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If you live on the East Coast, skiing and snowboarding might seem to be in the playground to the west, in Colorado and Utah. I grew up in Colorado; it’s everything you’ve been told. Few resorts in the east can compare, except for ski areas in West Virginia.
I’ve been to Stowe, Killington, Attitash Mountain, and Cranmore in New England. They were all really nice and had great skiing. But they didn’t remind me of the West. Lucky for me, I found West Virginia ski areas.
Skiing in West Virginia is as close to skiing at the great resorts of Colorado as we can get here in the East, especially us Southerners.
So, without further ado, let’s dig into everything that makes West Virginia wild and wonderful for skiing and snowboarding.
Table of Contents
- Timberline Mountain
- Snowshoe Mountain Resort
- Canaan Valley
- Winterplace Ski Resort
- Smaller Ski Areas and Cross-Country Skiing in West Virginia
- West Virginia Ski Area: FAQs
- Conclusion: West Virginia Ski Resorts-Wild and Wonderful!
Timberline Mountain: Best for Advanced Skiers
Timberline Mountain is a hidden gem of a ski resort in West Virginia with 20 runs and is less crowded than many other resorts in the state. Our family arrived in the morning as everything was opening up, and we were literally the only ones there. Granted, it was like 5 degrees outside and dreadfully cold, but still.
This is a small resort, but unless it’s a holiday or busy weekend; the lines are quick, and you’ll have plenty of time on the slopes. Check out the trail map for more details. My teen sons had a great time.
The town of Davis is nearby, where you can immerse yourself in the thriving arts scene, catch live music gigs, and indulge in locally sourced delights at award-winning restaurants. Davis offers various activities, from world-class mountain biking and hiking trails to mesmerizing waterfalls and wilderness areas. Don’t miss the seasonal highlights like the Leaf Peeper’s Festival in fall or winter cross-country skiing in the state parks.
Outdoor enthusiasts can explore nooks and crannies, from Dolly Sods Wilderness to Blackwater Falls State Park, capturing the ever-changing beauty with each visit. For the competitive types, there are challenging events like the Revenge of the Rattlesnake XC mountain bike race and the Highlands Sky 40KM ultrarun.
And if you crave culture, May brings the annual Art Spring festival, celebrating Tucker County’s vibrant art scene. Cap off your day with live music in cozy venues, or enjoy some porch pickin’. When it’s time to refuel, dive into highly-rated restaurants like Hellbender Burritos or Sirianni’s Café, ensuring your Davis adventure is as tasty as it is thrilling.
- Rental equipment is on the newer side.
- Fewer crowds, meaning short or no lines.
- Express lift
- Ski in/ski out condos available
- Plenty of natural snow
- Look for good deals in March.
- Well-groomed slopes and a clean, comfortable lodge.
- Good snow-making abilities.
- Far from any major town or city. Difficult to get to from major metropolitan areas.
- It’s a little small for multi-day skiing for some.
- It isn’t the best for novice skiers due to a lack of beginner terrain.
- There’s not much else to do besides ski. There are only a couple of eating options.
Tickets/Season Pass info: https://timberlinemountain.com/season-passes/
- Ski Season- Mid-December to late-March
- Skill Levels- Intermediate to Advanced
- Great Place For- Newer skiers to build their confidence on a smaller mountain. Great resort!
- Location: Canaan Valley near Davis, WV
- Lift ticket- $90 to $95
- Twenty runs on 100 acres. Peak elevation: 4,268”
Where to Stay Near Timberline Ski Resort
If you’re itching to stay on the mountain, you will have two choices—the backseat of your car or the Timberline Hotel. I highly recommend the latter. There aren’t many rooms (20), but it’s a warm place with all the essentials for a comfortable night or two. There are always AirBnbs and other nearby resorts with off-mountain accommodations.
- Bright Morning Inn– A historical haven with roots dating back to 1896. Enjoy private bathrooms, discounts on the famous Milo’s breakfast, and a warm welcome to your four-legged pals because, yes, they love dogs.
- The Billy Motel– The Billy Motel has cozy rooms equipped with smart TVs, free WiFi, and first-round drinks at the Billy Bar—pet-friendly options included. And at the Ish Kitchen—a global culinary journey awaits you.
- Canaan Valley Resort Lodge– The resort at Canaan Valley Resort is just a short drive from Timberline. It offers a range of options from suites to cozy cabins and even a campground, ensuring a perfect stay for vacationers and business travelers. You’ll also find a fitness club, arcade, and more.
- The Inn at Canaan– A short 5-minute drive from Timberline Ski Resort. Free WiFi, a microwave, refrigerator, cable TV with over 120 high-definition channels, and a private bathroom in each guest room.
Snowshoe Mountain Resort: The Best of the Best
Snowshoe Mountain Resort is my favorite area on the East Coast, and it rivals some areas I’ve skied in the West, including Utah and Colorado. First of all, it’s stunningly beautiful. The resort sits almost a mile high at 4848’. There isn’t a bad view to be had.
Secondly, most of the condos and hotel units are spectacular. We enjoy staying in the village by the shops, restaurants, bars, and pool. But Top of the Mountain condos are a short drive away and offer more affordable accommodations with family-friendly amenities, including tons of parking.
Third, there are a ton of activities to do year-round. If you tire of skiing, there is tubing, snowmobiles, golfing (seasonal), hiking, winter adventure dining tours, off-roading, year-round swimming at the split rock pool, bike tours, and kayaking (seasonal).
We try to get to Snowshoe every year, have been in every season, and love it so much!
Elkins is the closest town, and while it’s not a metropolis, it has everything you would expect of a small town, including restaurants, parks, shopping, and chain hotels. If you’re really on a budget, you can stay in Elkins for much less money than staying on the mountain.
Plenty of private short-term rentals are available in and around Snowshoe, too.
Enjoy 257 acres of skiable terrain, 60 slopes, and 14 ski lifts. With a remarkable 1,500-foot vertical drop, the resort stands as the largest winter destination on the East Coast in the mid-Atlantic.
Nestled in Pocahontas County, Snowshoe boasts a diverse array of trails, catering to all skill levels—30% beginner, 24% intermediate, 27% advanced, 4% expert, 10% freestyle, and 5% glades.
- 257 acres of diverse terrain to keep each run fresh.
- With over 12 feet of snow each season, you get the best of what Mother Nature dishes out here on the East Coast.
- With plenty of space on and around the mountain, it’s fairly easy to avoid crowds most days of the week.
- Tons of activities and beautiful accommodations
- Very well maintained and groomed.
- Everything you need is right there in the village, including ski rentals, restaurants, a market, bars, coffee shops, shopping, and the fantastic pool and hot tubs.
- You get what you pay for, and with Snowshoe, you get a lot, so it’s a bit pricey.
- Since it’s so popular, holidays and weekends can be quite crowded.
Tickets/Season Pass info: https://www.snowshoemtn.com/plan-your-trip/lift-tickets-season-pass
- Ski Season-Back half of November to late March
- Skill Levels- Intermediate to Advanced, but newer skiers will still take advantage of the bunny trails.
- Great Place For- Resort vibes, where the snow gets a boost from a sweet lake effect. There’s also plenty of cool activities to dive into, including the terrain park.
- Location: Snowshoe, WV
- Lift ticket- $75 to $139
Where to Stay Near Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort
Here’s the lowdown on where to crash after a thrilling day on the mountains. The Inn at Snowshoe, a stones throw from the slopes, offers cozy rooms and is near golfing. This is a budget-friendly, no-frills stay with a practical perk – a complimentary shuttle to whisk you up the mountain during winter. The Economy rooms are pet-friendly, though there’s a $50 fee at check-in for your four-legged companion.
There are plenty of other properties on the mountain to choose from, making Snowshoe Mountain so accommodating. If you’re looking for a more rustic vibe, consider grabbing a cabin or condo at Mountain Lodge or Expedition Station. Feeling fancy? Check out Allegheny Springs or Rimfire Lodge for some top-notch accommodations. No matter where you choose, you’re in for a comfy stay right in the heart of the snow-covered action. I can attest to that. Happy skiing!
Canaan Valley: Excellent for the Entire Family
Nestled in the heart of Tucker County, Canaan Valley Resort and Conference Center is a year-round sanctuary with a summit elevation of 4,280′. Boasting 47 skiable trails, the resort caters to all skill levels—20% beginner, 36% intermediate, and 44% advanced.
While it buzzes with weekend activity, slightly edging out Timberline Mountain just 8 minutes away, Canaan Valley provides a winter wonderland beyond skiing and snowboarding. Whether you’re into tubing, ice skating, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing, there’s something for everyone.
Off the slopes, explore nearby attractions like Blackwater Falls State Park and the charming villages of Davis and Thomas. The resort, offering 160 rooms, 23 snug cabins, and 59 campsites, is equipped for any occasion. In the warmer weather, tee off at the championship golf course or let the kids splash in the inviting outdoor and indoor pools.
Enjoy state-of-the-art conference spaces, tempting on-site restaurants, and a well-equipped fitness center for the ultimate resort experience. Just a few hours’ drive from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia, Canaan Valley welcomes you to a luxurious retreat surrounded by stunning natural beauty.
- The price is right! Affordable lift tickets will keep you coming back.
- There are plenty of other winter activities beyond skiing at Canaan Valley.
- Once you leave the mountain, there are plenty of other things to see and do.
- Too few lifts makes a crowded day feel even more crowded.
- Could use a facelift.
Tickets/Season Pass info: https://www.canaanresort.com/ski-winter-activities/skiing-snowboarding/season-passes/
- Ski Season- Mid-December to mid-March
- Skill Levels- all skill levels
- Great Place For- Various terrain options, skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.
- Location: Canaan Valley near Davis, WV
- Lift ticket- $80 to $90
Where to Stay Near Canaan Valley Ski Resort
We’ve found several options to choose from when staying at Canaan Valley. The resort offers a range of lodging, including 160 rooms, 23 snug cabins, and 59 campsites. If you prefer a more economical option, The Inn at Canaan provides convenient access, just a short drive from the slopes.
Other lodging choices in the nearby towns of Davis and Thomas also offer a mix of bed and breakfasts, cabins, and vacation rentals. Whether you want to stay close to the resort or explore the charming villages, you’ll find various lodging options to suit your preferences and budget.
We suggest these off-mountain lodging options:
- Bright Morning Inn– A charming location ripe with history in nearby Davis, the Bright Morning Inn offers a modern, comfortable stay in vintage quarters since 1896. You will find cozy rooms and private bathrooms for that extra comfort. This is a dog-friendly place. Plus, there’s an extra treat with discounts on the famous Milo’s breakfast.
- Black Bear Resort– The Black Bear Resort offers a picturesque escape with over 40 landscaped acres providing sweeping views of Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Cabin Mountain, and Timberline ski area. This resort is just four miles from Davis, WV. The resort perfectly blends outdoor adventure and relaxation with on-site amenities like fish ponds, mini-golf, playgrounds, and a nature trail.
- Alpine Lodge– You’ll find the perfect blend of nostalgia and modern comfort at The Alpine Lodge. Recently renovated with a sixty-year-old story, this charming lodge in Historic Davis invites you to embrace inspiration, respite, and the beauty of nature. Enjoy homestyle meals at The Sawmill Restaurant, serving breakfast and lunch. Amenities like free Wi-Fi, Direct TV, and pet-friendly rooms are bonuses.
Winterplace Ski Resort: Skiing, Tubing, and Skating!
Winterplace Ski Resort is near the West Virginia/Virginia state line along I-77. This fantastic resort offers an incredible snow experience and served as my son’s snowboarding training ground. With a peak elevation of 3,600 feet, this southern prize boasts 90+ skiable acres, featuring 27 slopes and a terrain park.
Beginners, intermediates, and advanced skiers find their perfect match with a breakdown of 37%, 40%, and 23%, respectively.
For those who prefer tubing or have small children, Winterplace’s snow tubing park is a hit. This resort is affordable and easily accessible from the interstate. Winterplace shines as one of the best ski resorts for beginners, offering a Learn-to-Ski & Snowboard package at $139, covering lift ticket, rentals, and a group lesson (for ages eight and above).
While the surrounding area offers little entertainment, Winterplace is conveniently close to Princeton, WV. Perfect for families, the resort ensures a snowy experience with 100% snowmaking on all runs. Non-skiers can enjoy the fun at the expansive snow tubing park without needing special equipment.
Facts about Winterplace include a base elevation of 2,997 feet, a vertical drop of 603 feet, and night skiing available on 26 slopes, the Terrain Park, and the Snow Tubing Park. The resort provides various amenities, including a rental shop with equipment from top brands, programs for kids like SkiWee & Snow Explorers, and several dining options like Mountain Mama’s Food Court and The Snowdrift Lounge. For those seeking lodging, the area surrounding Winterplace offers accommodation options, making it a complete winter destination.
- More affordable than most
- Beginner friendly-great for the whole family.
- Great location off a major highway
- Lines move fast, even if crowded
- Hassle-free rentals
- Wonderful place to tube
- Not challenging for advanced skiers
- Few entertainment options except for a pub and live music on Saturdays.
- Food is so-so
- It is more ice than most other ski areas in West Virginia
Tickets/Season Pass info: https://www.winterplace.com/tickets/
- Ski Season- mid-December to mid-March
- Skill Levels- Beginner to Intermediate
- Great Place For- Learning and honing your skiing and snowboarding skills
- Location- Ghent, WV
- Lift ticket- $75 (weekday adult)
Where to Stay Near Winterplace Ski Resort
If you’re eyeing some vacation rentals, Winterplace has a few options, but the Skyline Lodge is the primo hotel in the vicinity. For those who like to be down in the “city,” Beckley’s got hotels about 20 minutes north, or you can head south to Princeton, about 25 minutes away.
If you like a rustic, on-mountain feel, check out one of Winterplace’s killer cabins for rent—perfect for a crew of up to 10! Just hit them up with a call to snag one. It’s like your cozy home away from home in the snow!
Smaller Ski Areas and Cross-Country Skiing in West Virginia
Oglebay Resort: Learn how to ski here!
Tickets/Season Pass info: 304-243-4177
Oglebay is in the very tippy-top of West Virginia, hanging out between Ohio and Pennsylvania. It’s not exactly a ski mecca; I must clarify that. They only have one slope open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. I realize that it doesn’t scream “skier’s paradise.”
But, if you’re plotting a family winter getaway and you’re all about the winter sports vibe, Oglebay is your jam. They’ve got skiing, tubing, and ice skating action—something for the entire family.
White Grass Touring Center: Cross-Country Skiing at its Finest
Tickets/Season Pass info: https://whitegrass.com/about/rates/
White Grass isn’t your average cross-country skiing spot in the Southeast—it’s quite extensive. Picture this: 48 trails over 37 miles are not just sitting there. They regularly groom about 15 to 22 miles of those trails each winter. Perfect for you cross-country skiing enthusiasts living in or visiting West Virginia. White Grass covers you if you’re more into the snowshoeing scene. Stick to the suitable trails, and don’t mess with the skiers’ groove. You know the drill.
Rentals are separate from the day pass, like getting a lift ticket from your board or skis. But don’t worry, after a morning of trails, you can hit their café at White Grass Resort for a delicious lunch. It’s like the cherry on top of your skiing adventure!
West Virginia Ski Areas: FAQs
Is West Virginia Skiing Any Good?
Simply put, West Virginia skiing is excellent! We’re talking not just regular skiing, but in West Virginia they’ve resorts with cross-country skiing, tubing, and all that good stuff. Trust me, West Virginia skiing takes the crown when it comes to skiing in the Southeastern United States.
What to Wear Skiing in West Virginia
When skiing in West Virginia, prioritize safety with helmets which are strongly recommended. Dress in layers for temperature control: base layers like polyester or wool, a turtleneck, then sweater, fleece, or sweatshirt. Choose thin wool or poly socks for warmth. Outer layers should be warm, water-resistant, and comfy. Wear gloves or mittens, a hat covering your ears, and goggles or shades. Don’t forget high-altitude essentials: sunscreen and lip balm.
When is the Best Time to Ski in West Virginia?
If you’re planning your ski adventure in West Virginia, the sweet spot is usually December through March. If you should catch a lucky break with some chilly temps or a surprise snowstorm, you might just squeeze in some skiing action in November or even stretch it out to April.
When Do Ski Resorts Open in West Virginia?
If you’re itching to hit the ski slopes in WV, mark your calendar for late November to mid-December. Checking specific resort websites is the best way to know for sure as you plan for your trip. They can fire up the snow machines earlier, but let’s be real, nothing beats the real deal – Mother Nature sprinkling those mountains with her own snowy magic.
How Much Does it Cost to Go Skiing in West Virginia?
Prices when hitting the slopes in West Virginia vary, but it’s a steal compared to those fancy ski spots out west. We’re talking about dishing out around 65 to 80 bucks a day – not bad, right? Snowshoe might be stretching your wallet a bit more, but they’re also dealing out the most terrain. If you catch my drift, it’s like paying a bit extra for the VIP slopes.
Which Ski Resorts are near Washington, DC?
If you’re in the mood for a quick skiing fix near Washington DC, look no further than Liberty Mountain, Massanutten, or White Tail. They’re like the neighborhood ski spots, you know? Just a hop, skip, and jump away; you can get to any of these in about 1.5 to 2 hours. Sure, it might not be as wild as tackling the slopes in West Virginia, but hey, it gets the job done. Perfect for a speedy trip or for beginners tagging along. Keep it local; keep it breezy.
Does West Virginia have Ski Resorts?
Of course, that’s what brought you to my blog. West Virginia has the best skiing spots in the southeast. Snowshoe Ski Resort is a snow magnet, pulling in more than 150 inches of the white stuff yearly. Then there’s Canaan Valley Resort and Timberline Mountain, practically drowning in over 160 inches of snow. These spots are your playground if you’re an intermediate/advanced skier. But if you’re just dipping your toes into skiing or snowboarding, Winterplace is where it’s at. Perfect for breaking into the snow scene!
Is Snowshoe or Winterplace better?
Winterplace is kinda like that hidden gem tucked away, small but not too shabby. It’s perfect if you’re just starting with those wide beginner trails everywhere. But, if you’re more into kicking it up a notch and craving a challenge, it might not be your go-to. It’s like a one-day fling. You trek out, have your fun, and call it a day. Now, if you’re talking kings of the mountains, Snowshoe takes the crown, no contest.
What is the Largest Ski Mountain in West Virginia?
Snowshoe Mountain is the largest ski resort in West Virginia. It’s the granddaddy of winter fun on the East Coast. It’s got not one but two black diamond trails. Picture this – a crazy 1,500-foot vertical drop, a 60% pitch that’ll thrill you, and stretches out for a solid 1.5 miles. Now, that’s what I call a winter wonderland!
Conclusion: West Virginia Ski Resorts-Wild and Wonderful!
Skiing in West Virginia is a no-brainer if you live anywhere in the mid-Atlantic or Southern States. All West Virginia ski areas get buckets of natural snow and give the ambiance of being out West, especially Snowshoe Mountain.
The other ski areas in West Virginia may not be as big or amenity-filled as Snowshoe Mountain, but they all offer terrific East Coast skiing. It’s wild and wonderful!