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The Great Smoky Mountains are famous for a lot of things such as abundant wildlife, world-class hiking, the highest peaks in the Appalachian Range, rich history and a longstanding connection with Native American history.

Skiing on the Smokey Mountains

Situated a mile high in the mountains of Western North Carolina, the home of “Great Skiing in the Great Smokies,” Cataloochee offers something for everyone. While most people may not think of North Carolina as a ski resort destination, Cataloochee is a great, family friendly resort which is perfect for singles, couple, groups and families. With ample accommodation, deluxe amenities and some truly great trails and terrain, Cataloochee is a fantastic resort.

Now, like more than half a century before, the Smoky Mountains have captivated guests with their amazing slopes and family friendly skiing. Skiers and riders to Cataloochee enjoy not only 16 diverse slopes and trails but an inviting atmosphere and helpful staff that make the Cataloochee experience truly unique. The combination of exciting and challenging terrain, breathtaking vistas, dreamlike fog covered peaks and a liberating sense of freedom is what keeps visitors coming back year after year.

The far southwest of North Carolina hosts a small group of three alpine areas, Cataloochee, Sapphire Valley, and Scaly Mountain ski areas located between an hour and an hour and a half West of Ashville, North Carolina. Located a mile above sea level in Western North Carolina, Cataloochee is one of the first areas in the region to open each and every season. On average they receive about 50 feet of snow, but employ one the most advanced snow-making systems in the southeast to offer its guests 100 percent snow-making on all 16 of their lighted slopes, including the terrain park. Nearly 25 percent of the trails are rated for beginner levels, while 50 percent enjoy the intermediate trails, and 25 percent are set aside for the expert and advanced skier. Smooth, gentle slopes like Easy Way offer first-timers the runs they need to learn the basics. Intermediate skiers and snowboarders should head to Lower Omigosh or Rock Island Run. Advanced and expert skiers will adore the sheer steepness of Upper Omigosh.

Off the Slopes

The Cataloochee Lodge is the ideal place to unwind by the fire after an exciting day on the slopes. The lodge features some great dining options, a wonderful après ski spot with full-service bar, a souvenir shop, ski and snowboard rental shop and much more. There are also a variety of other services offered at the resort including storage, daycare, lost and found and much more.

The ski area does not have slope-side lodging available but there are many options in the nearby Maggie Valley. Whatever the budget or taste, there is something to suit everyone in the area. The resort partners with several of the area accommodations to offer guests great ski and stay packages throughout the winter season. Accommodations in Maggie Valley and Waynesville range from comfortable hotel rooms, spacious suites, deluxe vacation homes, and rustic cabins.

Getting Here

From the east (Asheville/Charlotte) Take I-40 West to exit 27. Exit on to US 19 South and follow the signs to the resort. From the west (Knoxville) Take I-40 East to exit 20. Exit on to US 276 South and follow the signs to Cataloochee. From north (Cherokee) Take US 441 South to US 19 North and follow the signs. Take US 441 to US 23 exiting in the city of Waynesville (exit 102B). Take 276 North to US 19 South and follow the signs.

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Photo Courtesy of Cataloochee Ski Area