Hidden Valley Ski Area has been serving snow-starved St. Louis residents since 1984, and it offers a nice choice for the lower Midwest.  It has a decent 310-foot vertical drop - big for this region - and offers 13 trails and two terrain parks that are serviced by a quad chairlift, two triples and three surface tows, including a carpet lift for the beginner area.  It's the only ski area within hours of the Gateway City.

The Valley's season pass sale is in full swing, and between now and the end of October is the time to purchase your season pass. Season passes will go up $55 Nov. 1 individual . The pass is $395 through Halloween. 

The Family of 4 Pass will go up more dramatically. The pass is $1,185 through the end of October. The pass goes up to $1,350 Nov. 1.  For families with more than four people. You can add additional family members for $100 per person.  Children six and under and seniors 70 and older ski and ride free. 

The Valley offers Pick-A-Day Pass, for those that don't plan on skiing or riding more than once a week.  The pass entitles you to one all-day lift ticket per week during the season. The cost is $300 through the end of October.

There's the Moonlight Marathon Pass for the extreme skier and rider.  The pass is valid from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights when the area offers Midnight sessions; an added bonus is that the pass also is valid on the Valley's two late night Sunday session that take place on Martin Luther King's birthday and President's Day.  The pass is just $190 through the month of October.

An additional bonus for all Hidden Valley pass holders is that you receive half-off your lift ticket at any other Peak Resorts property: sister resort Snow Creek in Missouri; Paoli Peaks in Indiana; Mad River Mountain and Boston Mills/Brandywine in Ohio; Jack Frost/Big Boulder in Pennsylvania; and Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire. 

More information.