While flying down white powdered slopes may not be the first thing you think of for the scenic southern state of North Carolina, you’re in for a pleasant snowy surprise. There are many outdoor adventure areas to pick from in majestic mountain regions and some awesome North Carolina ski resorts to enjoy.
A winter wonderland awaits for any and all skill levels, whether you prefer to strap on those skis or sit securely in a tube, you can be soaring over soft, snowy, steep hills in no time.
These North Carolina ski resorts provide some of the best conditions, always with freshly made powder and without some of the more extreme freezing temperatures you’d find up north. The average season runs from November to March, depending on the year’s inclement weather. They’re often set in quaint mountain towns with an array of apres ski activities as well.
Be prepared to have a blast at any of the best ski resorts in North Carolina below.
Best North Carolina Ski Resorts
Sugar Mountain Ski Resort
- ❄️ Address: 1009 Sugar Mountain Drive Sugar Mountain (GPS)
- ❄️ Average Annual Snowfall: 78″
- 🎿 Elevation at Base: 4100′
- 🏔️ Elevation at Summit: 5300′
- 🚠 Lift Ticket Cost: $50-$85
- 🚠 Projected Opening and Closing: Nov 18th, 2022 to March 26th, 2023
- 🚠 Total Lifts: 8
- 🏔️ Website: Sugar Mountain
Sugar Mountain is one of the best destinations for shredding slopes in the entire state. It boasts such superlatives as the largest ski area, the most diverse range of runs, and the tallest vertical drop, at 1,200 feet. They offer the highest number of steep runs, challenging trails, and a good balance of greens and blues for beginners.
There are eight state-of-the-art lifts to service all the peaks. This resort is often crowded, so do expect to be surrounded by fellow outdoor adventure enthusiasts. The charming town of Banner Elk is mere miles away and offers plenty of options for places to stay, shops, restaurants, and more.
With 125 acres in total, there are over 20 runs to try, all offering picturesque panoramas of the surrounding landscape. The tubing park on-site is set on a snow covered golf course and home to 700 foot long lanes that are well maintained and serviced by a magic carpet lift.
Many of the slopes at Sugar Mountain are even lit for night skiing and tubing, a unique perk most parks do not provide. The lodge below is a rustic and relaxing atmosphere with the added bonus of an outdoor deck so you can watch plenty of the action as you sip a warm drink or fuel up for your next ski.
Nearby Town: Banner Elk
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Beech Mountain Ski Resort
- ❄️ Address: 1007 Beech Mountain Pkwy Beech Mountain (GPS)
- ❄️ Average Annual Snowfall: 32″
- 🎿 Elevation at Base: 4675′
- 🏔️ Elevation at Summit: 5506′
- 🚠 Lift Ticket Cost: $48-$80
- 🚠 Projected Opening and Closing: Dec 3rd to March 26th, 2023
- 🚠 Total Lifts: 8
- 🎿 Website: Beech Mountain
Beech Mountain is the top contender for favorite ski spots among the locals of the region and is definitely one of the best North Carolina ski resorts. It has the highest elevations of any such resort in the state, with peaks as tall as 5,500 feet above sea level. There are 17 runs total, including a decent terrain park, two freestyle trails, and a vertical drop of over 800 feet.
Their slopes are often deemed the most skiable, meaning that from peak push off to the stylish swishing stop, each slope is tailor made for ideal conditions regardless of skill level. The ski lifts are some of the fastest around, resulting in less lines and more time for flying down mountain sides.
Overall it offers a funky and modern vibe. At the top of the mountain, you’ll find a skybar with a sunny outdoor deck serving beverages surrounded by mountain scenery, and at the bottom a Bavarian-style cabin space that offers indoor and outdoor seating with views of the slopes and a full menu.
They boast the best snow making, guaranteeing total cover for all the terrain. The town of Beech Mountain is one of the most charming NC mountain towns and provides quaint lodging and attractions, including a cozy village brewery. Their tubing facilities are fairly new and state-of-the-art, for the snow filled thrill ride any tuber will treasure.
Nearby Town: Banner Elk
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Appalachian Ski Mountain
- ❄️ Address: 940 Ski Mountain Rd, Blowing Rock (GPS)
- ❄️ Hours: Sunday -Thursday: 8:00 am- 10:00 pm, Friday & Saturday : 8: 00 am – 12: 00 am
- ❄️ Average Annual Snowfall: 50″
- 🎿 Elevation at Base: 3635′
- 🏔️ Elevation at Summit: 4000′
- 🚠 Lift Ticket Cost: $46-$75
- 🚠 Projected Opening and Closing: Nov 24 to March 19th, 2023
- 🚠 Total Lifts: 6
- 🎿 Website: Appalachian Ski Mountain
Appalachian Ski Mountain is an old school-style resort, focused on providing terrain parks for all alpine ski adventures. It’s family friendly, and the ideal destination for beginners and intermediates with meticulously groomed and easily accessible slopes. That being said it’s also a great place to have a romantic Carolina weekend getaway.
It’s small in stature, with about 27 acres and some of the lowest elevations around. Their snow is first rate, and they often offer a slightly longer season as a result. There’s plenty of lodging available on the slope side as well.
Both Boone and Blowing Rock are breathtaking towns to set up shop right near the mountain. You’ll find an abundance of options for shopping, dining, drinking, and kitschy entertainment in both. It’s also home to the famous French-Swiss Ski College, the largest of its kind in the South.
They offer a Flexi ticket which allows you to buy a pass and start using it at any hour of the day. If you need a rest, snuggle up by the roaring fire at their traditional lodge, offering all the cozy comforts you need.
Nearby Town: Boone
Cataloochee Ski Area
- ❄️ Address: 1080 Ski Lodge Road Maggie Valley (GPS)
- ❄️ Average Annual Snowfall: 50″
- 🎿 Elevation at Base: 4660′
- 🏔️ Elevation at Summit: 5400′
- 🚠 Lift Ticket Cost: $50-$80
- 🚠 Projected Opening and Closing: Nov 20 to April 2, 2023
- 🚠 Total Lifts: 5
- 🎿 Website: Cataloochee Ski Area
Nestled in the serene Smoky Mountains, this snowy haven is farther east than the rest and is one of the best ski resorts in North Carolina. It’s set in the mountain hamlet of Maggie Valley and is the oldest ski area in the whole state. There are 18 runs, five lifts, and one terrain park. It’s geared towards beginners and intermediates who are hoping to hone their skills.
With an impressive elevation of 5,400 feet, the views are unparalleled. As such, it stays about 15 degrees colder than other resorts, resulting in a season that can be much longer. There are a total of 50 skiable acres, and they can get crowded.
For beginners try the tame Rabbit Hill, for intermediate skiers Rock Island Run should be the perfect level of fun, and more advanced adventurers can give the aptly named Omigosh a run. The lodge is ideal for apres ski amenities and even hosts live bluegrass bands on some evenings.
Everything you need is available to rent or buy, get fitted by the resident experts with top notch equipment. They are part of the Sustainable Slopes program, and work to keep their carbon footprint to a minimum. Cataloochee has been a winter tradition for locals in the area for many generations, so go to experience that classic Southern hospitality on the slopes.
Nearby Town: Maggie Valley
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort
- ❄️ Address: 578 Valley View Cir, Mars Hill (GPS)
- ❄️ Average Annual Snowfall: 65″
- 🎿 Elevation at Base: 4000′
- 🏔️ Elevation at Summit: 4700′
- 🚠 Lift Ticket Cost: $56-$76
- 🚠Projected Opening and Closing: Dec 2, 2022 to March 12, 2023
- 🚠Total Lifts: 4
- 🎿Website: Wolf Ridge Ski Resort
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort is one of the most charming ski resorts in North Carolina. It’s also the easiest to access, compared to the treacherous routes or inconvenient locations of some other options.
There are 15 trails here with four different lifts servicing the runs. The highest hill reaches 4,700 feet. The resort is 54 acres in total, and as such it can get crowded on the weekends.
It’s best to either stay at the Wolf Laurel Community or in the city of Asheville, which is about 30 minutes away. The rustic lodge is particularly impressive, with three stone fireplaces and large windows to look out at the trails.
There is cafeteria style dining available, but no bar so keep that in mind if you’re planning on a boozy beverage break. Nighttime skiing is offered as well.
Nearby Town: Mars Hill
Sapphire Valley Ski Resort
- ❄️ Address: 127 Cherokee Trail Sapphire (GPS)
- ❄️ Hours: 9:00 am -8:00 pm, Tube: 10:00 pm -6:00 pm
- ❄️ Average Annual Snowfall: 25″
- 🎿 Elevation at Base: 3200′
- 🏔️ Elevation at Summit: 3450′
- 🚠 Lift Ticket Cost: $50-$70
- 🚠 Projected Opening and Closing: Dec 18, 2022 to March 05, 2023
- 🚠 Total Lifts: 3
- 🎿 Website: Sapphire Valley Ski Resort
Set in Sapphire Valley, North Carolina among the Blue Ridge Mountains, this area is a hidden gem of the alpine ski scene. The main run at Sapphire Valley is 1,600 feet, with a vertical drop of 200 feet.
You can easily obtain group or individual lessons if you’re new to the snowy slopes. The Four Seasons Grill has many delicious culinary choices to chow down on. The recreation center on-site offers all the apres ski amenities, such as an indoor pool, hot tub, and sauna.
Frozen Falls Tube Park offers 500 foot runs with a dare devil drop that’s over 60 feet tall. The surface lift takes you back up to the top again, so you can tube to your heart’s content. For a dose of quaint small town kitsch, check out their annual outhouse races. Tiny handmade structures are placed on skis and raced down the mountain for charity.
Nearby Town: Cashiers
Travel Around North Carolina
We hope you have fun at one of these North Carolina ski resorts! Here are some other guides around the NC mountains.