Opening day for 2023 is November 18 for snow tubing and November 24 for skiing and snowboarding! (Weather permitting.)
Literally, the coolest town in North Carolina is Beech Mountain. At an elevation of 5,506 feet, it's the highest town in the eastern USA. So summers are cool with prime hiking and mountain biking. Winters bring a wonderland for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and sledding. And don't forget the brilliant fall colors that extend for weeks. In the center of town, you can find a variety of restaurants and the beloved Fred's General Mercantile.
If you love to ski and snowboard, explore 95 acres with 17 slopes and trails with a vertical drop of 830 feet. Their longest run, West Bowl, is one mile. A snow tubing park is adjacent to the Alpine Village at the base of the slopes. Plus, you can snowshoe and hike on the 27-mile trail system maintained by the town of Beech Mountain. Additionally, the town offers a free sledding hill located behind the Brick Oven Pizzeria on Bark Park Way. It has two dedicated snow guns to supplement natural snowfall and is open seven days a week from dawn until dusk as long as there is snow! You can check current conditions on their live webcam.
If you are dreaming of a white Christmas, this town is your best chance. Read more about Beech Mountain Winter Fun.
Since temperatures seldom top 80 degrees (about 15 degrees cooler than the city of Asheville), Beech Mountain is a wonderful place for hiking, mountain biking and golf. In addition to shopping and dining, there is plenty of see and do near Beech Mountain, including Banner Elk and Grandfather Mountain. For golfers, Beech Mountain not only promises comfortable playing temperatures.
Beech Mountain Hiking & Biking
Hike and bike Beech Mountain’s Emerald Outback Trails for expansive views via 7 miles ranging from 4,700 to 5,400 feet elevation. The main trailhead is located on North Pinnacle Ridge Road. Nearby, find Beech Mountain Resort’s downhill biking park with multiple trails that traverse the ski slopes and are served by the ski lift. Riders can load their bikes on special trays that are added to the lift and then hop on a regular chair behind their bikes. That park is open Thursday-Sunday in June-September, and Friday-Sunday in September and early October. Pick up a trail map and get info at the Beech Mountain Visitor Center, GPS address is 403A Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mtn.
Approximately 127 bird species can be found on Beech Mountain throughout the year. Because of this great abundance of species, avid bird watchers recognize the Buckeye Lake Recreation Area as a “hot spot” in the area as well as many of the hiking trails.
Trout anglers have multiple options on Beech Mountain. Two streams - Buckeye Creek and Pond Creek - are part of the High-Country Mountain Heritage Trout Water Trail.
Beech Ski Resort Summer Opening
During the summer months, the popular ski slopes are transformed for many things to do:
- Chairlift: Bikers, hikers, and sightseers ride to the top of the mountain in the summer (then you hike, bike, or ride back down).
- Mile High Yoga at 5506' Skybar: June-September weekends, for all ability levels. Accessible by chair lift with scenic views as you ascend. Tickets can be purchased online.
- Summer Disc Golf: This 18-hole disc golf course hosts multiple tee locations accommodating all skill levels.
- Beech Mountain Brewing Co. Taproom and Grill is open Memorial Day Weekend through October, Thursday-Sunday.
- 5,506’ Skybar: At the top of the ski slopes is 5,506’ – a bar and restaurant hosting panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in a cozy, glass roundhouse. Unwind with food, drinks, snacks, weekly live music, and the best view in the high country. Take chairlift up.
- Live Music: Beech Mountain Resort hosts a Summer Concert Series every year June-August with past guests such as Sheryl Crow. Additionally, there is free live music every week at 5506’ and in the Resort Village.
- For more details, go to the Beech Mountain Resort website.
Land of Oz Openings
Some of the most popular weekends of the year are when the former Land of Oz theme park reopens for the annual Autumn at Oz festival.The very popular Autumn at Oz weekends in September takes place on the summit of the mountaintop along the yellow brick road. Read more about Land at Oz.
Beech Mountain is one of the earliest locations to find fall foliage color, usually peaking the first week of October. Stop at roadside farm stands, hike or drive the scenic roads.
You won't find all the typical hotel chains in this town. You'll find a big variety of lodging options, from inns, condos and mountaintop homes. See the current Beech Mountain lodging accommodations.
The town of Beech Mountain only has a full time population of 760 people, but the population increases to as high as 10,000 during the winter and 5,000 in the summer. There are more than 2,300 homes and condos on the mountain, so there are plenty of second homes and vacation rentals. The town began as a resort development in the 1960s. It's about 80 miles north of Asheville. Nearby is the town of Banner Elk.
Things to Do in Beech Mountain
There's no place like the Beech Mountain's Land of Oz. Stroll along the yellow brick road, experience a recreation of Dorothy's journey from her home in Kansas and meet many of the characters so… read more
There's no place like the Beech Mountain's Land of Oz. Stroll along the yellow brick road, experience a recreation of Dorothy's journey from her home in Kansas and meet many of the characters so central to "The Wizard of Oz." The event sells out, so buy tickets ahead.
As the highest ski and snowboard area in the eastern US, ride 17 slopes on 95 acres. Find runs for every skill levels, with a vertical drop of 830 feet and 80+ inches of annual snow. The Alpine… read more
As the highest ski and snowboard area in the eastern US, ride 17 slopes on 95 acres. Find runs for every skill levels, with a vertical drop of 830 feet and 80+ inches of annual snow. The Alpine Village has ice skating, brewery and even a mountaintop bar. Snow tubing and terrain park. Ski vacation packages and lessons.