Winter will be here before you know it, and at Meadowlark Motel we’re dreaming of fresh powder and snow-capped peaks. We’re lucky to have the Cataloochee Ski Area – one of the premier ski resorts in the Smoky Mountains – right here in our backyard. It typically opens on the first or second week of November every year. And because of their extensive snow-making capabilities, they keep more base snow on the mountain than many other ski resorts, which means the ski season stretches gloriously into March. Whether you’ve been skiing your entire life or you’re hitting the slopes for the very first time, the Cataloochee Ski Area is an exciting ski destination for everyone!
Cataloochee Ski Area Highlights
As North Carolina’s first ski area, the resort has welcomed visitors and thrill-seekers for over 50 years and is a favorite of both locals and tourists from far and wide. Its 18 slopes and trails are 44% beginner, 39% intermediate, and 17% advanced to expert. And with elevations up to 5,400 feet, it’s typically about 10 to 15 degrees cooler than down in the valley, making it the perfect spot for hitting the slopes.
Nothing can ruin a day on the slopes faster than ill-fitted gear. The full-service rental department at Cataloochee offers over 4,000 sets of ski equipment plus a boot drying system to keep your feet warm. Get everything you need to hit the slopes, including skis, boots, and poles. And if you need any special outer gear – like bib overalls or waterproof jackets – you can rent those too, either at the resort or at a ski shop in Maggie Valley.
Even if you’re a seasoned skier, it’s always a good idea to take a lesson. (Hey, even the pros have coaches!) No matter your skill level, a ski lesson covers everything from the basics to learning thrilling new tricks to keeping you safe on the mountain. Plus, if you take a lesson, you may even get to skip the lift line.
At the Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, beginner students learn how to turn, slow down, and stop. Then each additional lesson builds on that foundation with more advanced skills. Get a full day of skiing that includes the cost of your lift ticket, any ski equipment or gear rentals, and your lesson with a professional ski instructor.
Snowboard Terrain Park
If you feel like switching things up, head over to Cataloochee’s Cat Cage Terrain Park and join all the park rats. The crew here keeps the park fresh by mixing up the variations and adding in different features all throughout the season. No matter what kind of setup they make, though, your adrenaline will be pumping when you take on the ramps, rails, and boxes for some epic runs.
When the day is done, it’s time to let go with après ski. Head into Cataloochee’s lodge to grab a bite to eat at the restaurant or a warm drink in the bar, where you can catch live bluegrass every Friday. Chill out with great music, great drinks, and great stories from the slopes!
If you’re planning on hanging around for more than a day, be sure to add in some non-skiing winter activities so you get an authentic Maggie Valley experience. Go tubing at Tube World, just down the hill from the ski area. Take a winter hike and marvel at the glittering panoramic views from some of Haywood County’s peaks that reach over 6,000 feet. Fill your bellies with down home cooking at a local Maggie Valley restaurant. Or just grab a hot toddy from Elevated Mountain Distilling Company and snuggle up beside a crackling fire.
Stay in a Cozy Cabin
Don’t waste your time shuttling back and forth to the mountain. To get the most out of skiing in Maggie Valley, stay close to the action. Just minutes from Cataloochee Ski Area, the Meadowlark Motel is happy to be your home away from home. Our Appalachian chic décor and retro motor court vibe deliver a cozy winter escape where you can rest and relax after an invigorating day on the slopes.
Nestled in a serene mountain setting beside the beautiful Jonathan Creek, you can choose from 38 cabins, guest rooms, and cottages with amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi and a continental breakfast. What are you waiting for? Book a stay at our motel in Maggie Valley, NC, for a comfortable, inviting and affordable Smoky Mountain ski vacation today!
Directions to Cataloochee Ski Area from Meadowlark Motel
Cataloochee Ski Area is located four miles off U.S. 19 above beautiful Maggie Valley, North Carolina.
NOTICE TO OUR GUESTS…please do not use your GPS or IPhone Map app to bring you to the ski area and DO NOT use any mapping that includes the words Scenic View Dr. This is incorrect and a mapping error that takes you up a dead end private road.
To get to the ski area, come through the town of Maggie Valley turn onto Fie Top Road (at Ghost Town in the Sky and across from Tube World) and continue up that road for 3 miles and then 1 mile across on Ski Lodge Road to the ski area. Do not turn off of Fie Top Road onto any other road other than Ski Lodge Road. Also, Tube World is located at the base of the mountain in the town of Maggie Valley and not at the ski area. They are situated on Soco Road across from Ghost Town.