Cataloochee Ski Area

Ski resorts in USA
Skiers and snowboarders from the Southeastern US will know of North Carolina's Cataloochee Ski Area due to the length of its ski season (one of the longest in this part of the country). The winter venue is located in the western part of the state and uses the elevation gain from the Appalachian Mountains to provide the best conditions for snow-making.

The closest Interstate freeway is I-40 to the east, with US Route 276 passing the resort's entrance. Visitors flying into the region will likely use Charlotte Douglas International Airport, around 150 miles away. Domestic fliers can use the regional airfield in Asheville, which is much closer.

Partnering to Offer Southern Hospitality

The Cataloochee Ski Area does not offer overnight facilities, but the surrounding Maggie Valley and the Waynesville area have plenty of lodging options. A daytime facility provides visitors with the basics(The Shop on the Mountain). Rentals for children and adults are available, including waterproof bib overalls and jackets (now, that's southern hospitality).

The mild winters in North Carolina, especially the eastern portion of the state, means downhill skiing and riding are a new experience for many visitors. Beginner-friendly terrain combines with the Ski & Ride Center at the Cataloochee Ski Area to provide some of the state's best instruction. The venue's school is part of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors. Group and private lessons teach everything from the fundamentals to the latest in advanced skiing or riding.

The Cataloochee Ski Area is covered with lights on all runs so that guests can enjoy themselves after the sun goes down. Average annual snowfall amounts sit at 48 inches in the area, so snowmaking (like all ski resorts in this part of the nation) is necessary. Fan guns and hydrant guns provide 100-percent snowmaking capabilities at the winter venue. It is that snowmaking equipment that creates one of the longest ski seasons in the Southeast.

Here is Where the Fun Begins

The Cataloochee Ski Area operates from early November through late March in most years. It has a base elevation of 4,660 feet, and the highest point reaches 5,400 feet. That creates a vertical rise of 740 feet, which is plenty for families and casual snow hounds to enjoy. There are no Nordic trails maintained at the Cataloochee Ski Area, but snow tubing is found four miles down North Carolina State Highway 19 at Tube World in Maggie Valley.

Guests at the Cataloochee Ski Area have 50 acres of skiable terrain to play on. It has 18 slopes and trails to ski or ride, including two expert runs rated as black diamond. The majority of the mountain resort is beginner-friendly, with 44-percent of the runs rated as green. Intermediates can find fun challenges on the remaining 39-percent of the trails that have blue ratings.

The Cat Cage terrain park offers advanced ski bums a place to rip and shred on enhanced terrain features. Two conveyor belts and three chairs make up the lift system at the Cataloochee Ski Area. Guests should not experience waits except for peak times during holidays.

Cataloochee Ski Area Snow forecast

  • Friday
    0.28 in rain
    Duggregn / sol
    4 mph
  • Saturday
    0.2 in rain
    Rain showers
    4 mph
  • Sunday
    0.31 in rain
    Sol och regn
    3 mph

Facts about Cataloochee Ski Area

Number of slopes:18
Easiest Green slopes:8
Intermediate Blue slopes:7
Advanced Black slopes:0
Expert Only Double black diamond slopes:3

Lifts (Total: 5)
Chair lifts:3
Platter lift:2
Lift capacity:  2200 persons/hour

Vertical drop
Cataloochee Ski Area Vertical drop
Highest Point: 5397 ft
Vertical drop: 738 ft
Base Point: 4659 ft

Country: USA
Show all ski resorts in North Carolina

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Trail map

Trail map Cataloochee Ski Area