Wisconsin Ski Spots

For those used to skiing the slopes “out west”, or “overseas”, skiing Wisconsin might seem a little tame. While the state does not boast runs that take hours to traverse, it has a lot to offer every skill level and all families.

Alpine Valley (www.alpinevalleyresort.com), a popular destination for Wisconsin and northern Illinois residents, offers a 388′ vertical drop and 12 runs that range from beginner to expert. Approximately 40% of the terrain is deemed beginner, another 40% intermediate, and the remaining 20% advanced. Twenty chair lifts are available for use, including a newer high speed quad lift. Snowboarders and skiers are welcome and there are several tow areas that are a great place for boarders and/or beginning skiers.

Crystal Ridge (www.crystalridge.com) is conveniently located approximately 10 minutes from downtown Milwaukee. The 225′ vertical drop makes it accessible to all skill levels. Five lifts operate to take skiers to 10 different trails. Beginner runs comprise 20% of the hill, 50% are intermediate, and 30% are advanced. The hill is generally not too crowded, and has friendly staff.

Grand Geneva’s (www.grandgeneva.com) location roughly mid-way between Milwaukee and Chicago make it an easy and quick weekend destination for both cities. Families especially love the friendly and helpful staff. Best of all, when the weather outside is truly “frightful” as the song goes, if you are a guest of the hotel it’s just as much fun to stay inside and play in the indoor water park. The vertical drop is 211′, there are 5 lifts servicing 15 runs. The runs are geared 30% to beginners, 40% to intermediate, and 30% to advanced. The view from the hill and lifts is very scenic and with 100% snowmaking ability, there is a chance that they’ll be open and operating every weekend, with or without mother nature’s deliverance of snow.

Heading north, Sunburst (www.skisunburst.com) is located 40 miles north of Milwaukee. The area is nicely groomed and small enough to appeal to families of children who desire some independence while Mom and Dad desire to have any easy time of keeping track of the kids. The half-pipe for snowboarders is well liked by those who use it. Sunburst has a 214′ vertical drop with 7 lifts to 10 trails. The beginner runs comprise 20% of the hill, intermediate runs 35%, advanced runs 35%, and 10% expert.

Wilmot Mountain(www.wilmotmountain.com) is located 30 miles south of Milwaukee. The short, steep slopes appeal to those with a penchant for speed. The hill has a 230′ vertical drop, and 14 lifts access 25 trails, 30% of which are devoted to beginners, 30% to intermediates, and 40% to advanced.

Cascade Mountain (cascademountain.com)is located in Portage, WI. Customers enjoy the variety of runs and the quad chair lift which allows for more ski time and less line time! The hill has a 460′ vertical drop. Ten lifts to 27 trails offer something for everyone. Thirty percent of the runs are geared towards beginners, 30% towards the intermediate level and 40% towards those who are advanced.

Christmas Mountain, located 40 miles northwest of Madison, need not only be visited during the holidays! A 250′ vertical drop and 3 lifts to 7 trails are especially appealing to beginning skiers. Forty percent of the runs are beginner runs, 40 are intermediate, and 30 are advanced.

Located 20 miles west of Madison, Tyrol Basin (www.tyrolbasin.com)
offers a lot for those interested in a change of pace. Among the unique features are a 1,000′ mogul run, two snowparks, and many racing and special events. It has a 300′ vertical drop, and 6 lifts to 16 trails. The breakdown of runs is 32% beginner, 28% intermediate, 40% advanced. Snowboarders and freestyle skiers love this place!

Devil’s Head (www.devils-head.com) is one of the largest ski areas in Wisconsin. It boasts a 500′ vertical drop, and 15 lifts to 28 trails. There are a good variety of runs, 30% devoted to beginners, 30% to intermediates, 30% to advanced, and 10% to expert. Great lift operators, friendly staff, and runs for many skill levels make this a favorite hill to ski.

Granite Peak at Rib Mountain (www.skigranitepeak.com)
can be found in central Wisconsin. This hill has the largest vertical drop in Wisconsin at 700′. It continues to grow and offer something new yearly. Granite Peak is conveniently located between Chicago, the Twin Cities and Milwaukee, and draws from those cities. Positive experiences are the result of shorter lift lines, great variety in terrain, and an overall quality facility. Seven lifts service 51 runs.

No matter what time of year, it’s always time to plan for a great day, weekend, or week long ski adventure. Ski Wisconsin!

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