If you’re thinking about doing a little snow skiing this winter, be sure to include western North Carolina in your planning. It’s a different kind of skiing experience than what you’ll have in Utah or Colorado, but if you’re on a budget, just learning, or you simply don’t have the time to make it out to the big ski resorts out west, North Carolina has some great alternatives.
Just 30 minutes west of Brevard, or an hour from the Asheville Regional Airport, you’ll find the Sapphire Valley Resort at about 3500 ft elevation. It’s inexpensive and a terrific place to learn without the crowds typically found at bigger ski resorts. There is one main slope that is 1600ft with a 200ft drop, a bunny slope, a tube hill, and an onsite school for all ages. If you don’t have the gear, you can rent everything you need including skis, snow boards, boots, and bibs. When you aren’t on the slopes, you can grab a bite to eat at the on site restaurant. There are a number of accommodation options in the area including a Hampton Inn that is just outside the entrance to Sapphire Valley. You can reach the resort at 828-743-7663 or visit online at www.sapphirevalley.com.
For the more adventurous skier travel another hour or so west and visit Cataloochee. This is a much bigger ski center with over 50 acres of skiing options on 12 different trails depending on your skiing ability. Cataloochee is at about 5400 ft. elevation so it is one of the first resorts to open each season. They have a full rental program, school, and tons of different events going on throughout the winter months.
North and northeast of the Asheville area, in the higher elevations are Wolf Ridge, Beech, and Sugar Mountain. Most ski resorts offer packages this time of year so be sure to visit their websites for additional information.
Western North Carolina is a great place to visit any time of the year. This winter grab the family and discover what winter is all about here in western North Carolina.