A ski resort with terrain for all levels and closeby lodging, lots of apres ski activities and a good ski school make for great vacations on snow.
Wisconsin: Some of The Midwest's Best Sliding
The Badger State stretches from Lake Michigan to Lake Superior, with streams and lakes nestled into rolling, forested hills that make outdoor recreation one of Wisconsin's biggest draws. Northerly climate with cold and snow, combined with natural beauty and some of the biggest vertical drops in the Midwest make the state's ski resorts popular across the region.
Perched on a long ridge overlooking busy I-90/I-94, Cascade Mountain is considered the top day trip area in the Midwest. Chicago is three hours away, Milwaukee less than two and Madison just a scant 30 minutes. Eleven lifts, including two high-speed, detachable quads, move a lot of skiers and riders uphill quickly. Cascade is a pure ski hill. The 450-foot ski hill offers 44 trails, 4 terrain parks and two half pipes. Its bump runs are legendary. They’ll make you wish for a teenager’s knees or, if you are a teen, glad you have them. Mogul Monster, with Volkswagen-sized bumps, is open to experts only. The ski area used to have a tough reputation, but over the years, Cascade has added several new beginner and intermediate runs to help soften that image.
Devil's Head, in the beautiful Baraboo Bluffs region of central Wisconsin, boasts a 500-foot vertical drop, 30 runs scattered across300 acres, 9 lifts, multiple restaurants and lodging options. It’s a big resort by Midwest standards. Getting here is easy as it's located a little over half an hour from Milwaukee and Madison, and three hours from Chicago.
Granite Peak rises high above Wassau. Rib Mountain, the highest point in the Badger State, plays host to the Midwest’s newest and arguably largest ski area. Granite Peak sprawls across 400 acres of the north-facing mountain sporting a big 700-foot vertical drop and 74 trails serviced by 7 lifts, including two high-speed quads. The lights of the ski trails shimmer high above the town at night; ribbons of light cascading down to the edge of the city, which sits at the base of the mountain. One of the best night skiing venues in the region, it’s a unique combination that you won’t find elsewhere around the Great Lakes.
Wilmot has a 190-foot vertical drop with skiing/riding on 120 acres. There's a long run of 2,500 feet to keep you rolling. Literally hundreds of thousands of Chicagoland skiers have learned to ski here in the last 80 years. The resort really caters to night skiers. Just follow the stream of taillights heading north out of Chicago or Milwaukee with ski racks on a star-laden winter night, and, most likely, they will lead you to Wilmot Mountain.
Other areas in Wisconsin include Alpine Valley , Christie Mountain, Christmas Mountain, Grand Geneva, Hidden Valley, Highlands of Olympia, Mount La Crosse, Nordic Mountain, Sunburst, Trollhaugen, Tyrol Basin and Whitecap Mountain.
The best resorts for beginners are Christmas Mountain, Alpine Valley Resort, Granite Peak and Wilmot Mountain.