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Best Midwest Fall Scenic Chairlift Views

Boyne-Highlands-fall-chairlift-ride-Facebook Boyne Highlands fall chairlift ride. (Boyne Highlands/Facebook)

Autumn sweeps across the Midwest like a blaze this time of year. One of the best ways to enjoy breathtaking fall views is a slow chairlift ride to the top of the ski hill. Here’s some of the best around the upper Midwest.

Lutsen Mountains, fall and Lake Superior. (Lutsen Mountains/Facebook)

Minnesota’s Lutsen Mountains offers the uniqueness of a gondola ride to the top of Moose Mountain. Enjoy breakfast or lunch and jaw-dropping views of a colorful forest stretching to Lake Superior. The mountain rises 1,000 feet above the lake. Open daily through October 20 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday’s October 27 and November 3 and 10 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Cost is adult (13+) $22, seniors (65+) $19, and child (6-12) $14. Save $4 per person by hiking back down instead of riding. 

Giants Ridge fall chairlift ride. (Giants Ridge)

Nearby Giants Ridge, overlooking the Gopher State’s Iron Range, is offering a unique fall scenic chairlift ride paired with dinner and wine in the resort’s popular Burnt Onion Kitchen & Brews. From the top, view a colorful forest dotted with blue lakes as far as the eye can see. The cost is $35 per couple and available through October 14 on Fridays, 3-6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Wisconsin foliage views from the top of Granite Peak. (Granite Peak/Facebook)

In Wisconsin Granite Peak, which rises over 700 feet above Wausau, offers splendid views of the city, colorful forests and Wisconsin River. The chairlift rides are daily through October 21 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Cost is adults (13+) $12 and children (6-12) is $8.

Boyne Mountain fall colors. (Boyne Mountain)

Michigan’s Boyne Mountain offers eye-catching valley views from the top of the ski hill, and from the top of Boyne Highlands the view stretches all the way to the Mackinac Bridge. Take the chair up and hike back down. The chairlift rides are open at both resorts through October 14. Cost at the Mountain is $9 per ride for non-resort guests and available Thursday, 4-9 p.m., Friday 4-8 p.m., Saturday noon-8 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Highlands is $5 per ride and available Friday 1-5 p.m., and Saturday Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Chairlift rides are free to houseguests.

Crystal Mountain dressed in fall. (Crystal Mountain/Facebook)

At Crystal Mountain you can enjoy colorful views of three counties, live music, a snack and cash bar, and kid’s entertainment. Cost of the chairlift ride is $7 per person, free to houseguests.  Ages eight and under ride free with paying adult. It’s available Friday’s October 12, 19 and 26, 4-6 p.m.; Saturday October 27, 2-6 p.m.; and Sundays October 14 and 21, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.


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