For 51 years, Afton Alps has delighted the Twin Cities' families as one of the Midwest's premier winter destinations. Nestled in the scenic St. Croix River Valley just outside Minneapolis and St. Paul, this sprawling resort poured $10 million the fall of 2013 into re-imagining the guest experience with the base area facilities, a powerful state-of-the-art snowmaking system and a cutting edge terrain park.
With nearly 300 skiable acres, 50 trails, 18 lifts and four terrain parks, there is enough terrain to challenge experts to beginners, day or night.
Accessible, affordable and fun, this big-time resort with a small-town feel has converted thousands of first-timers into lifelong skiers and riders, and now with the opportunity to take that passion to Vail Resorts' iconic western mountains, Afton Alps is truly the place where Epic begins.
Best local skiing in the Twin Cities. There's a reason Vail bought this place and dumped in a bunch of money. Great vibe. Friendly staff. Interesting terrain for all levels, and lots of snow guns to make early season a bit more enjoyable. And, good training center, particularly for kids. Also, an emphasis on ski/snowboard parks. Brings a little bit of the West to Midwest skiing. Bit more expensive than other more quaint hills, but the extra money is worth it in terms of experience (coming from a former out West - CO - 40+ day/season skier).
Even for Midwest skiing, the runs are short, with some very awkward flat areas between various trails/lifts. I literally saw people take gear off and traverse about 200 feet half way down the "mountain" rather than suffer through the flat parts to get to the next run. Hopefully they can take a look at the grading and work on that. The snow quality was good by Midwest standards! The facilities are better than several others I've visited over the years just over state borders (devil's head, granite peak, cascade, sundown). No weird gym sock smell, which is a relief. They also had a second chalet at the top of the mountain/hill, as well as a warming yurt at the base of the terrain park main area. Strange side perk: they have the BEST hot chocolate I've ever had at a ski resort. No watered down silliness... it's the real deal. For the Gluten Free folk: if you need Gluten Free options, there are some salads and other a la carte items that good to go.... otherwise I'd recommend packing some food, and storing in one of the lockers (most of them are credit card operated up to $8/day).
A descent ski park at a descent price. Lots of lifts, so short wait times. Friendly and helpful staff. Would be 5 stars if the black diamond run was more challenging and if they rented out snow bikes, or even waxed skis. The after dark illumination is also supurb, lighting nearly the entire park. Paired with the late closing time (~9:30 pm) it makes Afton a gear night skiing spot.
My husband and I had a group lesson from Bill. He did an amazing job! Extremely patient and encouraging. Gave each person great feedback and took us from nervous novices to somewhat confident beginners! More than worth the $25!! Definitely recommend the training, especially with Bill.
This place is difficult to bring young kids that more advanced than the bunny hill. There is a lot of flat land that requires a lot of pushing and with young kids that is difficult. Many of the areas on the hill don't connect or are connected by a single chair. The majority of the chairs are 2 person, but it appears most if not all have safety bars which is awesome and better than most in the area.