Skiing Near Washington DC - 10 Places to Try

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties DC AB15253


You might think that Washington has too much hot air surround it to ever get enough snow for skiing.  After all, skiing requires snow - and hills or mountains.  There are hills are within a few hours drive of Washington - and where there are hills, enterprising people will create snow.

About 90 percent of resorts now use machines to augment the natural snowfall.  They even make snow at Vail - at least on the beginner and intermediate slopes.  Even if you see green grass in your yard in Washington DC or Bethesda, ski resorts most likely have snow.

Here are the local favorites for taking advantage of winter.


Wintergreen VA - Distance from DC: 156 Miles


Wintergreen is in the Blue Ridge Mountains with 24 trails and a vertical drop of more than 1,000 feet. You can rent a beautiful cabin with a fireplace or stay in a mountaintop condo that faces east. Enjoy a visit to a spa or hang out in a hot tub after an afternoon on the slopes.


Massanutten VA - Distance from DC: 120 Miles

Massanutten offers 14 trails for skiing and snowboarding.  If you really don't see yourself enjoying an afternoon on the slopes, you might enjoy the 42,000-square-foot indoor water park. The facility features a “lazy river” where you can float on a tube in the warm water, plus tube and body slides, a family swimming section, and a Flowrider surfing zone that pumps 50,000 gallons of water a minute to form artificial waves.


The Homestead  Hot Springs VA Distance from DC:

The advantage of skiing at the Homestead is that you can stay at the Homestead, a luxury resort in the mountains of Virginia with gracious dining and lovely rooms.  The mountain is not particularly challenging for experienced skiiers, but it is fun.  The teaching area allows new skiers to prepare for an easy transition to the beginner-friendly lower trail or the main lift. More advanced skiers can enjoy intermediate trails like The Glades, Escape, and Upper Main, while the most seasoned can test their skills on the Nose Dive or The Chute.


Liberty Mountain: Carroll Valley PA - Distance from DC: 78 miles

Liberty is near Gettysburg PA and just a short drive north of Washington and the Maryland suburbs.  It is a great day trip or good for a quick evening ski trip, when all the slopes are lit and running until 10 pm.  An adult lift ticket, good from 4 to 10 pm is only $49.    Liberty has a vertical drop of 620 feet and enough slopes to keep you busy for an afternoon.  I am partial to Liberty since I learned to ski there as an adult.  If you are someone who loves a day of powder in the Rockies, this will be a huge adjustment.  East Coast skiing means ice - lots of ice --but it's easily accessible!  

Fun Fact: In her biography, Becoming, Michelle Obama talks about skiing at Liberty - wrapped in a scarf, goggles and helmet - and completely unrecognized!


Wisp  McHenry MD - Distance From DC:179 Miles



Wisp is a relaxed family-friendly mountain is next to Deep Creek Lake. The slopes are right outside the lodge—as is the ski-and-snowboarding learning center, which includes five conveyor-belt lifts and a separate section for children. Many of the 33 trails are rated for beginners, and no one ever seems to be in a rush—making it easy if you’re just getting into snow sports.  I remember going to Wisp with my son and feeding the deer behind the hotel.  Looking back, I know that it was not eco-responsible but it was over thirty years ago.


White Tail - Mercersburg PA - Distance from DC: 89 Miles

This Pennsylvania resort has 23 trails and 11 are rated blue, or intermediate. The trails are all wide open and easily negotiated by skiers and snowboarders who love the joy of carving turns but don’t want terrain that’s too steep. There is a high-speed, four-person lift so that you can get in lots of runs in a day.


Blue Knob - Claysburg PA - Distance from DC: 166 Miles

Blue Knob is reputed to have the most difficult single slope in the Mid-Atlantic, dubbed the Upper and Lower Extrovert. Compared with other resorts in the region, the mountain is steeper, the trails are narrower, and there are lots of moguls as well as ungroomed terrain and trails cutting through the trees. Blue Knob has a vertical drop of more than 1,000 feet, and half of its 34 runs are rated advanced to expert.


Canaan Valley - Davis WVA - Distance from DC: 179 Miles

Canaan Valley is a pleasant place for skiiers and is also popular with cross-country skiiers and snowshoers.  Skiers will find more than 35 kilometers of cross-country and snowshoeing trails at Canaan Resort as well as an additional 60 kilometers of maintained trails at adjacent White Grass Ski Touring Center.  Both offer rentals and lessons.The valley, with an elevation of 3,200-plus feet, is in an area that regularly receives lake-effect snow to cover the open fields and wooded trails.


Seven Springs: Seven Springs PA - Distance from DC: 193 Miles

When I think of Seven Springs, I think of Mother-Son ski trips, stops in Breezewood MD before the PA turnpike and sliding backwards down a hill, unable to turn around and get my skis in front of myself.  Maybe it was the shiny green puffy ski jacket that really did me in and sped my slide down the mountain.  Seven Springs is a great place to take a large group of beginner skiers for a weekend.  They have lots of rooms and facilities to keep pre-teens engaged or out of mischief in the evenings.

While most resorts have one or two terrain parks for snowboarders, Seven Springs has six. Each has one-of-a-kind features for boarders of different levels, and freestyle skiers can also frolic on the rails, boxes, and jumps. The resort has the largest and long­est half-pipe in the region—the 440-foot-long Spot Superpipe—which allows Seven Springs to host major snowboarding competitions, such as the US Revolution Tour.


Snowshoe  Snowshoe WVA  Distance from DC: 220 Miles

Snowshoe is probably the biggest of the ski resorts on this list. There are 61 trails, a vertical drop of 1,500 feet, and more than a dozen lifts. Unlike other resorts around DC, you stay on top of the mountain and ski down to start your day on the slopes.  The mountaintop village includes a spa, restaurants, shops, and lots of lodging options—from hotel rooms and condos to cabins and houses. Off slope are snowtubing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobile tours, a swimming center, and much more.


If you are moving to the DC area and are unsure what you will find here, please give us a call at the Lise Howe Group at 240-401-5577.  We have been helping families and individuals relocate to Washington for over 30 years - and we would love the opportunity to help you find your home here too!




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James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Lise.

Never got into skiing, maybe it's because I don't like cold weather.  I do have an agent that travels to Colorado every winter to ski.  

Feb 11, 2020 01:55 AM #1
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Lise Howe those who make a living with their hills and ski resorts are thankful for snow machines!!!  it's been a very mild winter.... I didn't realize DC had so many ski areas!!!

Feb 11, 2020 03:03 AM #2
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Very nice localism post, Lise. I should do that for Charlotte... but I always forget as I hate snow and skiing. :)

Feb 11, 2020 03:45 AM #3
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Plenty of great places for ski lovers to enjoy that aren't too far away!  I think I might be allergic to snow though, haha.

Feb 11, 2020 06:03 AM #4
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Lise Howe - oh yes, there are plenty of mountains to the west.  I have not skiied in a while.

Feb 11, 2020 06:56 AM #5
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Lise - I do appreciate your opening about hot air conditions in the Washington DC area not having an impact on the skiing possibilities.  That said, I have not attempted skiing still working on effective walking.  Filibustering, next?  Hmm....

Feb 11, 2020 06:56 AM #6
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


What a nice array of ski resorts.  We are prejudiced to skiing in Utah these day, and have tried quite a few places prior to that.  It is our favorite.  A

Feb 11, 2020 07:32 AM #7
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Ha! I never thought about hot air and snow together before! I miss my skiing days; it wouldn't take much (just a friend saying, let's go!) to get me to head back to the Sierras for an exhilarating day on the slopes.

Are you a skier, Lise?

Feb 11, 2020 08:22 AM #8
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Lise- I never knew that there were so many places to ski around DC!!

Feb 11, 2020 09:32 AM #9
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Lise we take skiing for granted here in New England where we can be on the slopes within anywhere between 1 to 30 miles from our homes.

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Mar 12, 2020 12:32 AM #11
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