When it comes to skiing in the United States, the Rocky Mountains may steal the spotlight, but the Midwest region shouldn’t be so overlooked!
With plenty of snow, long winters, and beautiful rolling hills, many Midwest ski resorts are worth hitting the slopes this winter!
Whether you're a beginner or an expert, the region’s ski resorts offer a variety of terrain, difficulties in runs, and terrain parks for those looking for a little adrenaline rush.
From the family-friendly slopes of Wisconsin to the challenging terrain of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, there are ski resorts all over the Midwest!
In this post, I’ll share the top places to hit the slopes to make the most of the winter season.
Best Midwest Ski Resorts
Lutsen Mountains - Lutsen, Minnesota
Lutsen Mountains in Lutsen, Minnesota, is a premier ski area in the Midwest and comes in as the biggest ski resort!
With four interconnected mountains and over 90 runs, skiers and snowboarders of all levels will find plenty of terrain to explore.
But what sets Lutsen Ski Resort apart is the breathtaking views of Lake Superior from the slopes. The resort's location on the North Shore of Minnesota offers panoramic views of the lake, making for a truly unique skiing experience that you won’t get anywhere else!
There are eight lifts spread out across the mountains, so you can get up on the slopes quickly to fit in as many runs as possible. Plus, thrillseekers can visit the two terrain parks, which feature jumps, boxes, and rails for skiers and boarders of all skill levels.
You’ll also be just a short distance from some of the other best North Shore towns to explore, and you might want to spend some time in Two Harbors, Grand Marais, or Silver Bay.
Mount Bohemia Ski Resort - Mohawk, Michigan
If you’re Looking for some of the best skiing in the Midwest, heading to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan will be your best bet. With lake effect snow from Lake Superior, you're going to get the best powder days and the opportunity to experience the longest ski season. Its location means it gets an average of over 270 inches of snow annually!
At Mount Bohemia Ski Resort, you’ll find great terrain and runs for more advanced skiers and those who love powder. None of the runs are groomed, so you’ll find pristine, untouched powder! But this also means that this ski resort isn’t suitable for beginners, and only experienced riders should visit!
Mount Bohemia has the longest runs in the Midwest and features three different sides of the mountain to explore the different terrain.
Chestnut Mountain Resort - Galena, Illinois
If you're looking for somewhere to ski within a short distance of Chicago, heading to Chestnut Mountain Resort in Galena, Illinois, is perfect for you.
Chestnut Mountain Resort is found right on the border of Iowa and Illinois, along the Mississippi River. It's just about a 3-hour drive from Chicago, making it the closest and best ski resort to the big city.
The resort boasts 19 ski runs over 220 acres of skiable land and is perfect for Beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiers and snowboarders. The runs range from bunny hills to black diamonds, so everyone can find something that works for them.
There’s even a terrain park with a tow rope to explore for those advanced riders looking for a thrill!
Giant’s Ridge Recreation Area - Biwabik, Minnesota
Located in the heart of Minnesota's Iron Range, Giants Ridge Recreation Area in Biwabik is one of the top ski resorts in the Midwest. It’s a year-round Minnesota resort that offers things like skiing, mountain biking, and golfing throughout the year.
The resort boasts 35 ski runs across nearly 200 acres of skiable terrain, including a variety of beginner, intermediate, and advanced runs that are perfect for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.
In addition to the ski runs, the resort also features three terrain parks with over 50 features, including jumps, rails, and boxes, so thrill seekers can get their adrenaline rush in!
And with multiple high-speed lifts, you’ll know that you’ll spend minimal time waiting in line and maximum time carving the slopes!
Afton Alps - Hastings, Minnesota
Afton Alps is another Epic Pass Resort that is located just a short distance from Minneapolis. It offers some of the best skiing in southern Minnesota and also has the best ski and ride school at a Midwest ski resort.
The 50 runs serviced by 18 different lifts make Afton Alps one of the best places to ski. And with its beautiful location along the St. Croix River Valley in Hastings, guests can enjoy beautiful views all around them.
If you enjoy skiing after dark, then Afton Alps offers some of the best night skiing in the state of Minnesota. You can still use rentals or take lessons during night skiing as well.
And just like with Mad River Mountain, you can use your Epic Pass to explore some of the other ski resorts around North America, such as Breckenridge or Keystone in Colorado.
Crystal Mountain Ski Resort - Thompsonville, Michigan
Located just a short distance outside of Traverse City is Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, Michigan. The resort is just off Lake Michigan and is found on rolling hills that wind through Western Michigan.
The resort boasts an impressive 58 runs spread across over 100 acres of skiable terrain. With its varied terrain, including beginner-friendly runs, and challenging black diamond slopes, every level rider can have fun here!
Crystal Mountain has four mountain areas open for skiing, so every time you visit, you can check out a new side of the mountain for new runs. There are even almost 30 runs lit for night skiing, so you can still take advantage of the slopes after dark.
There are three terrain parks with a variety of boxes, rails, and jumps that are perfect for throw stickers and those looking to test their skills. And with eight lifts spread out across the resort, you'll be able to spend a maximum amount of time on the mountain.
Granite Peak Ski Area - Wausau, Wisconsin
Located in the Rib Mountain State Park area of Wisconsin, the Granite Peak Ski Resort is one of Wisconsin's best places to ride.
The resort boasts five runs spread across over 200 acres of skiable terrain, making it the largest ski area in Wisconsin. Granite Peak also boasts the longest vertical drop in Wisconsin, at over 700 feet vertical.
The resort offers skiing and snowboarding for all levels, with beginner-friendly slopes as well as challenging black diamond runs. There are also multiple gladed tree areas to ski through if you want to try something new.
And with one of the best snowmaking systems in the state, you can expect great snow throughout the entire season!
Boyne Mountain Resort - Boyne Falls, Michigan
Michigan has some of the very best skiing in the midwest, and at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, you can experience some of that for yourself.
When you take a look at their large mountain, which has 60 runs, over 400 skiable acres, and ten chairlifts to get you up and onto the mountain, you'll see that this is one of the very best places to ski in the area.
Along with all of that, there are seven different terrain parks to choose from, varying in difficulty with all sorts of features to check out. From small jumps for beginners to large jumps for experts, there is something for everyone.
Along with all of the skiing and boarding, you can do at Boyne Mountain, there is a snow tubing park, a few warming houses to sit back and relax in, and a lodge to grab a bite to eat at.
Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort - Bessemer, Michigan
The Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort is situated just outside of Ironwood, Michigan. This massive Upper Peninsula ski resort has nearly 50 runs in over 250 acres to explore. There are also two terrain parks and nine chairlifts to quickly get you onto the mountain to spend as much time on the slopes as possible.
Being located in the upper peninsula means Big Powder Horn Mountain Resort gets some of the best snow in the midwest in winter. Bessemer, Michigan, gets an average of over 160 inches of snow per year, so you can expect great powder all season long.
A unique feature at this Midwest ski resort is that they have ‘Wine Huts.’ These are ski-in, ski-out day-use cabins that are located on the hill. They feature a wood stove or fireplace, a large outdoor deck, and a nice place to sit back and relax when you need a break from the slopes.
Mad River Mountain - Zanesfield, Ohio
This Epic Pass ski resort in Ohio features 20 runs, nearly 150 skiable acres, and 11 lifts to bring you up the mountain.
It's located just an hour outside of Columbus, so you don't have to drive very far from the big city to experience some great skiing in Ohio.
There are terrain parks and runs that are suitable for beginners, intermediate, and advanced skiers and boarders. But most of the runs are best suited for intermediate and beginner riders.
There's also a tubing park, if you want to take a little break from skiing or if someone in your group doesn't want to hit the slopes and would rather spend the day on the tubing Hill.
And because Mad River Mountain is part of the Epic Pass system, you can opt for a multi-day pass and use it at some of the best ski resorts in the country, including in the Rocky Mountains.
Cascade Mountain Ski Resort - Portage, Wisconsin
Whether you're a beginner or an advanced skier, heading to Cascade Mountain Ski Resort in Portage, Wisconsin, will be perfect for you. There are nearly 50 trails to check out, with about one-third of them being suited to beginners and about one-third of them for advanced riders.
You can get to the top of the mountain between the tow ropes and chair lifts, including two high-speed chair lifts. There are bunny hills available for beginner skiers and boarders, as well as a snow tubing area for those who want to try tubing.
Rentals are available if you don't have your own gear, and there's a lodge at the base of the mountain with food available to grab a bite to eat during your lunch break.
In conclusion, while the Midwest region isn’t where most people think of when they want to hit the slopes, there are so many great ski resorts in the Midwest that are worth checking out!
With runs suitable for beginners, intermediate, and advanced rides, along with terrain parks, there are so many great places to visit to make the most of the entire winter season.
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