Top Five Midwest Day Trip Ski Resorts
Heartland big-city skiers and riders sometimes have to drive a little further to find a ski hill worthy for playing midweek hooky. But, hooky-worthy ski areas are around, and arriving mid-week you avoid the large weekend crowds.
Twin City snowsports enthusiasts have about a two-hour drive to get to Spirit Mountain in Duluth. With its big—for these parts—700-foot vertical, variety of runs, one of the Midwest’s best terrain parks, Minnesota’s only high-speed lift, and its jaw-dropping views of the city, the harbor and Lake Superior, ski hooky doesn’t get much better in our region.
For Chicagoland skiers Chestnut Mountain overlooking the Mississippi River and historic town of Galena, Illinois, is a good choice. It offers the biggest vertical, 475 feet, stunning scenery and best variety of runs within a three hour drive of the Windy City. Twenty runs cut through rocky bluffs tumble down to the river. Add in some of the best steep in the Tri-State Region, the seven-acre Far Side Terrain Park, and a beginner area located on top of the Mountain.
Milwaukee and Madison skiers have less than three hours to reach one of the Heartland’s largest ski areas, and Granite Peak is well worth the drive. Located on one of the highest mountains in the Badger State, it rises over 700 feet above the city of Wausau, largest city in north-central Wisconsin. They offer 74 runs that cascade down the mountain face, five terrain parks, and seven chairlifts, including three high-speed. The variety of runs range from long cruisers and glades to short cliff drops on top of the mountain.
In Michigan both Lansing and Grand Rapids skiers have around a two-hour drive and Ann Arbor about three to reach Caberfae Peaks. Stashed in the highlands west of Cadillac, it’s their closest “’up north” ski resort with a near 500-foot vertical. Home to the Lower Peninsula’s highest lift served peaks it looks out over an expansive National Forest. Five lifts service 34 runs, two terrain parks, and there’s even 25-acres of backcountry skiing. The Peaks also lays claim to the states largest day lodge.
Perfect North Slopes in southern Indiana is less than a half-hour from Cincinnati and less than two hours from Louisville, Lexington and Indianapolis. It’s about as close to a northern feeling ski area as you’ll find in the lower Heartland. This hooky worthy area boasts a 400-foot vertical With 5 chair lifts, 6 carpet lifts, 22 trails and 2 terrain parks you'll find a mix of diverse terrain with something for everyone, and mid-week you’ll avoid the huge weekend crowds.