Best known for all of our waterparks, Wisconsin Dells also happens to be a prime destination for winter recreation. The area boasts several excellent skiing and snowboarding areas, many of which also offer enjoyable activities such as snowshoeing and tubing. From Christmas Mountain Village to Devil’s Head, there’s a Wisconsin Dells winter resort for every level and every budget.
Located roughly a half hour from the Wisconsin Dells in Portage, Cascade Mountain offers several exciting slopes, as well as luxurious accommodations for those enjoying full weekend getaways. The ski and snowboard season typically opens on Black Friday — a relatively early opening aided, in part, by Cascade’s advanced snow-making technology. The length of the season varies depending on weather condition, but open slopes in late March are not unheard of.
At $48 for a flex pass, daily admission to Cascade Mountain is slightly more expensive than what’s commonly seen at competing locations across Wisconsin. However, the price per day decreases dramatically when visitors invest in two or three day passes. Visitors should also keep in mind that all skiers and snowboarders under the age of 12 are admitted for free, assuming they are accompanied by paid adults.
Cascade boasts slopes befitting of a wide range of ability levels, with beginners typically sticking to Daisy Run, Cottontail and Homeward Bound. Mid-level skiers and snowboarders can move on to the slightly more difficult Manitou and Badger Bowl runs, while the truly ambitious are encouraged to tackle Mogul Monster, Screamin’ Steven and Radical Rob. For the occasional attendee expressing a complete lack of interest in both skiing and snowboarding, there’s always the alternative option of tubing, which is located just past the Far Out beginner run.
Christmas Mountain Village
Right in the heart of Wisconsin Dells, Christmas Mountain Village offers an excellent resort alternative to the usual summer water slides. Winter activities include everything from snowshoeing and tubing to the usual skiing and snowboarding. The annual opening date varies depending on snow conditions, but typically takes place at the end of November. Activities such as snowshoeing may be further delayed if sufficient snow is lacking, but the resort’s snow machines ensure that skiing and snowboarding open, at the latest, by early December.
Visitors can enjoy excellent deals on lift tickets, although many make up for these discounts quickly through the purchase of overnight lodging. Visitors are encouraged to purchase advance tickets online, with pre-ordered day passes plus rentals often coming in for under $35 per person.
Christmas Mountain Village boasts over a dozen runs, which are equally split between beginner, intermediate and advanced slopes. Particularly popular among beginners are the gentle Hee Haw and Nob Hill runs, while intermediate visitors Gee Whizzz and Jim’s Jump. Chute and Comet double as advanced trails and terrain parks, where talented snowboarders can show off their hottest tricks.
Resting right on the shore of the lovely Lake Wisconsin, Devil’s Head is just over half an hour from Wisconsin Dells. Thanks to the proximity of some of Wisconsin’s most stunning scenery, skiers and snowboarders enjoy magnificent views, both from the slopes and their accommodations, should they choose to stay overnight.
Opening weekend takes place right at the end of November, with the season typically continuing into March, depending on weather conditions. Daily lift tickets cost $45, with special discounts available for children and seniors. Many locals take advantage of Devil’s Head’s Sunday pass, which allows for unlimited skiing on Sundays at a very reasonable price of $200 for the full season.
Devil’s Lake is home to a total of 30 ski runs, which are divided almost equally into beginner, intermediate and advanced slopes. With 300 acres of skiable terrain, the resort ranks the third largest in the Midwest. Beginners are encouraged to start with Pete’s Dragon and Cirque, both of which offer a nice combination of gentle slopes and lovely scenery. Intermediate skiers and snowboarders typically stick with Dante’s Inferno and Cauldron’s Cutoff, which, despite their seemingly threatening names, are not especially difficult. Those on the hunt for challenge will want to check out Cyclops and Serpent’s Escape, which offer plenty of opportunities for wiping out.