Sundown Mountain, Iowa's largest ski area and one of the largest in the lower Midwest, has teamed with Idaho's Silver Mountain once again to offer a combined season pass good at both ski areas. The season membership is $265 now through Nov. 8 and only $189 for college students with a valid ID. The season pass is $80 through the same time period if you are age 70 or older.
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. The runs, carved through a century-old cedar forest, 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 featuring a monster wall and numerous rails. 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.