For skiers and boarders of all ages and all levels, the following are some of our favorite places in the Northland:
The gondola at Lutsen, MN
Big Powderhorn Mountain, Bessemer, MI
With a 622-foot vertical drop and 33 trails the entire family can be entertained for hours. The two terrain parks are staged for the gutsy skier or snowboarder, and the cross-country trails, ice skating, sleigh rides, and a tubing park offer something for everyone. Relax in the new lodge after a day on the slopes. Bessemer is home to plenty of lodging and dining choices that appeal to all ages.
Blackjack Resort, Bessemer, MI
The new resort has a strong commitment to their terrain parks. With a focus on quality features and maintenance, they do their best to make sure your park experience is a great one. Six lifts take you up to 19 trails across 101 acres of skiable area with a vertical drop of 465 feet.
Buena Vista, Bemidji, MN
The Buena Vista satifies all your skiing and snowboarding urges in Northern Minnesota. Four chairlifts take you up the mountain, offering a 230-foot drop with both sides of the mountain covered by 16 runs and two terrain parks. For the non-skier and boarder, tubing and sleigh rides are also available.
Chester Bowl, Duluth, MN
Located in the center of the city, this 117-acre park is easy to find. The double chair lift will bring you up 175 feet to the top of the mountain for downhill action. Or you can cross over to the two long jumps for an afternoon of fun. This park is perfect for beginners or for those who want to bring young children for a day of fun close to home.
Giant’s Ridge, Biwabik, MN
35 runs, a 500-foot vertical drop, and six lifts leave plenty of space for skiers and boarders to stretch out. Giant’s Ridge offers two terrain parks with features that riders of all ages can hit. Boasting a large chalet with delicious food and beverage options, Giant’s Ridge is a great ski destinaltion for day trips or long stays. The area also includes cross-country skiing, snow tubing, access to extensive snowmobiling trails, and access to ice fishing.
Indianhead Mountain, Wakefield, MI
With an annual snowfall of more than 17 feet, the ski season is nice and long at Indianhead. The 220 acre ski area offers excitement for beginners to intermediate to advanced skiers and boarders. Nine lifts and tows take you to 29 runs and two terrain parks with a 638-foot drop. After the mountain feeds the soul, you can feed your face at the lodge, grille or cafe.
Loch Lomond, Thunder Bay, Ontario
Offering a 750 vertical foot drop, 14 runs, and three lifts, Loch Lomond offers skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and tubing just minutes away from the bustling city of Thunder Bay, Ontario – on the majestic Nor’Wester Mountain Range.
Lutsen Ski Area, Lutsen, MN
If you’re craving a big mountain ski trip without the high cost of airfare, enjoy the vastness of Lutsen. A 1088 vertical foot drop and more than 92 runs for all experience levels, Lutsen is one of the largest resorts in the region. Lutsen is also one of the only resorts to open tree runs for experienced skiers and snowboarders. Four terrain parks scattered over four mountains are there for freestyle riders of all levels. Free door-to-door shuttles run guests staying at Lutsen Resort to the ticket office and pick them up at day’s end.
Mont du Lac, Superior, WI
With 8 runs and 310 vertical foot drop, Mont du Lac is a hidden gem. Offering a newly-built chalet at the top of the mountain, you can relax after a long day and enjoy the views of the St. Louis River and Jay Cooke State Park. Mont du Lac also offers a terrain park with a number of rails, boxes, jumps and jibs.
Mount Ashwabay, Bayfield, WI
One chairlift, and a tow rope bring you up to access 11 different runs and 65 skiable acres. Views of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands can be seen from the top of the hill. A terrain park is located at Ashwabay, designed and managed by volunteer riders.
Mount Baldy, Thunder Bay, Ontario
Located on the North Shore of Lake Superior and just 12 miles outside of Thunder Bay, Mount Baldy is a fresh place to explore. A 475 vertical foot drop, 10 runs, three lifts, and a full terrain park are available along with great views and live entertainment Friday nights.
Mount Bohemia, Lac La Belle, MI
Located on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Mount Bohemia has the longest runs with the highest vertical and deepest powder in the Midwest. Boasting the kind of skiing and boarding found in the Rockies, Mount Bohemia offers 75 runs and a 900 foot vertical drop. MSN.com calls the mountain “one of the top 10 undiscovered ski resorts in the world.” Bohemia’s two new sections, the Outer Limits, has 100+ acres of inbounds backcountry skiing with 17 new runs. Chutes, cliff drops and a half-mile wide forest will challenge you. Pirates Cove on the north face guarantees the best snow on the mountain. Bohemia’s hostels and yurts offer a ski-in/ski-out experience right at your door.
Mt. Itasca, Coleraine, MN
The Mt. Itasca Winter Sports Center is a beautiful ski center located just minutes from Grand Rapids, MN. Founded for ski jumping, Mt. Itasca offers cross-country skiing, biathalon, skiing, snowboarding and tubing.
Spirit Mountain, Duluth, MN
Offering 22 runs and descending 700 vertical feet, Spirit Mountain offers something for everyone in the family. Five chairlifts and two rope tows bring you to the bunny hill, mogul runs, Terrain Park, and Super Pipe. A Chalet sits atop Spirit to warm you after a long day on the slopes.