In the winter the High Country receives a significant amount of powdery white snow and freezing cold temperatures, making it a great place for snow skiing. There are several ski resorts in the High Country and the surrounding areas, many of which offer not only skiing but also snowboarding, ice skating and tubing. Generally, the ski season begins in the High Country around Thanksgiving and runs through the end of March.
In Blowing Rock, Appalachian Ski Mountain is a great place to go skiing for families and beginners. They offer skiing and snowboarding for all levels. Snowboarders in the area especially love Appalachian, as it has had the top rated terrain park year after year. Appalachian Ski Mountain is also on of the resorts that boasts an ice skating rink.
Hawksnest Resort, located in Seven Devils, near Banner Elk has long been a favorite place to go among locals for many reasons, one of which is they offer challenging terrain for all levels of skiers and boarders. Many of their trails fall into the intermediate/advanced level, perfect for those who aren’t beginners, yet aren’t experts either. This upcoming season, Hawksnest plans to open the largest terrain park in the High Country, providing excellent boarding for snowboarders. Hawksnest is also popular because they are open on Friday and Saturday nights for NightHawk skiing, under the lights. It’s the happening place to ski after hours.
Sugar Mountain is the largest ski area in North Carolina and is located in the Village of Sugar Mountain. Sugar Mountain is a favorite among groups and families because of their many great stay and play packages for accommodations and lift passes. The resort has a great snowboarding park, closed to skiers, snowshoeing, and a 700 ft long tubing park that is sure to provide lots of fun for the whole family. Sugar Mountain also has gorgeous panoramic views that can be seen from atop their mountain.
On a clear day, standing 5,506 feet above see level, you can see mountains in South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and both Virginias from the pinnacle of Beech Mountain. Ski Beech is the highest elevated resort in the Eastern United States. Ski Beech receives an average of 80″ of snow annually, placing them at the top of the list of resorts in North Carolina in terms of natural snowfall. If you are planning a visit to Western North Carolina during the winter and your goal is to see natural snowfall, then Ski Beech is always your best bet!
Outside of the High Country area of North Carolina are the other great North Carolina ski areas like Cataloochie, which is located in Maggie Valley and has both challenging and welcoming trails for all levels. The Sapphire Valley ski area located in Sapphire, North Carolina is an integral part of a 5,700 acre four-season resort nestled in the pristine Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The average elevation is 4,300 feet. Sapphire Valley also features an excellent and family friendly tubing run. Wolf Laurel ski resort is also a popular family favorite. Located in Mars Hill, the resort has expanded this season and offers more trails and a great board terrain park. For those that are looking for just tubing and sledding options, Scaly Mountain Resort offers great tubing runs this year, and will not be offering skiing. Tubing is a lot of fun, especially for children. For up to date information on skiing in North Carolina, check out www.skinc.com, which features prizes and contests seasonally.
In the surrounding states, you can find many great resorts that offer skiing and snowboarding as well. Check www.skisoutheast.com for great information on the ski resorts in the surrounding areas.