When old man winter sets in, sometimes we forget how good we have it in our own backyard, and when it comes to skiing and snowboarding, we’ve got some great spots to get you up and moving this winter. Here’s a list of some of the best slopes near the Twin Cities.
Open late November – March
Sunday – Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Introductory Seasonal Pass: $139 + tax and processing fee
Twenty-two downhill runs, a 700-foot vertical drop, the Midwest’s largest Terrain Park, 22 km of Nordic Ski Trails and night skiing all make Spirit Mountain a top spot for skiing in the state, many call it the best. It has something for everyone. Take lessons in skiing or snowboarding – trained instructors will show you the way to navigate the slopes as well as tackling the basics. Word of warning, temperatures can be cold! Bundle up and keep moving! And when it’s time to call it a day, there’s plenty of lodging close-by and just minutes from all that Duluth has to offer -– a great spot for sure!
Open Daily: 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Adults: $61/day + tax, Children ages 6-12: $51/day + tax, Tots under 5: FREE w/paid adult
Often ranked #1 in the state by serious skiers, Lusten Mountain provides a true rush. This bona fide mountain is just under a 900-foot vertical drop, has 90 runs and 1,000 acres of land to cover. Check out the difference in the four peaks that have something for skiers of all levels, take the plunge on the north face of Mouse Mountain, or be challenged on the expert runs. Snowboarding is allowed all over the mountain and lessons are available as well. And the fun doesn’t end there, after a day of skiing Lutsen offers horse drawn sleigh rides, snowshoeing and dog sledding.
Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort
Hours vary by season
Open daily: Adults $29/day, Children (7-12) $19/day, Children 6 & under are free
Another winner in the world of skiing and snowboarding is Giants Ridge. With 35 downhill runs, a 500-foot vertical drop and some of the best snowboarding terrain parks around, this is a great spot especially groups and families. Want to take the skis off and still play outside? Go snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or head to the new snow tubing park. While it’s not the biggest, Giants sure is near the top when it comes to great spots to hit the slopes.
Hyland Hills Ski & Snowboard
Monday–Thursday: 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Friday: 10:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
Sunday: 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Adults: $29/day, Children 11 and under: $26/day
Are you ready for some real snowboarding? This is a spot where snowboarders flock to and being only 20 minutes from the Twin Cities, the easy access can’t be beat. Hyland has 35 skiable acres on a 175-foot vertical, lessons and rentals available. If you’re coming here to ski, we recommend choosing another spot off our list as they cater to snowboarders –- and face it, we need a place like this! Be sure to hit French Cliff.
Coffee Mill Ski Area
Adults: $30/day, Juniors: 12 & under $26/day
Coffee Mill Ski Area offers a great atmosphere, a 425-foot vertical, and its “bowl” shape protects skiers from feeling the severe cold from the cold. It is not an ultimate ski experience like some others mentioned, but with its excellent grooming, and nice pricing; Coffee Mill is a quality spot where you can really enjoy everything from the mellow slopes of Chippewa to the radical pitch of O’Chute.
Hey, while you’re at it don’t forget to check out our guide to great weekend getaways.
Meghan Marx was born and raised in the Midwest, where outdoor activity is her second nature. Meghan is a graphics artist, college professor and web designer, follow Meg at @designingmarx.