Although Wisconsin’s ski hills don’t quite measure up to the miles-long runs out in Colorado, the state’s long winters and commitment to taking advantage of the brutal cold results in fantastic slopes. And they’re cheaper too.
If you plan on hitting up more than one hill, be sure to check out Skiing Wisconsin’s $99 coupon book, which includes lift tickets for 17 parks throughout the state.
Lift Ticket Price: $58 for the whole day; $38 for nighttime skiing
The nearly three-hour drive up to Wausau is worth it for Granite Peak’s 75 runs. There, you can take a crack at one of its terrain park’s 15 jumps and speed through the woods or meander down the bunny hill and enjoy cocoa at one of its chalets. You can go through more slopes than at other parks too, due to Granite’s turbo-charged six-person ski lift. We’d particularly recommend taking advantage of the park’s nighttime skiing, which goes from 5-9 p.m. There’s nothing like the cold and quiet of rushing down the park’s slopes on a cold Wisconsin night.
Lift Ticket Price: Weekends: $40; Nights on weekends: $25
Although it has the fewest runs of all the parks on this list, The Rock is only a 25-minute drive away from Downtown Milwaukee. If you plan to make the trip down to Franklin often, save money by purchasing its season pass, which is also valid at Little Switzerland.
Lift Ticket Price: Weekdays: $33; Weekends all day: $46
Unlike many Midwest ski hills, Little Switzerland has two sides; the first has easier slopes and the second offers quite a few black diamonds. First-timers could spend hours in its beginner area, while experienced jumpers need to check out its two freestyle terrain parks.
Lift Ticket Price: All day: $56; noon-9 p.m.: $50; 4 p.m.-close: $29
Offering 18 slopes and excellent night skiing, Mt. LaCross houses a wide variety of slopes and trails, perfect for skiers of all skill levels and preferences. What’s more, Mt. LaCross features one of Wisconsin’s longest slopes in Mileway and its steepest in Damnation.
Lift Ticket Price: Saturdays: $65; Fridays: $54; Midweek and Sundays: $45
Located in the heart of Baraboo Bluffs, Devil’s Head is closer to the challenging mountains out west than perhaps anything else you’ll find in Wisconsin. The resort’s 30 runs are longer (and more difficult) than most you’ll find in the state.
Lift Ticket Price: Weekends: $44; Weekdays: $33
Although Sunburst is known for being the world’s largest tubing park, its skiing is also excellent. Featuring 11 runs and an expansive terrain park, Sunburst also houses world-class chalets and a cozy café serving Starbucks coffee.
Lift Ticket Price: $64 for a day pass; $29 for a night ticket; $69 for a day/night pass (10 a.m.-9 p.m.)
Cascade Mountain’s runs are split in two, making it perfect for groups with different skills levels. (The top of the mountain features numerous easier hills, while the bottom offers a slew of black diamonds.) And if you need a break from the slopes, be sure to check out the mountain’s snow tubing hill.
Lift Ticket Price: All day: $24; Half-day or night: $18
Although Mt. Ashwabay does not offer many runs, its unparalleled views of Lake Superior are worth the trip up north — though be careful not to catch a chill from the winds off the lake. The park also has cross-country ski trails that are less thrilling but are great exercise.
Lift Ticket Price: $66 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; $51 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Rates differ for beginners and during weekdays)
This smaller ski hill is perfect for both experts and beginners, offering (relatively) tough black diamonds alongside an established ski school and reduced rates for beginners. Adult first-timers should definitely check out their “Let’s Get Social” class, a skiing lesson taking place only at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays that includes a drink ticket and rentals.
Lift Ticket Price: $48
Night owls, Trollhaugen is for you — its numerous slopes and three terrain parks are open until 3 a.m.. And if the runs aren’t thrilling enough, be sure to check out its ziplining park.
Lift Ticket Price: Weekday: $52; Weekends: $68
Featuring progressive jumps, rails and jib features, Wilmot is made for those who want to spend all day at the terrain park. You could spend the entire weekend at Wilmot performing flips and grinding rails. For tamer skiers, the park also offers excellent runs that weave through the woods. Beginners, we’d recommend trying upper and lower cat trail.
Lift Ticket Price: Thursday, 5-9 p.m.: $23; Friday: 5-10 p.m.: $28; Saturday: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.: $38; Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.: $34
Christie Mountain offers trails that weave through woods (we recommend Timber Pup) alongside wide open black diamonds and challenging terrain parks. If you stay out on the slopes long enough, you might catch a glimpse of the Beast, Wisconsin’s own blue Bigfoot.
Lift Ticket Price: Day pass: $25; Friday day and night: $33; Friday night only: $23
If you’re in northern Wisconsin December 25 or later, check out Bruce Mound’s ten affordable slopes. This hill is particularly friendly to seasoned skiers, offering six black diamonds.
Lift Ticket Price: All day: $60
One of the largest resorts in the state, Whitecap Mountain features 43 runs across three mountains. Whitecap’s black diamonds are particularly difficult, steep and weaving through snowy forests.
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Lift Ticket Price: Monday through Friday: $33; Weekends: $45
Take advantage of the Dells’ winter scene at Christmas Mountain, which offers a nice balance of beginner, intermediate and difficult slopes. It wouldn’t be the Dells without a diverse array of entertainment options, so check out its snow tubing and snowshoeing areas and three terrain parks if you’re feeling adventurous.
Lake Geneva, WI
Lift Ticket Price: Friday and Saturday: $49; Weekend night pass: $39; Weekdays: $28; Holidays: $55
After a long day at Grand Geneva’s 30 runs, warm up from the slopes in its spa and experience Wisconsin winter the right way. And if you’re in the area on Saturday, February 2, check out the resort’s Winter Carnival.
Mount Horeb, WI
Lift Ticket Price: Weekends: $48; Weekday: $17
Located 45 minutes west of Madison, Tyrol Basin is perfect for those who are new to jumping, as its five terrain parks were designed with beginners (and advanced) skiers in mind. Its 17 other runs are excellent too, especially on Friday and Saturday nights from 6:30 to 11 pm when tickets are only $18.
Wild Rose, WI
Lift Ticket Price: All day, weekends: $47; Weekdays, 4:30 p.m.-close: $28
One of the more affordable parks on this list, Nordic Mountain has 18 runs, an enormous terrain park and tubing runs. If you’re in the mood for a challenge, try the park’s two black diamonds, Take & Glade and Solsbury Glade, which take you weaving through a forest.