Top 5 places to ski in the Twin Cities


Jenny Sogin

The view of some of the main hills at Wild Mountain from the chalet.

Jenny Sogin, The Rubicon Editor

It’s winter time in Minnesota, and that means lots of snow. While this abundance of snow may make some people lock their doors and stay inside, others want to take full advantage of it. There are many ski and snowboarding parks in and around the Twin Cities that offer great skiing, good lessons, and, of course, warm hot chocolate. Here are some of the best places to go.

1) Afton Alps:

Located in the St. Croix River Valley just outside the Twin Cities, Afton Alps is a favorite destination for families. The resort has a total of 48 ski and snowboard trails ranging from beginner to advanced levels, as well as 4 terrain parks for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. The park also offers lessons for kids 6 and under, youth, teens, and adults, and two Alpine Skiing teams: USSA (advanced) and ARC (recreational). Equipment rental is available. Ticket prices are $53 Mon-Thurs, and $58 Fri-Sun. The park is open from 9:30 am – 9:30 pm.

2) Wild Mountain

Located in Taylors Falls a little less than an hour outside of the Twin Cities, Wild Mountain is another family favorite. Wild Mountain offers a total of 26 runs ranging from beginner to advanced levels, 4 terrain parks, lesson programs, and single lessons for all ages. They also offer alpine racing and competition skiing for kids, teens, and adults. Equipment rental is available. Ticket prices are $51 Mon-Sun. The hours are 10:00 am – 9:00 pm Mon – Thurs, 9:30 am – 10:00 pm Saturday, and 9:30 am – 9:30 pm Sunday.

3) Buck Hill

Located in Burnsville right off of I-35 W, Buck Hill is about half an hour away from St. Paul Academy. This ski and snowboard area is more geared towards beginner skiers, with only 16 runs, only one of which is rated as a black diamond (the most difficult level). Buck Hill offers lessons to kids, teens, and adults, and also offers a recreational ski team and an advanced club ski team. For those who aren’t in the mood to ski and snowboard, Buck Hill also has a tubing park. Buck Hill has also extended their skiing season to year-round with the release of artificial snow. The park is open 10:00 am – 9:00 pm Mon-Fri, 10:00 am – 10:00 pm Fri, and 9:00 am – 10:00 pm Sat-Sun. Tickets cost $32 during the week and $45 on the weekends.

4) Welch Village

Located in Welch, MN (about an hour drive away from the Twin Cities), Welch Village is a great ski resort for skiers of all levels. They have a total of 60 runs ranging from easy greens, to difficult blacks (which include a backside ski bowl for the really advanced skiers). Welch Village offers ski lessons for kids to adults, a recreational alpine ski team, and a competitive alpine ski team. They also have a brand new terrain park featuring a long flat box, an elbow rail, and pipe rails. Welch Village is open 10:00 am – 9:00 pm Mon-Thurs, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm Fri-Sat, and 9:00 am – 9:00 pm Sun. Tickets cost $49 Mon-Thurs, and $56 Fri-Sun.

5) Hyland Hills Ski and Snowboard Area

Located in Bloomington, MN, Hyland Hills Ski and Snowboard Area is a small park perfect for beginners learning to ski and racers looking for a recreational club to race for. They have a recently renovated chalet and are known as some of the best snow groomers in Minnesota. They have nine total runs and two terrain parks. They also offer lessons for kids to adults, as well as a great recreational alpine ski club. Hyland Hills is open from 9:30 am – 9:00 pm Mon-Fri, and 9:00 am – 9:00 pm Sat-Sun. Tickets cost $34.50 all week.