Top 6 Best Ski Resorts in Wisconsin

Wisconsin might be more well-known for cheese curds and custard, but there are some decent places to ski if you want to get out of the house and onto the snow during the winter months. The hills aren’t huge here, but you can still have a lot of fun on skis. 

I’ve skied in many different locations all over the world. I’ve been to a few ski resorts in Wisconsin and have researched some other top destinations in the Badger State. 

This post will put a spotlight on the best ski resorts in Wisconsin. I’ll provide you with some critical information to help you plan a ski trip or decide where you want to visit. I’ll also explain what makes each resort worth exploring. 

Let’s dive in. 

1. Granite Peak

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 20 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 15 (Average) 
  • Best Known For: Largest ski resort in WI, terrain parks, modern lifts

Granite Peak is the most well-known and popular ski resort in Wisconsin. It’s also the largest skiing destination in the state in terms of skiable acres and vertical drop. This gives you the most terrain to explore and enjoy the season. 

The snow conditions at Granite Peak can be variable, and Wisconsin is known for having frigid days that can lead to icy slopes. But the resort does an excellent job of snowmaking and grooming to keep the runs in good shape. 

If you like to freestyle ski, you can take advantage of the four terrain parks here. These are all well-maintained and have all of the fun features you’d see at larger resorts in the west. There is also a variety of terrain for skiers of all ability levels

Equipment rentals and ski lessons are available at the base area for anyone who needs gear or wants to improve their skills. The base area isn’t huge, but there are a few smaller restaurants and bars to grab a bite to eat or a drink after a long day on the slopes.

If you want to stay here, you’ll need to find lodging in the nearby town of Wausau because there isn’t a lodge or other accommodations directly at the mountain.

2. Whitecap Mountains

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: December 20 (Average)
  • Closing Day: March 21 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Lake effect snow, no crowds

Whitecap Mountains makes the list of the best ski resorts in Wisconsin because this location provides skiers with the best chance for powder. The resort averages over 16 feet of snow a year, thanks to its location close to the Great Lakes.

Whitecap Mountains takes a little effort to get to, but if you are up for the drive, you are sure to have a great day in the snow. There is rarely a crowd here, and when a lake effect storm happens, the powder can stack up. 

You can get set up with rentals and lessons right at the resort if you don’t want to bring your equipment. There is also lodging available at a hotel near the base area or plenty of private rental homes nearby. 

The weather can be brutal here, so you’ll want to be prepared for anything. Extra layers and a change of goggles or lenses are recommended so you can adapt. 

3. Cascade Mountain

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 20 (Average)
  • Closing Day: March 15 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Large number of lifts, night skiing, close to Wisconsin Dells

Cascade Mountain is another great resort in Wisconsin. This is one of the larger skiing destinations in the state, and you’ll be able to ski 47 different trails and enjoy a 450-foot vertical drop. 

The resort also has 11 lifts servicing the mountain, making it easy to handle all of the available runs and terrain. This means you can get up and down the hill quickly and won’t have to worry too much about the lift line. 

There is also night skiing available here, so the fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. The lights stay on until 10pm every night, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the snow. There are also several terrain parks to practice your skills on. 

Lessons and rentals are easy to set up right at the base, but you might want to call ahead to ensure they have everything you are looking for. The downside is that there isn’t much lodging or dining near the resort. 

4. Devil’s Head

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 25 (Average)
  • Closing Day: March 15 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Excellent snowmaking, easy access, groomed Nordic trails

Devil’s Head is an easily accessible resort near the popular destination known as Wisconsin Dells. This is a fun and welcoming skiing location popular with locals and visitors alike. 

You can expect solid snowmaking all season long here, ensuring that there is enough snow coverage to explore the 300 acres of skiable terrain that spread across the hill. The vertical drop isn’t huge, but you can still have a lot of fun. 

There are also two terrain parks here, making it a good spot for freestyle skiers to have a ton of fun or newbies to learn how to hit various features. Nordic skiers will appreciate the groomed trails that are close by as well. 

Lodging options are plentiful at Devil’s Head. There are condos and suites to rent that offer all the comfortable amenities you would expect. And the base area has a bar and grill to grab a bite after you ski. 

Devil’s Head can get pretty crowded, so it’s best to arrive early on the weekends or around the holidays. And a few more food options would be nice. 

5. Trollhaugen 

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 15 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 1 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Long season, night skiing, good snowmaking, terrain parks

Trollhaugen is a smaller Wisconsin resort but still offers plenty of good skiing over its 90 acres of skiable terrain. The resort has ten lifts spread out over the hill, so you rarely need to worry about waiting in line. 

This location is probably best known for its terrain parks. If you are a freestyle skier in Wisconsin, this is the place to go. There is a variety of other beginner and intermediate terrain to explore as well. 

Trollhaugen also does a great job of snowmaking and grooming, ensuring that you’ll have decent conditions no matter when you visit. Lessons and rentals are also available for beginners or anyone who wants equipment. 

There isn’t much advanced terrain here, and you’ll need to drive a few miles away for lodging options. There isn’t a place to stay right at the resort. 

6. Mt. La Crosse

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: December 15 
  • Closing Day: March 10 
  • Best Known For: Steep and technical terrain

Mt. La Crosse is the best resort in Wisconsin for advanced skiers looking for technical terrain. This location has some serious steeps that are a ton of fun if you have the skills to tackle them. 

It’s a small resort but well worth visiting if you want an adrenalin rush, and some of the only double black diamond runs in the midwest are here. The runs are short, but you can spin laps all day long without much of a crowd.  

Lessons are available, but there aren’t many other amenities at Mt. La Crosse. You’ll need to venture into a nearby town for food and lodging. 

Additional Tips for Skiing in Wisconsin

The skiing days I’ve had in Wisconsin have always been cold. I suggest wearing your warmest winter clothing and choosing gloves over mittens if you ski here. The sun sometimes doesn’t appear for months during the winter. 

These gray days make for some challenging light conditions, so goggles with a higher VLT are also recommended. These are less-tinted lenses that will allow more light in so you can see better without the sun.

Final Words

Wisconsin is one of the hilliest states in the midwest. The ski resorts here are more hills than mountains, but you can still enjoy fresh tracks at one of the many excellent resorts described in this list. 

Nordic skiing is pretty popular here as well, and if you have never tried that style of skiing before, it’s a great form of exercise and a lot of fun. Just remember to dress warmly on the cross-country trails as well!

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