31 Best Stops Between Johnson City and Asheville (2024)

Sugar Mountain Resort, Inc.

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Ski resort

Outdoor Activities

Facility with 125 skiable acres, rentals & classes for all levels, plus terrain & snow-tubing parks.

We took our kids here last year to try skiing for the first time since it's pretty close to home for us. The area is neat so we decided to do it again this year. Both times we've had an excellent experience! The girls (9&5) have taken a few lessons from the instructors--the first time as an introduction and this time to work on certain techniques. The instructors have all been so kind and patient and communicative about what skills the girls need to work on. They are now really competent and comfortable on the slopes which is super fun to see.We find the prices are pretty reasonable (which is not to say cheap) for lift tickets and ski and boot rentals. We do go during weekdays only to avoid the crowds but the service has always been prompt and helpful.I will say that the lodge isn't much to speak of. Not very atmospheric or comfortable--just a place with lots of tables for scarfing a quick meal and warming up before heading back out. And the food is extremely expensive and pretty awful so I'd recommend bringing a lunch or going out for meals if you can. (Bella's is nearby and most excellent!) But who goes there for the lodge anyway?!

Laura W — Google review

Pros: I can't speak highly enough of the men working the lifts especially at the bunny slope. I imagine it's a pretty boring job, but they were so attentive to help people get on and off. I saw them left so many kids off the ground. They'd stop the lift immediately if anyone fell on it. I didn't take a class but the instructors were everywhere. They had such kind voices and were very patient. They had so much equipment to rent out. The ticket line was really fast.Cons: the rental line was so slow. The staff at the rental area was very quick, but maybe there weren't enough staff to serve the amount of patrons. Oh and the parking lot was packed when we arrived at noon for the 12:30-4:00 skiing slot. Overall, I'd return here after investing in my own equipment.

Mackenzie S — Google review

While the skiing here is nice and the slopes are good, they lack terrain and number of slopes for the sheer amount of people that do come here during holiday season. They can do better with their ticketing systems, rental equipment system and lodge facilities. Should you come during the busy holiday season, be ready for the lines and the crowds. Rent your gear from a separate shop down the mountain and arrive early for the chance at a parking spot.Overall, would recommend this spot. But try to come during a day that is not a holiday or at least prepare for the crowds by renting your gear elsewhere and by arriving early for a parking spot.

Adrian O — Google review

Visited the property for mountain biking in early September. We counted in total 7 other people here attempting to mountain bike, with everyone leaving within a couple hours because of the trail conditions.If you're a beginner, just forget about it. While the signs do say "there are no easy trails", they should actually read "our trails aren't maintained at all and are virtually impossible." Expect loose rocks and rain ruts around every corner. Go slow, be careful, and don't expect to have an enjoyable ride.Forget the fact that upon purchasing tickets I was told it didn't go through despite showing proof on my phones bank app, and had to argue and wait for ten minutes while the woman at the desk had to call someone else to get confirmation that it went through.I've heard good things about Beech nearby, maybe next time we will try there.

Shane M — Google review

We went for a fall festival. It was not what we expected. There were lots of vendors. We had our 3 grandchildren with us. There was a bouncy house area; but there was a $20 charge per child. They were also running the ski lift for $20 a person. They did have a great band playing German music.It was free to attend; but everything was overpriced. I got a small cup of hot chocolate and it was $7 and bottled water was $4!!!

Velma H — Google review

The slopes are great, but I'm going to Bench from now on. It's so much more chill there. Getting a Beech weekday pass today.

Derek — Google review

We had a great day of skiing. The only downside (as expected) was the 2.5 hours wait to complete the rental process (make sure first thing you do is to fill up the check in on a computer screen or they will send you back no exception. The staff has been kind and helpful considering the gigantic amount of people. For sure they need to figure out a better/faster way for the equipment rental. Overall we had a great time.

Matteo T — Google review

I’ve been to a lot of ski resorts and this place seems to offer decent skiing and good tubing with pleasant staff. However, there are several terribly frustrating things you have to deal with. First, parking is terrible. The parking attendants direct you up the mountain, but 1/4 mile up there was a large digital sign that said “Parking Lot Full” and the attendants on the mountain would just say “sorry”. So now you’re stuck in traffic that doesn’t move with no where to go. Lots of people had the same issue we did with some driving around for over an hour. My wife drove back down the mountain while I stood in line for tubing only to finally find a shuttle and sit in bumper to bumper traffic for another 30 minutes. Also, parking attendants on the mountain told us and several other people (we had a lot of time to chat in line)there wasn’t a shuttle system available, but clearly there was. Not sure if this was an independent system though. Then, you have to book ski lessons and at least tubing in person and by archaic rules (ski lessons must be booked by the afternoon/evening the day before and tubing is booked an hr before) and with unnecessary, inefficient and excessive lines. We had fun tubing in the 1 hr 45 min window they give you, but I waited 5 hrs in 20 degree temps missing the 12 and 2pm tubing times while waiting in line. We will not be coming back unless these things are changed. They need to allow booking online so people can plan a nice trip and not waste their time off standing in ridiculous lines. A simple walk through any of these lines would yield numerous ideas from patrons about how to improve the system.

Andrew B — Google review

One of the best in NC. They work hard to make southern skiing a reality and I became a good skier at this hill. Always have a good time. Friendly crowd, friendly staff, and good runs. If you have to decide, you can’t go wrong with sugar. Crowds can be a bit much on weekends in peak season, but the new lifts are helping with that. Definitely ride the lifts to max capacity to keep things going.You can get down the entire mountain in under 5 minutes and the lift up is about 8 minutes.

Matthew J — Google review

I went for an Oktoberfest and it was a great event and family celebration. There was a hay ride, scenic rides, inflatables, and, of course, a lot of local beer and Bavarian food. The live German music was very entertaining, and the whole vibe of the fest was amazing.

Francisco C — Google review

Bought a lift ticket and paid cash for it. 3 runs into my 4 hour session and I went to reach for my pass to be scanned for a 4th run and the lift sticker had delaminated off of the metal clip. Was told to go to customer service, which was closed, so proceeded to go to the ticket window. Was told I could not get a replacement lift ticket and could not get a refund either because I “paid with cash, and therefore they couldn’t prove my receipt was mine and it could’ve been one I picked up off the ground”. Terrible customer service, money grabbing, prices go up every year even tho nothing changes, and everything is overpriced. Have been going here for years now but each time I go I want to come back less and less.

Bryson L — Google review

Skiing at Sugar Mountain was a great experience. Arrive before 8 AM to get in line for the skis or board rentals. The lines move slowly. The people working there are very friendly and helpful. The website shows which slopes and lifts are open and running. I suggest that you go during the week. Going during Christmas holiday was the only time we could go, tons of people there, but we'd like to return for a ski day during the week.

Jennifer N — Google review

We went here the day after beech resort and wish we never wasted our time at beech mountain. We arrived at sugar mountain around 2:30 and the guy helping out with the lines was nice enough to tell us to wait and come back when the open for night skiing to get more for our money. Which we did, and had a great time. It was our first time snowboarding (except our horrible experience at beech). The staff was very helpful and kinda. Unlike beech, this place is very organized with signs everywhere to tell you where to go and what for. We got snowboarding lessons and our instructor was very kind, although it is kind of hard to keep up with the instructor with other people and how fast the instructors move. I would recommend doing a private lesson. Its was a great experience overall.

Toby D — Google review

If you plan ahead this is an amazing place. First tip is rent your equipment off site. If not, plan on at least a 2 hour wait for rental equipment. Ski Country across the street offered great service for our rentals. Second tip is get there early. We arrived at 8am and had the place to ourselves for the majority of the morning. Lifts are in great shape. The food is average at best and the lodge could use updating. Overall we had a great time. It was our kids first time skiing and they refused to leave.

Chris O — Google review

My husband and I drove up to Sugar Mountain to enjoy Oktoberfest - and enjoy it we did!The mountain views are spectacular. The parking was very well organized and the shuttles were very convenient with little to no wait.We got there at a great time because we beat the lines to the beer tent and then beat the lines to get our wonderful German foods. It was all just as good as I remembered it being years ago.The vendors are set up in one of the parking lots now which makes it a lot easier to access. It seemed that there weren't as many vendors this year but I could be wrong. There were enough vendors to do a little browsing and shopping.

Amanda W — Google review

We had a great time at this resort. To echo many of the other reviews, you’re at a significant advantage if you arrive early. We arrived just before they opened and were able to purchase lift tickets, a locker and rentals for 4 people under half an hour. The kids’ classes are a must; just need to register in person the afternoon before. Our daughter was assigned to instructor Leslie Menocal who did an absolutely amazing job!We also went tubing which is across the street from the ski area. Arrive at least one hour before the session time to ensure you obtain tickets before the session fills up. Tubing times are 10, 12, 2, and 4 to our knowledge. We arrived half an hour before one session and unfortunately it sold out with the group that was just ahead of us so we had to wait for the next session.

Andrew A — Google review

Do your research!!!! The owner doesn't care about his customers!!!! We went there in March and the conditions were actually really nice. However, he wanted to keep the blowers on the entire day blowing freezing cold water on everyone that was there. We went down the slopes one time and we're soaking wet. We had a party of 24 people. Everyone was miserable. I went to the office 45 minutes after I purchased the lift tickets to complain and they said sorry no refunds we need to keep it on. There was icicles hanging off of everybody in the lobby area and everyone was leaving early.. supposedly he had a big event the weekend after and wanted there to be more snow for that weekend. I guess he didn't care about his customers the weekend we were there!!! I will never be back!!

Kevin B — Google review

Staff was rude when i called asking for prices at the ski shop. They sounded more interested with flirting with each other then helping us. When we went skiing and snowboarding ski instructor Zach was Awesome!!!! The mountain was nice as well. Drinks were average in price at the bar. Bar staff were very helpful as well.

Yanny — Google review

We went there for the mountain biking, and it was great. The lifts were a easy and gave us a chance to relax. Its about a ten minute ride on the main one. The trails were a little more intense than expected. The green trails where in the blue range, and the blue trails were like dark blue. There is no food on site, so plan ahead and bring a sandwich. They allow picnicking which is nice.

Drew D — Google review

Went New Years Eve 2023 and arrived around 1030am. It was packed. Wanted to go tubing with our toddler but the line was about 200ft long. They can only take 120 people per time slot. If you want to go tubing on a busy weekend you're gonna have to stand in line for probably two hours or more. No complaints about the facility otherwise.

Vince A — Google review

First time here and loved snowboarding the slopes! The lift personnel were very nice and very conscientious when putting people on and getting them off the lifts. The lift approaches were nicely leveled for easy access. The green was a good length and gentle enough for new riders. The Blue slope added some good speed and had plenty of room to cruise down.

Tom S — Google review

Review is for skiing and tubing. We did not stay at the hotel.We visited very late in the season but we're impressed with how well they were able to keep the slopes and tubing track going. Though slushy, it was still fun. The slopes were consistently well groomed. The lifts were all in great shape. Lunch was what you expected. Some of our group enrolled in ski school and benefitted from the instruction and practice areas.At the tubing run, the staff was great. Despite the warm weather and small numbers of visitors, they were diligent and alert. When a small child tripped on the magic carpet they shut that sucker down and was helping the little girl in a flash.It was a great trip for our family and friends and I hope we will come back.

Elizabeth W — Google review

My girlfriend and I had an awesome time on the slopes over the weekend. We were blessed with a great day full of fresh powdery snow. We enjoyed tubing as well as skiing. The only problem was that so many people came to the resort for the great snow causing overwhelming crowds and lines that had us standing for 3 hours. A common conversation was how it compared to Disney land lines. The longest line was for the rentals. Once we got everything we needed to hit the slopes we only had 1 hour to ski until they closed the slopes down for maintenance. This was a bit of a bummer. The staff moved at a snails pace, but once we got outside it was great. All the staff working the lifts and the outdoor areas were great. We went upstairs to the bar to try and get a drink after we came back in, it was just too crowded. We had one drink and left.

Alex B — Google review

Went snow skiing here. It was clean and efficient. The runs were well maintained and they were safety conscious. It was icy when we got there but totally melted by 11am. My daughter loved "skiing in summer". We are used to skiing in Tahoe so it was weird not to have snow on neighboring hills but it was a good first experience of skiing in the southeast.

Heidi S — Google review

We always go at the busiest time of year: the week between Christmas and New Years. In order to make it work we always rent our ski gear at a third party rental place, the night before we plan to ski. This saves an enormous amount of time. Don’t go looking for great customer service, there won’t be any at Sugar Mountain. Go somewhere like Alpine ski rentals to get all your questions answered… yes even the ones about the ski slopes themselves and the ticketing/rental process at sugar. I wouldn’t bother with the ski school either, it’s not worth the effort it takes to actually get into a class during their busy season. They really aren’t that super helpful and everything they teach you can learn in a YouTube video. Watch the videos with your kids before you go and then find a spot to practice practice practice when you get there. You will have so much more fun and make great memories if you do that, and forgo the ski school. Just my two cents. :)

Lynn W — Google review

Get here early, or else you won't be able to find parking. It gets busy very quickly.I found it difficult to get up and down to the different slopes. The incline was rough in ski boots and it was easy to slip on ice.I also recommend renting your gear elsewhere. It is pricey there at the gate. The lodge could have been nicer, for those not skiing or even those wanting a break. Pack snacks and drinks. The prices are astonishing.

Jennifer W — Google review

I’d give tubing negative stars if I could. Complete scam. You pay more dollars than you travel feet. It’s not set up for you to see the hill before paying for it. I figured for the money they charge you’d at least have a little fun. 2 of us paid $72 for 2 hours. We went down one time (went maybe 20 feet), completely unhappy. Immediately went to get a refund because it was so pathetic, and the refund policy is nonexistent. Spent the next hour advocating for a refund and the best they could tell us was to fill out a paper customer complaint for the owner to see and make his decision, no promises. Completely unacceptable. I’m not holding my breath for a refund in the good graces of the owner. Just save your money. Bring a pool tube and find a small hill somewhere.

Ryan N — Google review


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1009 Sugar Mountain Dr, Sugar Mountain, NC 28604, USA

(828) 898-4521

31 Best Stops Between Johnson City and Asheville (2024)
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