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Insider’s Guide To Spirit Mountain


Fat tire bikers work down some rocky terrain. (Spirit Mountain/Facebook)

Spirit Mountain overlooking Duluth and the city’s Lake Superior harbor offers big time skiing and riding for the Midwest with it 700-foot vertical drop.

Its terrain parks feature some of the biggest jump lines in the Heartland, and nighttime views of twinkling city lights far below outlining the harbor and I-35 winding up the mountain as it leaves the city are some of the best you’ll find in the Lower 48. Add in fat tire bike Sundays, the Alpine Coaster and tubing park and you may find it hard to figure out what to do first. Spend a weekend and try it all. Outdoor Magazine named Duluth one of the best outdoor cities in America.

 Spirit Mountain is known for its terrain parks. (Spirit Mountain/Facebook)

Trails.Spirit offers 22 trails, equally split between beginner, intermediate and advanced, three terrain parks, serviced by five chairlifts, one a high-speed quad, and two surface tows. The trails, mostly wide boulevards, offer long runs with sustained steepness due to the 700 feet drop. Timber Cruiser is a fun, narrow intermediate trail that tumbles down the mountain. Sundays offer lift-served fat tire bikers an opportunity to test some of the slopes and trails. The terrain parks offer some of the best jump lines and features around the Midwest. Big air jumps range from 15 to 60 feet high. There’s also a 22km cross country trail.

Skiers enjoy long runs down the 700-foot drop, big for the Midwest. (Spirit Mountain)

Stay. The Mountain Villas are within walking distance of the slopes. Built on pedestals, you climb up to the round villas, which offer comfortable accommodations and panoramic views of the city and harbor, especially at night. You receive one free lift ticket per villa for each day stay and a discount on additional tickets as well as a $6 discount on rental equipment. There are several lodging partner motels listed on the Spirit Mountain lodging page.

The Alpine Coaster offers a thrilling ride. (Sprit Mountain)

Eat. A restaurant and bar is located in the Main Chalet on top of the Mountain, and the Grand Avenue Chalet with Riverside Bar and Grill at the bottom. There is a couple of “don’t miss” options in the city. The Duluth Grill, located in the harbor area, is well known for its Red Flannel Hash, lamb shanks and banana cream pie. If you like BBQ the OMC Steakhouse, Old Town Duluth, is known for its brisket.

The Mountain offers lift-served fat tire biking on Sunday. (Spirit Mountain/Facebook)

Deals. A 2018 mid-week special; lift tickets are half-off when staying with a lodging partner and rentals are $10 off.

The lift carries skiers up the mountain with Lake Superior and the Duluth Harbor in the background. (Spirit Mountain)

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