Banner Elk ski trip

Planning a Ski Trip to Banner Elk

Image from Todd Bush Photography

Spend Some Time on the Slopes in Banner Elk

Banner Elk is a fantastic place to travel year-round. In winter, the area offers plenty of opportunities for some fun on the slopes. Ski season in Banner Elk is perfect for the whole family, from skiing and snowboarding to snowtubing.

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Tips for Planning a Ski Trip to Banner Elk

Before you hit the slopes, here are some tips on how to plan a family ski trip to Banner Elk.

Ski Season in Banner Elk

Ski season typically begins in late November or early December. Conditions for skiing in Banner Elk are typically best from January through March when the snowpack is thicker and firmer. This is a great time of year to bring the whole family for a ski trip in Banner Elk. Schools are out for winter break, along with Martin Luther King Jr. Day and President’s Day.

These are peak times of year to go skiing, but don’t rule out off-peak times. Off-peak times, right after the New Year or before spring break, offer discounted rates on accommodations near the ski resorts.

Ski Resorts near Banner Elk

Banner Elk is conveniently located near three ski, snowboard and snowtubing attractions: Sugar Mountain Resort, Beech Mountain Resort and Hawksnest Snow Tubing.

The largest ski resort in North Carolina, Sugar Mountain resort offers 125 skiable acres. Sugar Mountain boasts 21 slopes of various skill levels, including the only double black diamond slope in North Carolina—Whoopdedoo. For beginners, there are plenty of easy trails and a magic carpet to take riders to the bunny slopes. Many of the slopes are lit, allowing nighttime skiing and snowboarding.

Beech Mountain Ski Resort is the highest resort in the East, with an elevation of 5,506 feet.  The resort offers skiers and snowboarders 17 trails on 95 acres, eight lifts and one terrain park. There’s also ice skating, snowtubing and free sledding.

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For a family-friendly snowtubing adventure, head to Hawksnest Snow Tubing. The largest snow tubing park in North Carolina, Hawksnest has four different snow tubing areas and over 30 lanes. Lanes are 400–1,000-feet long with moving carpets to safely take you up the hill.

Book Early

Be sure to make all of your travel arrangements in advance. Flights, rental cars and accommodations should be booked at least two months in advanced, so you have time to compare prices and get the best deal before they sell out. Consider staying in a hotel or cabin outside of the ski resort to save money.

Don’t Forget the Extras

After you book your travel arrangements, start researching everything else you’ll need for your ski trip. Skiers can buy mountain passes, lift tickets and rent equipment through many online resources, often at a discounted price.

If you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, consider taking a lesson offered at the ski resort. Perfect for both kids and adults, these lessons are taught by skilled and friendly instructors. Lessons at the ski schools are often a separate fee that you’ll want to book up to two weeks early.