Families enjoy Giants Ridge and the giant views. (Jim Balfour)
Spring has come early to the Heartland this winter and most of the ski areas across the lower Midwest have closed. The best bets for some late season spring skiing into April are all centered across the northern Great Lakes, and the longer, warmer, sun filled days provide some of the best conditions of the winter.
Lutsen Mountains, located in the Sawtooth Mountains along the north shore of Lake Superior, routinely stays open through mid-April and sometimes weekends into May; depending on winter snow and late-season conditions.
“Our resort, unlike most Midwest ski areas, routinely gets up to 40 percent of its business in the spring,” longtime marketing director Jim Vick, told SnoCountry. “Spring skiing and riding is really great when you get ‘corn snow’ conditions as the sun warms the groomed slopes. It can be some of the best conditions of the winter.”
Vick pointed out the resort experienced identical weather this time last year, and Lutsen Mountains hasn't closed early in the spring for the last 25 years. Late season lift and lodging packages are available.
Wisconsin’s Granite Peak plans on remaining open through April 9. Spring Break Discounts through April 9 include free rental equipment for both days if you purchase a two-day lift ticket. Tickets for the third day, and every other day thereafter are $30 adult and $20 for children (ages 6-12). There are also weekend and midweek lodging packages available.
Ski Brule, in Michigan’s UP is always one of the last Heartland ski resorts to close, plans on remaining open well into April. A Spring Break Special $25 off per person, per night on lift and lodging is available through April 2, and weekend events are planned through mid-April.
In Michigan’s Lower Peninsula Nubs Nob and Crystal Mountain plan on staying open through April 2, and Boyne Mountain will remain open on weekends into April as long as the snow holds out. I had my best day of skiing last season on April 10 at the Mountain. Check out Boyne Mountain’s last minute deals for lodging packages.