Forget about Vail and the Rocky Mountains. Let the powder fly at these top Midwestern destinations, all close to home but just far enough to make a quick escape.
When the powder flies in the Great Lakes states, it’s good news for skiers. That’s because you don’t have to travel all the way to Vail, Colo., to find some wicked ski slopes. There are plenty of upper-Midwestern mountains that keep the snow coming all winter long.
1. Sundown Mountain Resort, Dubuque, Iowa
These hills west of Dubuque have a total vertical drop of 475 feet covering 21 trails and two terrain parks that appeal to skiers of all levels. Ask about lessons for skiers of all ages.
2. Chestnut Mountain Resort, Galena, Ill.
Boasting some impressive views of the Mississippi River, these hills have 19 trails, a 7-acre terrain park and a slopeside hotel. A wide range of lifts ensures you won’t be waiting for long.
3. Big Powderhorn Mountain, Bessemer, Mich.
These 250 skiable acres have 45 runs, 622 feet of vertical drop, and an average natural snowfall of 17 feet per year. It’s all family-friendly. Plan an overnight stay at the ski-in/out chalets.
4. Alpine Valley Resort, Elkhorn, Wis.
This all-season resort with 21 trails has many lifts, gentle slopes and patient instructors, making it a great spot for beginners.
5. Wilmot Mountain Ski Resort, Wilmot, Wis.
A ski enthusiast’s paradise for over 80 years, this slope has eight trails for skiing and snowboarding, four terrain parks, and a special trail for tubing.
6. Cascade Mountain, Portage, Wis.
While there are plenty of easy routes, this hill’s 48 trails include some wicked black diamond runs. A terrain park and tubing hill keep things interesting.
7. Granite Peak Ski Area, Wausau, Wis.
It may be one of the country’s oldest ski resorts, but it also has one of the most modern lift systems in the Midwest. These 55 runs offer plenty of variety.
8. Marquette Mountain Resort, Marquette, Mich.
While it accommodates all skill levels, this 330-acre hill is especially suited for adept skiers. More than half of the 25 slopes are difficult or very difficult.
9. Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva, Wis.
Twenty downhill runs and a variety of terrain makes these hills appealing to all. The luxurious resort accommodations – including a spa and three restaurants – appeal to the adults.
10. Big Snow Resort, Wakefield, Mich.
Two legendary mountains and 56 runs include two double-black hills. Stay overnight at the hotel, chalets or trailside condos, and then explore the snowshoe and snowmobile trails.