Nestled atop the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia, Wintergreen Resort is an oasis for both adventure and tranquility. At 3,515 feet, the higher elevation translates to cooler air and a blanket of snow each winter, even when it feels like spring in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. For winter thrills, it’s Virginia’s premier destination.


The mountain features 24 slopes and a vertical drop of more than 1,000 feet. There’s also a terrain park, five chairlifts, a 900-foot-long snow-tubing park, and 100 percent snowmaking. Fourteen slopes are lighted for night-skiing.

The central area of the mountain is dominated by a handful of easy trails that are ideal for warming up. The wide shallow slopes look out onto a landscape of forested mountains cascading down to Virginia farmland and pastures. Take a few runs here and simply enjoy the view before moving onto more difficult terrain, if you are so inclined. This middle section is also home to Wintergreen’s Skiing and Riding School.

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A short connecting trail leads to the intermediate slopes on a peak to the south. These blue runs are accessed by a separate lift. The four-person chairlift also services an advanced run that runs directly beneath the lift. Here, intermediate skiers can test their skills and courage before attempting steeper runs.

Wintergreen includes one of the true black double-diamond trails in the Mid-Atlantic — Upper and Lower Cliffhanger. This long moguled-up and sheer bump run is unrelenting. Cliffhanger and the other advanced trails are segregated to the north with warning signs stating that the area is for expert skiers only. A high-speed six-person lift allows adrenaline junkies quick and easily repeated rides back up to the heart-racing trails.

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The unique layout of the mountain allows for beginning, intermediate, and expert skiers to enjoy skiing and riding at their own comfort levels. The terrain park, likewise, has its own spot on the mountain with a designated lift. This award-winning park boasts more than 100 challenging features, including jumps, rails, boxes, and more to catch big air.

However, you don’t need to be a skier or board rider to enjoy the chilly thrills. The Plunge Tubing Park, with up to 12 lanes, is amazing, stupid fun — like the best day of sledding on speed. There are three whoop-de-whoops for bursts of acceleration and a magic carpet conveyor lift.

To finish out the winter fun, the resort even has a 45-foot-by-90-foot ice rink.

After all of that fun, it’s time to discover the other side of this mountaintop retreat at the Wintergreen Spa. The spa includes an indoor pool and four large outdoor hot tubs and offers a variety of massages, facials, pedicures, and other body treatments. Indulge in a multi-hour pampering package that includes a combination of these services, then enjoy casual or fine dining at one of four different restaurants on the property.

The thing that really sets Wintergreen apart is its luxurious accommodations.

Condominiums range from one to five bedrooms and each features a full kitchen, fireplace, washer/dryer, and balcony or decks. All are sumptuously appointed and daily maid service is provided. Escape into the solitude of the forest and be surrounded by nature in chalet-style unit. Or, rent one of the ridgetop condos looking out over the snow-covered Virginia countryside. These units face east for a breathtaking view of the sunrise. Even if one is not an early riser, wake up and watch the spectacular array of colors as the sun pierces the early morning sky … then perhaps roll back into bed.

Another day of fun and relaxation awaits.

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