The Lutsen Mountains, near the scenic shores of Northern Minnesota's Lake Superior, boast terrain that's perfect for skiing. The vision of George Nelson, a World War II veteran and grandson of innkeepers, led to the creation of the Lutsen Ski Resort. For more than 50 years, this winter sports haven and family-run ski area has been one of the biggest and most popular in the Upper Midwest. Today, you'll find state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment, 92 runs spread over four mountains, and seemingly endless ways to enjoy the great outdoors.
While southern Minnesota has its share of options, including Welch Village and Afton Alps in the suburban Twin Cities, heading up north will bring you to higher mountains, more snow, and a longer season. The Lutsen Ski Resort receives an average of 9.5 feet of snow (114 inches) between November and April. If, for some reason, Mother Nature is not cooperating, the snowmaking equipment will take over, covering 231 of the total 1,000 skiable acres.
Boasting one of the highest vertical rises in the region at 1,088 feet, the Lutsen Mountains resort both accommodates beginners and challenges experts. The trails are divided four ways: 10 percent are designed for experts, while 25 percent of the runs are rated most difficult. Nearly half are designated more difficult, while the remaining 18 percent are for beginners. The longest run is two miles. By comparison, Giants Ridge, another Minnesota winter sports resort, has 320 skiable acres and a total vertical drop of 474 feet. The Lutsen ski resort is known and loved for its diverse terrain, and wide-opened cruising trails. The resort is also remarkable as the home of the only gondola in the regon.
Besides skiing, you'll find many other things to do on and around the Lusten Mountains. The resort also is home to a terrain park where a half pipe, rails, and other challenges await snowboarders. The trails that twist around Ullr Mountain are a favorite place for Nordic skiing, and with a visit to the Lutsen Nordic Center, you can learn how to combine both Nordic and Alpine skiing. Resort guests also enjoy dog-sledding and sleigh rides. In addition to all the outdoor fun, the resort is home to several restaurants where you enjoy a good meal and the good views.
The Lutsen ski area is located north of Duluth in the town of the same name, a place that embraces winter and provides welcoming hospitality no matter how cold it gets. The resort has partnered with several Lutsen lodging providers for stay-and-play packages that offer amazing mid-week and weekend specials throughout the winter. Within a short drive, you'll find resorts along the shores of Lake Superior, motels, and cozy winter cabins. No matter your budget, you'll find Lutsen lodging options to suit your needs.
When winter has become a memory, you'll still find a lot to do with the Lutsen Mountains. Many of the bed and breakfasts and other Lusten lodging providers offer special rates in the other seasons, a perfect time for enjoying the outdoor play land that is Northern Minnesota. The resort offers a full slate of family-friendly getaways, including an Alpine slide and hiking trails. The mountain tram, resting from bringing skiers to the peak, brings sightseers to the top of Moose Mountain. The views of Lake Superior and the other mountain peaks are simply spectacular. A chalet at the summit has a restaurant open for the daily meals and snacks. The porch also offers great views of the lake, mountains, and other natural wonders.