Iowa: Tall Corn, Not-So-Tall, But Fun, Ski Hills -
Officially known as the Hawkeye State, more familiarly as the Tall Corn State, Iowa rolls west from the Mississippi River across a lovely landscape of farms and hills. The state is home to several ski areas that benefit from a cold and snowy winter climate. The state's areas, while modest in vertical, offer lots of fun close to home for Hawkeye skiers and riders.
Mt. Crescent Ski Resort in Honey Creek has a vertical drop of 300 feet, four lifts and nine trails, the longest 2,200 feet in length, a terrain park and half pipe, snow tubing, and 100 percent snowmaking. The area is under new ownership, having been bought this summer by the Fleischer family of Vail, Colo., from longtime owners Russ and Georgene Lindeman of Honey Creek and their sons, Steve and Russ Jr. The Fleischers put $200,000 into upkeep and improvements this summer as a first step toward revitalizing Mt. Crescent.
Seven Oaks in Boone has a vertical of 275 feet, 13 runs, and a snowtubing park on 30 acres, with full snowmaking coverage, and served by four lifts. There are lodging packages available from several motel or inn properties in Boone and Ames.
Sundown Mountain in Dubuque, carved out of a beautiful century-old cedar forest reminiscent of Colorado, was founded in 1973. The area has a 300-foot half pipe, 23 trails heavily weighted toward intermediate ability, two terrain parks, and seven lifts including two double chairs, two triples a quad and two surface conveyors.