The charming snow-capped mountains of North Carolina offer the coldest climates in the South with an annual snowfall of 60 in (178 cm). Here, you can experience everything from conventional skiing to tubing and ice skating. And even though skiing in North Carolina can't compare to Vermont or Colorado, it provides some unexpected treats for skiers and snowboarders in the surrounding area.
Generally, the ski season in North Carolina runs from Thanksgiving through early April. However, the best time to enjoy the slopes in the state is mid-winter, between February and mid-March, ideally on sunny afternoons or mildly snowy mornings.
Appalachian Ski Mountain
Appalachian Ski Mountain is a family-oriented, old-school ski resort in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, just 98 mi (145 km) away from northern Charlotte.
The three terrain parks set this place apart from any other ski resort in North Carolina, making it exceptionally attractive to expert riders. However, to ride the upper level of the Apps, a Park Pass is a necessity. To get one, you should pass a test, which can be taken on-site or online.
Appalachian is an excellent resort for beginners as well, with groomed runs and non-threatening slopes, appropriate for intermediate level skiers. Here you will find a large lodge at the base, with a huge deck overlooking the slopes and a stone fireplace inside. A unique lift ticket system and a slew of special events are present here throughout the ski season.
vertical: 365 ft (111 m) area: 27 ac (11 ha) runs: beginner: 25%, advanced: 50%, expert: 25% lifts: 1 double, 2 quads, 2 conveyors, 1 handlepull tow season: late November–late March
Cataloochee Ski Area
The Cataloochee Ski Area is situated in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains, just a short drive from Asheville, and is considered to be the oldest in North Carolina. This resort is located at a base elevation of 4,600 ft (1,400 m) and receives around 50 in (125 cm) of snow annually.
Cataloochee Ski Area offers fantastic slopes and trails, but you can try their tube course as well. Classes for first-timers, beautiful lodging, and season passes are available as well.
vertical: 740 ft (226 m) area: 25 ac (10 ha) runs: beginner: 25%, intermediate: 50%, advanced: 25% lifts: 1 double, 1 triple, 1 quad, 3 conveyors season: mid-November–late March
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort is known as North Carolina’s most popular place for snow-lovers. This charming full-service resort is conveniently located just a 40-minute drive from Asheville and has a base elevation of 4,000 ft (1,219 m).
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort is an amazing place for beginners and experts alike, with newbies having access to easier runs and experts handling several trails that run over challenging terrain. You might also love hitting the slopes in a tube.
Here you will find several houses, rooms, and cabins to rent if you plan to enjoy a weekend among the mountains at their finest.
vertical: 700 ft (213 m) area: 82 ac (33 ha) runs: beginner: 40%, intermediate: 50%, advanced: 10% lifts: 2 doubles, 2 quads, 1 surface lift season: early December–mid-March
Sugar Mountain Ski Resort
Sugar Mountain Ski Resort is situated just 11 mi (18 km) from Boone and offers the largest ski area in North Carolina and the most diverse range of runs. This resort is known for the enormous slalom race, which occurs each March.
Among the countless slopes and trails for both skiers and snowboarders, Sugar Mountain Ski Resort also offers an ice rink, snowshoe tours, a tubing park, and something to do for the whole family! You can stop right next to the slopes as a wide range of lodging options is here for you.
vertical: 1,200 ft (366 m) area: 125 ac (51 ha) runs: 20 (beginner: 7, intermediate: 9, advanced: 1, expert: 2; super expert: 1) lifts: 4 doubles, 1 triple, 2 surface lifts season: mid-November–March
Beech Mountain Resort
Another great option for skiers is the Beech Mountain Resort, which is known for its own unique and amusing vibe. This place has been around since 1967 and boasts the highest altitude runs in the eastern USA. The area's low temperatures mean an enormous amount of snow for hitting the great slopes of the resort.
Beech Mountain Resort also offers its Alpine Village with numerous restaurant options, a Skybar, the Beech Mountain Brewing Co., and live music on weekends. You also have a chance to experience night skiing, ice skating, and tubing here. The resort owns an incredible summit deck to admire the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Even though all of the lodgings are handled off-site, there are always nice places to stay on Beech Mountain.
vertical: 830 ft (253 m) area: 95 ac (38 ha) runs: beginner: 30%, intermediate: 40%, advanced: 30% lifts: 3 doubles, 3 quads, 1 magic carpet, 1 rope tow season: late November–mid-March