Outdoor guide: 7 places to ski and snowboard within 3 hours of Charlotte

Outdoor guide: 7 places to ski and snowboard within 3 hours of Charlotte

Beech Mountain. Photo: Matt Hill/Axios Charlotte

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This guide is proudly presented by OrthoCarolina – our partners in healthy living. If you want more outdoor itinerary inspiration, check out OrthoCarolina’s blog. Happy exploring.


Ski season is finally here, just in time to gift the skier or snowboarder in your life lift tickets.

Luckily, North Carolina has a handful of options for those wanting to take a quick trip to the mountains (someone please convince my friends). Here are seven ski resorts located within three hours of Charlotte.

  • Editor’s Note: Pricing shown is for 2021/22 season, updated December 2021. Some resorts offer special discounted pricing in the off-peak season, on weekdays and on multi-day rentals.

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Appalachian Ski Mountain, Blowing Rock

Distance from Charlotte: ~95 miles, 1 hour 53 minutes

Season: Now until March 27, 2022

Rental rates: $18-$35 for ski rentals. $36-$42 for snowboard rentals. Find more details here.

Lift rates: $34-$71. More details can be found here.

Number of slopes: 12 (three green runs, three blue runs, three black diamond runs and three freestyle terrain areas)

Slope status: Find the slope report here and get a live view from the slope cam here.

Food & drink: The on-site restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with offerings like eggs and bacon, grilled burgers and hot dogs.

Prefer not to hit the slopes? Hit the ice skating rink instead. There are three ice skating sessions per day (noon to 2pm, 3-5pm and 7-9pm). Ice skating rates range from $19-$26 depending on the day of the week. Details.

ski app ski guide

Photo: Matt Hill/Axios Charlotte


Sugar Mountain Resort, Sugar Mountain

Distance from Charlotte: ~113 miles, 2 hours 15 minutes

Season: Open now through March 2022

Rental rates: $18-$21 for ski rentals, $43-$49 for snowboard rentals, $12 for poles and helmet rentals are $9-$14. Full details here.

Lift rates: $39-$80. Find the full price breakdown here.

Number of slopes: 21 (eight green runs, nine blue runs, one blue/black run, two black runs and one double black run).

Slope status: Find the slope report here and get a live view from the slope cam here.

Food & drink: There are several places nearby to grab something to eat. Click here for a full list of options.

Alternatives to the slopes? There’s tubing, ice skating and snowshoeing as well. Find more events and activities here.

sugar mountain ski guide

Photo: Matt Hill/Axios Charlotte


Beech Mountain Resort, Beech Mountain

Distance from Charlotte: ~121 miles, 2 hours 35 minutes

Season: Open now through March 18, 2022

Rental rates: Ski & snowboard rentals range from $28-$34. Helmets rent for $10, ski boots and snowboard boots rent for $15. Find more details here.

Lift rates: $36-$46. Find the price breakdown here.

Number of slopes: 17 (four green runs, eight blue runs, four black diamond runs and two freestyle terrain parks)

Slope status: Find the slope report here and get a live view from the slope cam here.

Food & drink: Grab a bite to eat from 5506′ Skybar or enjoy a beer and bar bites from Beech Mountain Brewing Company.

Prefer not to hit the slopes? Ice skating is closed for the 2021/2022 season, but tubing will open later this season. Check the status here.

beech mountain ski lift

Photo: Matt Hill/Axios Charlotte


Sapphire Valley, Sapphire

Distance from Charlotte: ~151 miles, 2 hours 45 minutes

Scheduled season: December 18, 2021, until early March 2022

Rental rates (rental + lift): $42-$83. See the full breakdown here.

Lift rate (only): $26-$58

Number of slopes: Two. The resort has one 1,600-foot main run with a 200-foot vertical drop. It accommodates all levels of skiers and aims to attract families. There’s also a beginner/training slope.

Slope status: Find the snow report here and get a live view of snow production on the ski cam here.

Food & drink: Take a break to refuel at one of the resort’s many restaurants. Find the list here.

Want more mountain fun? There’s tubing and a number of amenities, like a sauna and gym for those who stay on site.


Cataloochee Ski Area, Maggie Valley

Distance from Charlotte: ~155 miles, 2 hours 50 minutes

Season: Now through the end of February 2022

Rental rates: $29-$35; $10 for helmets. See the details here.

Lift rates: $26-$76. See the full breakdown here.

Number of slopes: 17 (eight green runs, seven blue runs, two black runs and a terrain park)

Slope status: See the snow report here and get a live view from the base cam here.

Food & drink: Start the day with a filling breakfast from Joey’s Pancake House, warm up with some award-winning chili from Maggie Valley Sandwich Shop and end the day at BrickHouse Burgers and Pizza.

Want more mountain fun? Go tubing. See details here.


Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, Mars Hill

Distance from Charlotte: ~160 miles, 2 hours 40 minutes

Season: Now until mid-March 2022

Rental rates: $28-$36; $10 for helmets. Find the full details here.

Lift rates: $35-$70. Find the full details here.

Number of slopes: 14 (Four green runs, nine blue runs and two black diamond runs)

Slope status: Find the snow report here and get a live view from the slope cams here.

More mountain fun? Go snow tubing. See the full details here.

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

Photo courtesy of Matt Jackson.


Winterplace Ski Resort, Ghent, West Virginia

Distance from Charlotte: ~195 miles, 3 hours

Scheduled season: December 18 until mid-March 2022

Rental rates: $28-$39 including boots and poles, $10 for helmets. Find the full breakdown here.

Lift rates: $39.99-$70.99. Find more details here.

Number of slopes: 27 (12 green runs, 11 blue runs, 4 black diamond runs plus 1 terrain park)

Slope status: Find the snow report here and get a live view from the two slope cams here.

Food & drink: Stop and grab a bite to eat at one of several on-site dining spots like Mountain Mama’s Food court, The MountainHouse or Snowdrift Lounge. More info can be found here.

Alternatives to the slopes? The resort is home to West Virginia’s largest snow tubing park.

Winterplace Ski Resort

Photo courtesy of Winterplace Ski Resort.


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