Spirit Mountain in Minnesota is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Spirit Mountain, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsSpirit Mountain is located about eight miles from downtown Duluth, Minnesota. In addition to the close proximity to the city, guests can also enjoy impressive views of St. Louis Bay and Lake Superior as they zip down the mountain. The ski area caters to skiers and snowboarders, and provides access to several long and short runs. The season at Spirit Mountain runs from December until early April.
The MountainThe base elevation at Spirit Mountain is 620 feet and the summit rises to 1,320 feet. The ski area has a 700-foot vertical drop. Guests have access to 175 acres of skiable terrain, including a 5,400-foot-long run. The park receives an average of 92 inches of snow each year. Spirit Mountain also has the capacity to make enough snow to cover 100 percent of the skiable acreage, according to Skitown.com.
Trails And LiftsOf Spirit Mountain's 22 runs, six are rated as easy, nine are intermediate and six are difficult. Guests can get to the trails by eight lifts, including five chairlifts, one conveyor lift, one handle tow and one towrope. Spirit Mountain boasts the largest terrain park in the Midwest. Guests also can go night skiing on select trails or snowboarding on a superpipe.
In The NewsSpirit Mountain added the Timber Twister, the first alpine coaster in the Midwest, to the park in 2010. In 2011, Spirit Mountain added the Timber Flyer zip line, a mini golf course and a snow tubing park. The park hosts NASTAR races in December, which allow guests to compare their ski and snowboard skills with National Pacesetter A.J. Kitt. The ski area also hosts the Miller Lite Race League, which costs just $50 for six races.
CostPeak lift ticket rates run between $42 for adults and $32 for children and seniors. The all-day tickets allow access to the slopes for eight hours. Four-hour tickets cost $37 for adults and $27 for children and seniors. Discounted lift tickets are available for Sunday through Friday, and cost between $22 and $37. Season passes start at $189. Ski rentals, including Burton and Head brands, run between $15 and $29. Guests can also take lessons at Spirit Mountain, which start at $40.
Apres-SkiVisitors have access to several dining options while at Spirit Mountain, including pasta, steaks, seafood, burgers, sandwiches and salads. Only a few miles from Spirit Mountain, Black Woods Grill & Bar serves up gourmet cuisine, such as macadamia halibut or tenderloin medallions, in a relaxed lodge-like environment. There are also laid-back bars like Fitger's Brewhouse in close proximity to Spirit Mountain. Because Spirit Mountain is so close to Duluth, guests have numerous choices for lodging, including hotels, bed-and-breakfasts and inns. Skiers can also take advantage of the Spirit Mountain campground or the popular Adventure Park.
WATCH: Spirit Mountain
Expert skiers and snowboarders show off some of their fancy moves at Spirit Mountain.