10 Best Skiing Spots in Minnesota!

When folks think of skiing destinations, Minnesota probably doesn’t come to mind. However, thanks to some fortunate accidents of geography, the North Star state is blessed with several great spots for schussers to get their downhill fix. And remember: Shorter runs mean more runs.

Lutsen Resort, Lutsen, MN

Lutsen is, by far, the biggest ski resort in Minnesota and one of the Midwest’s largest, as well. Its location across four mountains in the Sawtooth range also means that skiers enjoy more vertical feet of slopes than anwhere else in the state, along with sweeping vistas of Lake Superior. Lutsen boasts 95 lift-serviced (including a gondola) runs, with as much as 900 feet of vertical rise. Several lodging options, dining, equipment rental and lessons are available on premises.

Giants Ridge, Biwabik, MN

Located in the heart of Minnesota’s Iron Range, Giants Ridge is a family-friendly resort that offers a handful of terrain parks, as well as tubing, to complement its 35 runs. Rentals, lessons and Superior National Forest views are available to skiers and snowboarders of all ages.

Afton Alps, Afton, MN

Afton Alps is a Vail Resorts-owned winter recreation area. Located on the eastern edge of the Twin Cities metro, Afton is the largest of the St. Croix Valley’s ski areas. Four terrain parks and nearly 50 trails are spread out across 300 acres. Eighteen lifts service the runs. Night skiing, race training, lessons and rentals are available for all.

Wild Mountain, Taylors Falls, MN

Wild Mountain is located on the shores of the St. Croix River just an hour north of the Twin Cities. The mountain features 26 trails spread across 100 acres of space. Like any excellent ski area, Wild Mountain accommodates skiiers from varying levels of experience.

Buck Hill, Burnsville, MN

Buck Hill, located in Burnsville, is one of the Twin Cities’ most accessible ski areas. Renowned as an incubator for dozens of U.S. Ski Team members, like Lindsey Vonn, Buck Hill has produced five Olympians. Erich Sailer, the coach of its ski racing team, was inducted into the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 2006. Buck Hill’s 15 runs are tucked compactly onto just over 300 vertical feet, accessed by 11 lifts. A terrain park, a half-pipe, and an airbag jump will keep adrenaline junkies content. Lighted night skiing, tubing, lessons, rentals, and a restaurant are also available at Buck Hill.

Spirit Mountain, Duluth, MN

Spirit Mountain is perched on 700 vertical feet with sweeping views of Lake Superior, the city of Duluth—which affords a gorgeous vista to nigh skiers—and its harbor. Three terrain parks (including the Midwest’s largest) 22 runs, and lift-accessible fat tire biking make Spirit Mountain a 200-acre destination for adventure. A chalet, on-site lodging and an Adventure Park with snow tubing offer something for the entire family. Ski, snowboard and mountain biking lessons, along with rentals for all ages, are available at the resort.

Welch Village, Welch, MN

A good option for skiers from both the Twin Cities and Rochester, Welch Village’s 60 runs are tucked onto 140 acres of the Cannon River valley, between Hastings and Red Wing. Its trails have 100 percent snowmaking coverage, lights for night skiing. Nine chair lifts service Welch Village’s 360 feet of vertical rise. Two chalets, two terrain parks, lessons and rentals round out the resort’s amenities.

Hyland Hills, Bloomington, MN

Part of the Three Rivers Parks District’s Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Hyland Hills offers the best skiing in the inner metro. Twin Cities residents flock to Hyland’s easy Bloomington location for a couple quick runs or a day of downhill fun. What Hyland lacks in run length, it makes up for with excellent snow grooming and some challenging terrain, particularly for snowboarders. The slopes are lighted for night skiing, and onsite equipment rental and repair are available, as well.

Coffee Mill Ski Area, Wabasha, MN

Although it’s one of the state’s smaller ski areas, Coffee Mill does not lack for excitement. Its 10 runs are nestled onto 28 acres in the bowl of a coulee, which provides 425 vertical feet for skiers to enjoy. Three lifts service the ski area. Race training, snow tubing and lessons are also available at Coffee Mill.

Mount Kato, Mankato, MN

Mount Kato is the largest ski area in south-central Minnesota. Mount Kato’s 19 trails are serviced by 100 percent snowmaking and eight chair lifts. Four terrain parks and snow tubing ensure that everyone will find something fun to do. A two-level chalet with food service and a bar also houses a full-service rental shop, as well as a snow-sport school.

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20461 Highway 66, Mankato, MN
With Mount Kato’s state of the art snowmaking equipment, you can be assured that during winter even if you do not have snow in your backyard,... Read More
15400 Buck Hill Road, Burnsville, MN
HistoryTen thousand years ago, the last ice age receded from the northern half of the North American continent. The Minnesota River helped drain th... Read More
19600 Irvine Avenue North West, Bemidji, MN
After the first ski run was cleared in 1936 by Leonard R. Dickinson, Buena Vista had family & neighbors skiing on the slope known as the " Big ... Read More
8800 Chalet Road, Bloomington, MN
Winter sports enthusiasts love Hyland Ski & Snowboard Area (HSSA). Located within Hyland Lake Park Reserve, HSSA is the place for downhill skii... Read More
445 Ski Hill Road, Lutsen, MN
For over 60 years, Lutsen has had the topography to lay claim to the largest ski area in the Midwest. And being the premier destination ski area in... Read More
26685 County Road 7 Boulevard, Welch, MN
Welch Village Ski and Snowboard Resort was founded by the Nelson Brothers, Clemens and Leigh, with their wives, Grace and Mary, in August 1965. The... Read More
30501 Maplelag Road, Callaway, MN
HistoryJim and Mary (along with Jim's brother and two other couples) originally bought 56 acres of land on Little Sugarbush Lake for use as recreat... Read More
9500 Spirit Mountain Place, Duluth, MN
MissionIn accordance with the enabling legislation that created Spirit Mountain Recreation Area in 1973, our Mission is to develop a wide range of ... Read More
1801 East Skyline, Duluth, MN
About UsChester Bowl is a beautiful 117 acre park in Duluth, MN. In the winter the alpine hill, with a double chair lift and 175 feet of drop, hand... Read More
4348 Rice Lake Road, Duluth, MN
Snowflake Nordic Center is a privately operated year-round family recreation center. We offer a wide range of outdoor recreation opportunities. A d... Read More
11 Poplar Creek Drive, Grand Marais, MN
These facilities are owned and operated by Boundary Country Trekking. The company has conducted Adventure Trips in Northern Minnesota since 1978. C... Read More
468 Clearwater Road, Grand Marais, MN
Golden Eagle Lodge offers a private campground with the same personalized service as our cabins. We have 9 sites, each with a picnic table, fire ri... Read More
400 Quadna Road, Hill City, MN
Families, young and old, return again and again to Hill City and Quadna. Area attractions include Forest History Center, Judy Garland Museum, Missi... Read More
3719 West Highway 61, Lutsen, MN
A landmark property on the North Shore of Lake Superior, providing warm hospitality since 1927, Cascade Lodge is the premier family resort on Lake ... Read More
5700 W Highway 61, Lutsen, MN
HistoryLutsen Resort is Minnesota's oldest resort. In 1885, the rugged natural beauty of Lake Superior's North Shore prompted Charles Axel Nelson, ... Read More
37200 Wild Mountain Road, Taylors Falls, MN
About Us Wild Mountain/Taylors Falls Recreation, offering a tradition of year round outdoor family FUN! Nestled in the scenic St Croix Valley near ... Read More
29409 170th Street, Detroit Lakes, MN
About Us:Detroit Mountain Recreation Area, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization. The Mission of Detroit Mountain Recreation Area, Inc. is to... Read More
9898 County Road 77 SouthWest, Nisswa, MN
About UsMount Ski Gull operates a registered non-profit 501c3 facility that receives no local, state or federal funding. Lift tickets sales and sea... Read More
6600 Peller Avenue South, Hastings, MN
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. Cro... Read More
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