Tyrol Basin Ski & Snowboard Area in Wisconsin is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Tyrol Basin, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsTyrol Basin Ski & Snowboard Area is in the south-central Wisconsin town of Mount Horeb, about 20 miles west of Madison and Dane County Regional Airport, and a two-hour drive from Milwaukee and General Mitchell International Airport. The area opened in 1958 with a diesel-powered lift and a dairy barn converted to a chalet that's still in use. Snowboarders are particularly attracted to the manicured terrain parks and half-pipe that Transworld Snowboarding rated as one of the top three in the Midwest.
The MountainThe area receives about 50 inches of snow annually, and Tyrol Basin makes snow when Mother Nature doesn't cooperate. The hill typically opens in late November or mid-December, depending on the weather, and features a 12- to 18-inch base of machine-groomed packed powder. With 40 skiable acres and a 300-foot vertical drop, Tyrol Basin lists more than two-thirds of its runs as difficult. Early-season hours are Tuesdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. As the snow season progresses, the hill expands its hours and days.
Trails And LiftsThe Tyrol Basin website lists 14 trails, with three of those in the "easiest" category. The area also has a beginner area of three runs and five terrain parks, one of which recently added a medium jump. Three chairlifts and three rope tows, including a rope tow in The Barnyard terrain park, bring skiers and snowboarders up for another run. Double Diamond, the hill's expert run, is rated "very steep." The Green Zone terrain park, which includes cliffs, ravines and trees, opens when natural snowfall allows.
In The NewsTyrol Basin regularly hosts United States of America Snowboard Association (USASA) snowboard and freestyle ski competitions -- the Tyrol Wisconsin Series is a national qualifying event. It also hosts the Double Diamond Adult Race League as part of the NASTAR program. The hill celebrated January 2012 as Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month, offering three lessons to participants 10 and older, equipment and a season pass at the end of the lessons for $129. Tyrol Basin also encourages the little ones to get on their skis -- its four-week "Preschool Ski School" for kids ages 3 to 5 holds sessions on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.
CostWeekend and holiday lift tickets at Tyrol Basin range from $42 all day (open to close) for adults 12 and older to $23 for seniors at night. Four-hour tickets are available and kids 5 and younger ski free at all times. Weekday rates are much lower at $12. Season passes are $440 and discounted family and "buddy" season pass rates are also available. Rentals range from $28 to $18; helmets are free for kids and cost $5 for adults.
Apres-SkiThe renovated dairy barn at Tyrol Basin features the Tyrol Cafe, where snacks are available for hungry skiers and snowboarders. The Double Diamond Bar boasts a famous Bloody Mary and several local beers on tap. Nearby towns of Mount Horeb and Barneveld offer lodging and small-town charm. Madison, the state capital, is slightly more than 20 minutes away.
WATCH: Tyrol Basin Family Ski And Snowboard Area
Snowboarders expertly take on some of the jumps and rails at Tyrol Basin's terrain parks.