Sundown Mountain, one of the lower Midwest's larger ski areas, will be hosting its Family Weekend Jan. 10-11. Children 11 and younger pay half-price for lift passes, rental equipment, and lessons when accompanied by an adult with a full-price lift ticket. Fun activities will include a scavenger hunt, face painting, T-shirt painting, and many more fun snow games.
Sundown, with a vertical drop of 475 feet, offers big time skiing and riding for lower Midwest snowsports enthusiasts. Only a handful of Heartland ski areas have greater vertical drops. Located along an escarpment above Dubuque, Iowa, you can see three states - Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin - from the top of the ski area. Carved through a century-old cedar forest, the runs deliver a scenic, almost Western-like experience.
Two day lodges sit atop the escarpment, which overlooks an ancient river valley that flows into the nearby Mississippi River. The ski area features a variety of slopes and trails, and one of the best terrain parks and halfpipes in the region. A new monster wall and more rails were added last season. The majority of the slopes and trails are rambling cruisers. A few short, steep shots like Gun Barrel and Head Wall provide quick adrenaline rushes.
Thousands of Iowans have learned to ski and ride here over the last 40 years. The beginner area, with its own triple chair, is one of the outstanding teaching arenas mid-America. It takes center stage right on top of the ski hill.