Chicago Area Ski Excursions

midwest skiing
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With all this snow coming down, you may be starting to get the itch to get out and play. But it’s not quite the same in the city, where more often than not it turns to a wet grey mush before you can even appreciate it. So it’s time to get out of the city and ski! Or snowboard, or wear cute snow gear and sit in a lodge drinking spiked hot chocolate. Whatever your preference, here is a list of the nearest and best ski resorts to Chicago. They’re no Aspen or Vail, but you’ll get your fix without the pricetag of a trip to the Rockies.

Mountain: Alpine Valley Ski Resort
Location: East Troy, WI
Time from Chicago: About two hours
Snow Bunny Report: The only resort in the Midwest with two high-speed quads and four wonder carpets. Longest run is 2500 feet. Specials are available if staying at the resort. Snow machines make a little extra if the weather is lacking.
Price: $32 for half (7 hour) day, $42 for full day. Holiday prices: $42 for half, $52 for full.
Equipment rental available.

Mountain: Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
Time from Chicago: About an hour and a half
Snow Bunny Report: Longest run 1/4 mile. Not the biggest resort, but its proximity to Lake Geneva can’t be beat.
Price: Friday – Monday: $35 for half day ($26 for children), $47 for full day ($38 for children). Tuesday-Thursday: $28.
Equipment rental available.

Mountain: Sundown Mountain Resort
Location: Dubuque, IA
Time from Chicago: About 3.5 hours
Snow Bunny Report: The only Midwest recipient of the National Ski Areas Association award of excellence. Sundown’s proximity to the Mississippi River makes for some better hills than most. They also claim to be a very green resort —
over 130 of their energy-saving snow guns use a costly additive instead of air compressors to manufacture snow that grooms better and resists icing. We’ll take their word for it.
Price: Weekends & Holidays: $40, Weekdays: $33, After 4pm: $28
Equipment rental available.

Mountain: Chestnut Mountain
Location: Galena, IL
Time from Chicago: About 3 hours
Snow Bunny Report: Nineteen runs of all levels and lots of high speed lifts. Being in the cute, historic resort town of Galena is a bonus as well.
Price: Weekends & Holidays: $47, Weekdays: $40, After 4pm: $35
Equipment rental available.

Mountain: Cascade Mountain
Location: Portage, WI
Time from Chicago: About 2.5 hours
Snow Bunny Report: 460-foot ski hill offers 34 trails, four terrain parks and two halfpipes. Great skiing for the more advanced skier, their expert runs are actually challenging.
Price: 8 Hour ticket: $45, Full day: $49, Closing ticket: $25, 2-day ticket: $75
Equipment rental available.

Tessa McLean

About Tessa McLean

There is just something about that feeling when you have been away — maybe for a weekend, a month, 6 months — and you’re driving into Chicago and that first glimpse of the city skyline appears. It just always makes me smile.

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