Best Ski Resorts in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is one of the most popular skiing destinations in the US, and when you take a look at its geographical blessings, it’s no wonder it ranks so high on the list. Wisconsin’s terrain is around 46% forest, making it ideal for people who love wintery scenery. The season usually starts around November and lasts throughout March. And yes, the trails are skiable throughout those five months due to the fact that it snows so often.

Since there are so many skiing resorts to choose from, it’s going to be a hard task to narrow it down to just a few recommendations. With its diverse range of hills, mountains, and trails, Wisconsin offers something for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced skier. Even if you don’t particularly enjoy skiing every day, you’re bound to find something to do, even if it just means enjoying the views.

Granite Peak

One of the most popular resorts in Wisconsin is called Granite Peak. There are many facilities to explore in this resort which visitors particularly enjoy. For those who prefer snowboarding, we have some good news – there is a snowboarding terrain available at all times. If you’re traveling with your family, there are many affordable packages available for purchase so you can get the most bang for your buck.

Pros

  • Nighttime skiing
  • Six-person ski lifts
  • A variety of trails
  • Family-friendly
  • High-speed lifts
  • Amazing instructors
  • Not very crowded
  • Options for both beginner and advanced skiers

Cons

  • Filled parking lots, not a lot of parking spaces available during peak hours

Famous for: high-speed lifts, great choice of restaurants, affordable prices.

Town

Enjoy a variety of options to explore in the nearest town to Granite Peak – Wausau. You can opt for activities that include delicious food, explore many of the museums and parks for some family fun, or go shopping. You could even go see a play at the famous Grand Theater. Whichever kind of activity you desire, you’re bound to find it here.

Ski Terrain

If you’re a skier that’s looking for a challenge, then you will love the high vertical drops available on some of the trails. After all, this skiing area is the third tallest in the Midwest, so it’s not going to disappoint!

There are 74 runs available in total, and 6 terrain parks. The runs are longer than average, which allows for a better experience. One of the best things about this resort is the option for nighttime skiing (typically from 5 pm to 9 pm), which seems to be a hit among tourists.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

This is one of the most renowned resorts in Wisconsin, so you can expect to see a lot of people. That being said, it’s rarely so crowded that it becomes an issue for travelers, apart from the issues with parking.

The ski lifts are famous for their efficiency. There are seven lifts in total: one high-speed six chairlifts, two high-speed quad chairlifts, two triple chairs, and two magic carpets. You can get ski lifts for affordable prices that average around $120 for a two-day ticket, or you can opt for a family combo package that costs around $160 for a two-day ticket. Some people complain about long lines in front of the lifts, but this could only be a potential issue if you were to go during peak season.

Accommodation

Granite Peak is partnered with several lodgings in the area that are around 10 minutes away from the resort. You can choose between inns, hotels, or suites. Some of them offer great deals like free breakfast for example.

Verdict

Overall, Granite Peak is popular among tourists for a reason. It offers a wide range of terrains available for all skiing levels and amazing equipment. There is plenty to do and see, and the views and scenery are breathtaking. 

Devil’s Head Resort

This alluring ski resort is continuously growing in the number of visitors it attracts each year. It’s located on the Baraboo Range, a popular ski area that’s famous for its high terrains and long runs. But it’s not a destination that only ski enthusiasts can enjoy – there’s plenty to do for kids and adults who aren’t into skiing. There are available terrains that are perfect for beginners, without any bumps or trees in the way, making it a perfect option for just about anyone who wants to enjoy a winter getaway.

Pros

  • Incredible views
  • Good food options
  • Not too crowded
  • Affordable prices
  • Well-maintained slopes

Cons

  • Hard pillows
  • Slow lifts

Famous for: high slopes, spectacular views, affordable prices.

Town

The nearest town to Devil’s Head is Baraboo and it’s the largest city in the country. For that reason, you can be sure to find some amazing places like museums and parks, as well as top-notch restaurants and bars. One of the top attractions in this city is Devil’s Lake. Alcohol enthusiasts will be happy to hear that there are many wineries and distilleries to choose from.

This particular city offers a wide range of activities, both in nature and outside, so be sure to stop by whenever you visit Devil’s Head.

Ski Terrain

There are 268 acres of skiable area. You have 26 runs at your disposal, which differ in terms of how challenging they are for skiers, so chances are you will find one that suits your current expertise. You will face some striking scenery when going down these hills which overlook the Wisconsin River. There are three terrain parks available in the area and the snowfall averages around 55 inches.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

When it comes to crowd density, this resort is known to sell out during peak season, so if you’re looking into making a reservation for the winter season, it’s best to do it on time so you can secure your accommodation.

There are ten lifts available, seven of which are chairlifts and two of which are magic carpets. You can purchase lift tickets through their websites, and you also have the option of buying family packages.

Accommodation

There are a couple of accommodation types you can choose from, such as condos, double beds, king beds, suites, and inns. Some accommodations require a minimum of a two-day stay. The prices vary depending on where you make the reservation. For instance, two nights in a lodge are priced around 500 dollars, including breakfast, dinner and all-day lift-tickets. There are cheaper packages that exclude breakfast/dinner and lift tickets. To compare, two nights in a suite average around 650 dollars, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all-day lift tickets.

Verdict

Devil’s Head is a well-known tourist destination that offers a variety of accommodation options, great skiing conditions, and stunning views. The prices are affordable and there are some family packages available. In short, it’s a great place for a trip with the family.

Little Switzerland

We can’t make a list of the best resorts for skiing in Wisconsin without mentioning Little Switzerland. This small paradise is located in Slinger. The complete resort was remodeled in 2012. It’s a wonderful place to visit both during the winter and summer months. It also seems to be a popular destination for weddings and large gatherings. Little Switzerland contains a beginner area, as well as a couple of advanced terrains, so it’s suitable for all skiing levels.

Pros

  • Family-friendly
  • Affordable prices for accommodation and food
  • Skiing lessons available
  • Amazing equipment
  • Beautiful scenery and nature
  • Helpful and friendly staff

Cons

  • You might have to wait a while to get seated/served at the restaurants
  • Long lines for the lifts during some months

Famous for: great ski lessons, helpful staff, outstanding location, and views.

Town

Milwaukee is about a half an hour drive away from Little Switzerland. Since it’s a relatively big city, there are many things to do and lots of ways to explore this beautiful city. There are many famous museums located in Milwaukee like the Harley-Davidson Museum or the Milwaukee Art Museum.

You also have the option of visiting some gorgeous parks and churches. Milwaukee has no shortage of dining and wining options, so if you decide to visit this place, you won’t have to worry about not finding a place to eat. If you have a couple of hours to spare when visiting Little Switzerland, then seeing Milwaukee is a must!

Ski Terrain

As we mentioned, Little Switzerland is versatile in terms of terrain and runs, so whatever your experience level is, you’ll find something that suits your current skill set. There is a total of 50 acres of ski area and the runs go on both sides of the hill. Some runs go through the woods, so it’s best to go on those if you’re an experienced skier. If you’re looking for a resort that has the option of night skiing, then look no further! Little Switzerland offers the option of night skiing which is perfect for getting nighttime wintery views.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

This is a popular resort, so it’s bound to get a little crowded during peak season. Regardless, it’s never crowded to the point of being uncomfortable or unclean.

When it comes to the ski lifts, there are eight in total: four doubles, two rope tows, and two handle tows. An all-day ticket for adults costs around $50 during the weekends, and around $35 during the rest of the week.

Accommodation

Little Switzerland is partnered with a couple of hotels, suites, and B&Bs. Some of them offer various discounts and breakfast on the house. The price of the hotels is around $100 a night for two people.

Verdict

Little Switzerland is an extremely welcoming place filled with generous staff and lots of things to do. The prices are reasonable and the food is a favorite among the tourists. It seems like the perfect place for a smaller group of people or for a big event.

Nordic Mountain Ski Resort

Nordic Mountain is the perfect resort for beginner skiers. There are multiple instructors available, and there are plenty of options in terms of terrain for beginners. The hills are well-groomed and you also have the option to snowboard. If you get tired from all the skiing, there are many places to get your well-deserved rest that also have a great view.

Pros

  • Stunning landscape
  • A great place for beginners or for people who want to get into skiing
  • Good food and drink options
  • Affordable prices
  • Available equipment for renting
  • Child-friendly
  • Snowboarding

Cons

  • Lines during weekends
  • Not very challenging for experienced skiers

Famous for: beginner-friendly slopes, great instructors.

Town

The nearest populated area to Nordic Mountain is Wild Rose, a small village in Waushara County. It has less than 1000 inhabitants, so you can imagine that there isn’t much going on. You have the option of visiting some of the local shops and restaurants, which are pleasant enough to provide you with a change of scenery for a couple of hours.

Ski Terrain

Nordic Mountain is the perfect place for beginners. There are 18 runs in total, and plenty of them are beginner-friendly. With four terrain parks at your disposal and 60 acres of skiable terrain, there is a lot to explore. For those who are into night skiing, Nordic Mountain offers this as well.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

This resort doesn’t seem to be as crowded as some of the other ones. That being said, it is busier during the weekends, which might result in waiting lines in front of the lifts. Apart from that, there shouldn’t be an issue.

There are a couple of ski lifts available in this area. You can check their online website for great deals for lift tickets. The prices average around $50 for an all-day ticket for adults and $35 for kids and seniors.

Accommodation

Regarding accommodation, there are a couple of resorts, cabins, cottages, inns, and motels available. The prices differ depending on the place you choose. To give you an idea, the cabins average around $300 a night, for two people. By the looks of it, all accommodation available seems to be fairly priced, all the while providing you with great conditions, so if you choose to spend a couple of days at the Nordic Mountain Ski Resort, accommodation shouldn’t be an issue.

Verdict

Beginner skiers looking for a resort where they can attend a couple of lessons and learn to ski will have a fun time here! The resort is child-friendly and the prices seem to be affordable.

Experienced skiers are also welcome, of course; however, they might find some of the slopes and runs a bit unchallenging. Although there isn’t a big city nearby, there is plenty to do in the resort itself, and the food and drink options seem to be top-notch.

Alpine Valley Ski Resort

Alpine Valley is a resort located in the town of Lafayette. The great thing about this place is that it’s very versatile – during the winter, you have the option of skiing, whereas in the summer you can enjoy the golf course. The location of this resort is outstanding, and the views are incredible all year round. Due to its diverse nature, it’s very popular among tourists.

Pros

  •  Free parking
  • Tasty food, lots of options
  • Reasonable prices
  • Great instructors
  • Friendly staff
  • Ski rentals

Cons

  • The restaurants can get busy and crowded

Town

The nearest town to Alpine Valley is Elkhorn. While its population is just over 10,000, there are still plenty of things to do in this town. Spend time in nature visiting the state trails, orchards, or wineries, or opt for some of the museums, theatres, or pubs. You have the option of choosing between many different restaurants and bars, so food and drinks shouldn’t be an issue.

Ski Terrain

There are whopping 20 runs available with 90 acres of skiable land. The slopes are perfect for both advanced skiers and beginners. With a couple of terrain parks available, as well as the option for night skiing, this resort is a great choice for any ski lover, regardless of their level of experience.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

With many lifts and skiable areas available, you don’t need to worry about this place getting crowded. That being said, we recommend booking your room or suite on time, since there aren’t many options available in terms of hotels, motels, or inns nearby. The same goes for restaurant reservations. It can get busy, especially during the weekends, so keep that in mind. At the end of the day, you always have the option of ordering in.

The lift system contains three quads, four triple chairs, and five magic carpets. Needless to say, there are plenty of options in terms of lifts. You can purchase lift tickets for around $70 a day. They also offer some weekday specials, so make sure you visit their website before purchasing any package or ticket in order to get the best deal possible.

Accommodation

There are 120 hotel rooms available in the resort, and you have the option of choosing between twin beds, double beds, and suits. Family rooms are also available. There are an indoor pool and a hot tub available on the hotel grounds. There’s also a bar and a lounge, which is convenient in case you want a place where you can hang out.

The prices average around $100 a night. The family rooms and suites are a bit pricier – they go up to $150 a night. During weekends and holidays, their prices go up a bit, so keep that in mind.

Verdict

Alpine Valley seems like a great place to visit with family and friends. During wintertime, you’re bound to have a great time skiing, even if you’re a beginner. They are open during the summer too, with the option to golf and hike.

You can check out more on our USA Ski Resorts page.

Article by:
Abby Ward
Senior Content Writer at Bluehouse
Last Updated October 2020