Where to shred the gnar if you can’t go far

Isaac Roy, Sports Reporter

Minnesota is known for having some of the longest and most brutal winters in the country, and this opens up a huge opportunity for winter recreation for all Minnesotans. 

Despite the lack of high elevations, Minnesota makes do with what they were given and, over the past few decades, has become a popular ski destination for the midwest. 

The state’s top resorts are several hours up north so the metro area began to develop a skiing scene in its own backyard. 

One of the closest resorts to St. Paul is Welch Village. It is located less than an hour away and has over 50 trails down the 360-foot slope. Welch Village is known for having short lift lines so you have more time to enjoy plunging down the slopes. 

If you’re looking for something closer, Afton Alps is only a half-hour drive and has recently added more black diamonds for the experts. Despite being small, there are 18 lifts at the Vail-owned resort which nearly removes all wait times for the chair lifts. 

The last major ski area nearby is the famous Buck Hill. Located in Burnsville, it is a hotspot for twin cities suburbanites and was the training ground for skiing legend Lindsay Vonn. Although Buck Hill is significantly smaller than the other resorts it has many steep hills and difficult runs on the short 309-foot slope. 

If you have the weekend off or extra time on your hands Spirit Mountain is just a two and a half hour drive and has the second highest slope in the entire midwest. 

Last but not least, Lutsen resort is around a six-hour trip but has some of the best runs, views and lodges to offer in the midwest. The premier resort has several different hills for runs with the highest having a slope of over 1,000 feet. 

Whether you’re an expert or a novice, the twin cities will have a place for you to enjoy all of your skiing desires.