Sugar Mountain Ski Resort

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort is a ski area located in the state of North Carolina in USA. The resort is in the town of Banner Elk, NC.

Sugar Mountain is not a part of any nationwide lift pass system. Passes such as Epic, IKON, or Mountain Collective allow pass holders to ski at multiple mountians with a single purchase. Unfortunately, none of those passes with with Sugar Mountain Ski Resort.

Sugar Mountain Lodging:

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort Terrain Overview

Sugar Mountain has a total of 21 ski trails, which are serviced by 8 ski lifts, gondolas and/or trams. Sugar Mountain is considered a smaller than average ski area, with only a maximum of 125 acres available to ski. This area is equivalent to 51 hectares, 0 square miles, or 1 square kilometers.

Total Runs
Ski Lift
Skiable Acres
125(1 km2)
Annual Snowfall

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort Elevation

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort has a summit elevation of 5,300 feet, or 1,615 meters. However, not all of that elevation is able to be skied. The base of the ski slope sits at 4,100 feet above sea level, creating a ski hill that is 1,200 feet (366 meters) high. This is referred to as the slope's vertical drop - or a measure of how high the skiable hill is.

Sugar Mountain's summit elevation is higher than average. There are a lot of ski slopes that are much higher than this one (some stretch to 12,000 feet!), but it is not small by any stretch of the imagination.

Mountain Summit
Summit Elevation
5,300'(1,615 m)
Vertical Drop
Vertical Drop
1,200'(366 m)
Mountain base
Base Elevation
4,100'(1,250 m)

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort Difficulty Level

Difficulty Score
33.3out of 100
←  EasyHard  →
Sugar Mountain can be beginner-friendly, but it depends on the ski trails you ride. While it ranks in the lower half of all North American ski areas in terms of overall difficulty, it still has 62% of its trails rated at or above intermediate ski level.


At Parks & Trips, we've created a proprietary Difficulty Score that attempts to show how difficult a particular ski slope is. We get to this number by combining a number of metrics for each resort and comparing them to its peers. Most of the score is based off the amount of easy-intermediate-expert slopes by acreage and the maximum vertical drop of the overall resort, but also includes a few lesser-used metrics as well.

Our algorithm compares each resort’s metrics with all others in North America, then assigns each a Difficulty Score, which we use to rank them accordingly. Resorts with a lower score are easier to ski than those with a higher one. However, a high score does not mean that the resort does not have any easy slopes, or vice versa. This is just an overall score given to the resort based on all its metrics grouped together.

Skiiable Area by Difficulty Level

Sugar Mountain has 125 total skiable acres, which can be broken down into the three main groups of difficulty: Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert.

Sugar Mountain is mostly a beginner-friendly ski area, with about 38% of its trails as easy. However, it also has its fair share of more difficult runs - which account for the remaining 62%.
38%(48 acres)

Beginner trails (identified by a green circle) are the easiest trails on the hill with a gradual 25% or less gradient, and are usually wide to accommodate beginner skiers.

Blue Square
48%(60 acres)

Intermediate trails (identified by a blue square) are usually the most popular and crowded runs, which have a slope of anywhere between 25-40%.

Black Diamond
14%(18 acres)

Expert trails (identified by a black diamond... or two) are the hardest slopes on the mountain, and have very steep gradients over 40%.

Is Sugar Mountain Ski Resort good for beginners?

Sugar Mountain can be beginner-friendly, depending on the runs you take. While it ranks in the lower half of all North American ski areas in terms of overall difficulty, it still has 62% of its trails rated at or above intermediate.

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort Location

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort is located in the state of North Carolina, USA. This ski area is nearby the town of Banner Elk, NC.

Banner Elk, NC 28604 USA
View on Google Maps


GPS Coordinates:
36.12000, -81.86000

Getting to Sugar Mountain Ski Resort

By Car: If you are driving, you would set your GPS to either the ski resort's name (Sugar Mountain Ski Resort), its coordinates of 36.12000, -81.86000 (latitude, longitude), or simply drive towards the town of Banner Elk, NC to get close.

By Air: If you are coming in from across the country, then you may need to board an airplane to get here.

A large airport has scheduled major airline service with millions of passengers per year. This type of airport always accepts international flights. Here are the closest large airport(s) to Sugar Mountain Ski Resort.

Charlotte Douglas International AirportCLTCharlotte, NC81 mi

A medium-sized airport has scheduled regional airline service. This type of airport may or may not accept international flights. Here are the closest medium-sized airport(s) to Sugar Mountain.

Tri-Cities Regional TN/VA AirportTRIBristol/Johnson/Kingsport, TN39 mi
Asheville Regional AirportAVLAsheville, NC61 mi
Concord-Padgett Regional AirportUSAConcord, NC82 mi

There may also be much smaller regional airports next to Sugar Mountain Ski Resort, but we didn't list them here due to the fact that no major airlines go through them.

Other Nearby Ski Resorts

Skiers will - especially if coming from far away - try and visit a couple different slopes all in the same trip. Here are the closest other ski slopes within 100 miles of Sugar Mountain Ski Resort.

NameLocationSummitDifficulty ScoreDistance
Beech MountainBanner Elk, NC5,505 ft38%7 mi
AppalachianBlowing Rock, NC4,000 ft34%12 mi
Wolf RidgeMars Hill, NC4,700 ft31%38 mi
CataloocheeMaggie Valley, NC5,400 ft28%77 mi
Sapphire ValleyCashiers, NC3,450 ft15%96 mi

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort Mountain Stats

Summit Elevation5,300 ft
Base Elevation4,100 ft
Vertical Drop1,200 ft
(38% Beginner,  48% Intermediate,  14% Expert)
Skiable Acres125
Avg. Annual SnowfallN/A inches
Sugar Mountain Ski Resort Mountain Stats