EpicSki › Groups › Mid-Atlantic Gathering 2014 › Discussions › Driving to Timberline and Canaan Valley

Driving to Timberline and Canaan Valley

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hey all,


I'm starting this thread for tips, etc. for driving to Timberline and Canaan Valley, WV.


Good news is that  Timberline and Canaan Valley (and Whitegrass) are rocking little areas that average 180 inches of snow a year. With legit tree skiing. We skied boundary to boundary every month last year (and past the boundaries.)


Bad news is that they are at high elevation ~3200 feet at the base and can be a bit tricky to drive to. If you live in the DC area, with the additional completion of a stage of Corridor H, the drive is a snap. Timberline is nearly as easy to get to as Wisp. From points south and west, it may be a bit trickier.


From the south, despite a longer drive (but maybe quicker), it may pay to drive up Route 81 to Strasburg, then take 55/48 to Davis, then head south on Route 32. Something similar to this route:




From the north and west, I-68 to Route 219 (past Deep Creek Lake/Wisp) to Route 32 is a standard route. It does get pretty remote from Oakland, MD to Thomas, WV, but there are no major climbs.


From the west, if you get to Elkins, WV, heading up via 33/55 and then 32 north is fairly easy, even in snowy roads. (I've done it in the past.)


Some travel tips:

  • Don't rely on GPS in West Virginia. Some devices have been known to route travelers through wilderness areas on unplowed dirt roads. Google Maps/Mapquest, etc. are probably a better option.
  • It is much easier driving if you stay low in the valleys for as long as you can. Much less snow and less drifting snow and better visiblility.
  • Once you do make it up to Oakland, Davis, Thomas, Harmon, etc., the routes don't have serious climbs and are pretty well-plowed. There is no sketchy climb like you have at Blue Knob.
  • Depending upon where the group stays, the last little drive from the ski lodge to the house could be a bit sketchy. It may be snow-packed cinders.
  • Timberline, Canaan Valley and Whitegrass are all within 10 minutes of each other, on flat roads.


Feel free to ask any questions on getting to Timberline. I'm sure someone will be able to help you out.

post #2 of 5

Very helpful!  I'm going to be starting from Massanutten, meaning Harrisonburg.  If it's good weather and dry roads, would taking US33 make sense or still worth taking I-81 to Strasburg first?

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Very helpful!  I'm going to be starting from Massanutten, meaning Harrisonburg.  If it's good weather and dry roads, would taking US33 make sense or still worth taking I-81 to Strasburg first?

Ask that question on DC Ski. You'll get first hand knowledge on Route 33 to Seneca Rocks. (wgo, kwillg6, abe drive from that direction.) I've heard some of those ridges on the WV/VA line are pretty curvy and treacherous. I'll copy what I had written in the main forums wrt once you reach Seneca Rocks.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

From earlier post:


Heading from the south to Timberline, you most likely may want to end up here (Seneca Rocks, WV): https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Seneca+Rocks,+WV&hl=en&ll=38.827539,-79.374332&spn=0.07168,0.169086&sll=38.638327,-79.137268&sspn=0.574957,1.352692&oq=senec&hnear=Seneca+Rocks,+Pendleton,+West+Virginia&t=m&z=13


The north/south road the passes through Seneca Rocks is in a valley (parallels the river.) It is pretty easy driving and not affected by the weather much. The tough part is getting there from I-81. Also, north of Seneca Rocks, that road is labelled 28/55, south of Seneca rocks it is labelled 28/33.


In general in West Virgina, stay in the valleys as much as possible. Easier driving less subject to the elements.


Seneca rocks is a T intersection with a stop sign. (Rare for that section of road.) Coming from the south, you'll take a left on 33/55. That makes the climb up the Allegheny front. The climb has some switchbacks, but it is pretty sheltered from the elements (though a long way down to the bottom.) At the very top of the climb there is a brief exposed section that always has snowdrifts. Be careful there. Past that section, follow the road to Harmon (first major intersection.) Bear right onto Route 32 North. Route 32 takes you right up to Canaan Valley.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Over the past week I've added a few more driving details from those heading from the DC area to the Timberline and Canaan Valley Resort pages.


Timberline (WV)


For those coming from the south and west, the I-79 corridor is likely to be a decent option.

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