The 6 Best Places for Snowboarding in North Carolina

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When it comes to skiing and snowboarding mountains in the Southeastern U.S., North Carolina is easily the best option available.

But, that’s not to say that snowboarding in North Carolina is some rinky-dink undertaking. There are some serious slopes for snowboarding NC!

Remember, all of the tallest mountains east of the Rockies are in the state of North Carolina! And the best North Carolina snowboarding resorts are located near Boone or Asheville.

For those making a trip to NC specifically for winter recreation, the resorts around Boone—including Appalachian Ski Mountain, Beech Mountain Ski Resort, and Sugar Mountain Ski Resort— are arguably the best in the state.

But that’s not to say the resorts near Asheville—Cataloochee Ski Area and Wolf Ridge Ski Resort— are slouches. They each have over a dozen runs, and plenty of vertical drop to get some speed built up.

The season for snowboarding in NC generally starts in early December and goes into March, with the occasional bonus session in April.

Read on for our guide to the 6 best places for snowboarding in North Carolina, including an overview of each NC ski resort’s history, amenities, and snowboarding packages. 

READ MORE: 20 Awesome Things to Do for Winter in North Carolina

North Carolina Snowboarding Guide

(Arranged alphabetically)

  1. Appalachian Ski Mountain (Blowing Rock)
  2. Beech Mountain Ski Resort (Beech Mountain)
  3. Cataloochee Ski Area (Maggie Valley)
  4. Ski Sapphire Valley (Sapphire)
  5. Sugar Mountain Ski Resort (Sugar Mountain)
  6. Wolf Ridge Ski Resort (Mars Hill)

READ MORE: The 20 Best Places to Celebrate Christmas in North Carolina

Snowboarding Boone BC at Appalachian Ski Mountain
Photo courtesy Appalachian Ski Mountain

1. Appalachian Ski Mountain

940 Ski Mountain Rd, Blowing Rock NC • (800) 322-2373

Official Website

For Boone NC snowboarding and snowboarding in Blowing Rock, the closest option is Appalachian Ski Mountain, which is located right between the two towns.

This ski resort was founded in 1968, with a huge expansion taking place in 1984, more modernization in the early 1990s, and a recent update of their snow-making equipment.

In addition to 12 slopes (3 easy, 3 intermediate, 3 difficult), Appalachian Ski Mountain has three freestyle terrains that are ideal for snowboarding. The total vertical drop is 375 feet.

Tickets for the mountain include 8-Hour Flex, Super Sessions (9AM-10PM), Night Sessions (5PM-10PM), Midnight Blast Sessions (5PM-Midnight), or Half-Night Sessions (8:30PM-Midnight). Multi-day tickets are also available.

Children under six ski for free with a ticketed adult. Children between 6 and 12, seniors over 60, and military families get discounts.

Note that weekday skiing costs significantly less here than weekends and skiing around the Christmas holidays.

Their French Swiss Ski College offers hour-long group lessons for complete beginners and anyone needing to build more confidence. They also have workshops for intermediates who want to improve their skills.

READ MORE: The Best Places for Snow Skiing in North Carolina

Beech Mountain Snowboarding - Beech Mountain Ski Resort
Beech Mountain Ski Resort Snowboarding, photo via Facebook

2. Beech Mountain Ski Resort

1007 Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain NC • (800) 438-2093

Official Website

The Beech Mountain Ski Resort (which is really a small ski village) offers the best snowboarding in North Carolina. It’s convenient for anyone interested in snowboarding near Boone NC, Blowing Rock, and Banner Elk.

The resort has 95 acres of snowboarding topography and 17 ski trails, including 3 green circles, 7 blue squares, 4 black diamonds, and 2 freestyle terrains.

Beech Mountain is the highest town and ski resort east of the Mississippi River, and it gets more of that fresh NC mountain snow than just about anywhere in the state.

The slopes at Beech Mountain are just below the small town and offer a vertical drop of over 800 feet, with the highest elevation being 5,506 feet.

In addition to having loads of natural snow, Beech Mountain Ski Resort has 100% snow-making capabilities for its slopes, so Beech Mountain snowboarding stays available throughout the season.

Slope tickets are available as Day (9AM-5PM), Twilight (1PM-Close), Morning Half-Day (9AM-1PM), Afternoon Half-Day(1PM-5PM), Night (5PM-Close), and Beech Passes (which are good from open to close).

Multi-day tickets come with a free night on the slopes, and season passes are also possible.

Snowboarders over 70 years old can hit the slopes for free, and children under 4 are free with ticketed adults. Weekday passes are notably cheaper than weekend passes and Christmas visits.

The Burton Learn to Ride Center teaches the basics of snowboarding to beginners ages 6-12 years old, and the Ski & Ride School has hourly lessons available for all ages.

READ MORE: The 11 Best Places for Snow Tubing in North Carolina

Maggie Valley Snowboarding - Cataloochee Ski Area Snowboarding in NC
Cataloochee Ski Area Snowboarder, photo via Facebook

3. Cataloochee Ski Area

1080 Ski Lodge Rd, Maggie Valley NC • (828) 926-0285

Official Website

Located 14 miles north of Waynesville NC, the Cataloochee Ski Area began as a cattle farm back in the 1930s. But after adding 4 snow-making machines in 1961, CSA became the first of the North Carolina ski resorts.

This is the best place for snowboarding in Maggie Valley. And since it’s just 35 miles east of Asheville, it’s also one of the best places for snowboarding near Asheville NC.

Today the Cataloochee Ski Area offers 50 acres of snow-based recreation, with 18 runs. Eight are rated easy, and offer great snowboarding for beginners. There are also 7 intermediate runs and 3 expert slopes.

They also have “The Cat Cage,” a terrain park with separate sections for beginners and intermediate/advanced snowboarders.

Cataloochee’s slopes have a total vertical drop of 740 feet, and the longest continuous run (Upper and Lower Snowbird) is around 2/3 of a mile.

Lift tickets are available as 4-hour, 6-hour, and night passes (5 PM to close), with the option of extending the 4- and 6-hour passes after 5 PM.

Children ages 12 and under get a discounted rate, while seniors over 70 ride the lifts for free, and seniors between 65 and 70 get a discount as well.

The Ski & Ridge Center can provide group and private snowboarding lessons., and “Cat Trackers” specializes in working with younger children ages 4 to 12.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Things to Do in Maggie Valley NC

Snowboarding NC - Ski Sapphire Valley
Ski Sapphire Valley via Facebook

4. Ski Sapphire Valley

127 Cherokee Trail, Sapphire NC • (828) 743-7663

Official Website

The southernmost North Carolina snowboarding option is located near the town of Cashiers and Lake Toxaway on the two slopes at Ski Sapphire Valley.

SSV’s primary slope is 1600 feet long and has a vertical drop of 200 feet.

There’s also a smaller bunny/learning slope for children and beginners to practice on.

Their slopes are open Fridays (Noon to 8PM), Saturdays (9AM to 8PM), and Sundays (9AM to 6PM), with lift tickets split into either day or twilight passes. Two- and three-day passes are also available.

This isn’t the best place for snowboarding in the NC mountains. But for those who are planning to visit the area, it can be a nice fix until you can make it to one of the larger North Carolina snowboarding resorts.

Though the facility is small, it does feature the Sapphire Valley Ski School, which provides one-hour lessons in snowboarding throughout the day.

READ MORE: The 6 Best North Carolina Ski Resorts to Visit

Snowboarding NC - Sugar Mountain Snowboarding
Sugar Mountain Snowboarding, photo via Facebook

5. Sugar Mountain Resort

1009 Sugar Mountain Dr., Sugar Mountain NC • (800) 784-2768

Official Website

Another option for Boone snowboarding is Sugar Mountain Resort. It’s located near Grandfather Mountain, about 15 miles from Boone and Blowing Rock, or just 4 miles from Banner Elk.

The mountain offers the longest runs and largest vertical drop for snowboarding NC, with about 5 total miles of trails to ride.

The elevation drops from 5,300 feet to 4,100 feet, so it’s no surprise that Sugar Mountain snowboarding is widely regarded as some of the best snowboarding in NC.

There are 20 slopes at Sugar Mountain, as well as a beginner’s area and a Terrain Park. The resort also features the only double-black diamond slope in the state.

Tickets are cheaper on weekdays, and can be full-day (9AM to 4:30PM), half-day (12:30PM to 4:30PM), twilight (12:30PM to 4:30PM or 6PM to 10PM), or night skiing (6PM to 10PM). Season passes are available as well.

Children ages 5 to 11 get a discounted rate, while children under the age of four can accompany a ticketed adult on the slopes for free.

There’s also a college discount offered on Sunday nights and weekdays, and discounts for all military personnel, their spouses, and their children.

If you’re just starting out on the slopes, Sugar Mountain’s Polar Bear Snowboard School offers accredited instructors who provide group and private lessons.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Banner Elk NC

Skiing Asheville NC -Wolf Ridge Resort
Wolf Ridge Resort via Facebook

6. Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

578 Valley View Circle, Mars Hill NC – (828) 689-4111

Official Website

Originally opened in 1969 as the Wolf Laurel Ski Area, Wolf Ridge Ski Resort changed ownership in the 1990s and immediately underwent a significant expansion.

Located just over 30 miles north of one of our favorite Blue Ridge Mountain towns, Wolf Ridge is the second option for snowboarding near Asheville NC.

The Wolf Ridge Ski Resort has 15 slopes– 4 for beginners, 9 for intermediates, and 2 for advanced skiers. The mountain has a 700-foot vertical drop.

Snowboarding passes can be full-day (9AM to 4:30PM), night area (6PM to 10PM), half-day (1PM to 4:30PM), twilight (1PM to 10:30PM), and extended area (9AM to 10PM).

Note that the slopes at Wolf Ridge are closed from 4:30PM to 6PM every day, and consecutive day passes are also available.

Children ages four and under get a free lift pass with a ticketed adult. All ticket booth sales are done on a first- come, first-served basis.

Wolf Ridge also has a Snow Sports School to provide both private and group lessons for beginners and intermediate-level snowboarders and skiers.  –by Jonathon Engels, leatured image via Canva

 

Leave No Trace logo

We encourage anyone who loves the Blue Ridge region to learn about the Leave No Trace principles of responsible environmental stewardship. 

Stay on marked trails, take only pictures, pack out your trash, and be considerate of others who share the trails and parks you explore. 

Remember that waterfalls and rocky summits can be dangerous. Never try to climb waterfalls or get close to a ledge to get a selfie.

When you're exploring the wilderness, it's better to be safe than to be a statistic!

After visiting the Western North Carolina for the first time, Jonathon Engels and his wife Emma spent two years looking for a few acres of property there to establish a permaculture homestead. During that search, he explored the Blue Ridge Parkway, surrounding towns, and parks. He has taught at both Blue Ridge Community College and Surry Community College, is a member of a long-established land conservation community near the town of Dobson, volunteers at the Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention, and continues to explore the Blue Ridge, a place he now lovingly calls home.