Reporting Matt Brickman
LUTSEN, Minn. (WCCO) – Thousands of votes came in over the last couple of weeks, as we tried to find the best ski area in the state.
Places a little closer to metro like Wild Mountain got huge support on Facebook.
But the spot with the most votes lies just an hour from the Canadian border — Lutsen Mountains on Lake Superior’s North Shore.
If you’re going to be outside in a Minnesota winter, that’s where you want to be.
“You’re standing on top of the mountain, and you can see 100 miles across to Michigan,” said Jim Vick of Lutsen Mountains. “There are very few places in the world that can offer that.”
Lutsen’s position on the North Shore is ideal for skiing. Thanks to the lake effect, they average about 10 feet of snow each year.
And that snow covers a lot of real estate.
“We’ll have folks that are surprised at how big it is,” Vick said. “I mean, you need a trail map to get around.”
Lutsen has four mountains boasting 92 runs. And there’s more than the 30-second trails you find so often closer to the cities.
“The mountains here along the North Shore are the highest in the state,” Vick said.
But for most of their visitors, Lutsen is a bit too far for a day trip. So, the surrounding resorts have gone to great lengths to make this feel like a destination.
“Ski-in, ski-out condominiums, cabins right on Lake Superior, and then some special attractions,” Vick said.
And there’s an ice bar, too.