Last year we headed to West Virginia with the whole family on our first out of state ski trip. We stayed and skied at Canaan Valley for two days and then skied one day at Timberline Ski Resort. This year we did the reverse, spending two days at Timberline and one day at Canaan. Both years we bought a travel package which included our hotel and lift tickets at the resort where we stayed. We LOVE both mountains and still have not decided which is our favorite or which has better skiing. However, we most likely will always visit both since they are only about 10 minutes away from each other. Two awesome mountains so close makes this area an incredible place for a winter getaway.
Top 5 Things we love about Timberline Ski Resort
1. The Salamander Run – This is a beginner trail that is 2 miles long, the longest in the Southeast. It is also great because even the most beginner skiers can ride the lift to the top of the mountain where this trail starts. I don’t know about your family but in ours going to the top of a mountain this big is a big deal. Our kids always want to go everywhere and get disappointed when the difficulty level of accessible trails limits their exploration.
2. The Slopeside Hotel – you can stay in the hotel at Timberline Ski Resort right on the slopes. This is great for families. Everyone has plenty of space and time to get their gear on. Then you just grab your skis and walk out the door and you are on a beginner trail just up from the lift. I also love that the hotel is so small.
3. Timberline Ski Resort Overall – the mountain is a ton of fun, the lodge is rustic, the resort has a family feel, and the resort is also not so commercialized that everything is overcrowded. It really is all about the skiing not how fancy they accomodations. At a larger resort everything is so far away because they want to be “big”. At Timberline you can park your car for the whole weekend and walk everywhere you want to go easily. We have been to resorts where we drive to the ticket window, drive to a far away parking lot and then take a 10 min walk to get back to the slopes.
4. The Twister and Winterset Trails – this is a great run for kids. The Twister does just that, the slope twists back and forth. From the Twister Run you can access the best part of the Winterset trail – the tunnels. If you have small kids this just may be the highlight of your ski season. You can ski through 2 tunnels! So much fun!
5. Best Ski Resort for large groups – I have also gone to Timberline Ski Resort with our youth group. They do church groups, boy scouts, girl scouts, etc. You stay in bunk houses and you can purchase meal packages so everyone can eat from the cafeteria. They do lessons very well so never before skiers in your group can get some basic instruction. The mountain is big enough that you don’t get bored but small enough that you can frequently meet up with and check in with members of your group.
If you are considering a trip to Timberline Ski Resort this year I would suggest the upcoming Snowy Luau Festival March 13-15th. They do the coolest thing I have ever seen on a mountain, the Lava Light Parade. Dozens of skiers start at the top of the mountain at night (the mountain is closed for the day) with red lights and start skiing down the mountain. It looks like lava flowing and is a really awesome thing to watch. They also have fireworks! A head up for parents though this is a big party. When we attended we were staying a few miles away at Canaan, drove over to Timberline in the evening for the Lava Light Parade and the fireworks and then headed back to Canaan. The lodge at Timberline was very crowded, standing room only, and it was quite the party scene. This is great if you are traveling without kids but not something you really want to try and navigate with little ones.