Your Guide To High Country Skiing

If you’re in the High Country, you should definitely add skiing to your list of things to do. The natural snowfall, endless mountains, and cold temperatures all combine in the winter to create a skier’s paradise – from the end of November until mid-March, the area is transformed into a picturesque landscape of smooth slopes and sparkling snow. Don’t let the smaller mountain peaks of the Appalachian fool you. These slopes are both challenging and enjoyable. We’ve put together a guide to the area’s three ski resorts so that you’ll be prepared for your next visit.

Appalachian Ski Mountain

The sun rises over the lifts at Appalachian Ski MountainIf you’re looking for a timeless skiing experience, check out the High Country’s very first ski area: Appalachian Ski Mountain. Conveniently located between Blowing Rock and Boone, the resort opened in 1962 and has been serving skiers all across the nation ever since. Their twelve slopes offer skill levels for everyone, whether you’re an experienced skier or a first-timer. And for all those beginners out there, don’t worry. The resort is also home to the French-Swiss Ski College, the Southeast’s largest independent ski school, where private and group lessons are offered daily.

Not only is Appalachian Ski Mountain one of the oldest and largest resorts in the High Country, it also offers unique and fun events to switch up your skiing habits. There are three areas set aside for freestyle, night skiing activities, music playing on the slopes, and heated sidewalks — all to keep you busy, entertained, and warm. It’s a great place to experience skiing for the first time or elevate your skiing experience to the next level.

Sugar Mountain

Snow machines are hard at work as skiers fly down Sugar Mountain

Nearby in Banner Rock lies Sugar Mountain, North Carolina’s largest winter resort. With 21 slopes – including the area’s only double-black diamond run, Whoopdeedoo – Sugar Mountain is nearly unmatched in variety and size, making it fun for the whole family. Experiment with different slopes and terrains while taking in breathtaking views of the High Country and beyond – enjoy Grandfather Mountain, Mount Mitchell, and even distant Tennessee and Virginia from the comfort of your chairlift.

Sugar Mountain’s 115 skiable acres may seem daunting to an inexperienced skier, but don’t let the expert slopes intimidate you. There are plenty of beginner and intermediate slopes and terrains, and the resort’s own ski and snowboard school is perfect for learning or brushing up on your skiing skills. The resort offers great deals and packages throughout the winter season, so you’re probably safe not planning your visit until closer to when you’d like to travel.

Beech Mountain Resort

A blanket of snow covers the town of Beech Mountain

Beech Mountain sits at an impressive 5,506 feet above sea level, the elevation of this resort town is one of its most attractive elements and makes it the highest ski resort in Eastern America. And with high elevation comes unbelievable views, which from the summit on a clear day will give way to mountains as far as the eye can see. Combined with the quaint ski village atmosphere and an exciting variety of slopes, Beech Mountain will quickly make its way to the top of your ski list.

With more than 84 inches of annual snowfall, Beech Mountain is a snow lover’s paradise. The natural beauty of the High Country is highlighted by the crisp mountain air and warm, friendly environment. Whether you’re speeding down the steep White Lightning or freestyling in the beginner’s learning areas, there’s no better way to experience the excitement of the High Country

Skiing isn’t just a High Country pastime – it’s a beloved tradition that celebrates the area’s unique climate and culture. Next time you visit, make sure to check out one (or all) of the High Country’s resorts for a skiing experience you won’t soon forget.