If you live in the southeast, it can be difficult to find a good place for skiing or snowboarding because we get so much ice instead of snow. That’s why I decided to put together an article on the best ski resorts in West Virginia.
West Virginia offers some of the best skiing in the southeast. While the ski resorts in North Carolina and Virginia will work in a pinch, if you have the time then drive up to WV.
In my opinion, you’ll find the best snowboarding in West Virginia at Snowshoe Mountain but we’ll go through all the options so you can figure out which is best for your group.
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- Is West Virginia skiing any good?
- When is ski season in West Virginia?
- West Virginia Ski Resorts Map
- 4 Best Ski Resorts in West Virginia
- More Options for Skiing in West Virginia
- What to Wear Skiing in West Virginia
- FAQs about Best Skiing in West Virginia:
- Wrap Up: Best Ski Resorts in West Virginia
Is West Virginia skiing any good?
West Virginia is consistently the best you’ll find in the southeast. Like I said, the ones in North Carolina and Virginia can be good – especially if they get a big snowstorm to come through.
However, for consistent snow those West Virginia ski slopes won’t disappoint. If you’re reading this during a bad snow year, I’m sorry.
When is ski season in West Virginia?
For the best skiing in West Virginia you’ll want to visit in January or February. The slopes can open as early as Thanksgiving week though depending on the weather.
Typically they will close during the first of April at the latest. Opening and closing dates are completely weather-dependent and different for each resort.
Snowmaking capabilities at each one are different and at the bigger resorts (like Snowshoe) you’ll find they have a more up-to-date system.
West Virginia Ski Resorts Map
4 Best Ski Resorts in West Virginia
***Opening and closing dates are averages of the last few years and subject to weather as mentioned. Check individual websites and social channels for up-to-date information.
1. Snowshoe Mountain
- Opening and Closing Dates/Ski Season: late November to late March
- Skill Level: all skill levels but intermediate/advanced will get more out of their money
- Known/Best For: Resort atmosphere, lake effect snow, lots of things to do other than ski and snowboard, terrain park
- Location: Snowshoe, WV
- Cost: $95 – $139
Snowshoe Ski Resort in West Virginia offers the best snow you’ll find in the state. They have their own microclimate and get the lake effect snow from the lakes to the north.
Located in Pocahontas County, Snowshoe is the biggest ski resort in West Virginia with 270 skiable acres. It stands at 4848’ in elevation and offers 56 different trails.
The breakdown of trails is 30% beginner, 24% intermediate, 27% advanced, 4% expert, 10% freestyle, and 5% glades.
Snowshoe is a vacation destination where you can spend a week or just make a day trip. I recommend spending a weekend here at least though the weekends are very crowded.
They have plenty to do for those who don’t want to ski or snowboard like snowmobiling, horseback riding, or just exploring The Village and having a massage at the spa.
There are also plenty of great restaurants at Snowshoe as well. Better than many of the ski resort cafeterias!
- Great terrain variety
- Best snow in the area
- Plenty of space to spread out when it gets crowded
- Gets crowded every weekend
There are so many great options for where to stay at Snowshoe Mountain. If you can splurge, then stay near The Village in Allegheny Springs or Rimfire – just know it’s going to cost you.
For a budget option look at staying at the Snowshoe Inn at the base of the mountain. Elk River Inn & Cabins is also a good budget option that’s about 15-20 minutes away from the mountain.
If you’re really on a budget then stay at the Old Clark Inn in Marlinton. It’s about a 45-minute drive to the mountain from there.
2. Canaan Valley Ski Resort
- Opening and Closing Dates/Ski Season: mid-December to mid-March
- Skill Level: all skill levels
- Known/Best For: beautiful views, variety of terrain, cross-country skiing & snowshoeing
- Location: Canaan Valley near Davis, WV
- Cost: $80 – $90
Canaan Valley Resort is in the northeastern part of West Virginia, close to the Maryland border and relatively close to Virginia.
It’s situated in Tucker County with a summit elevation of 4,280’ and 47 skiable trails. Here is the trail breakdown: 20% beginner, 36% intermediate, and 44% advanced.
Canaan gets very crowded on weekends as well and is a bit more popular than neighboring Timberline Mountain. They are located just 8 minutes from each other.
There are many other winter activities for anyone in your group who doesn’t like to ski or snowboard like tubing, ice skating, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
The resort is also very close to Blackwater Falls State Park and many other fun things to do in Davis, WV.
- Affordable tickets
- Other winter activities
- Lots to do in the surrounding area
- Poor lift capacity compared to quantity of people who visit
When we visit we love staying at a bed & breakfast in Canaan Valley. It’s also popular to rent a cabin or you can stay at Canaan Valley Lodge or The Inn at Canaan.
In the town of Davis, you can also stay in Bright Morning Inn which includes breakfast or The Billy Motel was recently renovated.
3. Timberline Mountain
- Opening and Closing Dates/Ski Season: mid-December to late-March
- Skill Level: Intermediate/Advanced
- Known/Best For: smaller mountain and resort catering to intermediate/advanced skiers
- Location: Canaan Valley near Davis, WV
- Cost: $90 – $95
Just down the road from Canaan Valley Resort, you’ll find Timberline Mountain. While it can get crowded you’ll typically find fewer people here because the mountain is smaller and the terrain isn’t as varied.
Peak elevation reaches 4,268’ and they have 20 trails on 100 skiable acres. The breakdown of the trails states 50% beginner, 40% intermediate, and 20% advanced but you have to look at the trail map to understand why it isn’t great for beginners.
You can’t get to many of the beginner trails without going on one of the intermediate/advanced trails which is useless to someone just learning to ski or board.
If you’re looking for long, steep runs though then this is one of the best ski resorts in West Virginia for you.
There aren’t many other activities at Timberline Mountain and only a couple of restaurant options but there are plenty of great restaurants in Davis and Canaan Valley and lots of things to do nearby.
- Great resort credit options for skiing half days, mid-week, or beginner tickets
- Advanced terrain for those looking for a challenge
- Less variety of terrain
- No activities other than skiing/boarding
The one place available to stay on the mountain is the Timberline Hotel. Like I mentioned for Canaan, you can also check vacation rentals nearby.
Bright Morning Inn, The Billy Motel, Canaan Valley Lodge, or the Inn at Canaan are options as well.
4. Winterplace Ski Resort
- Opening and Closing Dates/Ski Season: mid-December to mid-March
- Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate
- Known/Best For: Learning to ski/snowboard and hone your skills
- Location: Ghent, WV
- Cost: $79
Winterplace is actually where I learned to snowboard! It’s the furthest south on this list and located pretty close to the West Virginia/Virginia state line along I-77.
Peak elevation is at 3,600’ and they have 90+ skiable acres with 27 slopes and one terrain park. Their breakdown is 37% beginner, 40% intermediate, and 23% advanced.
There is also a snowtubing park here at Winterplace for people who don’t want to ski. It’s very popular with church groups, boy scout troups, and other large groups because of the affordable price and ease of getting there.
It’s incredibly accessible off the interstate and the closest ski resort with decent snow to states like NC, VA, and TN.
This is one of the best ski resorts for beginners in the US and they even have a Learn-to-Ski & Snowboard package. For a total price of $135 you can get a lift ticket, rentals, and a group lesson (must be at least 8 years old).
There isn’t much else to do in the surrounding area but Winterplace is relatively close to Princeton, WV.
- Very affordable
- Beginner friendly
- Located right off the interstate
- Not much for an advanced skier
- Food Court isn’t very good
There are some vacation rentals in the area but Skyline Lodge is the closest hotel. Otherwise there are hotels in Beckley about 20 minutes north or Princeton which is about 25 minutes south.
If you are with a big group then Winterplace does have cabins available to rent but you have to call about booking. They can sleep up to 15 people.
More Options for Skiing in West Virginia
Those are the top four options for WV skiing resorts but here are a couple of others for cross country skiing or small ski hills.
This WV resort is located at the very northern tip of the state between the Ohio and Pennsylvania state lines.
There is only one ski slope that is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so this wouldn’t be a place I would recommend visiting just for skiing or boarding.
If you’re a family that wants a fun winter vacation destination with the opportunity to try out snow sports then this would be a great fit. They also have tubing and ice skating here.
White Grass Touring Center
White Grass is actually one of the best cross country skiing centers in the southeast. They have 48 different trails that amount to just over 37 miles. They regularly groom 15 – 22 miles of those.
In addition to cross country skiing you can snowshoe here as well – just pay attention to trail designations and don’t mess up the groomed trails for the skiers.
You do have to pay for rentals separately from the day pass just like purchasing a lift ticket separately from your board or skis.
They have a nice cafe here where you can pick up a delicious lunch if you spend the full day on the trails.
What to Wear Skiing in West Virginia
This depends heavily on which ski resort in West Virginia you’re visiting. Snowshoe, Canaan Valley, and Timberline will all be much colder than Winterplace.
Make sure to check out the full guide of what to wear snowboarding (or skiing) but for the basics – you’ll want good base layers, waterproof pants and jacket, and waterproof gloves.
If you’re a beginner then you can rent boots, a helmet, and your skis or board. Goggles are really nice to have so if you can buy a cheap pair or borrow some then that will help out.
Bring a toboggan for when you’re done and want to take your helmet off. Finding the right snowboarding pants is important too!
FAQs about Best Skiing in West Virginia:
When is the best time to ski in West Virginia?
The best time to ski in West Virginia is in January and February when the weather is typically the best. Avoid President’s Day and MLK holiday weekends as places are absolutely packed then.
Is skiing in West Virginia expensive?
Relatively speaking, skiing in West Virginia is cheap when you compare it to skiing out west in Colorado or Utah. Snowshoe is the most expensive but they also offer the most terrain.
Which ski resorts are near Washington, DC?
Canaan Valley and Timberline Mountain are the closest ski resorts in West Virginia to the heart of DC since they are about 3.5 hours away.
Once you get out of the DC area the drive is really nice too. The next closest is Snowshoe which is just under five hours. Both are great options so it really depends on how far you feel like driving.
Does West Virginia have ski resorts?
Yes! West Virginia has some of the most popular ski resorts in the southeast. Snowshoe Ski Resort gets over 150” of snow each year and Canaan Valley Resort and Timberline Mountain average over 160” of snow.
All three of these are great for intermediate/advanced riders and Winterplace is a great resort for learning to ski or snowboard.
Is Snowshoe or Winterplace better?
This depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a weekend getaway where the whole family can enjoy a variety of activities then Snowshoe is best. If you want to take a day trip or are on a budget looking to learn the ropes then Winterplace is better.
What is the biggest ski resort in West Virgina?
The biggest ski resort in West Virginia is Snowshoe Ski Resort with over 270 skiable acres and 57 trails.
Wrap Up: Best Ski Resorts in West Virginia
When it comes to ski resorts, West Virginia has plenty to offer. For intermediate and advanced skiers, Snowshoe Resort, Canaan Valley, and Timberline are all great choices.
Snowshoe and Timberline offer the most challenging terrain with a few double black diamond slopes. In terms of resort amenities, Snowshoe wins out there so if you’re looking for spas, restaurants, and shops that should be your pick.
If you’re a beginner, Winterplace is a perfect place to learn. It has gentle slopes that are wide with very little grade.
No matter which of these top ski resorts in West Virginia you choose, you’re sure to have a blast out on the slopes!