Season opener: Who’s lifts are spinning in the Midwest?

The 2018/2019 season is off and running across North America and you might already have big eyes for Colorado’s healthy November snow totals, but before you jet set to the Rockies, you can take your first, uneasy, fall turns at your local hill in the Midwest first.

Many of the Midwest’s finest areas are spinning the lifts, so go get your season pass printed out and buckle those boots down for the first time.

Riders pack the Jaxx chair at Welch Village in Spring, 2018.

From Lutsen to Hyland Hills, cold temperatures mean snow-covered pistes.

Here is a select list of ski areas and their open statuses across the Midwest as of Tuesday, Nov. 27:

Lutsen (Northern MN) – Open, weekends

Welch Village (Southern MN) – Open

Granite Peak (Wasau, WI) – Open

Trollhaugen (Western WI) – Open

Wilmot (Southern WI) – Closed, opens Nov. 30

Cascade (Central WI) – Closed, opens Nov. 30

Alpine Valley (Southern WI) – Open

Wild Mountain (Eastern MN) – Open, first in the Midwest, Oct. 21!

Spirit Mountain (Duluth, MN) – Open

Hyland Hills (Twin Cities, MN) – Open

Afton Alps (Eastern MN) – Open

Buck Hill (Twin Cities, MN) – Open

Powder Ridge (St. Cloud, MN) – Open, limited as of 11/27

Mount Bohemia (Upper Peninsula, MI) – Closed, opens Dec. 1

Big Powderhorn (Upper Peninsula, MI) – Closed, opens Dec. 15

Blackjack (Upper Peninsula, MI) – Open, weekends

Indianhead (Upper Peninsula, MI) – Closed, opens Dec. 14

Ski Brule (Upper Peninsula, MI) – Open

Boyne Mountain (Northern MI) – Open, weekends

Boyne Highlands (Northern MI) – Open, weekends

Of course conditions are largely manmade so far, which could limit the number of runs open at each of these hills. I would recommend giving your hill a call to make sure what’s open and what’s not. The Midwest ski hill website notoriously over exaggerates its openings, but having been that person on the other end of the phone at the ski hill office, they’ll give it to you straight.

Didn’t see your local hill? Send us a note at and we will add it to our list next time.

Happy skiing everyone and welcome to the new season with Midwest Ski Journal.

Anything else you’d like to see in the Midwest Ski Journal? Have a few photos from your most recent outing, Midwest or otherwise? Submit your photos, resort reviews, gear reviews, tips and suggestions to

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