With our first snow melting away, we have a ski trip on our minds. Whether you are a skier, snowboarder, tuber, or spectator, we know you are ready to get out of the house for an adventure. So, are you ready to hit the slopes, but aren't sure where to go? Check out the best and closest slopes to head to this season! In under four hours, you can be enjoying a great view slope side. Get ready for a weekend adventure at one of our three favorite ski slopes to start making memories with family and friends.

Beech Mountain

In the heart of the Appalachian is Beech Mountain. Don’t let the name fool you, snow covered mountains are waiting for you less than 3.5 hours from Apex. With 8 lifts and 15 slopes on 95 acres, Beech Mountain is ideal for a quick weekend trip.  With free skiing and snowboarding lessons (with rentals Monday through Thursday) Beech Mountain is a place the whole family can enjoy. As a certified Burton Learn to Ride Center, learn the tricks before you take on the mountain alone. Beech Mountain is proud to provide the Powder Bowl freestyle terrain park that is home to advance and intermediate shredders with boxes, rails, and kickers. Or try the Meadows Freestyle Park to build your skills before taking on the Powder Bowl.

With a newly renovated lodge and craft brews, what’s a better place to hang out after a day on the slopes? Beech Mountain Brewing Co. has collaborated with Blind Squirrel Brewery to “set the standard for craft beer in the High Country.” The brewery is located in the Ski Village with ski-in ski-out access! So, grab your The North Face 3-in-1 jacket and head to western NC.

Sugar Mountain

Skiing, Snowboarding, Tubing, and Ice Skating - Sugar Mountain has it all. Not only is it home to one of the highest vertical drops and largest amount of skiable terrain in Western NC, but it also has a 700’ tubing run. With a “magic carpet lift” to carry you to the top, it’s easy to stay late sliding down the mountainside. Adjacent is the 10,000 square foot ice skating rink for more winter-time fun. Looking for another type of adventure? Try the guided snowshoe tour for an hour hike and rentals for only $25. But if you are just ready to hit the slopes, Sugar Mountain offers 7 lifts and over 125 acres of snow covered mountains to conquer. Both skiers and snowboarders love the terrain at Sugar Mountain. With only a 3 hour drive, make Sugar Mountain one of your winter getaways this season.

Wintergreen Resort

A staff favorite at Apex Outfitter, Wintergreen Resort is one of the top spots for skiing close to home. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, less than 4 hours from the Raleigh-Durham area, Wintergreen Resort spans across 11,000 acres. Featuring 25 slopes (beginner to expert) and two terrain parks for freestylers, Wintergreen was voted the “Best Ski Resort” by the readers of Washington Post. Wintergreen features some of the best terrain around for skiing and snowboarding close to North Carolina. For a short drive, you can enjoy the slopes and the largest snow tubing park in the state. With eight lanes, 900 foot chutes, and a 100 foot vertical drop, these tubing lanes aren’t only for the kids.

Now you know where to go, but do you have everything you need to wear? Apex Outfitter is stocked for your winter adventures. Shop our winter collection to pick up jackets, base layers, and accessories for the entire family from your favorite brands like Patagonia, The North Face, Mountain Hardwear, and more. From The North Face 3-in-1 jackets to the Metropolis Parka, we have everything you need to outfit your adventurous side in the mountains. Capilene base layers will keep you warm all day on the slopes, while Patagonia Nano Puff jackets are perfect for layering to wear into the night. At Apex Outfitter we will keep you warm head to toe with insulated gloves, Smartwool socks, fleece beanies, neck gaiters, and more. So, grab a Patagonia Black Hole duffel and start packing! The mountains are calling...

Share your adventure with us by tagging @apexoutfitter #notyouraverageoutfitter on social media!

Mountain Hardwear's philosophy of living boldly means daring to be different, leaning into life, and pursuing new challenges. Founded in 1993, Mountain Hardwear began with a small band of outdoor industry iconoclasts. They saw that the industry was changing - compromising quality and degrading technical designs. Therefore, MHW was founded to stay true to the needs of outdoor athletes everywhere. And they believe that everyone who enjoys the outdoors is considered an outdoor athlete, so they began their journey to outfit any and every adventure seeker.

Mountain Hardwear focuses on performance and purposeful designs, form and function, high quality materials, and advanced technology - Mountain Hardwear has driven innovation in outdoor apparel and equipment. MHW is performance focused to provide better physical and emotional experiences through fit, weather protection, temperature regulation, and moisture management. At Apex Outfitter, you’ll find Mountain Hardwear’s most technical (and award winning) piece - the Ghost Whisperer Jacket. Filled with Q-Shield down, this 8 oz jacket will keep you warm through any adventure. Moisture repellant and packs into its own pocket to take with you anywhere. Better than a fire, the Downtown Parka is also filled with Q Shield down, but has tailored quilting and a elongated body for a more stylish fit. Fleece lined, this parka will keep you warm and toasty slope side or cheering on your favorite team in the stands.

Whatever adventure you have planned next, get ready to take on colder weather and "live boldly" with Mountain Hardwear!

We are excited to announce we are now a retailer of Smith Optics. Based in Sun Valley, Idaho, Smith Optics, Inc. was founded in 1965 with the first ever goggle that featured a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam - which revolutionized powder skiing. Smith began the company at the kitchen table, building prototypes with friends to trade for lift tickets while traveling to test out the products. From kitchen tables to international store - Smith has quickly become a worldwide brand, where they continued to grow as the iconic company they are today.

Smith built a company that has set the standard for high performance eyewear, goggles, and helmets. Over the years, Smith Optics became known for its patented Slider and PivLock series sunglasses, the most innovative interchangeable lens, and the recent ChromaPop lens. The ChromaPop lens, which can be found at Apex Outfitter, offers unmatched polarization, clarity, and color enhancement. Smith Optics prides itself on innovative, durable, top-quality products - which is why it is a frequently requested brand at Apex Outfitter. From biking and climbing to skiing and surfing, Smith Optics has a roster of athletes that support and represent its brand. Testing the design, performance, and coloration of the products, they help to give Smith a competitive edge. As they say at Smith Optics, “It’s easy to make a great product when you love what you do.” Clearly, they are passionate about what they do and who they do it for. So, check out our collection of Smith Optics sunglasses in store in Apex, NC or online at www.apexoutfitter.com for sun protection that is a step above the rest.

With cooler weather and changing leaves, it’s the best time of year to get outside and explore! Whether you are a local in North Carolina or somewhere across the nation, there is an adventure waiting for you. So, where should you head to this weekend in NC? The Appalachian Mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway might be your first thought, but there are hidden trails all across the state. Here are a few remarkable fall hikes in North Carolina that you wouldn’t think to explore:

Less than an hour from Raleigh, Raven Rock State Park provides winding trails that overlook the Cape Fear River. The east side trail will lead you to the iconic 150 foot bluff, which makes Raven Rock a popular hiking destination. But if you head west on the 5 mile Campbell Creek Loop, you will wander into a forest full of fall color. The west side’s rocky trails rate moderate in difficultly, but the creek side hike makes for a beautiful day in Raven Rock.

After an hour and half drive towards Halifax County, you will find a trail that is a hidden gem - Medoc Mountain State Park. “Out of sight, out of mind” is said to be their motto, since it is close to towns that many are not familiar with. But, during this time of year it’s “a picture chock full of reds and yellows from the sweet gum, river birch, ironwood and alder that dominate the lowlands.” Take a hike to the top of the bluffs to overlook Little Fishing Creek, visit the giant white oaks, and see what remains of one of the nation’s first vineyards. Begin at the main meadow parking lot to start at Discovery Loop, then head to Summit Loop for the most exposure to the park’s best attributes.  

A beach trip in fall? Yes, Carolina Beach State Park is full of Turkey Oaks – some of the most colorful trees during fall. Overlooking Cape Fear River, Sugarloaf Trail is lined with these and others to provide you a scenic hike on the coast. The trail climbs the 50 foot Sugarloaf Dune, a vital post during the Civil War, passes several ponds, and travels through a pine forest with a white carpet of sand. Before leaving, take the half-mile detour to Flytrap Trail to check out their iconic Venus flytrap. So, although the coast isn’t your first idea of a fall hike, add Carolina Beach State Park to your list to catch the beginning of fall color along the Carolina coast.

Pick a destination and create an adventure this weekend! And don’t worry we have everything you need at Apex Outfitter with new arrivals from Patagoina, Mountain Hardwear, Kuhl, The North Face, and more. Here are our go to pieces for versatility while exploring in the cooler weather:

Patagonia Better Sweater ¼ Zip Pullover: Once you put it on you will understand why this is an essential. A jacket that combines the easy case of fleece with the warmth of wool, the Better Sweater collection from Patagonia is great for layering during fall. At Apex Outfitter, we are all about versatility and this pullover is one you will wear out to dinner, just as much as you’ll wear on weekend hikes. The sweater-like appearance looks just as good with jeans, as it does with Kuhl Ryder pants for a day on the trails.

Maybe you need more warmth for a weekend long adventure. Then you’ll want to check out our collection of Nano jackets from Patagonia. The new technology of synthetic down provides warmth without bulk and the DWR coating allows you to get caught in an afternoon storm. The Nano Air’s catch phrase of “Put it on, Leave it on” describes the breathability the jacket gives, while the stretch and technicality of the seams allows for movement during all day treks. With windier conditions, Patagonia’s Nano Puff jacket is the better option – both water and wind resistant. The Nano Puff is filled with PrimaLoft Gold insulation that is ideal as an outer layer in colder climates. Trap heat, even when wet this season in Patagonia’s Nano Air or Nano Puff jackets.

What to wear under your jacket? Capilene is the go to performance base layer, but maybe you want something that's not only for hiking. Patagonia's Fjord Flannels are our favorite fall essential at Apex Outfitter. The soft, warm flannel is ideal for grabbing drinks, hiking trails, or hanging by the campfire. Available for both men and women, you will want the Fjord Flannel in multiple prints and solids for the cooler weather that’s sneaking in. Check out our selection online before they are gone!

And for all the adventurous guys - Take one look at Kuhl Ryder Pants and you’ll realize they are much tougher than the denim in your closet. The anatomical design follows your natural movements, allowing for ultimate fit and comfort. Whether you are chopping firewood, walking the dog, or climbing boulders Kuhl’s Ryder pants will take you from one adventure to the next.

Don’t forget your accessories. At Apex Outfitter you can grab last minute necessities that you probably forgot. From knives and water filters to Yeti coolers and Hydroflasks, we have the small things that make a big difference outdoors.

So, pack your bags and explore new trails this weekend! And make sure to tag us in your adventures with #apexoutfitter #notyouraverageoutfitter.

Action sports combined with traditional outdoors – yes, this describes Apex Outfitter & Board Co. as well as our new brand Poler Outdoor Stuff. Bridging the gap between these two categories, Poler Stuff recognizes the modern active outdoor lifestyle and encompasses their love for both. Capturing the hearts of roamers and seekers, with gear that is both fun and functional - Poler Stuff is created for everyday use in the city, as well as wherever your adventurous side might take you. From world travelers to skateboarders, this high quality gear is designed for whatever category you place yourself in.

Based in Portland, Oregon, Poler Stuff was created by photographer Benji Wagner and Kharma Vella. With a team of skaters, snowboarders, and artists Poler Stuff focuses on innovation and providing a unique product mix to unite those who love road trips and camping, as much as surfing and skating. From sleeping bags and accessories to apparel, their mission is to provide gear  “for people that are travelers, couch surfers, regular surfers, skateboarders, snowboarders, bicyclists, parents, kids, car campers, and anyone else looking for something that looks good, is a good value and is all about having fun on road trips and in the outdoors.”

One of Apex Outfitter’s favorites from Poler Stuff is the Napsack. A sleeping bag combined with a hoodie – what’s better than that?? With armholes, hood, and an open bottom, stay cozy while reading, cooking, or just wandering around. The Napsack sleeping bag combines the best of both worlds and is a definite conversation starter. So, if you need the perfect gift for the outdoor enthusiast, look no further. In solids and different prints, you can’t go wrong with a Napsack from Poler Stuff.

High quality and trendy styles, Poler Stuff bags and packs are ideal for your next adventure - whether it is down the street in downtown Raleigh or through the Appalachian Trails. At Apex Outfitter the High and Dry Pack 20 and 40 are water resistant and are designed with pockets, zippers, and straps to make the most out of the bag you carry. With a two compartment system, the dry bag allows you to separate your wetsuit or dirty laundry from your other essentials. Hate digging through your bag to grab whatever you stashed in the bottom? No longer a problem. The bottom section of the High and Dry 40 can be unzipped at the bottom for easy access. Fill external pockets with your wallet, keys, or snacks for when you need them. If you are looking for a more everyday bag, the Rucksack is for you. With a vintage inspiration, the Rucksack allows you to carry your laptop with easy outside access, while you can stash your charger and accessories in the streamlined side pockets. The Rucksack 2.0 takes you from weekday work to weekend adventures with classic style and features.

Poler Stuff is designed “for people that wonder why everyone is trying to pretend they are going to do first ascents on alpine peaks instead of celebrating the fact that they are having adventures that are awesome in their own way.” So, get ready for your next adventure - whatever it may be - with our new apparel, bags, and accessories from Poler Stuff! Check out our latest arrivals online and in store, then get outside and explore.

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