Ski Resorts in South Minnesota

Ski Resorts in South Minnesota
Minnesota might not have the jaw dropping mountains and vertical drop of ski areas in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, but the state has a number of places to ski, including several within a half hour's drive of major cities like St. Paul and Minneapolis. Many of the ski areas in southern Minnesota have night skiing and offer snowmaking on all their trails to ensure adequate coverage.

Buck Hill

With only a 300 foot vertical drop, Buck Hill would probably be just another small ski area not worth much attention, except for World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn, who before moving to Vail as a teenager to continue her training, learned to ski and race at Buck Hill. Several other former Olympian skiers, including Kristina Koznick and Tasha Nelson, got their start at Buck Hill also. The Buck Hill Ski Racing Club continues to churn out top racers. It also has an adult racer's program. Buck Hill has eight lifts, two tubing lifts, and 16 trails, of which 40 percent are beginner, 40 percent intermediate, and 20 percent expert. Buck Hill also offers night skiing every day.

Buck Hill
15400 Buck Hill Road
Burnsville, MN 55306
(952) 435-7174
skibuck.com

Mount Kato Ski Area

Mount Kato Ski Area is the southernmost ski area in Minnesota, and, like Buck Hill, is small, with eight lifts and 19 trails, and a terrain park. The vertical drop is 240 feet. Terrain breaks down as 24 percent beginner, 59 percent intermediate, and 17 percent expert. Mount Kato has snow-making coverage on the whole mountain, has night skiing every day but Wednesday, and is open from December to March.

Mount Kato Ski Area
20461 Hwy 66
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 625-3363
mountkato.com

Afton Alps Recreation Area

Afton Alps Recreation Area is located near Hastings in Afton State Park, just southeast of St. Paul. With 18 chairlifts and 48 trails, it is one of the largest ski areas in Minnesota. Afton is generally open from mid-November to March and has night skiing every day. Afton hosts the Midwest Race League for budding racers to get practice and hone their skills. The area has 100 percent snowmaking coverage, a 350 foot vertical drop, and 20 percent beginner terrain, 60 percent intermediate terrain, and 20 percent expert terrain.

Afton Alps Recreation Area
6600 Peller Ave. South
Hastings, MN 55033-9474
(651) 436-5245
aftonalps.com

Article Written By Candace Horgan

Candace Horgan has worked as a freelance journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Denver Post" and "Mix." Horgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history.

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