West VA Ski Resorts – Comparison Chart

Use the chart below to take a quick peek at the particulars of each West Virginia Ski Resort:

Resort Elevation (ft) Vert. Drop (ft) # Trails # Lifts # Terrain Parks
Canaan Valley 4279 850 42 4 0
Oglebay 815 168 5 1 1
Snowshoe 4848 1500 60 15 6
Timberline 4268 1000 39 4 1
White Grass (XC) 4436 1200 45 XC XC
Winterplace 3600 602 27 9 1

Canaan Valley Resort

Normally when you think of great skiing, you don’t think further east than the Rocky Mountains. However, what you may not know is the excitement of east coast ski destinations in West Virginia, with Canaan Valley Resort being near the top of that list. With over 40 trails and snow-making on over 75% of the mountain, you can’t find better conditions in the Mid-Atlantic. Located in scenic Tucker County, this Davis, WV mountain peak sits at over 4200 feet overlooking the beautiful valley below. You’ll enjoy 42 trails spread out over a 850’ of vertical drop – all accessible via Canaan’s 4 chairlifts.

Terrain Level Percentage
Beginner (GREEN) 30%
Intermediate (BLUE) 40%
Advanced (BLACK) 30%
Expert (2X BLACK) 0%
Longest Run 1 Mile
Skiable Terrain 91 Acres

Whether you love to ski the valley, snowboard, go tubing, or even want to enjoy the newest rage in winter sports (called air-boarding), this ski resort has fun for everyone. This beautiful West Virginia ski destination also offers fine dining and accommodations that the whole family will enjoy. With the projected “days open” currently sitting at around 101 days, you should easily be able to schedule a getaway to this wonderful resort.

Snowshoe Mountain

Located in Pocahontas County West Virginia, Snowshoe Mountain is the largest winter resort in the mid-Atlantic. One of the signature areas of the mountain, referred to as The Western Territory, boasts a 1,500 foot vertical drop, 60 percent pitch, and a 1.5 miles in length. For skiers and snowboarders who want a taste of “out West skiing”, this area is your best bet. The resort consists of three separate ski areas, all ski-able on one lift ticket. At the heart of the mountain, The Village of Snowshoe features high quality lodging with Rimfire Lodge, Highland House, Allegheny Springs, and the Seneca Lodge. More affordable lodging can be found at Mountain Lodge, which sits on arguably the best location of the entire resort.

Terrain Percentage
Beginner (GREEN) 42%
Intermediate (BLUE) 30%
Advanced (BLACK) 23%
Expert (2X BLACK) 5%
Terrain Parks 6
Longest Run 1 Mile

Note that Snowshoe Mountain is clearly the biggest – from number of trails, to vertical drop – its in a league all of its own. Snowshoe is actually divided into three separate ski areas:

  • Snowshoe Basin
  • Western Territory
  • SilverCreek

The basin area is what most people consider “Snowshoe”. It’s the area that access Snowshoe Village. The Western Territory is actually accessible from the Basin, although you have to walk across the street to do so.

SilverCreek is accessible via free shuttles that operate throughout the resort. There is lodging at SilverCreek, so if you stay there you would have to do the opposite – take a shuttle back to the Basin area.

Timberline Four Seasons Resort

If you are looking for a great skiing vacation, then Timberline Ski Resort may be perfect for you. Located in West Virginia, Timberline is a Four Season resort offering something for everyone. The ski resort is only two miles from Canaan Valley, which has been rated one of America’s top ten mountain towns. The town offers beautiful nature parks, along with a petting zoo, and horseback riding for children seven years old and up. Nestled among the beautiful Allegheny Mountains in scenic West Virginia, this ski resort is THE place to go for awesome east coast skiing. With almost 40 great runs to choose from, Timberline has skiing for all ability levels; from beginner to the black diamond and the insane double black diamond runs (not for the faint of heart). With 3 lifts operating nonstop you can easily access its 100 acres to ski or snowboard. Projected days open currently hovers around 150, and with snow-making on 92% of the mountain (to supplement almost 200 inches of annual snowfall) you can expect great ski conditions for almost a quarter of a year – with skiing often towards the month of April.

Terrain Level Percentage
Beginner (GREEN) 34%
Intermediate (BLUE) 32%
Advanced (BLACK) 14%
Expert (2X BLACK) 20%
Longest Run 2 miles
Skiable Terrain 100 acres

The main draw for people visiting this four-season resort is of course the skiing. Timberline boasts a natural snow which lasts for an exceptionally long season, and there is always man-made snow when the natural powder is lacking. The mountain tops at 4,268 feet and has over 36 slopes and trails. With steeps, bumps, and glade-skiing possible throughout the resort, one can see why Timberline has visitors from all around the region. For the beginner skier, there is the gentle 2-mile Salamander Run, a gently sloping trail that teaches and allows the new skier to observe the beauty of the surrounding mountainside. This local favorite offers a taste of “big time skiing” without having to hop on a plane to get there!

Along with the many different vacation options, Timberline is home to several different competitions and racing events. Some of these include the USASA Bordercrosses, the ski crosses, USASA slopestyle competition, and the Timberline Big Air and Slope competition. Spectators and skiers from around the world are welcome and attend these yearly competitions.


If snowboarding is more your style, then Timberline Resort has plenty of options for you also. With two different terrain parks dedicated for snowboarding, there is something for all riding abilities. Within the parks, snowboarders will find jumps that range in height from 30 feet, 40 feet, and even 50 feet. There are also classes offered for those who want to learn snowboarding.

Ski School / Lessons

For those who are not yet adept at skiing, don’t worry as the Timberline ski school will give you or your children the best lessons with many instructors having over 30 years of teaching experience. You can also expect to enjoy the wonderful accommodations and great dining options available to you when you are not on the slopes, with dozens of restaurants nearby. No matter what your tastes are, or even if you just like the winter outdoors and shopping, Timberline Ski resort has it all for you.

Timberline is located near the town of Davis, West Virginia just off of Highway 32, also known as the Appalachian Highway.

With excellent skiing, and the attractions that the town of Canaan offers, it is easy to see why Timberline Ski Resort is a popular vacation destination for skiing and snowboarding lovers. With the West Virginia mountains as its backdrop, Timberline is a truly great destination for your next skiing trip.

Winterplace Ski Resort

You don’t have to spend a fortune travelling out West to enjoy a spectacular ski vacation. There are top ski destinations in the East as well, making up a $2 billion per year industry. One destination worth a visit is Winterplace Ski Resort in Ghent, West Virginia. This resort is one of the many resorts in the region, but this ski mountain manages to stand out above the competition thanks to its strategic location. The resort sits between Beckley, WV and Princeton, WV and near the north-to-south I-77 corridor, making it a very accessible ski destination. At 3,600 feet, this mountain boasts a vertical drop of over 600 feet with over 90 acres of skiable terrain.

Terrain Level Percentage
Beginner (GREEN) 41%
Intermediate (BLUE) 44%
Advanced (BLACK) 15%
Expert (2X BLACK) 0%
Skiable Terrain 90 acres

Whether you love to ski, snowboard, go tubing, or even want to enjoy the newest rage in winter sports (called air-boarding), this ski resort has fun of every style. With 7 lifts, you can easily access any one of the beginner or intermediate ski runs. Sorry, no double-black diamond runs here but you’ll have fun regardless. This beautiful West Virginia ski destination also offers fine dining and accommodations that the whole family will enjoy. With the projected “days open” currently sitting at 101 days, this ski resort is offering lift ticket packages for almost any time you have the urge to hit the slopes.

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Skiing Just the Tip of the Snow Drift for the Resort Experience

Whether it’s snowboarding, dog-sledding, doing hyper-angular moves in a half-pipe, or simply tubing down a hill, skiing has its rivals in winter trips to the mountains.

Lori Epp, director of marketing from Wisp Resort in McHenry, Md., cuts through all the snow when she says: “People are coming for multiple days and multiple reasons.”

As the winter sports season begins to find its cold, cold heart, resort planners and activity organizers are hunting new ways to find enthusiasts.

“We want to be an outdoor-adventure headquarters,” says Anna Weltz, director of communications for the jointly owned Seven Springs Mountain Resort and Hidden Valley Resort in Somerset County.

At Seven Springs, activities range from tubing to late-night Snowcat tours, which ride up the mountains in grooming machines.

Resorts also have found it necessary to offer activities such as sleigh rides and specialty areas like terrain parks, where snowboarders can do tricks, leaps and spins on slanted and curved boards.

Seven Springs has seven terrain parks and Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort in West Virginia has five.

It also can mean offering a hint of luxury. Ashli Mazer from Fayette County’s Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is more than willing to admit Nemacolin is not as challenging a ski site as those a little to the east. But, she points out, the spa, luxury dining, dog-sledding and carriage tours create their own winter wonderland.

Tiffany Cook from Peek’n Peak Resort in Findley Lake, N.Y., says “most people come to us to learn.” The resort’s 400-foot vertical drop is only about half that of the 750 at Seven Springs, which creates a better educational site, she says.

But even more dramatic sites put an emphasis on education.

Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort in West Virginia has a 1,500-foot drop and 57 trails. So, it has the size to attract a serious skier, but it also sees the importance of lessons. Dave Dekema, sales manager for Snowshoe, says their staff has “completely revamped our teaching technique.” Teachers now use what he calls “terrain-based teaching,” letting the flow of the ground be a learning tool so participants “want to come back to us.”

If learning sounds too difficult, fear not, there is enough fun to go around. Cook at Peek’n Peak touts the popularity of its bag jump, in which a snowboarder flies down a slope, up a runway and then into a gigantic inflatable bag.

Nearly all resorts have snow tubing, the gentle downhill slide on an inflated doughnut, but some work hard at keeping special events going all year round. Weltz, for instance, says shooting at sporting clays also is a winter activity at Seven Springs.

Epp says crews at Wisp work hard to keep open the zip lines and Mountain Coaster, which is a hybrid Alpine slide and roller coaster.

That varied and wide-ranging number of activities is the most important aspect of winter sports, says Nemacolin’s Mazer.

“The extreme amenities is what attract the guests,” she says.

Sometimes, the fun is too big for one area.

Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, N.Y., close to Lake Placid, is an enormous ski area. It has 87 trails and 11 lifts on mountains where the vertical drop is 3,430 feet. Jon Lundin, a spokesman for the Olympic Regional Development Authority, says Whiteface concentrates on skiing and horseback riding.

“But when we sell the Whiteface experience, we sell the Lake Placid experience,” he says.

Lake Placid, of course, was the home of the 1932 and 1980 Olympics. So, visitors have access to other nearby winter sports sites such as the Mt. Van Hoevenberg cross-country ski area, the speed-skating oval and even the bobsled run.

“So, they come up to do a day of downhill on Whiteface, and then they head into town to do some cross-country or bobsledding,” he says. “We even have a $32 Olympic Sites Passport that you get to see all the Olympic venues, skate on the speed-skating oval and gets a discount on bobsledding.”

The size of the area and the height of the Adirondack mountains “make this Rockies-like skiing east of the Mississippi,” Lundin says.

Other ski-venue owners find the other end of the activity level the best selling point.

For instance, Blue Knob All Seasons Resort in Blair County is a large site with 34 trails and a 1,072-foot vertical drop. But owner Richard Gauthier says its biggest advantage is it “is just a beautifully, quiet place.”

As a result, he focuses on winter sports in a classic sense: downhill with cross-country trails that connect to even more in Blue Knob State Park.

The need to provide a variety of activity keeps resort officials always on the lookout for possibilities. Weltz, for instance, says Seven Springs planners are examining strengths and possibilities for Hidden Valley, acquired just this year.

She thinks the rental program there and the ski school make it stand out in the “winter experience” in the Laurel Mountains.

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Oglebay Resort

These days, people residing in the South-East are deciding more and more to stay local when it comes to their winter activities. It’s far cheaper, plain and simple. Oglebay Resort has become one of the better places to hit the slopes for winter fun. With several ski and snowboarding trails to choose from, you can have fun no matter what your winter tastes are. Located in scenic West Virginia, this beautiful resort just recently reopened their skiing accommodations to the public and conditions are expected to be pristine this winter season.

Located in West Virginia near the beautiful town of Wheeling, this ski resort has fun for all ages. Kids aged 5-12 can enjoy individual instruction at either the ski or snowboarding clinics. Even adults can take ski or snowboard lessons at our adult classes.  You can also rent equipment at their rental lodge or check out what is available for purchase. With all of the many options available, Oglebay Resort is truly a place for the whole family to enjoy. 


  • State of the art snow-making.
  • Terrain park which features rails of varying sizes with snow-made jumps.
  • Fire pit area located just outside the upper level of the ski building.
  • A triple chair lift, accessing a 815 ft. slope with a 168 ft. vertical drop.
  • New skis, snowboards and boots available for rental.
  • Handicap-accessible facility.

Oglebay Ski Resort can easily be found just off Hwy 70 near Wheeling, West Virginia and both the town and the resort offer many fine dining and entertainment options to suit any and all tastes. With conditions expected to be great this season, you can expect the slopes to be open for the entire winter season and well into the month of March.

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White Grass Ski Area

West Virginia is full of beautiful mountain ski resorts, and White Grass Ski Touring Center is no exception. Located in the Cabin Mountain Range which is part of the High Alleghenies, White Grass claims an impressive view and an annual snow fall of approximately 160 inches. Originally named Weiss Knob Ski Area, this West Virginia jewel was renamed White Grass in 1979 and has been known as such ever since.

White Grass Trails and Slopes

The area is famous for many reasons, and is a favorite with local West Virginians and snow enthusiasts alike. There are 30 miles of trails, ranging in height from 3220 feet to 4436 feet. There is also 1200 vertical feet of cross country trails. These trails are used for both skiing and snowboarding, and there is also access to ice skating. There are also 25-30 kilometers of groomed trails to ski, and along these trails are situated over a dozen shelters where skiers can rest, enjoy the scenery, and warm up by the wood burning stoves.


Another bonus for skiers and snow boarders are the Telemark Glades. These are areas at the older edges of the forest which have been trimmed allowing for fast skiing. Along these edges of the forest are the old abandoned downhill ski areas. There are several of these trails, two of them being the Yitzhak Trail and the Endless Glade.


Off course there are classes for beginner skiers, snowboarders, and even skaters. The classes are reasonably priced and most importantly, there is never a need for reservations. This alone makes the resort and it’s classes extremely popular with not only the local population, but also with visitors who may not want to stay at the resort, but who only want to spend a few hours or even just an afternoon. There are rentals available for all age groups and in all sizes, and a program that allows children to trade in their old snow gear, or even upgrade when needed.


The ski resort boasts a back country specialty shop, where you are guaranteed to find exactly what you need to make your ski vacation perfect. If you are in the mood for a snack or even a meal, then the resort’s cafe offers an all natural menu to fill you up and keep you going. The cafe also has for sale two cookbooks featuring some of their most popular recipes.

When you are not out enjoying the slopes, you can often find videos or music being played, and occasionally even enjoy a concert. Staying overnight? Check out the local area lodging.

White Grass Ski Resort offers something for everyone, whether you are planning on staying at the resort for a few days or just a few hours, you are bound to find something for everyone to enjoy.

What’s in a Name?

Check out this great article about how White Grass got it’s unique name.

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Skiing Smart in West Virginia

If you live and ski in West Virginia, you’ve likely picked up a few tricks along the way to ski competency. If, however, you are new to the area or only in town for a few days, you may need some help getting acclimated. Below, we have a few tips for making the most of your West Virginia ski season.


Know the Allegheny Mountains

All four of West Virginia’s ski resorts are located in the Allegheny Mountains. This stretch of the Appalachian Mountain Range is rugged and steep, rising to almost 5,000 feet in some parts of the state. As a result, driving conditions can rapidly deteriorate in bad weather. If you’re skiing in West Virginia, check the weather forecast prior to leaving; if a storm is approaching, you may want to consider skipping the day.



Know the Resort’s Snowmaking Schedule

The Allegheny Mountains and West Virginia receive an average of 44 inches of snowfall each year. Though this is generous for the area, it means that most resorts have an advanced snowmaking infrastructure. If your local resort doesn’t make snow every day, talk to a staff member to see if they have a schedule; fresh powder can be scarce in this part of the country, and having insider knowledge can greatly improve your ski season.


Get the Most Bang for your Buck

West Virginia’s lift ticket rates are relatively low, making skiing slightly more affordable than in other parts of the country. A 1-day adult ticket at Canaan Valley is just $52—half the price of larger resorts out west. You can continue cutting these prices in two ways: purchasing season passes and buying your tickets online. Season passes allow skiers to get the most out of their investment, and most resorts offer significant discounts if you buy before reaching the ticket window.


Rent Smart

If you’re not an avid skier, you likely don’t have your own equipment. In most cases, you will need to rent gear. It is never difficult to save money on ski rentals, but there are several strategies for continuing the savings: bundle rentals with lessons and lift tickets, reserve in advance, and lease for the entire season.

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West Virginia is the Best State for First-Time Skiers–Here’s Why

Learning to ski—as both a child and an adult—is a daunting task. With long waits, terrifying steeps, and the constant notion that you’re a nuisance to everyone else on the trail make for less-than-ideal learning conditions. While some American skiers are immediately thrown into the thick of the sport, learning on big-name resorts like Breckenridge and Stowe, West Virginia skiers have a distinct advantage: most of the state’s resorts are incredibly approachable and accessible to first-timers.



A Great Place to Learn Patience

Patience is the most important trait for beginning skiers; you must be patient with yourself, learn the techniques, and apply them only when you’re ready. Learning to ski at a large mountain resort can be a fulfilling experience, but it adds pressure and stress to an already tense situation. Beginners need to take their time going down the mountain—they shouldn’t feel rushed by advanced shredders tearing down the same trail. Similarly, beginners should spend as much time as they can on the actual mountain—not waiting for hours in a lift line. Learning to ski at a West Virginia ski resort eliminates external stressors, allowing first-time skiers to fully appreciate all that skiing has to offer.


Mild to Moderately Challenging Slopes

West Virginia ski resorts also offer lower gradients, allowing beginners to experience most of a mountain without needing to master complex techniques. Of course, there are a few exceptions—Snowshoe Mountain has 1,500 feet of vertical and the steepest run in the region—but much of West Virginia’s skiing terrain is beginner friendly. If you’re just starting out, you can rest assured you won’t be on the same bunny slope every day. To that end, West Virginia ski resorts prioritize education and ski instruction. Winterplace, for example, only hires instructors with extensive experience and certification. They have a separated beginner area to ensure safety and comfort, earning the resort the title “Best Place to Learn” from Blue Ridge Outdoors.

If you’re a West Virginia resident just learning to ski, consider yourself lucky. These resorts are incredibly friendly to beginners, and you’ll receive the best instruction, experience accessible conditions, and spend all your time on the slopes.



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Changing Weather Patterns Threaten West Virginia Ski Industry

In February of this year, three of West Virginia’s four ski areas suspended operations for several days. The reason why? A shortage of the subfreezing temperatures required to make snow. Lifts and trails at Winterplace, Timberline Four Seasons, and Canaan Valley resorts closed during the week to preserve the remaining snow for the busier weekend days. At nearby Snowshoe Mountain in Pocahontas County, eigh lifts and around forty trails remained operational.

While operations were halted, resort staff members worked tirelessly to strategically move and create snow to facilitate better trail access. Unfortunately, this closure impacted one of the most important periods in the West Virginian ski season; March and spring skiing draw big crowds to resorts statewide. Several ski races were also cancelled due to the closure.



Climate Change Over the Years

Over the last century, the average temperature in Charleston, West Virginia has increased by over one degree Fahrenheit. While precipitation has increased by up to 10% in many parts of the state, much of it falls as rain. Over the next century, the West Virginian climate is expected to change far more; projections made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicate that temperatures in West Virginia could increase by 3 degrees Fahrenheit. The frequency of extreme hot summer days is expected to increase because of the general warming trend, but it is not clear how the severity of storms might be affected.

Climate change in West Virginia is indicative of a larger threat to the ski industry. While resorts in other states continue to use more water on snowmaking processes, their northern locations guarantee typical season lengths. West Virginia, on the other hand, is at risk of losing ski capabilities altogether; though mountainous, our state already experiences warm temperatures. The ski industry in this state is thriving, but it is at risk.


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Head to a WV Ski Resort for Summer Vacation

West Virginia’s unique location–in both the Appalachians and the Mid-Atlantic region—has allowed the state to turn its ski resorts into year-round vacation spots. While the state boasts hundreds of other attractions, it is the flexibility of ski industry leaders that drives thousands of tourists to the state every year. If you live in the state, you can take better advantage of the amazing opportunity; purchase a year-round pass to your closest resort and reap the benefits every weekend.


Take, for example, Canaan Valley Resort. Just two hours away from Washington, D.C., this destination proposes a two-season vacation. The resort keeps its golf course open each winter, allowing visitors the change to ski and tee up on the same day. This particular resort has also increased its snow-making capacity by over 140 percent over the past two years. While not every West Virginian resort can offer both golfing and skiing in the same season, many feature accessible attractions in the off-season.

Snowshoe Mountain, another West Virginia favorite, is home to one of the largest trail systems in the East, making for excellent mountain biking, hiking, and trail running. They host archery competitions, golf tournaments, and dozens of mountain biking events every summer and autumn. Similarly, Timberline Four Seasons Resort has some of the best biking and hiking available in the area.

West Virginia may not be known for outdoor recreation, but the accessibility is unmatched in the Mid-Atlantic region. Whether you’re traveling here for a weekend of skiing or a backpacking trip, we expect you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.


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Winterplace Ski Resort

Located in Ghent, West Virginia, Winterplace Ski Resort offers more than 90 acres of skiable terrain and a summit elevation of nearly 3,600 feet. Though their vertical drop is one of the smallest in the state (603), staff at the resort make the most of the stunning mountain. Winterplace has snowmaking ability on 100% of their trails, and the longest run is over a mile long. Don’t want to wait in line to access one of their 27 trails? With ten lifts, including two quads, two doubles, three triples, and three super carpet lifts, you’ll be at the summit in no time.

Though Winterplace has a relatively small vertical drop, they don’t skimp on the adrenaline. Beginner terrain comprises around a third of the mountain, and another 40% is designated intermediate. However, almost a quarter of the mountain’s trails are marked with black diamonds, making this an excellent resort for all members of the family.

Winterplace also offers night skiing on nearly all of its trails, including the resort’s two terrain parks. If you’re not a fan of skiing but still want to visit, Winterplace houses the largest snow tubing park in West Virginia; it offers two Super Tubing Carpet Lifts and up to 18 lanes of high-speed fun. Additionally, if you’re visiting with small children, you won’t have to sacrifice any fun; the resort offers ski programs for kids ages 5 to 12 and childcare for children as young as 6 months.

Importantly, a day at Winterplace Ski Resort won’t cost as much as the other West Virginia mountains. In fact, a weekend or holiday adult ticket is just over $50—a drastic change from larger resorts, such as Snowshoe and Canaan Valley. Planning to ski with a large group? You can save over $300 if your group has fifteen or more adults. For more information about Winterplace’s rates and promotions, see the following link.

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Canaan Valley Resort

Nestled in Cannan Valley, the highest mountain valley east of the Rockies, West Virginia residents and visitors will find the Canaan Valley Resort, a four-season mountain resort destination. With a summit elevation of 4,280 feet and a vertical drop of 850 feet, Canaan Valley boasts some of the best skiing and riding in the state. They have one high-speed quad, two triples, and one magic carpet to suit every lift availability. The resort also has snowmaking on 75% of their trails and an annual snowfall of more than 160 inches, making for wonderful conditions on any day of the season.

Canaan Valley’s 47 trails offer thrills for a wide range of abilities. Around 20% of their trails have a green circle designation, making them perfect for first-timers and beginners. 36% of their trails are marked with an intermediate blue square, while 44% are either a single- or double-black diamond. Though most of the mountain is designated as intermediate, advanced, or expert terrain, Canaan Valley’s extensive beginner area is perfect for those just starting to get their ski legs. The mountain also includes a terrain park, making their 95 acres of skiable terrain both diverse and dynamic.

If you’re not a fan of downhill skiing or snowboarding but still want a fun winter experience, Canaan Valley has you covered. In addition to providing world-class Alpine skiing, the resort offers snow tubing, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating. For more information about these wintertime activities, see the resort website.

Though their winter season is relatively short, spanning from mid-December to early March, Canaan Valley is a year-round resort. In addition to offering exciting ski and snowboarding opportunities, they offer camping, golf, hiking, and biking in the warmer months. Additionally, their chairlifts stay active year-round, providing scenic views of the Allegheny Mountains in every season. A trip up the mountain costs just $7 for an adult, but group rates are also available.

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