Timberline/Canaan Around Christmas
6 posts
6 users
21 days ago
Member since 02/19/2019 🔗
189 posts

We're thinking about going up to the Davis area to hit those two resorts around Christmas.  Not sure whether before or after the 25th.

We've never been to either.  We live south of Chapel Hill NC and have been to Snowshoe many times so I'm well acquainted with those roads.  It looks like the best way to drive up to the Davis area runs through Harrisonburg, which is pretty cut and dried for me, as I go north to Canada on I-81 almost every year.  How are the roads (33 and 32) after Harrisonburg?

Seems like the consensus is that Timberline has rebounded nicely under the Perfect family but Canaan is a little lackluster.  Is that about right?

I like the idea of trying Timberline but if Canaan is not so great then I don't know that it's worth it to make that drive.  It seems that Timberline by itself may well be better than any of the resorts in NC, VA or southern WV but I don't believe it's "drive twice as far" better.

To answer the obvious question, we don't want to go to Snowshoe because we've been a million times and just want to try something different.

Any recs on accommodations for 4?  I looked a the Timberline Hotel but it's either all booked or the system just isn't taking reservations yet.

21 days ago
Member since 01/23/2018 🔗
49 posts

In my opinion, Timberline is better than anything at Snowshoe other than Western Territory although it is smaller and somewhat less variety. Canaan is highly dependent on natural snow, their snowmaking has been suspect the last few years. I would expect both to be crowded over the holiday.

Lodging is very limited at Timberline, however there are a number of private rentals in the area. The lodge at Canaan is not bad also. It is not nearly as built up as Snowshoe and not such a "tourist trap". Much more laid back.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
21 days ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,077 posts

Agree that driving up to Timberline seems like it's not worth the effort from Chapel Hill.  However, compared to the crowds at Snowshoe during that holiday week it would probably still be worth doing once.  Especially if you could book a house right on one of the trails.  Being able to send out the kids after supper to ski a few runs under the lights might be an experience everyone would enjoy.

I usually drive to Davis from Massanutten and stay at least one night.  I've gone over the mountains on US33.  The longer route via I-81 to US48 is better.  The timing is almost the same.

Canaan Valley terrain is interesting.  The lifts are slow.  The advantage of CV over the NC resorts is that there aren't as many people on busy days. However, very hard to say how much terrain will be open by late December.

20 days ago (edited 20 days ago)
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,588 posts

I would not count on CV having anything worth skiing open by Christmas. TL should have at least 4 or 5 legit top to bottom (1000 ft) runs open.

Already noted but I second the recommendation to check out the Canaan Valley lodge for lodging. Another option: the Billy motel in Davis is clean and well run with a cool vibe but probably a bit small if you are skiing with a family (although I have done this with my family of 4).

Like marzNC said if you are coming up I-81 you can cut out much of the mountain driving by taking US-48. Go 10 miles or so past the rt 33 exit and take rt 259 up to US-48. Take that west to Davis then 10 miles south on rt 32

14 days ago
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,063 posts

Hey Keith.  Welcome to the C-T debate.  I'll give you my history.  Did the shoe back in the 80s and 90s when we first became instuctors to support our skiing habit.  We jumped to Timberline in 94 and bought a 1 Br condo within walking distance without ever having skied the mountain (best move we ever made).  Had skied CV many times back in it's hay day and never had a bad day there.  Fast forward... Now am retired, own a house which we live in at Timberline but have worked as the ski school director last year at Canaan and before that at Timberline Four Seasons Resort as an instructor.   Most of the statements made here are accurate and unless we have a natural dump, CV will be only 30-50% open Timberline has state of the art snowmaking and should be 100% by then.  Down side is they only have one lift to the top which can see lines but that is no different from what you experience at snowshoe. There are many housing options in the valley but you need to move fast as most may be rented  by now for that week. Slopeside at Timberline is Northwoods Condos and a number of houses. On a side note... don't dismiss Whitegrass for cross country and nordic skiing if there is natural snow.  Amazing place with a down home vibe and good lunches.   The Valley is very different in all ways from the shoe and I highly recommend giving it a try.  

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
12 hours ago
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,982 posts
In addition to all the previous suggestions, check out rentals and hotels/inns in Davis/Thomas. Also, the newly renovated lodge at Blackwater State Park Lodge.
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