Resort photo

Sugar Mountain
Banner Elk, North Carolina
Vertical drop:1,200 feet
Base elevation:4,100 feet
Peak elevation:5,300 feet
Skiable acres:125
Longest run:1.5 miles

With its 1,200-foot vertical, Sugar Mountain is the largest ski resort south of West Virginia, and one of few resorts breaking a 1,000-foot vertical south of New England. The mountain is located near Banner Elk, North Carolina - a 7-hour drive from D.C., but less than three from Charlotte, Knoxville, and Winston-Salem, and a little over four hours from Atlanta.

The mountain offers skiers and boarders trails spread out over 125 acres. The lower mountain features graceful groomers, perfect for lower intermediates. The summit, however, will surprise even seasoned experts with several narrow, expert trails sporting 60-percent pitches. Sugar receives over 60 inches of natural snow annually, which is supplemented with 100 percent snowmaking. Snow tubing, ice skating, and snowshoeing are also offered in the winter.

There are approximately 1,000 beds located in condos on the mountain and another 10,000 beds located within 15 miles of the resort.

For the 2020-2021 Winter Season, Sugar Mountain will be instituting a number of COVID-19 protocols. Guests will be required to wear masks when six-foot distance cannot be maintained, including in lines, when loading and unloading chairlifts, and in indoor resort facilities. Visit this page to view all COVID-19 procedures at Sugar Mountain.

Photo provided by Sugar Mountain Resort.

Key Statistics

Resort Name: Sugar Mountain
Vertical Drop: 1,200 feet
Base Altitude: 4,100 feet
Peak Altitude: 5,300 feet
Trails: 21 Trails:
  • 34% beginner
  • 52% intermediate
  • 14% expert
Skiable Acres: 125
Longest Run: 1.5 miles
Lifts: 8 (1 high speed six-pack chairlift; 1 high speed quad; 3 doubles; 1 triple; 1 handle tow; 2 magic carpets)
Night Skiing: Yes, on 15 slopes.
Terrain Park: Services by a handle tow lift.
Tubing Park: Multiple runs serviced by a Magic Carpet conveyer lift.
Address: 1009 Sugar Mountain Drive
Sugar Mountain, NC 28604
Phone: (800) 784-2768
Social Media: Instagram link
Webcams: View resort webcams
Web Site:
Directions: Via Google Maps

COVID-19 Information

The following information summarizes COVID-19 protocols in effect at Sugar Mountain as of Oct 07, 2020. Please note that this information is subject to change at any time; contact Sugar Mountain directly before making a trip to verify current COVID-19 operating protocols. This information is provided by SnoCountry.

Masks Required:
Social Distancing Required:
Sanitization Stations Available:
Pass Protection:
Reservations Required:
Pre-Purchase Day Lift Tickets Recommended:
Resort COVID-19 web page:
Resort COVID-19 pass protection page:
Resort COVID-19 reservations web page:

Trail Map

Trail Map

Getting to Sugar Mountain

Show directions via Google Maps...

Weather near Sugar Mountain

6:35 pm on July 23 / Watauga County Hospital Heliport
Humidity:71% Visibility:10.00
Wind Speed:5 mph wind_E Sunrise:6:27 a.m.
Barometer:30.22 in Sunset:8:41 p.m.
Dewpoint:64 °F
Way too warm for snowmaking. No snowmaking
Low: 59°
Isolated T-storms then Partly Cloudy
Isolated showers and thunderstorms before 8pm, then isolated showers between 8pm and 11pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 59. Light south wind. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
High: 72°
Chance of T-storms and Patchy Fog
A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Patchy fog between 7am and 8am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 72. Calm wind becoming west 5 to 7 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Saturday Night
Low: 61°
Chance of T-storms then Mostly Cloudy
A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 10pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 61. Southwest wind 5 to 9 mph. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
High: 74°
Chance of T-storms
A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. West southwest wind 6 to 8 mph. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Weather supplied by the National Weather Service. Errors or reporting delays may be possible.

Snow conditions at Sugar Mountain

Resort is open for summer operations

Snow conditions supplied by SnoCountry, and may be inaccurate or delayed at times. Please check directly with Sugar Mountain for the most up-to-date snow and operating conditions.

News about Sugar Mountain

7 Ski Areas in 7 Days: A Road Trip through the Southeast
Article thumbnail February 15, 2021 - Woody Bousquet had planned to spend this winter skiing north of the Mason-Dixon Line. COVID-19 changed his plans, and he found himself planning a week-long trip south, hitting 7 classic southeastern ski areas in 7 days. He chronicled his road trip in this Firsthand Report.
What’s New for 2019: Sugar Mountain to Install New High-Speed Quad
Article thumbnail April 2, 2019 - Fifty years ago, the two passenger, fixed-grip Easy Street chairlift was installed at Sugar Mountain. This summer, the North Carolina ski resort will retire the old lift and replace it with a brand new, state-of-the-art quad detachable.
The Season So Far
Article thumbnail January 3, 2019 - The 2018-2019 winter season is off to a rocky start, with above-average temperatures throughout much of December. DCSki provides a roundup of current conditions and struggles across the Mid-Atlantic.
Rain Tries to Crash Party, but More Resorts Slated to Open
Article thumbnail December 20, 2018 - Early-season cold temperatures enabled many Mid-Atlantic resorts to fire up the snowguns, but the cold gave way to some bouts of milder temps and heavy rain, which has delayed the start of the season for some resorts. Although pre-Christmas rain is still adding to the challenge, several additional resorts plan to open in the coming days.
Canaan Valley Resort Recognized by Liftopia’s Best in Snow Awards
Article thumbnail December 28, 2017 - On December 20, 2017, Liftopia announced its Second Annual Best in Snow Awards, and Mid-Atlantic ski area Canaan Valley Resort received top billing in two categories.
The Mid-Atlantic Ski Season Kicks Off
Article thumbnail December 14, 2017 - The past week saw the arrival of cold temperatures, and the dip in Mercury allowed ski areas to fire up their snowguns. Although lifts have already started running at several resorts, by the end of the December 16-17 weekend nearly every ski resort in the Mid-Atlantic will have kicked off its 2017-2018 winter season. DCSki has the latest opening information here.
What’s New for 2017: Sugar Mountain
Article thumbnail November 5, 2017 - Sugar Mountain has updated its snowmaking system over the summer, replacing the oldest of its four water pumps with a new high-efficiency, variable-speed pump capable of pushing 1,000 gallons of water per minute to the North Carolina resort’s snowmaking guns
News Brief: Gold Card Provides State-Wide Skiing and Boarding to North Carolina Resorts
Article thumbnail November 4, 2017 - The $865 Gold Card acts as a season pass to North Carolina’s six ski areas, but is limited in sales to 100 passes and going fast.
Several Mid-Atlantic Resorts Launch Season Post-Turkey Day
Article thumbnail November 27, 2016 - The Thanksgiving Holiday weekend saw the opening of several ski areas in the Mid-Atlantic region, thanks to a recent stretch of cold temperatures that enabled productive snowmaking.
What’s New for 2015: Sugar Mountain Resort
Article thumbnail April 15, 2015 - North Carolina’s Sugar Mountain Resort is wasting no time announcing improvements for the 2015-2016 ski season. In late March, 2015, the ski area revealed that it will be installing a new “six pack” high-speed chairlift in time for the opening of the 2015-2016 winter season.

DCSki Forum Posts that mention Sugar Mountain

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