Sugar Mountain Ski Resort is North Carolina’s largest ski area and one of the premier mountain destinations in the southeastern US. Conveniently located only a few hours from most major cities in the region, this family-friendly resort offers an array of winter activities for all types of skiers and snowboarders. From beginning to expert, the folks at Capital Vacations say Sugar Mountain has something for everyone, including groomed trails, terrain parks, and night skiing.
Sugar Mountain is located in Banner Elk, NC, in Avery County. It lies on NC-105 just east of Grandfather Mountain and is roughly two hours north of Charlotte. The nearest international airport is Asheville Regional Airport (AVL), but Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT) also offers regular flights to nearby towns such as Hickory and Boone. In addition, visitors can rent cars or book private transportation through Asheville Limo or Exquisite Limousine Service Inc.
Hours & Lift Tickets
The resort operates mid-December through late March with lift tickets running around $50-$75 depending on age and time of day or week purchased; nighttime skiing costs additional. The slopes typically open at 8:30 am daily and close at 4:00 pm Monday – Thursday, 6:00 pm Friday – Saturday, and 5:00 pm Sunday when night skiing isn’t available. Depending on weather conditions, terrain park areas have varied opening times, so check the website before visiting.
Slopes & Trails
Sugar Mountain features more than 750 acres of skiable terrain divided up into 11 distinct trails with 20 diverse runs ranging from beginner to advanced levels; they are rated as follows: 35% beginner (green circle), 45% intermediate (blue square), and 20% advanced (black diamond). Of those trails, nine are maintained by snowmaking capabilities which help extend the season into early spring some years; there are several long cruisers for novice skiers to explore, plus some narrow glades for challenging tree skiing off the backside of the mountain.
If you’re a freestyle skiing or boarding fan, this is the place for you! With two terrain parks hosting an array of jumps, rails, boxes, and jibs to choose from – not to mention other creative features built just for enthusiasts like you – think how much fun it will be testing your limits in the air or grinding on rails/boxes. Look no further than our slopes and trails above to get started. Gunslinger, the larger of two parks located at the top, and Prospector, situated near the bottom lodge area, remain ever-changing with respect to size. So if you’re considering a visit, check for recent conditions updates before embarking on your journey.
Snow Tubing & Ice Skating
For those who need more time to try downhill skiing, Sugar Mountain Resort has a solution – tube runs over snow! This offers an alternative to the pavement used in most skate parks, allowing younger visitors to experience wintertime activities with ease still.
Everyone is welcome to participate in this activity, but all participants must sign a waiver beforehand. If an adult wishes to accompany their child, separate tubes will be needed due to weight restrictions. Those searching for other forms of exercise can enjoy the ice skating rink inside the main lodge area. You can choose between public or private rental packages depending on your preferences.
The Sugar Mountain area offers a rich variety of restaurants to tantalize your taste buds, no matter what type of cuisine you crave – from seafood and Mexican dishes to burgers, pizza, and more. Plus, there is something for every budget. You can find a few restaurants at the mountain’s base, with additional options in nearby Banner Elk and Valle Crucis.
Sugar Mountain also offers an array of bars that contain food and drinks for those looking for something to quench their thirst after hours of skiing or snowboarding. They have a variety of beers on tap, frozen cocktails, and other spirits to keep you warm on the slopes.