Skiing in North Carolina: Guide for Best Locations and Peak Snow Dates

Written by Lev Baker
Published: January 15, 2023
© Chase Merritt/
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Due to its southern location, North Carolina might not be on top of the list for ski lovers. However, the Tar Heel State has a range of resorts for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. From the high peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the rolling hills of the Piedmont region, North Carolina has many choices. Skiing in North Carolina is a beloved pastime for residents and visitors alike!

Whether you’re a seasoned pro looking for challenging runs or just learning the ropes, you’ll find many opportunities to enjoy this epic winter sport in beautiful North Carolina. Here are some top picks for your next skiing adventure!

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort

Sugar Mountain
At night, the slopes are illuminated, allowing you to continue skiing under the stars.


If you’re looking for top-notch skiing in North Carolina, Sugar Mountain is the place to go. This area features a massive 1,200-foot vertical drop and 21 runs of varying difficulty levels.

The resort also boasts eight lifts, including high-speed options, and 125 acres of skiable terrain. You can definitely make the most of your time on this mountain. At night, the slopes are illuminated, allowing you to continue skiing under the stars.

When you need a break, head to the lodge to relax and warm up in front of the cozy fireplace. This lodge features both a large outdoor deck and indoor sitting area. You can grab a bite to eat or a hot drink. The resort also offers a variety of additional activities such as tubing, skating, and snowshoeing.

In the upcoming 2022/23 ski season, Sugar Mountain is introducing a new high-speed quad lift that is detachable. This upgrade will significantly reduce ride time from nine minutes down to just two. This new lift will also increase uphill capacity, allowing 2,400 skiers to reach the top quickly.

Sugar Mountain is located just a short 10-minute drive from the town of Banner Elk, making it a convenient and enjoyable destination for a winter getaway. The town offers a range of accommodation options, from cozy cabins to hotels.

Average Annual Snowfall

On average, Sugar Mountain Ski Resort gets around 46 inches of snow yearly. The best time to visit this beautiful resort is January and February, with January seeing the most snowfall.

In January, the resort typically gets about 18 inches of snow spread out over four days. The average base depth is around 32 inches, while the summit depth is usually about 70 inches.

Beech Mountain Ski Resort

Beech Mountain
While skiing and snowboarding are the main events, Beech Mountain also offers a tubing park and skating rink at the base of the mountain.


With an impressive elevation of 5,506 feet, Beech Mountain is the highest ski area on the East Coast. This location means plenty of breathtaking views. The mountain features 17 runs across 95 acres of skiable area, with a vertical drop of 830 feet. The area caters to a variety of skill levels.

This season, Beech Mountain is set to make significant upgrades to its park. It will relocate to the Powder Bowl and add new features such as rails, bumps, and humps. There will also be a progression park in the Meadows for those just starting out. The old terrain park will be transformed into a beginner’s trail, equipped with a surface lift.

While skiing and snowboarding are the main events, Beech Mountain also offers a tubing park and skating rink at the base of the mountain, providing plenty of activities for non-skiers in your group. In addition, night skiing is available seven days a week, allowing you to hit the slopes until 9 pm.

When it’s time to take a break, you can take advantage of a cozy lodge with lovely Bavarian architecture. It sits at the base of the mountain, along with a restaurant. The lodge features both indoor and outdoor seating. An outdoor deck at the top of the mountain serves beverages and offers stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

If you’re planning on skiing or snowboarding multiple days, it may be convenient to book a place in the town of Beech Mountain. Conveniently located next to ski hill, it’s a suitable option for those looking to maximize their time on the mountain.

Average Annual Snowfall

Beech Mountain Ski Resort gets most of its snow during the months of January and February. On average, the resort receives 41 inches of snow in a year.

January is the snowiest month and may be the best time to visit this resort. It receives 19 inches of snow on average over four days. This mountain sees an average base depth of 30 inches in January and an average summit depth of 57 inches.

Appalachian Ski Mountain

Appalachian Mountain
This is a family-friendly spot, with plenty of groomed runs and gentle slopes to enjoy.


If you’re a fan of skiing or snowboarding, you don’t want to miss out on Appalachian Ski Mountain. This resort has three amazing terrain parks that are sure to thrill serious riders. But even if you’re a beginner or looking for a family-friendly spot, you’ll find plenty of groomed runs and gentle slopes to enjoy.

When you need a break from hitting the slopes, make your way to the mountain’s large base lodge. With a cozy stone fireplace and a spacious deck that offers spectacular views, it’s the perfect place to relax and warm up.

One of the things that sets Appalachian Ski Mountain apart is its Park Pass system. To ride the upper-level terrain parks, you’ll need to pass a safety test, which you can take online or on-site. This requirement is appreciated by many riders because it helps to keep everyone safe on the mountain.

In addition to its impressive terrain parks, this resort also offers flexible lift tickets. Valid for eight consecutive hours, these tickets allow you to get in a full day of activity, even if you don’t check-in until afternoon. And if you’re a night owl, you’ll be happy to know that night skiing is allowed until 10 pm on weeknights and midnight on weekends.

With regards to lodging, the nearby town of Blowing Rock is a great choice. It’s one of the best small towns in North Carolina and a top-notch ski destination definitely worth exploring.

Average Annual Snowfall

Appalachian Ski Mountain gets snow from November to March, with December being the snowiest month of the year. On average, the resort receives around 31 inches of snow yearly.

In December, the average snowfall is 13 inches over two days of snowfall. The average base depth is 24 inches, and the average summit depth is 41 inches.

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort 

Big Sky ski resort, Montana
This 54-acre location is a great destination for snowboarders.

©Robert Vincelli/

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort is an excellent destination for both skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels, offering a range of slopes. The resort also provides a variety of other activities, such as tubing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, horseback riding, caving, and hiking.

It spans 54 acres of skiable terrain, featuring 100% snow-making capability, and 15 illuminated runs for night skiing. Double, quad, and surface lifts are available for your convenience. One must-try activity at Wolf Ridge is snow tubing on the massive slope, which measures 350 feet in length! Snacks and drinks are available on the slopes as well.

The lodge features three fireplaces, a cafeteria, a gift shop, a rental shop, and a group sales department. They all have great views of the slopes. The Snow Sports School offers private and group lessons for all skill levels.

For accommodations, Wolf Ridge Ski Resort offers cabin rentals and nearby hotels. Wolf Laurel Resort (located next to Wolf Ridge) and Wolf Mountain Realty also have a variety of cabins, mountain chalets, and condominiums available for short or long-term rentals.

Located in Mars Hill, just 30 minutes north of Asheville, this charming resort is the perfect destination for a winter getaway.

Average Annual Snowfall

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort receives about 23 inches of snow every year, with most of it falling in January and February. The snowy season lasts from December to March.

In January, the average snowfall is 12 inches, with roughly four days of snowfall. The average base depth in this month is 38 inches, while the average summit depth is also 38 inches.

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About the Author

I have been a freelance writer for the past 2 years. I have a huge love of animals and I love building my knowledge of animals through research. I love sea creatures in particular, my favorite being the octopus because of their intelligence, and I mean, come on, what's not to love! I have a rescue boxer named Dante who is the friendliest pup a man could ask for.

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