|Intrawest has done its best to make Snowshoe THE ski destination of the region. It has invested millions, developing creative plans for more slopes, housing and amenities. And by any standard, Snowshoe IS a great place for a ski weekend. Whether it becomes your particular favorite depends on what you’re looking for. Showshoe is a big, sprawling resort. It's six miles from the Visitor Center and Snowshoe Mountain Lodge at the bottom up to the top of the mountain, where most of the lodging and slopes are. It's another three miles over to the Silver Creek side of the mountain, which used to be a whole separate resort before Snowshoe bought it out. There's the Western Territory, a whole separate face of the slope. And there are those cross country skiing and snowmobiling trails back into the forest where overnight lodging is available.|
| It may be the most expensive resort in the region, but it
does give customers their money’s worth.
Snowshoe has the most efficient registration process in the region, and maybe in the country. No matter how late you arrive, the Visitor Center at the base is waiting for you. They have your room keys, lift tickets, rental forms, maps, lesson tags, and special arrangement passes if needed. If you have any problems they solve them. Immediately. Not in the morning. Now. Talk about first impressions.
Then it’s off to your lodging, which means a six mile drive up the mountain. If you’re staying at Silver Creek or the Snowshoe Mountain Lodge, you’ll be fine. Otherwise, you are about to enter Parking Hell. For the simple fact is, once you’ve unloaded passengers and luggage, there is absolutely no parking at all. Snowshoe has the worst parking crisis of any ski resort anywhere.
Once morning comes and you have time to explore, you realize this is really two resorts. Silver Creek was a separate facility on a totally separate mountain.
|Snowshoe eventually bought it out, but there are many families
who still consider Silver Creek the best of the two. It has a great lodge,
the only tubing hill, the only lighted night skiing. And the only parking.
A fleet of shuttle buses connects the two locations, with a bus every 15
minutes from 8 am until midnight. The ride between is about 10 minutes.
Both sites are weird. Snowshoe is an upside down ski resort, with the “base” at the top. Silver Creek is a sidesaddle layout, with the “base” halfway down the mountain.
As might be expected with its Intrawest management, Snowshoe operates with the style of a Rocky Mountain resort. It has a true night life. There’s a wide variety of restaurants, clubs, stores, and Friday and Saturday night live bands. Snowshoe has the best shopping in the region; it’s really a mall running along a ski slope.
|There are some options here you don’t have anywhere
else, thanks to the 11,000 acre Cheat Mountain section of the Monongahela
National Forest. You can cross country ski or snowshoe, with or without
guides. You could take a ride of an hour, half a day, or an evening on a
horse drawn sleigh or snowmobiles. There’s a Sunrise Backcountry Hut,
a lodge out in the wilderness you can reach only by skiis or sleigh. It
provides lodging and meals. One of the most unique adventures you can book here is a snow grooming tour.
You spend an evening learning about snowmaking, slope grooming and other
details. With 57 Snowshoe already has the most slopes in the region, and it’s
about to double that number. This is a horseshoe shaped valley, like the
classic Cirques out West (although this wasn’t carved by a glacier).
Snowshoe occupies the inside of the western arm. It is now beginning a planned
expansion first over to the eastern arm, then filling in the connecting
As seems to be the fad everywhere, Snowshoe is filling up every bordering acre with condos, townhouses and chalets, billing itself as a year round resort. It already offers 1300 rooms and is building more.
Do not come to Snowshoe Christmas Week, Martin Luther or President’s weekends. The crowds are simply overwhelming.
However, count on Snowshoe opening in mid-November and operating through April. In fact, the Thanksgiving and Easter packages here are the best anywhere. You pay for lodging and ski free. Snow conditions are good and the Thanksgiving buffet would make the Pilgrims proud.