Canaan Valley Resort Ski Area in West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains will launch its 2015/2016 ski season on Dec. 18. And new this year is the addition of glade skiing in the eastern part of the mountain between two black diamond runs.
Located in the highest mountain valley to the east of the Rocky Mountains, Canaan Valley Resort Ski Area is known for its average annual snowfall of more than 180 inches – more than most ski areas throughout the region – and breathtaking views of the mountainous region. The ski resort has a summit elevation of 4,280 feet above sea level, 91 skiable acres, three lifts – one quad, two triples and a magic carpet – lighted night skiing on weekends and holidays, a terrain park and ski school. A webcam offers a continuous real-time look at ski conditions.
“Canaan Valley Resort State Park is one giant playground, and the glories of winter can be experienced in many ways by visitors of all ages, interests and physical abilities,” said Steve Drumheller, general manager of Canaan Valley Resort. “And regardless of whether our guests are skiing, tubing, ice skating or even relaxing in the lounge and watching the fun, they will be treated to the breathtaking beauty of the Allegheny Mountains in winter.”
There are 47 trails and slopes with 30 percent beginner runs, 40 percent for intermediate skiers and 30 percent for advanced skiers. The longest run, Timber Trail, is 1¼ miles long.
Canaan Valley is known for its great beginner and intermediate terrain, providing a perfect place for new skiers and boarders to learn. In 2012, the resort added Critters Crawl, a dedicated beginner instruction trail serviced by its own magic carpet.
Tickets, deals and specials
The resort offers numerous ways to save on lift tickets, with special pricing on season passes for children, juniors, seniors, college students, families and West Virginia residents. Discounted tickets are on sale through Nov. 30. For complete details on season pass pricing and deals, visit the website. The resort will also soon introduce special lodging and skiing packages.
Family friendly options
The resort is well known for its family-friendly offerings such as Critters Crawl and Timber Trail, a slow-ski area near the base of the hill. There is also a Kidz Korner where children ages two to six will be safely entertained while parents ski on their own or with older children.
Back to school
The resort’s ski school is a terrific option for beginners as well as skiers and riders looking to sharpen their skills. The school offers group and private lessons.
Young skiers between five and eight years old can learn to ski with kids of their own age and ability at the Canaan Cub Club, which offers daily half-day instruction and full-day classes on Fridays through Mondays as well as holidays. Students receive instruction, lift tickets, rentals, lessons, snacks and helmets, and full-day students also receive lunch. The Mountain Adventure is a good choice for children between nine and 12 years of age.
The school also offers adaptive lessons, telemark and cross country skiing lessons, and the resort has embraced the “Smart Style Terrain Initiative,” a cooperative effort of the National Ski Areas Association and Burton Snowboards that promotes proper use of terrain parks.
Plenty for experienced skiers too
The new glade skiing is the latest of many offerings that appeal to the experienced ski crowd. The ski area also offers the challenging double black diamond Old Canaan Curve run and Dark Side of the Moon, a long run that travels along the eastern boundary of the ski area.
The ski area also has a popular NASTAR (National STAndard Race) racing course for recreational skiers to test their skills under a universal handicapping system. The NASTAR course is located on the Upper Valley Vista and continues onto Ramble. Racers can test their speed against Olympic Gold Medalist and NASTAR pacesetter Ted Ligety as well as local pacesetters. Races are held every Saturday and Sunday.
Other cold-weather fun
Two popular and family-friendly winter-season attractions are scheduled to open the Friday after Thanksgiving Day (subject to weather). The resort is home to the longest tubing park in the Mid-Atlantic region, with 10 lanes running 1,200 feet in length. A magic carpet takes tubers back up to the top. The park also includes a warming hut with a fireplace, outdoor fire ring and concessions with hot and cold drinks and snacks. Tubing is $18 per person for each two-hour session. Tubers must be at least four years old and 48 inches tall. The covered outdoor ice skating rink offers sweeping views of the valley and mountain range. Two-hour skating sessions are $10 for adults and $8 for children, and skate rentals are $3 per person.
The resort’s après ski scene takes place at the two-story Bear Paw Lodge at the base of the hill. The lodge includes cafeteria-style dining with an array of hot and cold offerings and the Quenchers Pub, a slopeside lounge with a full bar as well as soups, sandwiches and light snacks.
Affordable getaway; special deals
The resort offers numerous winter-season lodging packages with discounts and deals. The Family Escape Tubing Package includes one night of lodging in a standard queen or king room, one large pepperoni pizza, two tickets for two-hour tubing sessions and privileges in the Beech Club, the resort’s indoor pool and fitness center. The Lift & Lodging Package includes lodging in a standard queen or king room, one large pepperoni pizza, two one-day lift tickets and Beech Club privileges.
In addition to its winter-specific packages, Canaan Valley Resort offers year-round and other seasonal packages and deals. The Family Fall Escape is available through Dec. 17 and includes a standard king or queen room and a large pepperoni pizza. There’s also a S’mores Fun Package that includes one night in a two-, three- or four-bedroom cabin or four-bedroom deluxe cottage, one large pepperoni pizza, S’mores fixings and roasting sticks for four people, one bundle of firewood and privileges in the Beech Club, the resort’s indoor pool and fitness center. The Savvy Senior package is available year-round and features special rates for travelers who are 60 or older. There’s also the Three for Two Package (stay three consecutive nights for price of two), Stays for A’s (each A on a child’s report card earns a $10 per night discount on rooms) and discounts for military and members of AAA and AARP.
Close to home
Canaan Valley Resort is located in north central West Virginia three hours from Pittsburgh, three hours from Washington, D.C. and 2¾ hours from Charleston, WV.
“New” Canaan Valley Resort
The resort recently completed a massive two-year, $34 million renovation project that included renovation of all guest rooms as well as public areas including the main lodge, gift shop and grab-and-go-café. All rooms feature oversized bathrooms, flat-screen televisions and in-room refrigerators.