While you may not think of Wisconsin as a ski destination, you may be surprised to learn that there are more than 20 Wisconsin ski areas spread throughout the state. When you travel to Wisconsin ski areas, you can expect to take advantage of smaller ski resorts with well-balanced terrain, opportunities for cross-country skiing and relatively short vertical drops as compared to east or west coast skiing.
Wisconsin Ski Areas by Location
The state of Wisconsin has rolling mountains, peaks and valleys that lend themselves to practical, although not necessarily death-defying, midwest skiing. Many of the mountainous regions are located in the central and northern portions of the state, but to make skiing readily available to city-dwellers in the southern portions of the state, there are some resorts close to Milwaukee and Madison.
Milwaukee is located on the southeastern corner of the state, right on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Resorts located near Milwaukee include:
- Alpine Valley
- Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
- Sunburst Ski Area
- Wilmot Mountain
Madison, Wisconsin is centrally located in the southern region of the state, approximately 75 miles west of Milwaukee. Resorts located near Madison include:
- Cascade Mountain
- Christmas Mountain
- Devil’s Head Resort
- Tyrol Basin
- Blackhawk Ski Club
Northern and Central Ski Areas
When you’re ready to hit the road and dedicate several days to skiing, you may want to check out some of the resorts in central or northern Wisconsin. These resorts include:
- Camp 10 Ski N Snowboard
- Christie Mountain
- Granite Peak at Rib Mountain
- Mt LaCrosse
- Nordic Mountain
- Whitecap Mountain
- Bear Crossing Ski Trails
- Bruce Mound
- Machickanee Cross Country Ski Trails
- Minocqua Winter Park Nordic Center
Midwestern Ski Resorts
If you’re used to skiing in Colorado, Vermont or Utah, skiing in the midwest may be a shock to the system, but not necessarily in a bad way. Most big mountain ski resorts on the east or west coast offer thousands of acres of terrain, a vertical drop nearing several thousand feet, runs as long as four miles and hundreds of inches of new snow each year. Skiing in the midwest is like a mini-version of big mountain skiing. Most resorts offer a relatively small number of skiable acres, generally topping out around 300 to 400 acres. The longest downhill runs will top out at roughly a mile and a half in length, with some cross country trails lasting four to five miles. Vertical drops of 500 to 700 feet are about as high as you can expect to see, and because the peaks are lower, you should expect less natural snow each season and more man-made snow.
All that being said, most other aspects of your ski vacation will be similar to big mountain skiing. Most ski areas make an effort to offer a wide-range of terrain difficulty, offering everything from beginner to advanced ski runs suitable for both skiers and snowboarders. Many ski areas also offer snow tubing and night skiing to appeal to a wide range of skiers. And, in addition to the ski areas themselves, most Wisconsin ski resorts also offer lodging, restaurants, ski lessons, ski shops and family friendly events.
Booking Your Vacation
Most Wisconsin ski areas offer information on their websites regarding lift tickets and vacation packages, making it easy for you to book your trip. Think about what type of skiing you want to participate in, how close to a major city you want to be, and what other amenities you would like access to during your trip. Once you know exactly what you’re looking for, it’ll be easy to match your list with one of the ski resorts in Wisconsin.