12 Best North Carolina Ski Resorts & Snow Tube Parks

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 a plethora of 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 inclement weather that year. 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 and snow tubing in North Carolina below. 

Best North Carolina Ski Resorts

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort North Carolina

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 and challenging trails, along with 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. 

  • Address: 1009 Sugar Mountain Drive Sugar Mountain, NC 28604 ( GPS )
  • Hours: Ice Skating is open with sessions at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, and 8pm. The tubing park is open with sessions at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, and 8pm.

Beech Mountain Ski Resort 

Beech Mountain Ski Resort
Photo courtesy of VisitNC.

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. 

  • Address: 1007 Beech Mountain Pkwy Beech Mountain, NC 28604 ( GPS )
  • Hours: Sunday – Thursday : 9: 00 am- 9:00 pm, Friday & Saturday: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • Fee: For ticket prices, click here.

Appalachian Ski Mountain

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. 

  • Address: 940 Ski Mountain Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605, United ( GPS )
  • Hours: Sunday -Thursday : 8:00 am- 10:00 pm, Friday & Saturday : 8: 00 am – 12: 00 am
  • Fee: For ticket Prices, click here.

Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing Park

Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing Park

Set in Newland, North Carolina, the neighbor of bustling Banner Elk, this small snow park is perfect for the whole family. There are five lanes at Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing Park, for a fast and smooth ride every time. They range from slow and steady to steep and fast, so pick your path wisely and get ready for the ride of a lifetime. They make their own snow, so feel free to visit regardless of the winter weather. 

A conveyor will take you all the way to the top, and after you’ve ridden down enough times you can warm up by the fireside at their lodge on-site, or relax on the deck and watch your fellow tubers fly. It’s great fun and doesn’t require any lessons or skill learning. Stop by in the evening to enjoy the lit up lanes under a starry sky.

  • Address: 9472 NC-181, Newland, NC 28657 ( GPS )
  • Hours: December opening: 9:00 – 6:00 pm
  • Fees: 1 hour and 45 min Snow tubing: $35 per person, $30 -ages 6-under,1 hour Snow Tubing: $25, 6- under $20

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. 

  • Address: 1080 Ski Lodge Road Maggie Valley, NC 28751 ( GPS )
  • Hours: Weekdays: 9:00 am -4:30 pm, Weekend: 8:30 am- 4:30 pm

Moonshine Mountain Snow Tubing Park

Moonshine Mountain Snow Tubing Park is the steepest snow tubing spot you can find in North Carolina. Located in Hendersonville, this is the place to create some lasting mountain memories. They’ll even snap a picture for you that you can purchase later on. Go for a two hour session and you can slide down the hillsides as many times as you want. You can even link legs with companions and soar down the slopes together. 

There’s over 500 feet of thrilling tube runs to try here. You can trek to the top or take a tow lift which will transport you effortlessly up the mountain. They have their own food truck on-site, to fill up on delicious German fares after a day of fun in the snow. There’s even an outdoor fire pit you can warm up next to with a hot chocolate after your stellar tubing session. 

  • Address: 5865 Willow Road Hendersonville, NC 28739 ( GPS )
  • Hours: Friday : 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Saturday : 10:00 am – 9:00 am, Sunday : 10:00 am- 6:00 pm
  • Fees: $35 -for 2hours ( for all ages )

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort
Photo courtesy of VisitNC.com

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. 

  • Address: 578 Valley View Cir, Mars Hill, NC 28754 ( GPS )
  • Hours: Modnday – Saturday 9:00 am – 10:00 pm, Sunday : 9:00 am- 4:30 pm

Tube World

Snowmaking at Tube World
Snowmaking at Tube World | Credit from Tube World Facebook

Located in stunning Maggie Valley, this snow tubing destination is a few miles from the Cataloochee Ski Area. You can book a one hour and 45 minute block of time, which is plenty to play the day away in the fresh powder. There are five lanes to try, and it usually opens around mid-December. They host some holiday events as well. For any kids that don’t meet the height requirements, they can enjoy the Wee Bowl Snowplay place. 

The slopes are perfectly groomed and the runs are designed for gliding down on the special inner tubes used here. Take the magic carpet lift to the top and take in the winter scenery as you fly back down. Weekdays are slightly cheaper and likely to be less packed. Everything here is clean and safe, and offers a great time to tubers of all ages. 

  • Address: 4821 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC ( GPS )
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday 9:00 am – 10:00 pm, Sunday – 9:00 am -4:30 pm
  • Fees: Weekdays: $30 – for 1 hour and 45 mins, Weekends: $35 -for 1 hour and 45 mins,

Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center

Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center

Scaly Mountain does everything it can to take sledding, and other winter adventures, to the next level. The time honored tradition is beloved in the area, and Scaly Mountain honors it well. They can make their own fresh snow, so don’t worry about weather conditions before heading out to this hill. There’s even a kiddle slope for the little ones. 

If you’re finished sliding, try your hand at skating on the impressive ice rink at this outdoor center. Bartram Market is a charming shop on-site, for any and all souvenir shopping needs.Try some home made fudge or browse the local arts and crafts for sale. Annie’s Cafe is right inside, and a great way to warm up with some gourmet grub. 

Address: 7420 Dillard Road, Scaly Mountain, NC 28775 ( GPS )
Hours: Sunday – Wednesday : 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Thursday- Saturday : 9:00 am -8:00 pm

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. 

  • Address: 127 Cherokee Trail Sapphire, NC 28774 ( GPS )
  • Hours: 9:00 am -8:00 pm, Tube: 10:00 pm -6:00 pm

Hawksnest Snow Tubing

Hawksnest Snow Tubing and Zipline Resort
Photo courtesy of VisitNC.com

Hawksnest Snow Tubing is the largest snow tubing park in the East. The runs are up to 1,000 feet long. There are three magic carpet lifts, and there is plenty of space for everyone so it never feels too crowded. There are an array of terrains to try out on these 30 routes made just for tubes. It’s located in Seven Devils, North Carolina right near Boone, which means you’ll find plenty of ways to spend the rest of your winter getaway here. 

It’s best to buy tickets in advance, as they are sold on a first come first serve basis. They provide the occasional food truck, as well as a restaurant, cafe, and bar. The observation deck at the top of the hill has spectacular vistas and a cozy lodge for a hot drink by the fireplace. The ziplining is open year-round if you want to get a bird’s eye view above the pines you have already soared past in the snow. 

  • Address: 2058 Skyland Dr, Seven Devils, NC 28604, United States ( GPS )
  • Hours: Monday – Thursday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Friday- Saturday and Holidays: 10:00 am -6:00 pm
  • Fees: Monday – Thursday : $35, Saturday and Holidays- $45

Zip and Slip Snow Tubing Park

Zip and Slip Snow Tubing Park

This smaller tubing attraction helps to beat the crowds and enjoy uninterrupted winter fun. You can try out night tubing down the lit up runs as well. It’s family owned and offers three lanes and a magic carpet lift. The runs are fast enough for a thrill, but not too advanced if you don’t feel quite the need for speed as some other snow adventurers. 

You’ll even end each session with marshmallows to roast over the open fire. There’s a food truck on-site if you work up an appetite from flying down the hillside. It’s set in scenic Mars Hill, and the solarium is a stunning way to experience the surroundings. Zip and Slip often gives you the most chances to slide down the mountainside, compared to some of the bigger sites of its kind. 

Address: 10725 US-23, Mars Hill, NC 28754 ( GPS )
Hours: 9:00 am – 9: 00 pm
Fees: $30 -for 1 hour, $45- for 2 hours, Groups: $22.50- for 1 hour , $37.50 – for 2 hours

About Natasha

Natasha moved to North Carolina for college years ago (but she's not trying to age herself here). Her days were spent reading a book on the beach and enjoying a cold glass of sweet tea in between classes at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Upon graduation, she met her partner, Cameron, and they traveled the world together crossing 85 countries and six continents. After, six years of international travel they settled down and launched Lost in the Carolinas to share their experiences about and travel tips on South Carolina and North Carolina.

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