Bryce Resort is one of the few ski areas in the state of Virginia. The secession of confederate Virginia's northwestern
counties in 1863 (to become West Virginia) stripped the
state of most of its high-elevation mountains. For this
reason, Virginia ski areas are generally smaller and receive
less snow than those in its neighboring namesake. Nevertheless,
several Virginia ski areas - Wintergreen, Massanutten,
the Homestead, and Bryce Resort - provide varied
and consistent skiing and snowboarding opportunities to
people in the mid-Atlantic region. Of these, Bryce Resort
is the closest Virginia ski resort to Washington DC and
its burgeoning northern Virginia suburbs.
Bryce Ski Resort opened in 1965 in the heart of Virginia's beautiful Shenandoah Valley, near the West Virginia border. The region was once a center for illicit whiskey production and many of the named trails at Bryce Resort reference the illegal moonshine business.
Bryce Ski Resort has remained a small Virginia ski resort (with just 25 skiable acres), with a friendly atmosphere and generally uncrowded slopes. Bryce Resort VA boasts just eight trails, but this count should not be compared unfavorably with other small mountains; many other resorts would have divided these slopes into several designated runs.
The most popular slopes at Bryce Ski Resort are two long intermediate trails: White Lightening and Bootlegger. White Lightening runs from the summit the complete 500-foot vertical drop to the bottom, skiers' left of Chairlift 1. Bootlegger under Chairlift 2 before cutting to the left near the Bryce Resort base. Another intermediate trail, Revenuers Run, cuts between the two long cruisers. Locher's Bowl is a short but wide-open run near the summit. A tow lift runs from its base to the summit, so you can choose to ski or snowboard only to top third of Bryce Resort.
Bryce Resort VA is not a resort for fans of extreme skiing; the sole black-rated slope at this Virginia ski resort is a short chute named Hangover that cuts between White Lightening and Bootlegger. It is a great resort for average and beginner skiers and snowboarders, however. Two introductory areas, Bunny and Little Nip, are great learning grounds. Each has its own tow lift and is separated from the mass of skiers. Bryce's Horst Locher Ski School (named after one of the resort's founders) is one of the best at Virginia ski areas. From the summit, Redeye, a nice gentle green that runs all the way to the base, is perfect for practicing turns.
A pool complex, grass skiing area, golf course, and
mountain tubing course means that Bryce is a true four-season
resort. In winter, snowmaking covers all of the runs even
when there is little natural snow. Most of the trails
are open for night skiing. Bryce Resort VA is easily accessible
off route 262 not far from Interstate 81. It also has
its own airport, just next to the slopes. Most people
will be able to come for a day trip, but there are 200
onsite condos, making a weekend at Bryce Ski Resort a
great idea for a Washington