Snowshoe Mountain is home to the very popular Snowshoe ski resort in West Virginia. the resort has skiable terrain across 244 acres and the total resort covers 11,000 acres. the resort resides within the bowl shaped convergence of two large mountains. The name snowshoe is the name of the resort and not the name of the mountain itself. It is just generally referred to as Snowshoe Mountain to locals and travelers who are familiar with the resort. Snowshoe is actually located on Cheat Mountain which is home to the second highest point in the state and the peak elevation Thorny Flat which reaches 4,848 ft above sea level.


  • Snowshoe and or Cheat Mountain
    Snowshoe and or Cheat Mountain
  • One of the many villages on the mountain
    One of the many villages on the mountain
  • skiers/snowboarders enjoying the natural base that snowshoe provides.
    skiers/snowboarders enjoying the natural base that snowshoe provides.
  • the spectacular sunset on the summit which lead Brigham to build the resort on top of the mountain
    the spectacular sunset on the summit which lead Brigham to build the resort on top of the mountain

Snowshoe resort was founded in 1974 by Thomas Brigham A.K.A. "Doc". He was an American dentist from Alabama who had already founded two ski areas in North Carolina but was looking for a location with more snow in the winter seasons that was still in the south. Brigham invested in Cheat Mountain which receives an annual snowfall of 200 inches. because of its unusual cold weather it is home to many snowshoe hares which is what gave it the name Snowshoe.

After finding some of the original plans for snowshoe mountain it was revealed that Brigham originally wanted to build the usual base facilities in the basin area of the resort and not at the top of the mountain where they are now. But in his notes he claimed that it was the spectacular sunset that kept drawing him to the summit. Manyon Millican the vice president of marketing kept encouraging Brigham to "sell the view Doc, sell the view"  which ultimately is what he did. Before naming it snowshoe when Brigham was advertising the resort to attract visitors he would refer to it as "the island in the sky" or "upside down resort". The resort opened in December 1974 and attracted 26,000 people.

When snowshoe first opened it had no on-mountain overnight accommodations the closet lodging was 23 miles down route 219 to Marlinton or 50 miles up to Elkins. A man who found Brigham's first snowshoe plans when cleaning and old cluttered farm house shared his story of his first visit on the mountain. He stated that it was during the time that there was no on-mountain lodging and the local proprietor of a general store told him "Widow Reynolds" might have room to rent. Her real name was Dorthy Reynolds and she did have a place to rent. The room cost $8 and came with a warm brick wrapped in a towel to place at the foot of the bed with lots of blankets and a "lumberjacks breakfast" which included homemade biscuits and jam. She also cooked pot roast for dinner. Mrs. Reynolds used a 22. caliber riffle to keep trespassers and varmints off of her property and wasn't afraid to speak her mind, when the man called to thank her for her hospitality she upbraided him for leaving such a generous 25$ tip on her kitchen table. today there are over 9,600 overnight accommodations on the mountain for visitors and 1,200 more in the valley via snowshoe drive. 

Snowshoe has been through many different ownerships and has also almost gone bankrupt. Luckily since its new ownership in 1995 it has been at a steady pace and constantly growing. Its breath taking beauty and family attractions within the snowshoe village make it the perfect place to go skiing in southern West Virginia with ski seasons that range as long as November to mid-April.

Connie K. Colvin, Snowshoe Mountain The West Virginia Encyclopedia March 12th 2013 https://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/500

Lawrence Walsh, Snowshoe Mountain resort, nearing 40-year celebration, makes the most magnificent West Virginia view Pittsburgh Post Gazette Feb. 3rd 2013 http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/outdoors/2013/02/03/Snowshoe-Mountain-Resort-nearing-40-year-cele...