Boone Area Nordic Ski
and Natural Snow Report—
Check back here for updates on natural snow conditions for cross country skiing, winter hiking, backpacking, and mountaineering in the Boone area. Please be a part of our network of reporters—e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know about the snow.
No Nordic in the Boone Area right now—but keep an eye on the weather and check back. Below is a report from earlier this winter...
IN BRIEF: Updated for February 16, 2014 / Report at 8:30 AM.
More Snow—Don't Miss It!
Weather Overview: Epic condition alert for the President's Day weekend! There are excellent Nordic ski conditions in the Boone Area. Again fresh snow—another inch or so—arrived last night, Saturday night, and there is good coverage across the High Country. The sun consolidated things Friday, but more snow fell. High winds meant arctic cold in the open on Saturday—but today, Sunday looks calm and great! Get out there! Check back for more later.
Join the Locals: Keep in touch with the Boone Area cross country ski scene through the new High Country Nordic Association's facebook page. The Boone Area group's Fourth Annual High Country Tele-Fest is scheduled for February 8th, 2014 at Beech Mountain Resort.
Keep in Mind: Knowledgeable local skiers fuel this report, but don't expect the detail found in ski resort snow reports. We'll update our info as it becomes available. (After you've sampled local trails, please send snow reports to email@example.com.)
Look further below for where to rent skis, suggested ski etiquette, and a video cross country ski lesson filmed at Moses Cone Park.
Skiing and Hiking Site Reports—
Roan Mountain: Roan received more snow last night putting icing on the cake of great skiing. Likely 15 to 20 inches up there. Today the wind dies down—but yesterday's blow means you can be sure those famous drifts on the AT and elsewhere are making "the "Roan" epic. Get out there for some great fun today!
Check the Roan trail guide and view this Roan Mountain ski video.
Hikers aiming at Roan under heavy snow are asked to take snowshoes to preserve ski conditions during this snowstarved winter. Hiker's, please create a separate hikers path on the road. Even when meadows on the Appalachian Trail to the north over Round Bald have thin snowcover, drifts can be big on lee slopes. Check out our new trail guide to Roan Mountain.
Grandfather Mountain: Deep winter conditions prevail on the peaks. Trails are icy and deeply snow-covered—and will be for the foreseeable future.
The Profile Trail parking area is closed at Grandfather due to snow. This winter, rangers have posted signs telling hikers that if they're headed to the summit ridge, they are considered unprepared if they do not have Kahtoola MICROspikes, Yaktrax or a similar crampon-like boot-sole traction device.
Elk Knob State Park: Today's report says, "The Park is open and another 1/2 or inch of snow fell Saturday night." Randy Brandy Brlville says, "There is stilll well over a foot of snow in the park with deeper drifts." Secondary roads to the park are snow/ice covered so use caution when traveling to and within the park and when hiking the trails. The road has been scraped however, four wheel drive is strongly recommended along with traction devices for your shoes. "
Please note that downhill skiing and snowboarding are not allowed at Elk Knob. Check the Elk Knob trail guide and call the park—828-297-7261.
Blue Ridge Parkway
Moses Cone Memorial Park, Julian Price Park: Moses Cone and Price Park Fans—these Parkway gems are skiable. The snow consolidated Friday but there's still a resilient base—and between Friday and Saturday night's snowfall, there is plenty on the trails for nice touring. The wind has made the surface crunchy yesterday—but last nights snow should provide a nice surface. There's 8 to 12 inches or so at Parkway ski sites.
The carriage paths that wander through the towering white pine forests of Moses Cone Park are a favorite Nordic ski destination. Same goes for paths in Price Park, such as the Price Lake Trail and the campground and picnic area loops.
Check out our guide for the Bass Lake Trail, one option. Click here to download a Moses Cone Park trail map. The trails at Linville Falls are other good options when the snow is deep.
Gated Portions of the Parkway: There's about a foot of snow at loftier Parkway ski sites.
Gated sections of the road from Mount Mitchell to Doughton Park are good when snowcovered. One of the Boone Area's best gated Parkway ski spots—the Grandfather Mountain/ Linn Cove Viaduct portion of the Parkway—runs north at the gate from US 221 near Linville close to the entrance of Grandfather Mountain, and south from the gate at Holloway Mountain Road/ US 221, south of Blowing Rock. For a map of that section, click here to download the Tanawha Trail map.
If gated or snow-closed portions of the Parkway are your destination—call the Parkway's automated road closure line (828-298-0398) or visit the Parkway Web site.
Beech Mountain: Emerald Outback has more much than a foot of snow.
Where to Rent Skis—
The High Country Ski Shop at the Pineola Inn south of Linville on US 221 (828-733-2008 or 4979) offers most everything a beginner or expert skier would need—including skis, boots, and poles, rental equipment, and lessons. For winter 2011/12, the High Country Ski Shop has new light weight retail ski packages and backcountry ski gear (as well as snowshoes for sale). 1st Tracks in Boone also sells Nordic skis, and Footsloggers in downtown Boone offers snowshoes for sale.
Where to Ski
More recommended trails are listed on our Cross Country Skiing page. Our extensive Hiking Guide contains in-depth information on great places to ski and hike in the snow. There's also a winter hiking page. Also check out the map at the bottom of our Blue Ridge Parkway Guide. Zoom in to find the Parkway's many ski and hiking trails and even get directions to the locations.
1/ Walkers, please don't walk in ski tracks—it ruins the smooth stride and glide. Please establish a separate walkers' path and/or use snowshoes that compact but do not destroy the snow.
2/ Dogs are frowned upon in the most popular Nordic ski settings. They run in ski tracks and destroy snow conditions. Best bet: Find your favorite, out-of-the-way pet-friendly spot that's not a primary destination for skiers.
Where to Learn
Take the video nordic ski lesson below and sample the scenery at Blowing Rock's Moses Cone Park, one of the Boone area's best cross country ski sites. Or contact the High Country Ski Shop in Pineola for lessons (828-733-2008 or 4979).