Best time to visit North Carolina

Skiing and Snowboarding in North Carolina

Consider North Carolina as a lovely place for your active family getaway

Best time: mid-November–early April | February–mid-March

Skiing and Snowboarding
Skiing and Snowboarding
Skiing and Snowboarding
Skiing and Snowboarding
Skiing and Snowboarding
Skiing and Snowboarding
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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

Hatley Pointe Mountain Resort

Hatley Pointe Mountain Resort, formerly Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, is known as North Carolina’s most popular place for snow-lovers. This charming full-service resort is conveniently located in Mars Hill, just a 40-minute drive from Asheville, and has a base elevation of 4,000 ft (1,219 m).

The newly owned and rebranded boutique mountain resort of Hatley Pointe 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

Explore the map of accommodations to book a stay nearby. Also, you can find direct links to each ski resort mentioned above in the External Resources section in the bottom of the read.

Practical info

What is the optimal time to go skiing or snowboarding in North Carolina?

North Carolina's ski season starts at Thanksgiving and ends in early April, with the best skiing time being from February through mid-March, preferable on sunny afternoons or mildly snowy mornings. The state experiences an annual snowfall of 60 in (178 cm), with temperatures usually in the mid-20s (˚F). Show more

What makes Appalachian Ski Mountain resort unique?

Appalachian ski resort is the only North Carolina ski resort with three terrain parks, primarily catering to experienced riders. A Park Pass is required to access the uppermost levels. Every level of skier will find suitable terrain and excellent facilities, with a large lodge at the base. Special events occur throughout the season. A unique lift ticket program is in place. Show more

Where can you find Cataloochee Ski Area, and what distinguishes it from other North Carolina skiing options?

Cataloochee Ski Area is located in the Smoky Mountains and is North Carolina's earliest ski resort, with an annual snowfall of approximately 50 in (125 cm). Skiers of all difficulties, including beginners, would appreciate the beautiful loops and trails. A unique aspect of the resort is the tube course, which is a change of pace from the slopes. Cataloochee Ski Area has first-time skiing classes, exceptional lodging, and seasonal passes. Show more

What other activities does Beech Mountain Resort provide besides skiing and snowboarding?

Beech Mountain Resort is distinguished as it has the highest-altitude runs in the eastern United States, with a base elevation of 4,000 ft (1,219 m). Night skiing, ice-skating, and tube courses are all available in addition to regular skiing and snowboarding. The resort includes excellent restaurants, the Beech Mountain Brewing Co., Skybar, live music on weekends, and the Alpine Village. A magnificent summit deck offers panoramic views of surrounding mountains. Show more

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Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva