Skiing and Snowboarding Rock in Wisconsin

By Brian E. Clark

Snowboarders and skiers from throughout the country are dreaming of cold temperatures, big snowstorms, doing tricks off terrain features and carving turns down freshly groomed slopes.

And those snow lovers are in luck.

Stretching from the Illinois border in the south to the bluffs above the Mississippi in the west to the border of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula border in the north, Wisconsin has more resorts than you can shake a stick at.

Arguably the biggest news for Badger State skiers and snowboarders in 2010 is the $1.5 million Glacial Express quad chairlift installed over the summer in front of the main lodge at Devil’s Head Resort in the Baraboo Hills.

The quad replaces a slower, double chair and General Manager Joe Vittengl says it should help eliminate a bottleneck and move more skiers and snowboarders up the Cyclops hill on busy weekends and holidays.

Devil’s Head also raised the off-ramp ramp at the top of the quad by 10 feet to make unloading easier, beefed up its rental fleet of skis and snowboards and renovated the Devil’s Den sports bar, adding six big plasma flat screen TVs.

Cascade Mountain, outside of Portage, continues to have one of the best bargains around with skiers 12 and under skiing free with a parent.

“We do this because we know that costs can be a barrier for kids to start skiing and snowboarding,” said Randy Axelson, general manager at Cascade. “But we also know that when they do get into it, they want to come back to the place they learned.”

Further north, Wausau’s Granite Peak resort is celebrating its 13th anniversary under the ownership of Charles Skinner. From 2000 to 2010, he invested more than $15 million to turn Granite Peak into one of the best ski and snowboard areas in the Midwest.

Under Skinner, terrain at the former Rib Mountain ski area has tripled, a high-speed six-person lift was installed and half a dozen other lifts were replaced. In addition, a new chalet was built, the historic chalet was restored and other significant improvements were made.

Here’s a rundown on what the state has to offer for downhill skiers and snowboarders.

Alpine Valley Resort
Location: Elkhorn
Vertical: 388
Lifts: Six
Terrain park: Yes   
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: No

Camp 10 
Location: Rhinelander
Vertical: 250
Lifts: Four
Terrain park: Yes  
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: No

Cascade Mountain 
Location: Portage
Vertical: 460
Lifts: 10
Terrain park: Yes
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: No

Christie Mountain
Location: Bruce, 55 miles north of Eau Claire
Vertical: 350
Lifts:  6
Terrain park: Yes
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: No

Christmas Mountain
Location: Wisconsin Dells  
Vertical: 250
Lifts:  Five
Terrain park: Yes
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: No

Devil’s Head
Location:  Near Baraboo
Vertical: 500 feet.
Lifts: 10 
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing: Yes
Terrain park: Yes
Cross country: 3.5 mile loop

Grand Geneva
Location: Lake Geneva
Vertical:  211
Lifts: Five
Terrain park: Yes 
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: Yes

Granite Peak
Location: Wausau
Vertical: 700 feet
Lifts: Seven  
Snowmaking: 100 percent
Terrain park: yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: No

Hidden Valley
Location: Maribel
Vertical: 250 feet
Lifts: Five
Terrain park: yes
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing:  Yes
Cross country: No

Highlands of Olympia 

Location: Oconomowoc
Vertical: 205
Lifts: Three
Terrain park: Yes
Lift tickets:  $25 adult weekends; $13, juniors 10 and under weekends.  
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: No

Kettlebowl Ski Area
Location: Antigo
Vertical: 200
Lifts: One
Terrain park: Yes  
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: Yes

Keyes Peak
Location: Florence
Vertical: 250
Lifts: Three
Terrain park: Yes
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: Yes

Mount La Crosse  
Location: La Crosse
Vertical: 516
Lifts: Four
Terrain park: Yes
Snowmaking: yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: No

Mount Ashwabay
Location: Bayfield
Vertical: 317
Lifts: Two
Terrain park: Yes 
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: Yes

Navarino Slopes
Location: Navarino, near Green Bay
Vertical: 200 feet
Lifts: Three
Terrain park: Yes 
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: No

Nordic Mountain
Location: Mount Morris, near Wautoma
Vertical: 265
Lifts: Six
Terrain park: Yes
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: Yes

Ski Sunburst 
Location: Kewaskum
Vertical: 214
Lifts: Seven
Terrain park: Yes 
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: No

Trollhaugen
Location: Dresser, northeast of the Twin Cities
Vertical: 280
Lifts: Four
Terrain park: Yes 
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: Yes

Tyrol Basin
Location: Four miles from Mount Horeb 
Vertical: 300 feet
Lifts: Six   
Snowmaking: 100 percent.
Terrain park: yes
Night skiing: Yes.
Cross country: No.

Whitecap Mountain
Location: Upson, south of Ironwood, Mich.
Vertical: 400
Lifts: Five
Terrain park: Yes
Snowmaking: Yes
Night skiing: No
Cross country: No

Wilmot Mountain
Location: Wilmot
Vertical: 230
Lifts: Eight
Terrain park: Yes    
Snowmaking: yes
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country: No

This entry was posted in Things to Do, Outdoor Fun, Winter Activities, Downhill Skiing/Snowboarding/Snow Tubing and tagged Features and Profiles