Whether you like it or not, Wisconsin is known for its winter weather. Sure it’s dark and chilly, but those months of cold and snow make for great winter sports. We may not have huge mountains, but we do have some amazing terrain for snowboarders and skiers.
In case you’re looking to plan a winter adventure, we’ve put together a list of some of Wisconsin’s favorite ski destinations.
Little Switzerland is one of the oldest ski resorts in the Midwest, but they recently finished a multi-million dollar facelift. The hill has 18 runs, four chairlifts, two handle tows, and one rope tow. Little Switzerland is a great small hill—a must for beginners to intermediate skiers. There’s also the Chalet, their historic lodge, where you can warm up and enjoy a meal.
Most skiers in Wisconsin are familiar with Cascade Mountain. Their 160 skiable acres feature runs for beginner to intermediate skiers and include a popular terrain park. Cascade offers snowboard and skiing lessons and several dining options. There is lodging nearby, but Cascade seems best for a day trip.
Devils Head Resort
Located in the heart of the unglaciated Baraboo Bluffs, Devils Head is perfect for intermediate skiers who are looking for a little more action. There are 30 gentle rolling runs and terrain parks “with longer trails, more flow and more rails in one run than any other ski area in Wisconsin.” Top rated ski instructors, more advanced trail options, and one of the longest runs in Wisconsin make Devils Head one of Wisconsin’s favorite ski resorts.
Alpine Valley Resort
Alpine Valley has more than 90 skiable acres with 20 runs, a verticle drop of 388 feet, and a 3,000-foot slope, aptly dubbed “Alpine.” They’ve recently expanded and enclosed their beginner area, making it 3 times larger. Alpine Valley also has a new Terrain Based Learning Area and a high speed Quad Advanced Chair lift system. With constant improvements and friendly instructors, many consider Alpine Valley one of the Midwest’s best places for beginners.
An easy commute from the Milwaukee or Chicago areas, Grand Geneva has everything you need for a winter weekend get-away: 30 acres with 18 runs, a terrain park, 211-foot vertical, three chairlifts, skating and sledding options, WELL Spa + Salon, and a mountain-top lodge. No doubt, there’s something for everyone at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa.
Granite Peak Ski
More than 70 years ago, Wausau residents cleared six runs by hand, installed the country’s longest ski lift, and built the stone chalet from granite quarried nearby. That was just the beginning for Granite Peak. Recent improvements include an outdoor firebar, enhanced snowmaking, revamped beginner area, and high speed chairlifts. With a base village and ski town—complete with lodging, shops, spas, and restaurants— there’s a lot to love at Granite Peak.
Ski three mountains: forty-three master-designed ski runs on trails that spread over 500 acres of the Penokee Mountains. One of Wisconsin’s largest ski resorts, it features trails among Whitecap’s three mountains. The Austrian-style ski village receives over 200 inches of snow yearly. Although they do have designated beginner areas, the Whitecap Mountains are considered the best place to go for skiers and boarders who want to brush up their skills before heading out west for a winter vacation.
Open since 1959, Mt. La Crosse is home to the gentle Mileaway, one of Wisconsin’s longest runs, and Damnation!, Mid-America’s steepest trail. There’s a wide variety of terrain at Mt. La Crosse, with something for every skill level. Lessons, racing, and an award winning bar round out a picture-perfect winter afternoon.
This definitely isn’t a complete list of skiing in Wisconsin, but it’s a good place to start. Did your favorite destination make the list?