Giants Ridge

Early season snow and cold and enticing lift and lodging packages are a few of the things Minnesota skiers and snowboarders might be thankful for this early season. Looking for a weekend getaway? Look no further than the Gopher State’s Iron Range and Arrowhead.   


Lutsen Mountains, located in the Arrowhead overlooking Lake Superior, guarantees at least 20 runs open by the first weekend in December. If they don’t make the goal, you can cancel your reservation without any penalty. They shouldn’t have any problem keeping that promise. The resort claims the 20 open runs are equal to about 10 miles of trail.  


Early season deals include a night’s lodging and two day lift tickets from $109 per person, based on quad occupancy. A two-night minimum stay is required. It’s available through Dec. 20. A North Shore Holiday offers half-price lifts, rentals and lodging. Also available online, First Tracks 2 for 1 lift tickets, which allows you to ski for two straight days for the price of one. Or, bring a friend to join you for the day. It’s available Dec. 7-8 and Dec. 13-20, and the tickets are $36


The Iron Range’s Giants Ridge is offering a First Tracks lift and lodging special, available for the next couple of weekends, Dec. 7-8 and 14-15. It’s $65 per person, per night and includes one day of skiing or riding and a night’s lodging. A daily adult lift ticket will be $49 this season.


Spirit Mountain, overlooking Duluth’s harbor on Lake Superior, is offering Snow Saver Cards through Dec. 25. They work like debit cards. You load it with as many discounted lift tickets as you want and use them throughout the season. The tickets are adult (13+) $28 and youth (7-12) and seniors (55+) $22. The card is transferable and can be shared with family and friends. An adult daily regular season lift ticket is $40.  


Nearby Americinn Hotel and Suites offers discounted lodging packages with Spirit, and the Duluth Spirit Mountain Inn is offering lodging from $54.99 per night through Dec. 31.


Photo: Giants Ridge, Minn. (Giants Ridge)