Varied terrain, lots of choices and lots of room
slow lift lines, food is pricey and average
Having skiied many of the hills in the upper midwest, this one is absolutely awesome and is sets itself apart from the rest of the midwest hills by a longshot. If I had to explain it in one word, that word is TERRAIN. An intermidate skier can find lots of places to work technique and stay interested in whats around them. Advanced and expert skiers will find themselves picking from tree runs, mougals and steeps that will keep them sharp, too (when you think you're ready, visit "The Plunge" on Moose Mountain, I promise its aptly named). If the midwest is your primary ski area, Lutsen (at about 1090 verticle feet) is a fantastic change of pace from the majority of the hills that are in the range of 300-600 verticle feet. Yes, it's kind of a long trip to get there, but the reward is extended runs with a variety of terrain and - if you have never been on a hill this size - you will walk away a better skier than you were on arrival. The lift ticket price, for what you get, is not out of line. I can go elsewhere and pay less, and I will also get less, I'm not sure where the complaint comes in on the ticket cost. Lift lines near the main lodge need to speed up, but I believe there is another lift going in that may help that. Food prices are high, not unlike going to a major league sporting park, but the food isn't exceptional compared to any other hill. If management could focus on a bit more variety and quality and a little less cost (especially the lodge on Moose Mountain), it could make Lutsen more attractive - in short, suck up a little less profit on the food and make it an attractive feature of a visit, not the irritation. All in all, if you can't afford a trip west but still want a ski trip worth your time with challenge, view and variety, Lutsen in the upper midwest has to be on your short list of hills to try.