Where’s the Best Place to Go Skiing in Minnesota?
If you’re looking for the best place to go downhill skiing in Minnesota, look no further than Lutsen Mountains Ski Resort!
As Minnesota natives, we’ve grown up enjoying all of the various Minnesota ski resorts on several different occasions.
Absolutely no place can compare to the epic downhill skiing experience that you will have when visiting Lutsen Mountains!
Let’s take a look at why Lutsen Mountains Ski Resort in Lutsen, MN is the absolute best place to go skiing in Minnesota!
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Skiing in Minnesota: Lutsen Mountains Ski Resort
Lutsen Mountains Ski Resort is located in the Sawtooth Mountains of Lutsen, Minnesota.
This quaint skiing community is nestled along the famous North Shore Scenic Drive approximately 92 miles Northeast of Duluth, MN.
Lutsen is the Midwest USA’s largest ski resort and offers lift-serviced vertical rise more than double that of other regional resorts.
Along with the highest verticle in all of Minnesota, Lutsen offers a true ‘mountain experience’ as it spans over 1000 acres and is home to over 95 runs spread across 4 mountains.
There is definitely no shortage of fun, runs, and variety here at Lutsen!
Making it even more special is that Lutsen receives an average of 10 feet of natural snowfall accumulation each season (and also has snowmaking equipment) in order to maintain perfectly groomed slopes.
Distance to Lutsen Ski Resort from:
- Grand Marais, MN = 17 miles
- Duluth, MN = 92 miles
- Thunder Bay, Canada = 156 miles
- Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN = 246 miles
- Madison, WI = 320 miles
Lutsen Ski Runs and Terrain
Lutsen Ski Resort offers world-class scenery and terrain, as well as over 100 miles worth of panoramic views of Lake Superior from its mountain crests.
In fact, the spectacular views and epic ‘Up North’ scenery are some of the many reasons that Lutsen is my vote for the best skiing in Minnesota.
It is also an essential destination on any Minnesota bucket list!
The ski area itself consists of four hills, named Eagle, Ullr, Mystery, and Moose Mountains with runs ranging from ‘easy’ to ‘expert’.
Together, the mountains are serviced by 7 chairlifts, 1 surface lift, and 1 gondola, offering plenty of convenience and accessibility.
The only Midwest gondola in existence, Summit Express Gondola can fit up to 8 people per car and rises 1000 feet verticle making riding it an experience in itself!
Additional planning tip: Gondola access is included with a lift ticket purchase. Sightseeing gondola rides are available for non-skiing guests at a cost of $25/adult, $17/children, 5 years & under/free.
Here’s a breakdown of Lutsen Mountains Ski Resort mountain info:
- 21 primary runs
- 4 side-country runs
- 2 terrain parks
- 1 mogul run
- 2 junior race courses
- 2 chairlifts
- The gondola is easily accessible from multiple runs
- 7 primary runs
- 1 side-country run
- 1 chairlift, 1 surface lift
- 3 km cross-country ski trail ($15)
- The gondola is easily accessible from all runs
- 2 primary runs
- 8 side-country runs
- 1 terrain park
- 1 chairlift
- Largest of the 4 mountains
- 52 runs
- 1 mogul run
- 1 terrain park
- 3 double black diamond runs off the Northwest side
- 2 chairlifts
- 1 gondola
- Summit Chalet located at the top of the mountain
The Summit Chalet found at the top of Moose Mountain provides extensive indoor and outdoor seating. They serve lunch and appetizers and have a full bar service.
The 100-mile views from the outdoor wrap-around patio provide amazing photo-ops with your crew!
Lutsen Mountain Lift Tickets & Lutsen Ski Packages
Lutsen Mountains has several different seasonal ticket products available.
Lutsen Mountain lift ticket options include Season Passes, Flex (i.e. Early Bird and Family), Demand, and Window Tickets. Online purchases are encouraged for all options in order to minimize wait times and congestion at ticket windows.
With incentives for longer stays, Lutsen Ski Resort offers a plethora of Ski & Stay packages that make it an affordable getaway all season long.
Lutsen Ski & Stay Packages offer the best value with savings on both lift tickets and lodging.
Find dates, hours, and window rates here.
Additional planning tip: Ski and snowboard equipment is available at the onsite rental shop and lessons for both children and adults are conducted through the Lutsen Mountains Snow Sports Learning Center.
Lutsen Mountain Lodging
My top recommendation for Lutsen Mountain lodging is to stay at one of the following onsite locations that offer ski/in-ski/out access!
- My favorite, Caribou Highlands Lodge, offers lodge rooms, condos, townhomes, and luxury homes, along with an indoor heated pool, onsite bar and restaurant, and ski area shuttle.
- Likewise, Eagle Ridge Resort offers lodge rooms, studios, and condos that are located trailside, along with boasting of a year-round outdoor heated pool.
Nearby places to stay include:
Lutsen Area Attractions
As a premier Midwest winter getaway destination, there are several area attractions that may make Lutsen Mountains Ski Resort even more enticing to visit!
In addition to skiing, families can enjoy other off-the-slope activities like dog sledding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and possibly catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
In addition, many visitors pair a day on the slopes with an off-day of exploring the beautiful port city of Duluth, MN (90 minutes away).
Included in the many things to do in Duluth is a visit to the indoor, open year-round, Great Lakes Aquarium and Glensheen Mansion!
Take a look at our guides (+tips for visiting) for both Great Lakes Aquarium and Glensheen Mansion here!
Have you ever been downhill skiing in Minnesota? If so, what is your favorite place to go skiing?Jen
If you enjoyed our article on The Best Place to Go Skiing in Minnesota, click here to check out our related posts:
Plan a visit to Minnesota’s North Shore:
- Must-See Stops on Minnesota’s North Shore Scenic Drive
- 9 Best Things to do in Grand Marais, MN
- Minnesota Bucket List: 13 Absolute Best Things to do
Plan a visit to Duluth, Minnesota:
- 3-Day Duluth Family Vacation Itinerary + Tips for Your Visit
- 11 Free Things to do in Duluth, MN This Summer
- Glensheen Mansion Tours: A Duluth Legacy!
- 7 Reasons to Visit Duluth’s Great Lakes Aquarium
- 9 Best Restaurants in Canal Park, Duluth
*All photos courtesy of Lutsen Mountains | Think Big Media PR
*Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to help with your travel planning. Find exclusive travel discounts, and book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*
Tonya Nicole Denmark
I never really think of MN for skiing. Of course, I don’t ski much, but I’m ready to go hang out in these lodges!
Yes, Minnesota has some great skiing, but none as great at Lutsen 🙂 Thanks for reading!!
Who knew that Minnesota had a ski resort and set of mountains this gorgeous?! I’m not a skier myself, but I could see myself enjoying this resort for the natural views alone.
Yes, the scenery and views of the Great Lake Superior are an experience in themselves 🙂 Thanks for reading!
I would love to ride the gondola and just do this as a sight seeing tour! I had never heard of the Sawtooth mountains before!
The Lutsen gondola is very popular to ride in the summer and fall too! I’ve ridden it as a spectator in the winter and hung out in the upper chalet while my kids have skied too 🙂
I grew up skiing in Minnesota, but we never went as far north as Lutsen, although I heard a lot about it! I need to get back skiing! It’s been way too long!
Thanks for reading! Yes, it is very far up north, but totally worth it once you’re there 🙂