The Whitecap Mountains Lodge at base of ski area. (Whitecap Mountains/Facebook)
Whitecap Mountains is tucked next to Weber Lake in northern Wisconsin’s rugged Ponokee Mountain range. It’s Swiss village motif, complete with clock tower, provides an Old World atmosphere. The resorts ski runs spread across three peaks offers tree-lined trails that appeal to all levels and some of the most western-like terrain found around the Great Lakes. It’s also the only Midwestern winter resort with a mile-long chairlift that spans two mountains.
Eat. The lodge offers a restaurant, deli-bakery, burger baskets, and a lounge. Don’t miss a stop at the Wine Hut, an 1880’s logger’s cabin at the bottom of Thunderhead Mountain on Weber Lake, and in nearby Hurley the popular Liberty Bell Chalet for Italian and Iron Nugget for steak.
Stay. The resort offers the older Davos Swiss Inn which is actually built into the mountainside. The newer Whitecap Mountain Lodge has an indoor swimming pool, hydro spa, multilevel suites and micro-kitchen units. There are also mountain chalets and condos available.
Trails. Over 40 trails spill off three mountain peaks, some to the edge of scenic Weber Lake. Whitecap Mountain’s front side offers a few novice and intermediate slopes. The backside trails connect to the rest of the ski area. Three sides of Thunderhead Mountain offer a nice collection of trails. Tree-lined cruisers twist and turn down to Weber Lake and the south face is home to a huge expanse of beginner terrain. Eagle’s Nest Mountain offers the toughest runs; western-like, boulder-laden, mostly black and double-black narrow runs. An easier mile-long run around the outer portion of the mountain offers a great cruising run with some nice S turns. The chairlift back up climbs a rock wall at one point.
Deals. Midweek Slalom Package includes three nights lodging, lift tickets, breakfast, two dinners, ski lessons and rentals for $182 per person, quad occupancy.
Play. Take a stroll down Hurley’s historic Silver Street, once the hangout for notorious gangsters like Al Capone, Baby Face Nelson and Dillinger. It’s best at night and still somewhat notorious.