- Overall Rating 4
- Family Friendly 5
- All-Mtn. Terrain 4
- Terrain Park 4
- Nightlife 5
Pros: Great snow, good skiing, not crowded during the week
Cons: Poor cell phone service, poor service at some restaurants, slow lifts
Recommended For: Family Friendly, Empty Nesters
Date Visited: Feb 1, 2010
I have not skied in the East in over 30 years, but decided to give it a go this year primarily because the mid-Atlantic was getting blasted with snow and I didn't feel like a long plane ride. I did a lot of research online and concluded that Snowshoe WV offered the best overall experience even though it was a 10 hour drive from my home in GA.
Frankly, I went into this ski trip with low expectations and didn't want to unfairly compare WV skiing to out-west skiing. The snow conditions could not have been better. I was totally surprised by the dry powder that fell during my 3 days of skiing. According to locals, Snowshoe had surpassed 200" of snow by mid-February and this was apparently a record. Good for them! I was more than happy to take advantage of the good times.
Snowshoe is laid out different than any resort I've ever visited. The Village, condos, & parking are stretched out across the top of a mountain ridge and all the skiing is down to the lifts. Once you arrive and unpack there is no need to use your car again until you leave. The resort offers an excellent bus shuttle service between the different sections of the mountain. With the exception of a couple condo buildings, parking is away from the resorts. This unique layout allows for maximum experience with what counts the most.
There is a good assortment of restaurants but the quality of food is not necessarily consistent with the ambiance of the resort. The food is basically overpriced and not great. The service was literally hit and miss depending on whether the staff at a given restaurant decided to come to work on a particular night or (true story about Foxfire Grill) whether the vent over the grill was working.
We found the Junction to be the best of the restaurants we visited. If you like trains this is a must stop at Snowshoe. Junction is dedicated to the rich history of the railroad in eastern WV. The restaurant's designer hit a home run with the bases loaded! We also enjoyed Auntie Pasta's, an Italian cuisine located in Mountain Lodge.
The smart traveler will grocery shop before leaving home and plan to cook as many meals as possible in the condo. There is a grocery store at the bottom of the mountain and a small convenience store at the resort but prices are expectedly high.
My wife and I stayed in a 1 BR condo at Silvercreek and were trilled with the condo itself. We read reviews by other visitors and made our selection based on what appeared to be an exceptional owner. We were not disappointed. If you are interested it was Unit 5601 at Silvercreek. Tell Teena that the Newsomes recommended her unit. She also has a 2 BR unit. Here's a link to the 1 BR unit - http://www.vrbo.com/60108
Although I was very pleased with our condo unit, Silvercreek Lodge is in need of some upgrading. It's not one of the newer buildings on the mountain and is showing it's age. I understand that the owners are addressing this with management so I expect things will be up to par by next year. Silvercreek does offer indoor/outdoor pool, tubing and skiing day or night. It is really the best value on the mountain and is ski-in/ski-out as are most of the condos at Snowshoe.
Speaking of skiing, just remember that Snowshoe is less than 5,000 ft above sea level so you cannot compare it to a mountain out west that over 10,000 ft. It is what it is - deal with it or hop a plane to Heavenly at Tahoe. If you are considering introducing your family (young children) to skiing then Snowshoe and Silvercreek in particular is an ideal place to go. Silvercreek is a beginners dream come true. The main ski area at the Village is a little more intimidating for the beginner.
Silvercreek has a couple Black runs but they should be rated easy Blues. The Blues at Silvercreek would be Greens anywhere else and the Greens are REAL Green, which is ideal for the beginner. The Blues at the Village area are more challenging as are the Greens. I found the Black runs at the Western Territory to be very good intermediate skiing. The runs there were about 1.5 miles, which is the longest on the mountain.
My trip was during the week and I didn't ride the lift with a another person for 2 days. Lines were non-existent. I'm sure this situation changes on the weekends. Speaking of lifts, Silvercreek's lifts are very slow. You have to go to the main ski area at the Village and the Western Territory to find the high-speed quads.
Overall I give Snowshoe a big thumbs up. It is a good, fun experience assuming you hit the snow and weather just right. If you want to pack up the family and introduce the kids to the world of snow and skiing, then you will not be disappointed.