Last Updated February 27, 2018 2/27/2018

6 Best Places to Go Skiing in North Carolina

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With so many majestic mountain ranges, North Carolina is an amazing ski destination. Since portions of both the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains are located within its borders, the Tarheel State has a multitude of action-packed ski resorts to visit, whether you’re a beginner or a want-to-be Olympian. From fresh snow to man-made, tubing to ice skating, there’s something for every winter sports enthusiast to enjoy.

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Appalachian Ski Mountain, Blowing Rock
Appalachian Ski Mountain is the second oldest ski area in North Carolina.

Appalachian Ski Mountain, Blowing Rock

Appalachian Ski Mountain, which was formerly known as Blowing Rock Ski Lodge, was the first ski area in Northwest North Carolina. It is also the second oldest ski area in the entire state, with its first beginnings dating back to 1962. Throughout the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the property went under several renovations with many new improvements being added including a larger ski shop and restaurant, a first aid and ski patrol room, gift shop, new slopes and the first airless snow-making machine in North Carolina. Now, the resort consists of twelve slopes, a massive 46,000 square foot lodge, an outdoor ice skating arena and several chairlifts including one double chairlift and two quad chairlifts. With three easy slopes, six intermediate slopes and three advanced slopes, plus three terrain parks and night skiing, there’s something for every level skier to enjoy.

Beech Mountain Ski Resort, Beech Mountain
Beech Mountain Ski Resort has 14 different slopes that range in difficulty from beginner to advanced.

Beech Mountain Ski Resort, Beech Mountain

Located in the quaint mountain town of Beech Mountain, the Beech Mountain Ski Resort has been a NC favorite for decades. The resort features fourteen slopes ranging in difficulty from beginner to black diamond trails for advanced skiers, plus a terrain park and a play yard for the little ones and beginners. If you’ve never skied before, no worries, because you can take a group or individual lesson with one of the resort’s experienced instructors. Plus, there’s more fun to be had at the ice skating rink and the tubing park, which features chutes that are up to 700 feet in length, making for a long and exhilarating ride! After your day on the slopes, you can wind down by the fire pit in the middle of Alpine Village, located at the base of the mountain. You can also shop for gear and souvenirs, and grab a craft brew at the Beech Mountain Brewing Company, also located in Alpine Village.

Sugar Mountain Resort, Sugar Mountain

Just about ten miles south of Beech Mountain is the largest ski resort in North Carolina – Sugar Mountain Resort. With a total vertical drop of 1,200 feet, Sugar Mountain offers a whopping twenty-one trails spread across 125 acres of terrain, fifteen of which can be skied at night. While the majority of the trails fall into the intermediate ability level, there are also plenty of trails for beginners and advanced skiers. For those expert and adventurous skiers, they even have a double black-diamond trail (the most difficult) called the Whoopdedoo that has a steep, forty-eight degree pitch. At the summit of 5,300 feet, the views are amazing – so make sure you stop for a minute to take it all in before you head down the slopes. Besides skiing, there’s also a multi-lane tubing park with a “magic carpet” lift that takes you back to the top, a 10,000 square foot outdoor ice skating rink and a terrain park that features a variety of jumps, ramps, rails and other design features.

Cataloochee Ski Area, Maggie Valley

Located high in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, the Cataloochee Ski Area is a family-friendly resort with a summit that reaches 5,400 feet. In addition to eighteen trails that range from beginner to advanced, there are also designated slow skiing areas for slow speed and entry level skiers. Three chairlifts and two conveyor lifts will get you back up the slopes, while a lighted terrain park offers thrill-seekers a chance to try out rails, boxes, jibs and jumps.  There’s also a slope specially groomed for tubing, called Tube World, which also features a children’s play snow play area. If you’re a total beginner, stop by the mountain rental shop to rent everything you need and then head off to the Ski & Ride Center, where you can learn to ski or snowboard from a professional instructor.

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, Mars Hill

Although it is one of the smaller resorts in North Carolina, Wolf Ridge Ski Resort in Mars Hill still offers plenty of ways to have some winter fun. There are fifteen ski trails that include runs for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers, as well as a terrain park and a snow tubing run with a “magic carpet” lift. The resort’s Snow Sports School offers skiing and snowboarding lessons for all ages and abilities, which can be taken as part of a group or as private, one-on-one instruction.

Sapphire Valley Ski Area, Sapphire
Sapphire Valley's multi-lane tubing park provides exciting, fast-paced fun.

Sapphire Valley Ski Area, Sapphire

Known as one of the most southern ski areas in the country, Sapphire Valley offers an easy getaway for residents of Georgia and South Carolina. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Sapphire Valley Ski Area offers a 1,600 foot main run with a quad lift, a learning slope and a multi-lane tubing park, all in a picturesque setting. It’s a great choice for families that want to ski together all day, as well as beginners who can take advantage of the professional instruction and on-the-mountain guidance from instructors, the ski clothing rental at the retail shop, and the affordably-priced lift ticket that includes equipment rental.

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