The Midwest refers to the north and central portion of the United States of America. Because of its snowy winters and ideal mountain slopes, it’s a great place for a skiing adventure.
When thinking about skiing, often internationals think of the Canadian Banff ski slopes. However, the Midwest is a strong competitor for snow quality and world-class resorts.
So whether you’re looking for the best skiing near Chicago, or simply the best skiing in the Midwest, there’s a resort that’s perfect for you.
Pack your skiing gloves and your favourite pair of thermal underwear because it’s about to get chilly. Here are some of the top Midwest ski resorts available.
Top Midwest Ski Resorts
If you’re not too worried about how far you venture from Chicago, then these ski resorts are for you. They’re the overall top ski resorts in the Midwest.
If you’re looking to spend an entire weekend exploring the slopes of one of the Midwest’s finest ski resorts, then Lutsen is for you. With over 1000 acres of skiable terrain which is spread across four different mountains, this resort is just about unending, and the largest resort in the Midwest.
It’s also home to the only gondola in the region, so be sure to catch a ride and enjoy stunning views of the mountain peaks and the myriad of slopes below you. Lutsen Mountains could easily be considered the best Midwest ski resort because of its great range of ski slopes.
Crystal Mountain is the perfect resort for those seeking out a bit of fun. It’s known for its quirky contests like the Slush Cup. This is where contestants have to ski or snowboard through slushy snow while judges decide who did it best (or wore it best, as points are awarded for the best costume too).
But the resort is not just for those looking for a laugh. In fact, the resort is home to some of the finest ski slopes in the state. It also provides high-end condos for those wanting to spend a little cash and enjoy their weekend in luxury.
With the longest ski season out of all the ski resorts on this list, Ski Brule is usually the first to open its doors and the last to close at the end of the season. It’s a lot smaller than many of the mega-resorts in the Midwest but provides great slopes and a reprieve from the crowds.
It has a great terrain park as well as a tubing park for the kids, or the young at heart. If you’re looking for a hearty meal, then look forward to their all-you-can-eat BBQ dinner which takes place every Thursday and Saturday during ski season. A proper refuelling after a day on the slopes.
Boyne Mountain is a first-rate ski resort, spread across an impressive 850 acres. Its well-groomed runs draw thousands of skiers every year, but that’s not all this resort has to offer. Dog sledding, snowmobiling, ziplining, and even paintballing are all on the cards.
If you’re really feeling up for a treat, then take a sleigh ride on top of the mountain in the early evening. Accompanied by an acoustic guitar, enjoy a candlelit dinner on top of the mountain. This is the perfect way to end a day of skiing with the one you love.
Indianhead is located around the town of Ironwood, in close proximity to two other resorts. But Indianhead easily steals the show against the other two. The resort is best suited to those who know what they’re doing, with 15 expert runs you’ll have a great time hitting the slopes.
But the fun doesn’t have to end when the sunsets. The resort has two on-site music venues that keep the party going well into the early hours of the morning. So whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush on the slopes, or to party the night away, Indianhead provides the perfect setting.
There’s a sign at the entrance of Mount Bohemia stating that no beginners are allowed at Mount Bohemia Resort. This one is strictly for the experienced riders looking to show off and improve on their already developed skillset.
The resort offers 500 acres of wild terrain that would excite any ski enthusiast. The resort experiences 300 acres of powder a year, which is the highest in the Midwest. With 94 expert runs you could spend a month exploring the wonderful resort without repeating the same run twice.
One of the best places in the Midwest to take your children skiing is Pine Mountain. It’s open throughout the year, not just a specific ski season. This is ultra-convenient for those who can’t choose when they take leave. There are 27 runs in the resort to make use of, but there’s also 160 acres of land for hiking and biking.
If you feel like spending some time indoors, there’s a wonderful fitness centre as well as an indoor pool that ensures relaxation after your time on the slopes. If you venture past the boundary of the resort, you can take part in snowmobiling, hitting ATV trails, or white-water rafting in the nearby areas.
Located in the Blue Hills, this resort is smaller than most with only 45 acres of skiable terrain. It can get busy because of its small size and accessibility, so keep the crowds in mind if you choose to go on the weekends. 41 of the 45 acres are lit up at night, making night skiing a popular and thrilling activity to take part in at Christie Mountain Resort.
There are 30 well-groomed runs and 4 terrain parks in the resort, providing plenty of facilities for you to enjoy during your stay. The resort provides beginner, intermediate and expert runs, so whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced skier, this resort has something for you.
For anyone who has yet to learn how to ski, there’s a wonderful ski school on the property that can teach both children and adults looking to improve on their skills or develop skills they’ve never had.
Best Ski Resorts Near Chicago
If you’re living in Chicago and don’t want to venture too far from home, then there are a few ski resorts nearby that’ll do just fine. Here are some of the best ski resorts near Chicago.
The closest ski resort in the Midwest to Chicago is Alpine Valley Resort. Located a mere 1.45 hours drive outside of the city, it’s the closest resort worth visiting. Although Wilmot and Villa Olivia are closer, they’re both far from the level of ski resort we’ve come to expect from the Midwest.
The resort offers an incredible variety of activities, but their ski slopes are what really draws the crowds. You can get an up-to-date snow report on how the slopes are doing on their website. So don’t forget to check it right before heading out.
Cascade Mountain is located a little further from the city and will take around 3 hours to get to. With the longest S-rail in America and plenty of opportunities to get air born with big jumps, this is the perfect resort for intermediate to expert skiers.
There are also five different terrain parks where you can show off the tricks you’ve been practising, or learn new ones. And don’t think the fun stops at night, the lights turn the mountain into a full-on party!
When you get a little tired, the fun doesn’t have to end. Make your way down the mountain via a snow tube.
Granite Peak is located a 4.5-hour drive from Chicago, but the drive ensures you more freedom to roam than you’ll have at the resorts closer to Chicago. If you want to avoid the crowds, this is where you need to be.
Granite Peak is home to Wisconsin’s highest vertical drop, so it’s highly suited to adrenaline junkies of all kinds. They also offer great accommodation options in the form of chalets. Choose between their newly built chalets and their historic 1939 chalets.
Located a 3-hour drive outside of Chicago, it provides a weekend of fun, both inside and outside of the resort. It’s located in Galena so there’s plenty of exciting things to do around the resort.
There are some fun runs and slopes, but it’s better suited to beginner skiers as you can easily find better snow at the surrounding resorts. However, their on-site Sunset Grille is hard to beat, with gourmet pizza and steak, you can dine in style overlooking the Mississippi River.
Midwest Skiing – Which Resort Will You Choose?
Now that you’ve got a taste for the snowy slopes that the Midwest can provide for you, it’s time to hop in your car and get to your favourite resort on this list.
Leave behind the beaches of Louisiana and the warmer coastline of California and find your way to the Midwest winter wonderland. Take the T-bar all the way to the top, and glide down in style. Or take part in one of the many other activities on offer at the top ski resorts in the Midwest.