With December just a couple of days away, winter activity enthusiasts have started getting excited about returning to their favorite activities. With Minnesota and Wisconsin seeing a generally warmer-than-normal November, there haven't been many days for making snow or ice.

Many years in recent memory have seen (whether natural or manmade) snow on the slopes for skiers and snowboarders to get out by Thanksgiving. While that date came and went without much in the way of opportunities to hit the hills, it wasn't long after that before the first few ski areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin opened for the 2023-2024 season!

While some ski areas further north are still a few days away from opening, two Duluth area skiing and snowboarding destinations were among a handful around the region that were able to open before the end of the Thanksgiving weekend.

Duluth's Spirit Mountain and Superior's Mont du Lac resorts welcomed people to the slopes for the first time of the season on Sunday, November 26. Crews at both destinations had been taking advantage of the recent cold weather to make snow to be able to open to visitors for the end of the weekend.

Photo by Federico Persiani on Unsplash
Photo by Federico Persiani on Unsplash
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Spirit Mountain opened with limited terrain for what they called a "soft opening" for the season and Mont du Lac similarly gently welcomed the season with a free skiing and snowboarding day on Sunday. While conditions are not quite yet in mid-season form, both destinations are hoping a touch of warmer weather later this week (in the mid-30s) won't hinder their efforts to continue adding to the snow base and continue to expand their early-season offerings.

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When are other Minnesota & Wisconsin ski & snowboarding areas opening?

Photo by David Becker on Unsplash
Photo by David Becker on Unsplash
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Here's a rundown of some of the popular slopes around the region that have either opened or announced an opening date:

Now Open

  • Mont du Lac (Superior, WI): Open for the season - details here
  • Spirit Mountain (Duluth, MN): Open for the season with limited terrain - details here
  • Powder Ridge (Kimball, MN): Open to season pass holders - details here
  • Wild Mountain (Taylors Falls, MN): Open daily for the season - details here
  • Trollhaugen Ski Area (Dresser, WI): Open for the season - details here
  • Andes Tower (Kensington, MN): Open for the season - details here

Opening Soon

  • Afton Alps (Hastings, MN): November 29 - details here
  • Lutsen Mountains (Lutsen, MN): December 1 (tentative) - details here
  • Granite Peak Ski Area (Wausau, WI): December 1 - details here
  • Giants Ridge (Biwabik, MN): December 2 (tentative) - details here
  • Christie Mountain (Bruce, WI): December 8 (tentative) - details here
  • Mt Ashwabay Ski and Recreation Area (Bayfield, WI): December 16 (tentative) - details here
  • Chester Bowl (Duluth, MN): December 16 (tentative) - details here

Many of the remaining ski areas across the region have yet to share official opening dates, but that information is likely to be coming soon!

Places To Rent Skis, Snowboards & Snowshoes In Duluth

Gallery Credit: Lauren Wells

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