski pants just for a weekend ski trip!
Beech Mountain Resort offers lessons as well, starting at age four and up.
Season tickets are available for purchase.
Daily tickets start at $40 during the week for adults and $64 on the weekends/holidays for 4 hours of skiing; you can choose from 4, 8, or 12 hours. For juniors 12 and under, tickets start at $30 during the week and $49 on the weekends/holidays.
Senior pricing is the same as the junior rate, and adults over 70+ ski free. Kids 4 and under ski free with a ticketed adult. You can also choose to purchase multi-day tickets for the 2023/2024 season.
Night Skiing and Snowboarding
Available from 5 p.m. until close, normally 9 p.m. or 10 p.m.
Hours of Operations
Open seven days a week.
Sunday-Thursday: 9 am thru 9 pm
Friday and Saturday: 9 am thru 10 pm
Weekday pricing extends from Sunday at 5 pm until Friday at 5 pm
Weekend pricing extends from Friday at 5 pm until Sunday at 5 pm
1007 Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain, NC 28604
Beech Mountain is near Banner Elk, NC, and about a 2 ½ hr drive from Charlotte and a 4 hr drive from Raleigh, NC.
Hotels Near Beech Mountain Ski Resort
You will find various slope-side villas, ski-in chalets, and rental homes like Above the Clouds resort condo.
Hotels include Best Western Mountain Lodge At Banner Elk, Holiday Inn University Area Boone, and Hampton Inn & Suites Boone.
Other activities to enjoy in the Beech Mountain area include snowshoeing. Beech Mountain has a trail system that can be used for snowshoeing. You will find trails ranging from easy to moderate to strenuous. You can rent shoes from the Buckeye Recreation Center. You can rent for half a day at a time. You can also call them and ask about guided experiences.
In the Fall, check out the Autumn at Land of Oz Festival too!
Sugar Mountain Ski Resort
Sugar Mountain Resort was established in 1969, and during the winter, you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and more! Snowboarders are welcome on all slopes. Sugar Mountain is the largest ski area in NC by about 30 acres. They have a total of 20 trails and eight lifts.
At Sugar Mountain, you will find 125 acres of skiable area; the top elevation is 5,300 ft, and the base elevation is 4,100 ft, which gives you a 1,200 ft vertical drop. They have a capacity for over 13,000 skiers per hour.
The trail classifications are split up to 20% expert, including a double-black diamond run, 40% intermediate, and 40% beginner. In addition to skiing, they provide snow tubing, ice skating, and snowshoeing as well. Sugar Mountain has started to open some of its slopes as of November 14, 2022.
Some say the big competition is between Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain for experienced skiers. We seem to find that a lot of people favor Sugar Mountain over Beech Mountain for better conditions and snow, but it will all come down to personal preference. You cannot go wrong with either of these North Carolina Ski Resorts.
Night Skiing and Snowboarding
Out of the 20 slopes, 14 of them are lighted for night riding. The slopes are open from 6 pm to 10 pm each night which still covers 100 of the 125 total skiable acres.
They have an outdoor skating rink that covers 10,000 sq feet. They provide skate sessions six times per day for 1 ½ hours long. Daily sessions are at 10 a.m., Noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. Lighted night session times are 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Skate rentals are available. You will find the ice rink near the parking lot D. The rates for ice skating are midweek/non-holiday: $25 per session, weekends/holidays: $35 per session.
Snow tubing is available.
Snowshoe Guided Tours
Tours are offered three times a week on Mon, Wed, and Fri at 3 p.m. They also have times on Sat at either 9 am or 3 pm and are based on instructor availability. The tour is one hour long and provides snowshoes. They have both adult tours of 12+ and children tours between the ages of 8-11. The rate for a snowshoe tour is $33 per person, including snowshoe rental.
350 Seat Cafeteria (open from 8 am – 10 pm daily)
250 Seat “Top Floor” Cafeteria (open when needed)
“Last Run Lounge” Restaurant
Outdoor grill on deck (weather permitting)
Annex snack bar
Parking / Shuttle
Free and convenient parking is located in lots A-D and 1-6 at the base of Sugar Mountain Resort. Free shuttle buses run every weekend and during the holiday period from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. (or as needed) from each parking lot to the Base Lodge.
The Village of Sugar Mountain Tourism Development Authority provides free shuttle service from many points throughout the Village of Sugar Mountain to Sugar Mountain Resort’s Base Lodge during weekends and holidays.
Tickets for Sugar Mountain Ski Resort
Season Passes are available. Slope tickets can be purchased at the main ticket windows in front of the main lodge. Full-day tickets go on sale at 8 a.m. and may also be purchased the night before from 8 to 9 p.m. in the Rental Department. Twilight & Half Day tickets are available at 12 p.m.; night tickets are available at 5 p.m.
For the 2023-2024 winter season:
The typical season is from November through March
Full-Day Session: 9 am – 4:30 pm
Half-Day Session: 12:30 – 4:30 pm
Twilight Session: 12:30 – 10 pm (slopes closed 4:30 – 6 pm)
Night Session: 6 – 10 pm
Tubing: 10 am – 10 pm
Ice Skating: 10 am – 10 pm
Snowshoeing: M, W, F: 3 pm Sat: 9 am + 3 pm
Christmas Eve: 9 am – 4:30 pm
Christmas Day: 12 – 10 pm
Location for Sugar Mountain Ski Resort
1009 Sugar Mountain Drive, Sugar Mountain, North Carolina 28604.
Just off NC Hwy 184, approximately two miles east of Banner Elk, North Carolina
Sugar Mountain Ski Resort is about 2 hr and 20 min from Charlotte, NC, and 3 hr and 27 min from Raleigh, NC.
Appalachian Ski Mountain
Appalachian Ski Mountain first opened back on December 4, 1968. They have expanded to twelve slopes, including three terrain parks. Their peak elevation is 4000 ft, and the base elevation is 3635 ft for you to enjoy a vertical drop of 365 ft.
Their longest run is ½ mile on Orchard Run. You will find a mix of terrains, 25% easy, 50% more difficult, and then 25% most difficult. The total lift capacity is 9,284 skiers per hour. Appalachian Mountain is the closest to Boone, North Carolina, for ski resort options, being only a 15-20 min drive.
100% of their slopes are used for nighttime skiing. From Dec 26th through Dec 31st, they have midnight blast nights, offering a light night skiing experience until midnight.
They have an outdoor skating rink that covers 6,000 square feet. They have three sessions available throughout the day to skate for a 2-hour window. Rink and hockey skates are available to rent.
They offer ski rentals and snowboard rentals. They also provide clothing rentals; there is no need to purchase ski coats or ski pants just for a weekend ski trip!
100% of their slopes are covered.
Overlooking the ski area, you will find a 46,000 sq foot smoke-free lodge. It’s a great place to warm up and relax near their large stone fireplace. They have a restaurant that offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
They have online reservations, which make things nice and easy! You can choose if you want lessons, rentals, and use of the terrain parks. Adult tickets start at $49 during the week and $74+ for weekends and holidays. Junior and Senior tickets start at $38 during the week and $54+ for weekends and holidays.
Students get a special rate during the weekdays. They also sell night sessions and midnight blast sessions by themselves. Military discounts are available as well for active soldiers, spouses, and dependent children. They do offer multi-day tickets as well.
Hours of Operation
They are projected to open for the 2023/2024 season on Friday, November 17th.
Ski Lifts: 9 am -10 pm
Restaurant: 8 am – 10 pm
Noon – 2 pm, 3 pm – 5 pm, 7 pm – 9 pm
940 Ski Mountain Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
Appalachian Ski Mountain is about 1 hr and 51 min from Charlotte, NC, and 3 hr and 13 min from Raleigh, NC.
Hotels Near Appalachian Ski Mountain
You can find four chalets within one mile or less.
Hotel options include Chetola Resort, The Getaway Blowing Rock, Homestead Inn and Cottages, Holiday Inn Express Blowing Rock South, and Courtyard by Marriott Boone
Cataloochee Ski Area
Cataloochee Ski Area is located in Maggie Valley, NC. They have 50 skiable acres. Their top elevation is 5,400 ft and has a vertical drop of 740 ft available. They have five lifts, three expert slopes, seven intermediate slopes, and eight beginner slopes available.
All of their slopes have lights for night use. They also have a terrain park to enjoy. The ski season opening date for 2023/2024 has not yet been announced.
Snow Tubing / Tube World
Snow tubing is available. They have multiple runs. Please note the tube park is about 4 miles from the ski area.
100% of the slopes are covered by snowmakers. They can make snow at the rate of up to 80 gallons of water a minute and cover a distance of 50 yards.
Season tickets are available. Daily passes can be reserved up to 14 days in advance online. You can also add on your rental equipment at that time too. You can choose between a 4-hour or 6-hour pass or a night pass. Adult tickets start at $39, and juniors (12 & under) start at $28 for 4 hrs.
They provide both group and private lessons for ski and snowboarding.
They have a cafeteria that is open during ski hours. They serve burgers, hotdogs, chicken tenders, fries, and soups, plus hot and cold drinks. They do have a full bar that opens at 11 a.m. until closing.
Hours of Operation
Weekdays: 9 am – 4:30 pm
Weekends: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
1080 Ski Lodge Road, Maggie Valley, NC 28751
Cataloochee Ski Area is about 2 hr and 46 min from Charlotte NC, and 3 hr and 14 min from Atlanta, GA.
Hatley Pointe (Previously Wolf Ridge Ski Resort)
Located about 30 minutes north of Asheville, NC, you will find Hatley Pointe Ski Resort. If you are looking for skiing near Asheville, NC, they are the closest ski resort as well as the closest skiing to Johnson City, TN.
The new owners are updating the lodge, rebranding, adding top-of-the-line rental equipment, and enhancements to the snowmaking. They are positioning themselves as a boutique mountain resort and adventure destination.
Hatley Pointe Ski Resort was opened in 1969 as Wolf Laurel Ski Area, but in 1992, it changed ownership and was named Wolf Ridge Ski Resort; today, Hatley Pointe is the most recent name and is under new ownership this year 2023.
Their top elevation is 4,700 ft, with a base elevation of 4,000 ft for a vertical drop of 700 ft. They have a total of 4 lifts and 15 slopes.
The lodge has been newly constructed; more details to come.
Ski School Lessons are available for beginners through advanced skiers and snowboarders. Private lessons are $80 per house, and group lessons start at $30.
Ski and Snowboard rentals start for $40 a day; they offer clothing, helmet, and pole rentals as well.
Season tickets are available. Daily passes start at $55 during the weekday and $85 during the weekend.
New dining experiences and amenities have been added.
Hours of Operation
Will update you when we have more details
578 Valley View Circle, Mars Hill, NC 28754
Note from Hatley Pointe Ski Resort: GPS and Mapping Services do not always perform well in our area. Please use these directions or online navigation maps for the most direct route. If you receive directions that include “Streets Gap,” do not use them.
Hatley Pointe Ski Resort is about 2 hr and 38 min from Charlotte, NC, and 4 hr and 17 min from Raleigh, NC.
Lodging near the Hatley Pointe Ski Resort
Again, you will find numerous cabin rentals available, but several hotels nearby include
Comfort Inn in Mars Hill, Fairfield Inn & Suites in Weaverville, Cambria Downtown Asheville, Country Inn & Suites Asheville, and Holiday Inn & Suites in Downtown Asheville.
Sapphire Valley Ski Resort
Sapphire Valley Ski Resort is a great place for kids and families to learn to ski and snowboard. The ski area is not overwhelming. They first opened in 1964. Sapphire Valley Ski Resort consists of a 1,600 ft main run with a vertical drop of 200 ft.
They have one quad-lift and a handle tow tube lift in their snow tubing area. In addition, they have a bunny/learning slope. This is one of the smaller ski areas, but it’s an easy walk to and from the parking lot! It’s part of a 5,700-acre resort.
They are planning to open the 2023/2024 season on December 16th, weather permitting.
Snow tubing is available, and look for our detailed article here, but they provide 300 ft tubing runs in multiple lanes with a moving carpet to bring you back to the top.
Hours of Operation
Please check their operations calendar for their schedule.
Tube Park: First Run 10 am, Ticket Sales start at 8:30 am
Skis/Boards/Lift: First Run at 9 am, Ticket Sales start at 9 am.
No cash or checks!
There are two and three-day passes available for skiing. Tubing tickets must be purchased on the day of tubing.
Make sure to fill out your waiver forms before arriving as well for faster entry.
They no longer rent snow bibs; however, they are selling them. They do have a full rental shop for boots, poles, skis, boards, helmets, and everything you need! They do not rent goggles but have them for sale.
Group Lessons are available for five years and up; kids age four are only taught in a private 1:1 lesson and subject to instructor availability. (Kids must be at least four for the Ski School.)
Slopeside Tavern is available and located at the base of the Ski Sapphire Valley. They provide everything from wings, salads, burgers, brats, wraps, flatbreads, and more. Other options nearby include Mica’s restaurant/pub. Library kitchen and bar and Sapphire Mountain Brewing Company.
127 Sapphire Valley Rd, Sapphire, NC 28774. They recommend you set your GPS to 127 Cherokee Trail, Sapphire, NC 28774, which is 100 yards from the base of the Ski Sapphire.
Sapphire Valley Ski Resort is just under 3 hr away from Charlotte NC, and 2 hr and 43 min from Atlanta, GA.
Lodging near Sapphire Valley Ski Resort
They do have some vacation rentals available on their property; please check their website. Their resort includes the use of their recreation center, which has pools, hot tubs, saunas, fitness and workout room, massage, and free wi-fi. They also provide 25% of the public ski rate.
Hawksnest Snowtubing, Seven Devils
- Please refer to our entire article here on snow tubing in NC.
Cross-country skiing near Boone and Blowing Rock
- Boone, the closest and probably most used park, is the Greenway Trail. The trail goes through the woods and mountains, where you’ll find a creek. It’s fairly flat as well. The town of Boone puts this trail last on its list to clear, so if you arrive after a good snowfall, you should be able to enjoy some skiing.
- Other locations near Boone, NC, for cross-country skiing include Elk Knob State Park (20 mins from Boone) and Roan Mountain State Park (45 mins from Boone). Check road conditions and you might need a four-wheel drive vehicle when necessary to access the State Parks.
- Near Boone & Blowing Rock, you will find Moses Cone Memorial Park at mile marker 294 along the Blue Ridge Parkway. You will find gentle slopes throughout the park, which is a great option for beginners and families to join in the fun together. You will find about 25 miles of trails. Along the way, you can stop and rest at the Flat Top fire tower.
- Blowing Rock, you will find some locations on the Blue Ridge Parkway where the entrances to the paved road are closed due to inclement weather. For parking, you will have to enter near Hwy 221 from Blowing Rock. You could enjoy both cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The area that hugs Grandfather mountain between Blowing Rock and Linville is loved by cross-country skiers.