Just because you’re in the south doesn’t mean you can’t spend an incredible weekend swooping through some fresh pow on a pair of skis or a snowboard. Did you know that there are 9 incredible places to go snowboarding and skiing near Raleigh, NC? Take a look at our list, and we’ll see you on the slopes!

The Best Ski Resorts Near Raleigh

Cataloochee Ski Area

  • Distance from Raleigh: 286 miles (4 hours, 40 minutes)
  • Accommodations onsite? No, but many options nearby
  • Experience levels? All levels

With 740 feet of vertical, Cataloochee is a great place to go snowboarding or skiing near Raleigh, especially for adrenaline junkies. The ski area features 18 trails that are pretty evenly split across all levels. There is also a terrain park, tubing, and equipment rentals. With a season from early November to late March, as well as 100% snowmaking, Cataloochee will fulfill your ski and snowboarding dreams for the whole season. There are a number of options for lodging in nearby Maggie Valley.

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Sugar Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Raleigh: 205 miles (3 hours, 30 minutes)
  • Accommodations onsite? Some onsite, some in town
  • Experience levels? Beginner and intermediate

With 21 trails, 15 of which have lighting for night skiing, Sugar Mountain Resort is a great spot for a weekend away to go skiing or snowboarding. The 21 trails are mostly beginner and intermediate, with a few black diamonds sprinkled in to keep you on your toes. The resort also has a terrain park, snowshoeing, tubing, and ice skating – perfect for the whole fam! The resort features a mix of lodging both on and offsite.

Beech Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Raleigh: 210 miles (3 hours, 50 minutes)
  • Accommodations onsite? No, but many options close by
  • Experience levels? Intermediate and advanced

With 7 blue and 4 black diamond runs out of 17 total trails, Beech Mountain Resort is a great spot for intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. With ice skating and tubing the resort has lots of options for beginners or those who aren’t as interested in hitting the slopes. Enjoy your après in the village at the resort’s very own Beech Mountain Brewing Co. After a few brewskis you’ll want a cozy spot to sleep it off and get rested up for another day of shredding!

Sapphire Valley

  • Distance from Raleigh: 300 miles (5 hours)
  • Accommodations onsite? Yes, including at Foxhunt Townhouses
  • Experience levels? Beginner

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the delightful and family-oriented resort of Sapphire Valley. This is a great option for snowboarding and skiing near Raleigh, NC because of the learning centre slope, staffed by certified instructors and a moving carpet lift to get you back to the top as quickly as possible. There is also a winter zipline and a 300-foot tubing run for even more family-friendly fun, as well as a fire pit at the base for roasting marshmallows. Choose from a variety of lodging options both onsite and off, such as Foxhunt Townhouses or the Hampton Inn & Suites.

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Wisp Resort

  • Distance from Raleigh: 375 miles (6 hours, 30 minutes)
  • Accommodations onsite? Yes, at The Lodge at Wisp
  • Experience levels? All levels

Wisp Ski Resort is a fantastic place to learn how to ski. It’s a bit of a drive from Raleigh but you’ll be rewarded with a resort that is welcoming of those who have never set foot on a slope before. Within the resort, there are slopes ranging from very easy to “black diamond” difficult, meaning the resort attracts a wide variety of experience levels.

Even though Wisp Resort caters to all levels of skiers and snowboarders, we’ve included it here because it has one of the widest selections of easy/beginner-friendly slopes on our list. With 10 trails rated as green and another 14 with a blue/intermediate rating, there’s a LOT of skiing and snowboarding you can do here, even if you’re new to winter sports! Relax after a long day at the hill at the onsite accommodations, The Lodge at Wisp.

Appalachian Ski Mountain

  • Distance from Raleigh: 197 miles (3 hours, 15 minutes)
  • Accommodations onsite? Yes, multiple options
  • Experience levels? All levels

As the first ski area in Northwestern North Carolina, Appalachian Ski Mountain has a long history of family-friendly terrain, as well as an excellent ski school, the French Swiss Ski College. At under four hours away, this is a great option for snowboarding and skiing near Raleigh. Test your new skills on the 12 slopes that are a mix of greens, blues, and black diamonds, and ski under the stars with 100% night skiing coverage. If you don’t want to drive home after a jam-packed day on the slopes, there are a number of options for lodging.

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

  • Distance from Raleigh: 298 miles (4 hours, 55 minutes)
  • Accommodations onsite? Yes, and multiple options nearby
  • Experience levels? Beginner and intermediate

Located just 5 miles off of I-26, Wolf Ridge Ski Resort is one of North Carolina’s most accessible places to go snowboarding or skiing near Raleigh, NC. With 700 feet of vertical and 14 runs, the hill has lots of room to play, especially for beginner and intermediate riders. Warm up by one of 3 stone fireplaces in the rustic lodge, and stay in nearby Mars Hill.

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Winterplace Ski Resort

  • Distance from Raleigh: 247 miles (3 hours, 45 minutes)
  • Accommodations onsite? Yes, at The Cabins at Winterplace
  • Experience levels? All levels

Located in nearby West Virginia, Winterplace Ski Resort has 90+ skiable acres to explore. The resort’s 27 trails are a solid mix of greens, blues, and black diamonds, and there is also a terrain park where you can practice your jumps and spins. If Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, the resort has 100% snowmaking coverage. Night skiing is free with the purchase of an All Day Lift Ticket, so you can keep the good times rolling, even after dark. For lodging, you can stay onsite at the resort’s cabins, or in the town of Princeton.

Roan Mountain State Park

  • Distance from Raleigh: 220 miles (3 hours, 55 minutes)
  • Accommodations onsite? No
  • Experience levels? Backcountry experience required

For some of the Deep South’s most awe-inspiring peaks, check out the cross-country skiing at Roan Mountain State Park. This park borders North Carolina and Tennessee, receiving up to 130 inches of snow in a season. All of the skiing here is backcountry, so be sure to carry proper safety gear and let someone know where you’re going and when to expect you back. Make a weekend of it and stay in a quaint cabin near the park.

All the Details You Need to Know Before Snowboarding or Skiing Near Raleigh, NC

What to Pack:

  • Waterproof outerwear – Possibly the most critical pieces of clothing for your ski trip packing list is durable, waterproof outerwear. Burton and Helly Hansen are famous ski brands for having best-in-class clothing that will keep you warm in the coldest, snowiest conditions. Click here to shop ski jackets and compare prices.
  • Thermal layers – Thermal baselayers are absolutely critical for a smooth skiing experience, as these will keep you warm and dry underneath your outerwear. The best kinds of thermal baselayers are made of Merino wool, which is moisture-wicking and comfortable. Our favorite brand of thermal layers is SmartWool – their tops and leggings are soft, lightweight, but warm and durable for all kinds of outdoor activities, including skiing. Click here to shop thermal tops and leggings and compare prices.
  • Ski goggles – No ski trip packing list would be complete without a pair of fog-resistant ski goggles, especially if you’re going somewhere that makes artificial snow. Ski slopes often have snow blowing into the air several times a day and it can be hard to keep freezing snowflakes out of your eyes, even during clear days. We use and recommend these ski goggles. However, you can shop ski goggles and compare reviews/prices here.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of things to pack,read our guide on What to Wear Skiing & Snowboarding and our Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List to view our full packing list and gear recommendations for the slopes!

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