If I had unlimited time and money, I’d opt for long ski weekends in Utah or Colorado. But I don’t. I might manage one ski trip out west this winter, but otherwise I’m looking for affordable road trips such as this one: In about five hours—a little over half the driving time to Killington, Vermont—skiers in Washington can reach West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort.
One of the largest ski resorts in the Mid-Atlantic, Snowshoe has less than half the skiable terrain of Killington, but 256 acres is plenty, especially with shorter lift lines. Snowshoe averages 70 inches less than Killington’s 250 inches of annual snowfall, but snowmaking and cool temperatures at the West Virginia resort ensure a good base. Most important, Snowshoe’s 4,848-foot peak (Killington’s tops out at 4,241 feet) is a target for snowstorms from the south and west and for “Canadian clippers” that often produce fluffy powder more common in Utah. Killington, on the other hand, can be icy.
Bottom line: The snow is usually better on Snowshoe’s two mountains (Snowshoe and Silver Creek), five terrain parks, and 57 trails. The 1½-mile-long Cupp Run, with its 1,500-foot vertical drop, is among the most popular slopes in the region.
Not into skiing or snowboarding? Other adventures at the 11,000-acre resort include snow-shoeing, snowtubing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.
Or avoid the cold entirely by taking a dip in one of the indoor/outdoor swimming pools; scheduling a treatment at the spa; or taking youngsters to the Big Top, an indoor playground with slides, games, movies, Eurobungy—a cross between trampoline and bungee-jumping—and live entertainment.