If you think the Midwest doesn’t have good terrain for skiing and snowboarding, think again. The town of Fargo, which sits on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota, is surrounded by a few hidden gems, and while small, these ski resorts know how to pack a punch. Whether you’re looking for downhill runs, cross-country …
Guide to North Dakota’s Ski Resorts
North Dakota has three ski areas for skiers and snowboarders to explore in the state. Two of these ski resorts are situated along the Canadian border and the third is just half an hour south of Bismarck.
These resorts don’t have huge vertical drops and challenging runs, yet they’re the perfect size for learning to ski or brushing up on ski and snowboard skills. The three resorts are nicely spread across the state, several hours apart, so more people have the opportunity to hit the slopes.
North Dakota’s weather is cold; on average fifty days each year fall below zero. Yet the amount of snowfall isn’t very high. These three resorts receive an average of 40 inches annually. January is the snowiest time of the year but with such low temperatures, all of the resorts are easily able to make their own snow. The ski season usually runs from late November through late March.
ND resorts near Canada
Frost Fire Park has seven runs of varying abilities and one terrain park draped over the mountain. The resort’s lodge is located midway on the mountain with food, equipment rental, and a ski shop. The resort has no place to stay overnight, however, and the closest spots are around ten miles away.
Although it’s not easy to reach Frost Fire Park, located along the border of Manitoba, the resort offers charter busses from Grand Forks and Fargo. The ski area has discounted lift tickets for season ticket holders of the other North Dakota resorts.
In the summer the same ski runs are used for mountain biking, and the resort is well-known for its warm-weather theater program in the mountains.
The slopes of Bottineau Winter Park in the Turtle Mountains, also located along North Dakota’s border with Manitoba, stretch wide above the prairie. The eight trails across the mountain are accessed by six lifts. The ski shop has both ski and snowboard rentals, plus snowshoe rentals for trekking around the area.
The resort has a tubing park with night tubing and affordable rates for families and groups, plus discounted tickets for season ticket holders to the other North Dakota resorts.
ND ski areas further south
Huff Hills Ski Area is the state’s largest ski resort and has been in operation since 1993. It’s located on the site of a previous 1960s ski area that only lasted a few years. While only half of Huff Hills’ 16 runs are beginner slopes, they’re also the longest runs in the resort with one reaching three-quarters of a mile.
The ski area has an elevation of 2,150 feet with a 450-foot vertical drop. It includes a terrain park combining man-made and natural features for skiers and snowboarders. The lodge at the base of the ski area includes a restaurant, ski rental, ski shop, lockers, and plenty of seating on three stories with windows to watch the skiers returning from the slopes.
Although it lacks lodging on site, Bismarck is only a short drive away. Despite the lack of entertainment in the area, tailgating is encouraged in the ski area parking lot.
Winter sports in North Dakota provide options for outdoor activities and extend beyond downhill skiing and snowboarding. The state also has a dedicated snow tubing park, areas for snowmobiling, and plenty of parks and many locations for cross country skiing. Fortunately, there are plenty of options including downhill skiing to better appreciate the cold North Dakota winters.