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Skiing in the North Carolina Mountains

Updated on January 15, 2008

North Carolina's Appalachian Mountains are the highest mountains east of the Rockies. The ski season normally runs from Thanksgiving to mid-March, or around 100 days. There's something for everyone here. Rookie skiers, advanced skiers, snowboarders, snow tubers, and ice skaters can all enjoy a scenic and memorable mountain experience. Whether by day or night, the North Carolina ski areas have everything needed, including rental equipment and instruction.

The mountains of North Carolina have the highest elevations and the coldest climates in the South. The weather in your town is probably not indicative of the conditions in the mountains. With every thousand-foot rise in elevation, there is usually a 3-4 degree drop in temperature. Therefore, the mountain areas are usually at least 15-20 degrees cooler than the lower elevations.

To augment an average snowfall of 60 inches, state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment provides 100% slope coverage. When temperatures fall below freezing, the process of making snow cranks up. This is the key to creating great slope conditions. The art of snowmaking involves creating a mixture of water and air under pressure and spraying it out of a snow gun. The mixture then turns to snow and falls to the ground.

Studies have shown that the majority of skiers utilizing North Carolina slopes are North Carolina residents and are loyal to their favorite resort. 40% of skiers come from North Carolina, 18% from Georgia, 16% from South Carolina, and 14% from Florida.

Most visitors primarily come to the mountains to ski despite the growing popularity of snowboarding among the younger set. Over 70% of visitors come to ski, 20% come to snowboard, and about 5% to tube.

North Carolina's seven ski slopes are: Appalachian Ski Mountain, Cataloochee Ski Area, Hawksnest Golf and Ski Resort, Sapphire Valley Ski Area, Ski Beech, Sugar Mountain Resort and Wolf Laurel.

Cataloochee Ski Area

1080 Ski Lodge Road

Maggie Valley, NC 28751

Phone: (828) 926-0285 (800) 768-0285

Fax: (828) 926-0285



Hawksnest Resort

2058 Skyland Drive

Banner Elk, NC 28604

Phone : (828) 963-6561

Ski Report: (800) 822-4295



Sapphire Valley Ski Area

207 Sapphire Valley Road

Sapphire, NC 28774

Phone: (828) 743-7663 (828) 743-6772



Ski Beech

PO Box 1118

Beech Mountain Parkway

Beech Mountain, NC 28604

Phone: (828) 387-2011 (800) 438-2093



Appalachian Ski Mtn

PO Box 106

940 Ski Mountain Rd

Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Phone: (828) 295-7828 (800) 322-2373



Sugar Mountain Resort

PO Box 369

1009 Sugar Mountain Drive

Banner Elk, NC 28604

Phone: (828) 898-4521 (800) SUGAR-MT



Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

578 Valley View Circle

Mars Hill, NC 28754

Phone: (828) 689-4111 (800) 817-4111



How To Make Snow






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