An Overview of Virginia Ski Resorts
These four major Virginia ski resorts are known for each offering a unique—and thoroughly satisfying—experience. From a deluxe resort to a family-centric ski lodge, the four destinations all manage to find their niche despite being located in the same 200-mile stretch along I-81.
Virginia Ski Resorts
- Bryce Mountain Resort
- Wintergreen Resort
- The Omni Homestead Ski Area
Hitting the Powder of Bryce Mountain
Bryce Mountain is two hours west of Washington D.C., and has long been a favorite for families looking to get away for a weekend of skiing. Bryce offers 8 runs over 25 acres of skiing with a good mix of difficulties. You aren’t going to find a lot of vertical skiing here or expert runs that make you dodge trees. What you will find are gentle wide-open runs that let you enjoy skiing while still giving a bit of a challenge. The longest run, “Redeye,” is about 3500 feet, taking the western route down the mountain. There are two seated lifts, one double and one quad, and five carpet lifts.
Bryce is known for its ski school, which starts teaching the art of skiing to children as young as four. They also have popular race training clinics that teach six year-olds the fine art of slalom and downhill racing. The clinics focus on balance, gate training and techniques that enhance control.
Shredding the Slopes of Massanutten
Massanutten has been a premiere resort for over forty years and has paved the ground for many snow sports in Virginia. They were the first resort to offer snowboarding and tubing, and they installed the first quad chairlift in Virginia.
Massanutten has 14 runs located over 70 acres with a vertical drop of 1110 feet. They have an even mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced runs with the longest run stretching just over a mile. The base features two terrain parks for people looking to grind out some tricks or play in a half-pipe. Three quad lifts and one triple chair take you to your choice of runs, from the relatively easy 800-foot “Nutten-To-It,” to the 3300 foot expert run, “Diamond Jim,” that transitions into the 2300 foot “Southern Comfort.” If you like night skiing, all 14 runs are lit and open.
If you enjoy competing or watching competitions, there are usually four to five officially sanctioned events that occur throughout the season. However, don’t worry if you’ve never had a set of skis under your feet. Massanutten has a dedicated ski school with an entire area just for learners, so you won’t have to worry about crossing into a run you aren’t comfortable with.
Skiing at Wintergreen
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Wintergreen is the largest of the Virginia ski resorts in terms of sheer size. Twenty-five runs stretch over 129 acres with a vertical of 1002 feet. If you’re looking for challenging runs, this is the resort to hit when you’re in Virginia.
The center of the resort focuses on family-friendly skiing with gentle slopes, a tubing park, and two fun terrain parks. The runs rated most difficult are east of the main resort. This set of trails is known as the Highlands High Speed 6-pack, which features the Wild Turkey and Cliffhanger Trails, rated Black Diamond and double Black Diamond respectively. To the west are the Blue Ridge Express trails, a fun and challenging mix of intermediate and advanced runs. The Blue Ridge Express and center trails light up at dusk for nighttime action.
Relaxing at the Omni
This resort is the most isolated of the four Virginia ski resorts. It is deep in the heart of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, about 30 miles west of I-81. The views are spectacular, and the skiing is great. The Homestead is a fun resort to pamper yourself for the weekend and toss in some skiing for fun. Nine trails are sprawled out over 45 acres with an even mix between all difficulties. The longest run has a length of 1622 feet with a vertical drop of 700 feet.
The Homestead is definitely an all-inclusive resort with 10 restaurants in the area and the Homestead Inn, making this a great family destination. If members of your family don’t like to hit the powder, there’s an Olympic sized ice skating rink at the base of the trails. There is also a very capable ski school focused on quickly teaching the basics, so your novice skiers can experience the thrill of zipping downhill.