Ski season in the Midwest generally runs from around Thanksgiving into March. A few make it to Easter in a really good snow year before the wildflowers push their way through the melting snowpack. So while the Midwest may not have the long spring ski season as other regions, there’s still some good spring skiing to be had. Just don’t expect the vertical you’ll find in other North America ski regions.
We’ve picked a few of the best ski resorts in the Midwest for spring skiing. For our broader list of the best resorts for spring skiing across North America, head to this article.
Great ski resorts in the Midwest for spring skiing
Spring skiing at Treetops means visiting before the end of March to enjoy the warmer days on the slopes. Among Treetops’ fun spring events is Skiable Feast, a cross-country ski tour with several fueling stops along the 4-mile tour. A western scramble bake, chorizo and chili, stroganoff, and dessert are among the things that skiers can enjoy on the tour. Skiable Feast begins at Jones Activity Center, with rentals available.
Big Powderhorn, Michigan
You can take advantage of the lake effect snow flying off Lake Superior at Big Powderhorn in the Western Upper Peninsula throughout March (the resort typically closes by early April). The effect occurs when cold air sweeps over the warmer expanse of lake water, and can bring some heavy snowfall with it. Big Powderhorn has plenty of accommodations in the ski resort village to make a fun weekend out of it with friends or family.
Ski Brule, Michigan
Ski Brule enjoys one of the longer ski seasons in the Midwest, typically staying open well into April. It has 17 trails, featuring a pretty even distribution of terrain for beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers. Come spring, it’s well-known for fun-filled events, like the raucous college spring break week and the Brule Bash Ski Party in late March. Bonus: Several of the runs are open for night skiing on Friday and Saturday nights as conditions allow.
Pine Mountain, Michigan
Pine Mountain, which overlooks the town of Iron Mountain, Michigan, is about a two-hour drive from Green Bay, Wisconsin. It’s a legacy resort first opened in 1939 when Fred Pabst, of the Pabst Brewing family, began the winter recreation area with a handful of runs and two rope tows. Pine Mountain is a versatile ski area with two large terrain parks, a half pipe and numerous trails. The resort is also ideal for night skiing with 75 percent of the runs under lights. Pine Mountain is typically open until early April.
Granite Peak, Wisconsin
Skiing and boarding can run well into April at Granite Peak, making for a nice Midwest spring skiing season. Granite Peak’s ski area consolidates its operations to the Historic Chalet late in the season, where skiers can hang on the Historic Deck for a dose of Vitamin D and sunbathing after a morning of skiing. Afterward, head to Wausau, Wisconsin for dinner and lodging options. St. Patrick’s Day, the Pond Skim, and April Fools Festival are a few of Granite Peak’s fun events in the spring.
There’s some good spring skiing throughout March at Trollhaugen, about an hour north of Minnesota’s Twin Cities in Dresser, Wisconsin. Weekends throughout most of the season see live music at the Skol, while one of the most popular spring events is the Spring Slalom Series for kids and adults. Individual participants ski two runs a night with prizes for the top three finalists in each division the last night of racing.
Lutsen Mountains, Minnesota
March and April are arguably two of the best months at Lutsen Mountains for skiing and snowboarding. The softer snow is more forgiving for beginners, while pit stops on the mountain turn into mini beach days with lots of sun to soak up. The final weekend on Lutsen’s four mountains is known as the Mountain Meltdown, featuring live music on an outdoor stage from numerous bands, along with a beer garden and BBQ.