5 Best Ski Resorts in North Carolina, 2022/23 (2023)

5 Best Ski Resorts in North Carolina, 2022/23 (1)

Written by Karl Sander / Photos by Jack Lee
Last updated May 20, 2022

While the size and skiing of North Carolina resorts aren’t comparable to resorts in the West, the state’s western mountains is home to a handful of ski areas that are great for scratch the skiing itch or trying skiing for the first time. We’ve asked around and compiled the best ski resorts in North Carolina!

Table of Contents

1. Sugar Mountain Resort

5 Best Ski Resorts in North Carolina, 2022/23 (3)

Why Ski Sugar Mountain Resort

Not only does Sugar Mountain have the largest ski area and vertical drop in the state but it also has the best and most varied terrain. There’s more advanced runs here than anywhere else in the region. Unreliable natural snow means varying snow conditions here, though the resort is continually improving its snowmaking efforts. There are plenty of other things to do including tubing, snowshoeing, and skating on a 10,000 sqft ice rink. Quicker to get to from major cities than Beech Mountain, and with better terrain than Appalachian, it’s no surprise that Sugar Mountain can draw big crowds. There are slopeside condos and homes as well as hotels in the village, plus an even more options in Banner Elk.

Known for

North Carolina’s biggest ski area with the most vertical

Highlights

  • Relatively good terrain variety
  • Best resort in North Carolina for advanced skiers
  • 1,200 foot vertical makes it comparable to medium sized western resorts
  • Lack of natural snow and variable conditions

22/23Ski Season:

  • Opening Date:Nov 18 2022*(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date:Mar 26 2023*(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Tri-Cities Regional Airport

-

58 miles (1.5 hour drive)

Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport

(Video) Here’s Exactly When You’ll See Snow This Year (2022)

-

108 miles (2 hour drive)

Map View

5 Best Ski Resorts in North Carolina, 2022/23 (4)

Why Ski Sugar Mountain Resort

Not only does Sugar Mountain have the largest ski area and vertical drop in the state but it also has the best and most varied terrain. There’s more advanced runs here than anywhere else in the region. Unreliable natural snow means varying snow conditions here, though the resort is continually improving its snowmaking efforts. There are plenty of other things to do including tubing, snowshoeing, and skating on a 10,000 sqft ice rink. Quicker to get to from major cities than Beech Mountain, and with better terrain than Appalachian, it’s no surprise that Sugar Mountain can draw big crowds. There are slopeside condos and homes as well as hotels in the village, plus an even more options in Banner Elk.

2. Beech Mountain

5 Best Ski Resorts in North Carolina, 2022/23 (5)

Why Ski Beech Mountain

With a summit of 5,505 feet, Beech Mountain takes the crown for highest ski resort in the East! While the 17 runs are short you can ski into the night with lighting and snowmaking covering all the terrain. The upgraded chairlifts keep visitors moving, so crowds and lines are rare. Even the buildings have been renovated over the years. There’s also a tubing park as well as a skating rink. Enjoy a drink at the mountaintop glass roundhouse skybar or head down to the unique Beech Mountain Brewing Company in the village, a two-level taproom with large fireplace. Other eating, drinking and accommodation options can be found in the town of Beech Mountain and Banner Elk.

Known for

The highest ski resort in the East

Highlights

  • Rare crowds
  • Excellent snowmaking and grooming
  • Glass roundhouse skybar at mountaintop
  • Short runs and inconsistent weather conditions

22/23Ski Season:

  • Opening Date:Nov 19 2022*(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date:Mar 18 2023*(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Tri-Cities Regional Airport

-

59 miles (1.5 hour drive)

Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport

-

(Video) Here’s Exactly How Much Snow You’ll See This Year (2022)

117 miles (2.5 hour drive)

Map View

5 Best Ski Resorts in North Carolina, 2022/23 (6)

Why Ski Beech Mountain

With a summit of 5,505 feet, Beech Mountain takes the crown for highest ski resort in the East! While the 17 runs are short you can ski into the night with lighting and snowmaking covering all the terrain. The upgraded chairlifts keep visitors moving, so crowds and lines are rare. Even the buildings have been renovated over the years. There’s also a tubing park as well as a skating rink. Enjoy a drink at the mountaintop glass roundhouse skybar or head down to the unique Beech Mountain Brewing Company in the village, a two-level taproom with large fireplace. Other eating, drinking and accommodation options can be found in the town of Beech Mountain and Banner Elk.

3. Wolf Ridge

5 Best Ski Resorts in North Carolina, 2022/23 (7)

Why Ski Wolf Ridge

Mere minutes from Interstate 26 and just 40 minutes from Asheville, Wolf Ridge Ski Resort is the easiest destination on our list to reach making it an easy day or weekend trip. Along with convenience and reasonable prices, this small resort can get crowded quickly. Night skiing is available across the 15 runs and there’s a tubing hill less than 1 mi away. You’ll find comfortable town homes and cabins conveniently near the resort, and there’s even an enclosed heated pool. For more lodging and dining options, head to Asheville. That’s also where you’ll need to go for a drink since Wolf Ridge doesn’t have a bar.

Known for

North Carolina’s most accessible resort

21/22Ski Season:

  • Opening Date:Dec 26 2021
  • Closing Date:Feb 25 2025

Closest airports

Asheville Regional Airport

-

44 miles (50 minute drive)

Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport

-

148 miles (2.5 hour drive)

(Video) 2022 2023 Official Winter Forecast! Heavy Snows Expected With Big Shifts!

Map View

5 Best Ski Resorts in North Carolina, 2022/23 (8)

Why Ski Wolf Ridge

Mere minutes from Interstate 26 and just 40 minutes from Asheville, Wolf Ridge Ski Resort is the easiest destination on our list to reach making it an easy day or weekend trip. Along with convenience and reasonable prices, this small resort can get crowded quickly. Night skiing is available across the 15 runs and there’s a tubing hill less than 1 mi away. You’ll find comfortable town homes and cabins conveniently near the resort, and there’s even an enclosed heated pool. For more lodging and dining options, head to Asheville. That’s also where you’ll need to go for a drink since Wolf Ridge doesn’t have a bar.

4. Cataloochee

5 Best Ski Resorts in North Carolina, 2022/23 (9)

Why Ski Cataloochee

Cataloochee, with its panoramic views of the famous Great Smoky Mountain National Park, boasts snowmaking efforts that result in one of the region’s longest ski seasons. Its convenient access from Asheville as well as towns in Tennessee and South Carolina can sometimes make for crowded conditions, especially since there are only 50 acres of skiable terrain. But with the great value – including free skiing for seniors – you can hardly blame all those people for coming! All 18 runs are covered by lights and snowmaking, though the local climate means that despite the staff’s best efforts the snow quality can vary. The charming little town of Maggie Valley nearby offers a range of lodging and restaurant options with a few local bars to enjoy.

Known for

Consistently one of the first areas in the region to open each season

Highlights

  • Amazing scenery
  • Great snowmaking
  • Good value
  • Crowds

22/23Ski Season:

  • Opening Date:Nov 20 2022*(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date:Apr 02 2023*(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Map View

(Video) Which Ski Pass Should YOU BUY! Epic VS Ikon

5 Best Ski Resorts in North Carolina, 2022/23 (10)

Why Ski Cataloochee

Cataloochee, with its panoramic views of the famous Great Smoky Mountain National Park, boasts snowmaking efforts that result in one of the region’s longest ski seasons. Its convenient access from Asheville as well as towns in Tennessee and South Carolina can sometimes make for crowded conditions, especially since there are only 50 acres of skiable terrain. But with the great value – including free skiing for seniors – you can hardly blame all those people for coming! All 18 runs are covered by lights and snowmaking, though the local climate means that despite the staff’s best efforts the snow quality can vary. The charming little town of Maggie Valley nearby offers a range of lodging and restaurant options with a few local bars to enjoy.

5. Appalachian Ski Mountain

5 Best Ski Resorts in North Carolina, 2022/23 (11)

Why Ski Appalachian Ski Mountain

With its benign terrain, low prices, welcoming atmosphere and relatively easy access from Winston-Salem and Charlotte, Appalachian Ski Mountain is a good place for beginners to take up the sport. The resort’s 27 acres of skiable area mean novices can’t get too lost or too far out of their depth. Of course, it doesn’t offer as much for advanced or expert skiers, though there are three terrain parks for freestylers. Like most of the rest of the resorts in the area, snowmaking covers all the skiable terrain, and the mountain is also lit for light skiing. There are lodging options including cabin rentals next to the slopes and an even broader selection in nearby Blowing Rock.

Known for

Family-run and family-friendly

Highlights

  • Closest to major markets like Winston-Salem and Charlotte
  • Great place for beginners
  • Affordable
  • Very small size with no on-mountain après

22/23Ski Season:

  • Opening Date:Nov 18 2022*(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date:Mar 19 2023*(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Tri-Cities Regional Airport

-

74 miles (2 hour drive)

Charlotte Douglas Intl. Airport

-

90 miles (2 hour drive)

Map View

5 Best Ski Resorts in North Carolina, 2022/23 (12)

Why Ski Appalachian Ski Mountain

With its benign terrain, low prices, welcoming atmosphere and relatively easy access from Winston-Salem and Charlotte, Appalachian Ski Mountain is a good place for beginners to take up the sport. The resort’s 27 acres of skiable area mean novices can’t get too lost or too far out of their depth. Of course, it doesn’t offer as much for advanced or expert skiers, though there are three terrain parks for freestylers. Like most of the rest of the resorts in the area, snowmaking covers all the skiable terrain, and the mountain is also lit for light skiing. There are lodging options including cabin rentals next to the slopes and an even broader selection in nearby Blowing Rock.

(Video) Tahoe Ski Resorts RANKED - Worst to Best

FAQs

Which ski resort in North Carolina gets the most snow? ›

The snowiest ski resorts in North Carolina. Beech Mountain Resort is the destination with the most snow guaranteed during the season.

Which is Better Sugar Mountain or beech? ›

Beech mountain has a Swiss alpine atmosphere which we really like, but the slope conditions are much better at Sugar mountain always, unless you go when they just got fresh snow. Then either is good. I like some of the slopes at beech, but it seems to get too icy and hard if it's not fresh snow.

What is the largest ski resort in North Carolina? ›

The ski resort Sugar Mountain (same size: Beech Mountain) is the biggest ski resort in North Carolina. The total slope length is 14 km.

How many ski resorts does North Carolina have? ›

Take your pick of North Carolina's six ski resorts and destinations: Appalachian, Beech Mountain, Cataloochee, Sapphire Valley, Sugar Mountain and Wolf Ridge.

Will it snow in NC 2022? ›

November 2022 to October 2023. Winter will be colder than normal, with near-normal precipitation and above-normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be early December, late January, and mid- to late February. The snowiest periods will be in early and late January and in February in the south.

How far is Asheville from skiing? ›

Appalachian Ski Mountain—about a 90-mile drive from Asheville—has been delighting downhillers since the early 1960s. Its 12 slopes—accounting for some 365 feet of vertical—are all lighted for nighttime skiing and riding, and host six lifts.

Is North Carolina skiing good? ›

In fact, most of the best ski resorts in North Carolina are near the Blue Ridge region's hippest hotspots and quaintest small mountain towns, including Banner Elk, Blowing Rock, and Brevard. Skiing North Carolina is especially great for families because the slopes lean towards the gentler side.

What is the best time to ski in North Carolina? ›

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.

What months can you ski in North Carolina? ›

Ski season in North Carolina normally runs from November through to early April. Sugar Mountain is the largest ski area in the state. Beech Mountain is reported to be the highest ski area in Eastern America.

What month does it snow in North Carolina? ›

When does it snow in North Carolina? Snow falls in North Carolina during the winter season, which runs from December through February. The mountainous regions of the state, however, can record flurries of snow as early as November.

What is Blowing Rock NC known for? ›

Blowing Rock is located 8 miles south of Boone in the NC High Country. The area's abundance of Christmas tree farms and ski resorts make it a very popular destination at Christmas time and all through the winter.

What is Banner Elk NC known for? ›

In fact, Banner Elk is known as the culinary hot spot of the NC High Country. Food aficionados indulge in everything from five-star white-linen dining to upscale casual to down-home cooking to tasty delis. An array of wineries and craft breweries lie within a 15-minute radius of downtown.

Can you ski in March in North Carolina? ›

Yes, you can ski at Appalachian Ski Mountain in March, and they usually reduce their rates during this month. Check out their website and slope report to see if they are open and the conditions of the slopes.

What state has the best skiing? ›

With so many famous ski areas and resorts, Colorado always makes the top of the list for best states for skiing. From Aspen and Vail to Breckenridge and Telluride, the state is full of amazing ski resorts.

What state has most ski resorts? ›

New York has the most ski resorts, with 51.

Will it snow in North Carolina in 2023? ›

January 2023 will bring “some shivers” to the Southeast, the Almanac says. The Almanac says the “eastern two-thirds of the country” — likely including North Carolina — can expect “bouts of heavy rain and snow” during the week of Jan. 16-23 of next year.

Will 2022 be a rough winter? ›

Winter will be warmer than normal, with above-normal precipitation. The coldest periods will be in late November, mid- and late December, and mid- January. Snowfall will be below normal in most areas that normally receive snow, with the snowiest periods in early to mid-January and early February.

Will it be a cold winter 2022 NC? ›

November 2022 to October 2023. Winter temperatures will be below normal, with the coldest periods in early December, early and late January, and mid-February. Precipitation will be below normal.

What East Coast ski resort has the most snow? ›

Best Ski Resorts In The East
ResortTrue Snowfall*
1Stowe Mountain Resort VT305 in
2Jay Peak VT322 in
3Smugglers' Notch Resort VT322 in
4Killington VT240 in
43 more rows

Is there skiing in North Carolina? ›

6 Best Places for Skiing in North Carolina (+ Ski Resort Info)
  • Appalachian Ski Mountain.
  • Sugar Mountain Resort.
  • Beech Mountain Resort.
  • Wolf Ridge Ski Resort.
  • Cataloochee Ski Area.
  • Ski Sapphire Valley.
2 Sept 2022

Does Asheville NC get snow? ›

The average snowfall in Asheville is approximately 12 inches a year. Compare that to the national average of 28 inches and you'll suddenly understand why residents are always so blase about snow. On average, January through March is the prime time to expect snow, with average totals around 3-4 inches.

How much snow does Asheville NC get? ›

Asheville's temperate weather surprises many visitors. The region experiences four distinct seasons, but the average annual snowfall is never more than 11" and the hottest day rarely exceeds 90°F.

Can you ski in North Carolina in February? ›

Ski & Snowboard Tips for NC

The peak ski season is usually Christmas through February. Slopes often open as early as Thanksgiving weekend.

Is Beech Mountain Ski Resort good for beginners? ›

With 17 slopes and 8 lifts, Beech Mountain Resort has terrain for beginners and the seasoned expert.

Can you ski in Boone NC in March? ›

Ski season in the Boone area typically runs from November through March, allowing plenty of time to hit the slopes when you visit.

Is Sugar Mountain good in March? ›

Sugar Mountain is open and doing fine most years in March and it tends to be far less crowded than December - February. Plus, when your crew gets tired of skiing, it's a better time of year to hike or stroll the shops on Main Street in Blowing Rock. Hope you have a great trip!

Do North Carolina ski resorts have real snow? ›

The white stuff that blankets North Carolina's slopes during ski season may not be nature-made, but, as one writer discovers, it's as real and beautiful as the flakes that fall in front yards across the state. Machine-made snow covers the slopes at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort.

Is North Carolina skiing any good? ›

Southern ski buffs say the slopes are as good as any in America. At Sugar Mountain in western North Carolina, the snow is dazzling, the sky is pure as crystal and the skis are freshly waxed. The "amazing atmosphere" at 5,300 feet is among the draws for Mohammed Suhweil, who lives in Charlotte.

Does NC have good skiing? ›

In fact, most of the best ski resorts in North Carolina are near the Blue Ridge region's hippest hotspots and quaintest small mountain towns, including Banner Elk, Blowing Rock, and Brevard. Skiing North Carolina is especially great for families because the slopes lean towards the gentler side.

How much snow does North Carolina get? ›

North Carolina averages 5 inches (130 mm) of snow per winter season. However, this varies greatly across the state. Along the coast, most areas register less than 2 inches (51 mm) per year while the state capital, Raleigh, averages 6.0 inches (150 mm).

What months can you ski in North Carolina? ›

Ski season in North Carolina normally runs from November through to early April. Sugar Mountain is the largest ski area in the state. Beech Mountain is reported to be the highest ski area in Eastern America.

How far is Asheville from a ski resort? ›

Appalachian Ski Mountain—about a 90-mile drive from Asheville—has been delighting downhillers since the early 1960s. Its 12 slopes—accounting for some 365 feet of vertical—are all lighted for nighttime skiing and riding, and host six lifts.

Which ski resort has the most snow? ›

Best Snow in North America
ResortSnowfall Score
1Alta UT96.1
2Snowbird UT90.0
3Brighton UT92.4
4Powder King BC92.3
14 more rows

Can you ski in NC in March? ›

The Sugar Mountain summit at almost 5,300 feet elevation averages 78 inches of natural powder each season. Ski slopes typically open by Thanksgiving thanks to an extensive snow-making system. Depending on mother nature, they remain open through most of March.

Where is snow in North Carolina? ›

Unsurprisingly, the snowiest town in North Carolina is located on top of a mountain. Straddling Avery and Watauga Counties, the town of Beech Mountain is billed as Eastern America's Highest Town because, since 1981, it's been the highest incorporated community east of the Mississippi.

What is Banner Elk NC known for? ›

In fact, Banner Elk is known as the culinary hot spot of the NC High Country. Food aficionados indulge in everything from five-star white-linen dining to upscale casual to down-home cooking to tasty delis. An array of wineries and craft breweries lie within a 15-minute radius of downtown.

Does Beech Mountain have snow in March? ›

Beech Mountain enters the month with near-record amounts of snow for early March. Meanwhile, the ski area is forecasted to receive several inches of natural snow the first five days of the month.

Can you ski in Maggie Valley in March? ›

One of the most southern ski resorts in the east, Cataloochee Ski Area boasts the most modern snowmaking available with 100% of the slopes covered by man-made snow. That ability extends the ski season from November through March.

Does Sugar Mountain make snow? ›

An impressive 700 foot vertical guarantees an exciting challenge. Ten new SMI snow-making machines line the slope ensuring quality snow coverage. Sugar expanded the snowmaking system as well. The pump house has been redesigned and rebuilt to accommodate an additional 1,000 gallon per minute vertical water pump.

What month does it snow the most in North Carolina? ›

In most North Carolina locations, January is the snowiest month.

What is the coldest month in NC? ›

Average Temperature in Raleigh

The cool season lasts for 3.0 months, from November 30 to February 28, with an average daily high temperature below 59°F. The coldest month of the year in Raleigh is January, with an average low of 33°F and high of 51°F.

Are there alot of snakes in North Carolina? ›

There are a lot of snakes in North Carolina, including one of the largest varieties of rattlesnakes in any state in the country.

Videos

1. Top 5 most common mistakes made by beginner skiers
(Josh C Skiing)
2. The One Ski Quiver 2023 | Best Mountain Ski Buying Guide
(HALF-LIFE)
3. THE BEST PISTE SKIS FOR 2022/23
(The Skiing Show)
4. 20 BEST CITIES TO LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES | TRAVEL TIPS #TravelersNirvana
(Travelers Nirvana)
5. Snow Making has Begun on Beech Mountain
(Guillette Group in the North Carolina Mountains)
6. Top 10 Haunting Last Photos Of People
(MostAmazingTop10)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Last Updated: 12/30/2022

Views: 6463

Rating: 4 / 5 (41 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Birthday: 1996-01-14

Address: 8381 Boyce Course, Imeldachester, ND 74681

Phone: +3571286597580

Job: Product Banking Analyst

Hobby: Cosplaying, Inline skating, Amateur radio, Baton twirling, Mountaineering, Flying, Archery

Introduction: My name is Kimberely Baumbach CPA, I am a gorgeous, bright, charming, encouraging, zealous, lively, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.