9 Best Ski Resorts in Wisconsin for Beginners

9 Best Ski Resorts in Wisconsin for Beginners

Are you ready to enjoy the snowy slopes in Wisconsin? If you’re a beginner skier, you might be wondering where to start.

But the good news is Wisconsin has plenty of options for novice skiers to hit the slopes and improve their skills while still having fun.

With great snow schools, gentle beginner slopes, and experienced instructors, most ski resorts in Wisconsin are perfect even for those starting on their skiing and snowboarding journey.

Each ski resort offers unique experiences, with varying prices and special deals. If you’re on a budget, be sure to check out resorts offering night skiing. It’s a fun adventure under the stars and usually more affordable.

In this article, we’ve put together a list of the most amazing ski resorts in Wisconsin that are perfect for beginners.

9 Best Wisconsin Ski Resorts for Beginners

#1. Cascade Mountain

Cascade Mountain
  • Vertical Drop: 450 feet
  • Skiable Terrain: 176 acres
  • Ski Lifts: 12

Nestled in the vicinity of the charming town of Portage, Wisconsin Dells, Cascade Mountain is the second-highest ski resort in the state.

This resort is enveloped with top-notch amenities and offers a breathtaking vertical drop of 450 feet, cascading down through 47 winding trails among the trees.

It’s a true haven for skiers seeking an adrenaline rush. The resort houses 11 impeccable lifts, allowing visitors to swiftly get back up to the top for more downhill adventures.

In the ski season 2022/23, Cascade Mountain is all set to celebrate its 60th anniversary with a plethora of events lined up throughout the season.

Among the many delights that await you, the most notable one is the replacement of the old Mogul Monster triple chairlift with a new fixed-grip quad chair, expected to enhance the uphill capacity and alleviate the current congestion at the base.

Besides the delightful ski runs, Cascade Mountain has also invested significantly in their multiple terrain parks, which are a paradise for thrill-seekers.

The parks boast an array of humps, jumps, rails, jibs, and many more unconventional features dreamed up by freestyle skiers and riders.

For those who are not into skiing or boarding or have young children in tow, Cascade Mountain offers a tube park where visitors can ride the chute to the bottom – almost 900 feet below – and then effortlessly ride back up on the lift for another exhilarating round.

The ticket price includes the use of the tubes.

In case you wish to extend your day and maximize skiing, Cascade Mountain offers night skiing, allowing visitors to relish the excitement of the slopes even after work hours.

Where To Stay

If you’re looking for accommodation options, the Best Western Resort Hotel & Conference Center Portage has received rave reviews from satisfied guests and is located a short distance away.

Alternatively, the charming Airbnb apartment in Portage is in close proximity to the Dells and Cascade Mountain, making it a convenient option for visitors.

#2. Little Switzerland – Slinger

Little Switzerland – Slinger
  • Vertical Drop: 200 feet
  • Skiable Terrain: 50 acres
  • Ski Lifts: 7

Located in the picturesque expanse of Little Switzerland, this enchanting ski resort covers 50 acres of skiable land and boasts 18 runs and three terrain parks.

From beginners to experts, Little Switzerland caters to skiers of all levels, with several practice areas, easy runs, and a magic carpet ski lift designed to facilitate even the most novice skiers.

The lift ticket costs a flat $55 for adults, regardless of the day or season, making it an affordable option for everyone.

Although there are no on-site accommodation facilities, the resort’s lodge offers sumptuous food and drinks at its full bar. A game room also awaits the kids while the adults catch their breath!

Little Switzerland has snowmaking facilities across the entire mountain, ensuring that the 18 named runs and three terrain parks are blanketed with fresh snow throughout the winter season.

The resort is conveniently located just 6 miles from the town of Hartford, where you can explore the fascinating Wisconsin Automotive Museum.

Hiking in Pike Lake and snowshoeing on several trails in the Kettle Moraine State Forest are also popular winter activities, which snow enthusiasts can enjoy in the region.

Where To Stay

If you’re looking for accommodation options, check out the Westphal Mansion Inn Bed & Breakfast or the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites Hartford for a charming and comfortable stay.

The base lodge is perfect for hanging out, sharing skiing stories, and relaxing. The large picture windows offer a cozy vantage point to watch the skiers descend while warming up inside.

The spacious outdoor patio area is the ideal spot to bask in the warm sunshine in the spring.

Other nearby accommodation options include the Comfort Inn & Suites Jackson – West Bend and the Hampton Inn & Suites West Bend, both just a short drive from Slinger.

The Aprés House is situated right next to the slopes, while the Founders House is a convenient driving distance from the slopes.

#3. Nordic Mountain – Wild Rose

Nordic Mountain – Wild Rose
  • Vertical Drop: 866 feet
  • Skiable Terrain: 60 acres
  • Ski Lifts: 7

Situated in the heart of southeastern Wisconsin’s Wild Rose village, Nordic Mountain Resort boasts a whopping 18 runs spanning over 60 acres, perfect for skiers of all levels.

From beginners to advanced skiers, everyone can have a great time exploring the slopes. The resort also features three terrain parks and a snow tubing area to add to the fun.

A day pass for an adult comes at an affordable price of $42, with special offers for beginners, like a 6-hour pass for the beginner area that costs just $15.

The resort also provides lessons and affordable equipment rental options, so you can hit the slopes with ease and style. Consider renting a cabin next to the resort for a more comfortable stay.

Wisconsin is known for its beautiful and romantic cabins, and the area surrounding Nordic Mountain has some of the best resorts in northern Wisconsin.

If you’re up for more adventure, the White River Wildlife Area is perfect for snowmobiling, hiking, and off-trail cross-country skiing.

Where To Stay

Coming down to accommodation options, renting a scenic cabin is a must to truly enjoy the beauty of the area.

The North Country Cottage and the stunning log cabin available on Airbnb are both excellent options for a cozy hideaway in the woods.

#4. Christie Mountain – Bruce

Christie Mountain – Bruce
  • Vertical Drop: 350 feet
  • Skiable Terrain: 35 acres
  • Ski Lifts: 5

With only 35 acres of land, it’s hard to imagine that Christie Mountain in the Midwest could pack in so much excitement.

But with 30 runs that make the most of the 350 ft drop, this skiing destination is a force to be reckoned with. The ski hill has an array of beginner-friendly slopes for new skiers.

Expert skiers will delight in the six double black diamond runs trails, while families will find plenty of options to suit all levels.

The terrain park and snow tubing area add extra thrills to the mix, and adult lift ticket rates are very reasonable, ranging from $25 to $40.

It’s no wonder Christie Mountain is widely considered one of the best skiing resorts in the region.

For those who want to extend their stay here, Christie Mountain offers on-site accommodation that promises a peaceful and restful experience.

The Flaming Torch Lodge on Airbnb has all the cozy vibes you could ask for, while the North Country Cottage provides a great hideaway in the woods.

Where To Stay

If you’re looking for more city comforts and activities, the town of Eau Claire is just over 60 miles south of Christie Mountain.

But why leave this gorgeous area when you can rent a scenic cabin and make the most of your time in nature? The stunning log cabin on Airbnb has everything you need for a comfortable and unforgettable stay.

#5. Devil’s Head Resort

Devil's Head Resort
  • Vertical Drop: 500 feet
  • Skiable Terrain: 270 acres
  • Ski Lifts: 6

For skiers who crave long runs and varied terrain, Devil’s Head Ski Resort is a must-visit.

Located in the scenic Baraboo Bluffs, Devil’s Head boasts a relatively high drop (500 ft) and 30 trails spread over 270 acres of skiable terrain, making it the third-largest ski area in the state.

Moreover, there are 2 large terrain parks, a 3.5-mile cross-country trail, and a beginner practice zone, making Devil’s Head one of the coolest things to do in Wisconsin Dells.

Adult day passes fall between $55 and $66, based on the day of the week. The resort also offers on-site accommodations, including lodges, rooms, and condos available to rent.

For those looking for other sports in the resort, Devil’s Lake State Park and Parfrey’s Glen State Natural region offer beautiful hiking opportunities. And if you’re up for a visit to the close by Wisconsin Dells, the area is popular for its multiple theme parks and waterparks.

Where To Stay

Accommodation options abound, with the Ringling House Bed & Breakfast garnering top reviews and the Inn at Wawanissee Point offering a hot tub.

Cabin lovers will find themselves in heaven with options like the Quirky Log Cabin or the gorgeous contemporary home on a quiet wooded lot.

So book your stay and get ready for an unforgettable Wisconsin adventure.

#6. Whitecap Mountains Resort

Whitecap Mountains Resort
  1. Vertical Drop: 400 feet
  2. Skiable Terrain: 164 acres
  3. Ski Lifts: 5

Looking to escape the crowds and indulge in a serene winter wonderland? The Whitecap Resort got you covered. It’s a hidden gem on the Penokee Range in the Midwest.

Boasting an impressive 200 inches of snow annually, which is four to five times more than the state average, Whitecap Mountains has 43 named trails and five chairlifts spread over 400 feet of vertical drop and 164 acres of skiable terrain.

Notably, the resort offers a relatively high proportion of advanced and expert trails, including double black diamonds, which is not a common sight in Wisconsin.

However, it also offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced options to cater to all skill levels. Whitecap Resort is ideally situated to catch the lake effect snow, which enhances the snowfall totals to an average of 16 feet, a skier’s paradise.

In addition to skiing, visitors can indulge in other winter sports, such as snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice skating.

The Weber Lake offers 11 miles of cross-country skiing on the Uller Trails, providing a serene and picturesque environment.

Where To Stay

Whitecap Mountains also provides on-site dining and accommodations, including rental homes and rooms, for a stress-free experience. An adult day pass costs $65, regardless of the season or day of the week.

If you’re looking for accommodations, check out the stunning holiday chalet nestled right next to Whitecap Mountain, the remote mountain cabin with wonderful lake views, or the gorgeous condo on Whitecap Mountain that boasts excellent reviews.

#7. Mt Ashwabay – Bayfield

Mt Ashwabay – Bayfield
  • Vertical Drop: 317 feet
  • Skiable Terrain: 65 acres
  • Ski Lifts: 2

If you’re looking for an intimate getaway on the slopes, look no further as the Mt Ashwabay is a romantic ski destination. Offering 65 acres of breathtaking natural terrain, this ski resort boasts 11 trails that cater to all skill levels.

The terrain park is perfect for those new to skiing or snowboarding, with small features to help beginners build confidence. And the best part?

You won’t break the bank – an adult lift pass is only $26 for the whole day! But snowboarding and skiing aren’t the only things on offer.

The winter pastime area has activities for everyone, including Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, snow tubing, dog trails, and fat-tire biking trails.

But if you’re still looking for more, the Bayfield area has got you covered. Take a trip to the famous Ice Caves in the Apostle Islands, and go dog sledding or cross-country skiing.

And don’t forget to experience the notable Lake Superior Ice Road to Madeline Island when conditions are right!

Where To Stay

When it’s time to rest up, there are plenty of accommodation options. The Pinehurst Inn Bed & Breakfast is perfect for a luxurious stay, while the Old Rittenhouse Inn is a great mid-range option.

And for those who love a cozy cabin, check out the Madeline Island cabin located right on the lakeshore.

#8. Wilmot Mountain – Kenosha County

Wilmot Mountain – Kenosha County
  • Vertical Drop: 230 feet
  • Skiable Terrain: 120 acres
  • Ski Lifts: 12

Searching for a quick ski trip from Chicago or Milwaukee? Look no further since the Wilmot Mountain is just an hour away from both cities.

With a manageable 230 ft vertical drop, Wilmot Mountain is a fantastic choice for beginners.

But that’s not all; with 25 different trails spread over 120 acres, there’s plenty to keep even the most experienced skiers and snowboarders entertained. This makes it a great destination for those traveling as group with mixed skill levels.

In 2016, Wilmot Mountain was purchased by Vail Resorts and underwent a massive renovation, including the addition of three new quad chairlifts, a high-speed double rope tow, and two conveyors. So, you can expect to have a lot of fun here.

Wilmot Mountain has four terrain parks to choose from for those looking to try their hand at freestyle skiing and riding, catering to all ability levels.

Not a skier? No problem – Wilmot Mountain also has a tubing area with 33 lanes, perfect for non-skiers to get in on the fun.

Accommodations are plentiful, with luxury resorts in Antioch and Kenosha within easy reach. Kenosha itself offers plenty of year-round attractions, from museums to the famous Mars Cheese Castle.

Families will love America’s Action Territory Family Fun Park, complete with go-karts and mini-golf. And if you’re looking for even more to do, don’t forget about Milwaukee’s winter attractions.

Where To Stay

If you’re looking for a budget option close to Wilmot Mountain, the Baymont Inn & Suites Richmond is a great choice. There’s a dreamy lakehouse nearby for those who want a lakefront view.

Don’t miss out on a trip to Wilmot Mountain – with so much to do, it’s the perfect destination for a solo vacation, family holiday or even a romantic weekend getaway.

#9. Tyrol Basin Ski Resort – Mount Horeb

Tyrol Basin Ski Resort – Mount Horeb
  • Vertical Drop: 300 feet
  • Skiable Terrain: 32 acres
  • Ski Lifts: 5

If you’re looking for a ski resort with varied terrain and a great atmosphere, Tyrol Basin is an excellent option.

With 18 trails ranging in difficulty from beginner skiers to experts, this resort offers something for every skill level.

The glades make Tyrol Basin stand out from other ski hills in Wisconsin, which offer fun downhill runs with secret stashes of untracked snow.

Additionally, the resort has 100% snowmaking coverage, ensuring the best of the white stuff is always on offer.

For advanced and expert skiers, the terrain parks and runs/trails at Tyrol Basin are amazingly challenging, even though it is fairly short.

And for night owls, Tyrol Basin offers a night skiing session starting from 6.30 pm to 11 pm, basically 2 hours past the normal closing time.

Where To Stay

Tyrol Basin is highly affordable, with an adult weekday pass costing only $17. While there are no on-site accommodations, the resort’s website recommends nearby hotels and cozy Airbnb options.

So, if you’re looking for a fun and affordable ski resort near Madison, be sure to check out Tyrol Basin. With its great terrain, snowmaking, and fun atmosphere, it’s sure to be a hit with skiers of all levels.

Why Choose Wisconsin Ski Resorts as a Beginner?

Why Choose Wisconsin Ski Resorts as a Beginner

Wisconsin is home to excellent ski resorts that offer a unique experience for novice skiers and snowboarders. Regardless of the type of experience you are looking for, you can be sure of finding a great Wisconsin ski area that matches your needs.

Most of these ski resorts have incredible ski schools where beginner and intermediate skiers can learn the various snow sports and polish their skills.

While some of the resorts here don’t have a high elevation, like the Rocky Mountains, they incorporate extensive snowmaking systems to ensure reliable snow conditions for their guests.



Q: How Many Days Should a Beginner Ski?

A: If you want to learn to ski, you should give yourself about 5 to 7 days. After skiing for about a week, you’ll gain confidence in the snow and learn the basic skills.

Once you learn the basics, about 3 to 4 days a week will be enough to let you build experience while still having fun.

Q: What is the Best Place to Ski for Beginner Skiers?

A: Located amidst the snow-capped peaks, Wilmot Mountain ski is one of the friendly ski resorts for beginner skiers. The area offers a gentle 230 ft vertical drop, making it an ideal destination for those just getting started.

Q: Does Granite Peak Offer Good Beginner Trails?

A: Yes. Being the biggest ski resort in Wisconsin, Granite Peak offers just about anything from gentle beginner trails to heart-pumping double black diamond expert runs. It boasts the most extensive vertical drop in all of Wisconsin, promising an unforgettable adventure for all ski enthusiasts.

Other beginner-friendly ski resorts in Wisconsin to try include Christmas Mountain, Alpine Valley Resort, and Grand Geneva Resort.

Q: Where to Get The Best Night Skiing in Wisconsin Ski Resorts?

A. For the ultimate nighttime skiing experience, Tyrol Basin ski resort has got you covered with their Friday special Great Nite” “Late Nite.

Satisfy your urge for adventure and hit the slopes under the stars with a night skiing session that runs from 6:30 pm to 11 pm, two hours past the regular closing time.

Wrap Up

Wrap Up

Wisconsin is undoubtedly a winter wonderland that offers more than just exhilarating downhill skiing and snowboarding.

There is something for everyone, with a plethora of winter activities, including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice skating, ice fishing, and more.

Whether you are seeking an adrenaline-packed adventure or a relaxing getaway amidst the snow-covered landscape, Wisconsin has got you covered.

So why not pack your bags and head to Wisconsin for an unforgettable winter getaway that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime!

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Picture of Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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