In Part 1 of our guide to North Carolina’s ski resorts and attractions, we covered Beech Mountain, Appalachian Ski Mountain, and the Cataloochee Ski Area; now we’re back with the lowdown on Sugar Mountain Resort, Sapphire Valley Resort, and Wolf Ridge Ski Resort. Just like last time, we’re covering ski destinations that suit a wide variety of needs, from places the avid skier will love to those more suited to your buddy who’s inexperienced on the slopes. The great thing is that, because they’re all located within a few hours of each other, you can pick and choose from among them depending on what you’re in the mood for on a given winter weekend. Thinking of a couple leisurely hours on the trail and a nice dinner? Consider Sapphire Valley. Leaning more towards an athletic weekend of winter sports? Read on to find out where you might find what you’re looking for. Or, of course, check out the rest of our information on ski getaways in North Carolina!
With twenty ski slopes and trails on 115 acres, Sugar Mountain Resort offers plenty of diversion for the skier at any level of expertise, including four expert trails. Also available are tubing and ice skating. The resort is one of the most professionally-maintained skiing destinations in North Carolina, boasting a snowmaking system that covers 100% of skiable terrain when the weather isn’t cooperating, a state-of-the-art lift network, and a ski school staffed by the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI). Music festivals and other events are also hosted at the resort on a regular basis. Schedules and tickets available at www.skisugar.com.
Sapphire Valley Resort, near the South Carolina and Georgia borders, offers a modest three slopes among its attractions during the season. Services in the Sapphire Valley Ski Area cater to beginners, and what the resort lacks in variety it makes up for in excellent instruction options. For a hardcore ski getaway, it’s obvious you’ll need to go elsewhere. But prices are good, and if you’re looking to introduce a novice skier to the slopes while also enjoying some of the other things the resort has to offer, including fine dining and other nature sports, Sapphire can be a nice option. www.skisapphire.com
Wolf Ridge has the widest variety of trails of any resort in this section of our North Carolina skiing guide. There are 22, including three black diamonds and eight “difficult” slopes. A ski school offers both group and private lessons on a regular schedule during ski season. One of Wolf Ridge’s main attractions is the beautiful Ridge Lodge, a 22,000 ski lodge built in an attractive modern-rustic style with incredible views of the mountains and an enviably cozy feel on the inside. When it comes to ticket sales, prices are competitive and special group rates are available with a phone call ahead. www.skiwolfridgenc.com