Now that winter is in full swing, you may be itching to hit the slopes. Thankfully, Minnesota is home to a bevy of fun, thrilling, diverse skiing and snowboarding areas. These skiing and snowboarding mountains are perfect to fly to, just a short ways away from most airports in the state.
Ready to learn more? Here are the best skiing and snowboarding mountains in Minnesota.
1) Afton Alps
Nearest Airport: South St. Paul Municipal Airport
Official Website: aftonalps.com
In close proximity to the Twin Cities, nestled in the scenic St. Croix River Valley, Afton Alps is quickly becoming one of the most popular ski areas in the Midwest. Featuring diverse terrain and over 300 acres of skiable terrain, skiers and snowboarders will have plenty to explore throughout the course of the day. Snowboarders can work on their skills at one of the largest terrain parks in the Midwest, while skiers can blast through moguls on steep black diamonds. In 2013, Colorado-based Vail Resorts poured $10 million into re-imagining the guest experience at the base area and installing powerful, state-of-the-art snowmaking systems.
2) Buena Vista Ski Area
Nearest Airport: Bemidji Regional Airport
Official Website: bvskiarea.com
Downhill skiers, snowboarders & tubers will find Buena Vista to be the area’s premier spot to enjoy their sport. Sitting astride the Continental Divide, there are 16 downhill runs, the longest (2,000 feet) boasting a 230-foot drop. The ski area features four chairlifts, a beginners tow, handle tow in the tube park, and a three-story chalet with warming fireplaces and cafe. Buena Vista is Celebrating 68 years this winter.
3) Giants Ridge
Nearest Airport: Eveleth-Virginia Municipal Airport
Official Website: giantsridge.com
Skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts are sure to have a great time at award-winning Giants Ridge. With 35 downhill ski runs, 40-miles of well-kept nordic ski trails and one of the best snowboarding terrain parks in the state, there’s something for everyone. For aprés ski, guests can enjoy rustic-chic accommodations, including suites, villas and homes, a full-service spa, and plenty of dining options.
4) Spirit Mountain
Nearest Airport: Duluth International Airport
Official Website: spiritmt.com
Spirit Mountain, located southwest of Duluth, is your destination for winter activities. With plenty of skiing, snowboarding, including 175 skiable acres and a 700-foot vertical drop. If you’re trying to mix it up, take a break from the slopes and try fat biking, the alpine coaster, snow tubing or Nordic trails.
5) Hyland Hills
Nearest Airport: Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
Official Website: threeriversparks.org/location/hyland-hills-ski-area
Are you ready for some real snowboarding? Then head to Hyland Hills. Snowboarders flock to the ski hill, with its 35 skiable acres on a 175-foot vertical. Sorry, skiers, you may want to look to another spot on this list, as Hyland caters to snowboarders.
6) Lutsen Mountain
Nearest Airport: Grand Marais Airport
Official Website: lutsen.com
Up north during winter, Lutsen Mountain is the place to be. On the banks of expansive Lake Superior, Lutsen is home to the largest and steepest ski area in the state of Minnesota, with its four mountains, 95 runs and 825′ vertical rise. Not only is the skiing fantastic, but the mountain resort has lively nightlife as well. After a day on the slopes, head to Papa Charlie’s at the base of the hill to enjoy live music, delicious food and almost any drink you can imagine.
7) Welch Village
Nearest Airport: Airlake Airport
Official Website: welchvillage.com
Located just outside of Red Wing in the Cannon River Valley, sits Welch Village, the oldest ski hill in Minnesota. With a wide variety of terrain, for beginners up to expert skiers and snowboarders, this is a no-hassle option that’s not too far from the Twin Cities. Welch Village offers on-site, bunk-style lodging, and also works with area hotels to offer discounted ski packages. Lessons, rentals and group rates are also available.
8) Mount Kato
Nearest Airport: Mankato Regional Airport
Official Website: mountkato.com
For those looking to ski in the southwest corner of the State, you can’t beat the slopes and scenery at Mount Kato Ski Area. Located in the thick of the scenic valley that runs along the Minnesota River, this mountain contains 19 trails and eight chairlifts that make for a non-crowded experience for all skill levels. Unwind in a new, large chalet that serves food or enjoy flame-grilled food and your favorite beverage in The Lift Bar. Non-skiers can enjoy snow tubing with a conveyor lift.
Do You Want to Visit the Ski and Snowboard Areas in Minnesota?
Whether you’re someone that wants to learn to fly or a certified pilot who wants to further their education, Inflight Pilot Training can help you gain the freedom to explore these fantastic skiing and snowboarding mountains in Minnesota.
Ready to get started? Inflight Pilot Training is a leading flight instruction company serving Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding areas. With a reputable training program and an extensive roster of highly skilled, certified flight instructors, we can give you the freedom to fly to the greatest destinations in the state of MN.
For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.