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Ski Experience - Cataloochee 

What began as largely an Appalachian community and Cherokee hunting ground is now one of North Carolina’s premiere ski resorts. It was established in 1961 when a rancher wanted to put his land to good use in the winter as well. Cataloochee Ski Resort is an absolutely stunning resort in the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina.

Ski Levels

The resort is open throughout the winter months from November to February and usually has a reduced schedule in March. The top elevation is 5,400 feet and the resort features a vertical drop of more than 700 feet. Cataloochee is the oldest and most well-established of North Carolina's ski resorts. Cataloochee has artificial snow making equipment which allows them to have great skiing conditions despite the weather. They are also a member of the Sustainable Slopes Program, which was started to help conserve natural resources. The ski area spans 50 acres. The mile-high slopes have a top elevation of 5,400 feet and a bottom elevation of 4,760 feet, which means a vertical drop of about 740 feet. There are 12 runs and trails. The slopes are divided as such: 25 percent are beginner slopes, 50 percent are intermediate, and 25 percent are advanced and expert. There are five chair lifts that can carry thousands of people around the mountain every hour. The ski resort has plenty to offer all ages and ability levels with its wide variety of terrain and impeccably groomed trails.

Cataloochee Ski Area's PSIA member Snow School teaches everything from the basics for novices to new techniques for experts The easiest slopes at Cataloochee are isolated from the rest of the resort which is great news for first-timers who are unsure of their skills and may be feeling a little bit embarrassed. Beginner snowboarders and skiers can therefore take initial lessons without having to worry. Both group and private lessons ranging from beginning to advanced levels are available. They also separate the classes for adults and children. Children's ski classes start with children aged 4 all the way to age 12. Also, snowboarding classes are available for children aged 8 to 12.

Après Ski

Cataloochee is conveniently located 35 miles west of Asheville, making it a viable day trip destination. There is no ski-in/ski-out lodging, but the towns of Maggie Valley, Waynesville and of course, Asheville have a wonderful selection of cozy and secluded cabins, comfortable hotels, spacious modern condos and basic budget motels. The resort normally offers incredible ski and stay deals at many of the partnering resorts in the area. Also, in line with its family friendly philosophy, there is a great “kids ski and stay free” promotion every winter, which is sure to put a smile on parent’s faces.