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8 Best Ski Resorts In and Around Illinois (2022)

Illinois winters are so chilling that even the thick-skinned people shudder. Despite the fact that the Land of Lincoln lacks mountains and hills, winters here are surprisingly freezing. Also, regardless of its extended and extensive winter season, one rarely thinks or expects of skiing here. However, that isn’t the full truth. While winter’s snow begins to fly, skiing opportunities in and around Illinois open up like nowhere else in Midwest. Despite there are a limited or handful of downhill skiing options in Illinois, the nearby states and cities contribute to it all.

Residents and visitors of Illinois have several popular skiing options available in and around the state. There are good enough options to explore, from short practice runs for beginners to intense trails for advanced-level skiers. So, the next time you are experiencing the Illinois winters, layer your warmers and drive to these amazing skiing destinations. From Mid December throughout March, this downhill area will never fail to disappoint you.

8 Best Ski Resorts In and Around Illinois

Here are the most popular Ski resorts to explore in and around Illinois.

1. Villa Olivia (37.1 miles from Chicago)

One popular winter spot in Illinois, Villa Olivia, is a country club ski area. This medium-size ski resort in the Bartlett village offers skiing, snowboarding/ tubing, and sleighing opportunities. Beginners can rent gear and take ski lessons, while professionals can brush their skills on their own. The area features 12 lighted downhill runs, 10 lifts, and seven different ski areas. Skiing areas are well divided into beginners and intermediate tracks, providing easy access to different types of skiers. For non-skiers, there’s also a tubing hill. Once done with the snow adventure, you can fill yourself with their lip-smacking 5-star standard food.

2. Chestnut Mountain Resort (161.9 miles from Chicago)

Located in the small town of Galena, the Chestnut Mountain Resort is the most popular ski resort on the Illinois border. The resort features 19 different trails with 475 feet as their highest vertical drop. Of all the trails, 4 are for beginners, 11 for intermediates, 3 for advanced, and a snowboarding terrain park. There are four triple chairs, two surface lifts, and two quad chairs for taking the skier up. Chestnut Mountain also hosts special winter Olympics, welcoming 400 athletes from all across the Nation. Chestnut also features a full-service resort area offering the best stay and play facilities, apart from the skiing facilities.

3. Cascade Mountain Resort (177.2 miles from Chicago)

If you are willing to travel a little around Illinois, the Cascade Mountain Resort is one great spot to visit. Located in Portage, the resort features 47 trails dedicatedly designed for skiers of all experience levels. All the trails break down into 38% advanced runs, 24% intermediate runs, and 38% beginner runs. While the longest trail goes nearly 1 mile long, it will take you through waterfalls, rock formations, old-growth forests, and several scenic terrains. Apart from the skiing trails, the resort also features four terrain parks along with an 800-foot-long chute designed for snow-tubing. Once done with the snow fun, you can try their cafés and food joints to get warmed.

4. Four Lakes Alpine Snowsports (27.4 miles from Chicago)

A hidden gem and the most convenient place in Lisle, the Four Lakes Alpine Snowsports is a must-visit when in Illinois. It isn’t dedicatedly a ski resort; however, facilities here are no less than that. While the slopes are not very intimidating, it is ideal for first-timers and also who are looking for affordable deals. Also, skiing here is far more comfortable for kids and senior adults than the full-fledged ski resorts. Next to the rental shop, you can visit their pizza and beer zone warming yourself up. The only drawback, though, is that parents aren’t allowed to enter some dedicated zones to accompany kids.

5. Caberfae Peaks (282.8 miles from Chicago)

Caberfae Peaks, though, isn’t an easy haul from Chicago, but if you are a snow sports enthusiast, it’s definitely worth it. This downhill ski area features 34 slopes designed for beginners to experienced skiers. For learners, there’s one dedicated novice area and ski school. Simultaneously for experts they have vertical drops and challenging terrains. Along with that, the friendly and interactive operators make the entire experience a lot more fun and memorable. Considering the resort is home to some of the best ski terrain and highest lift-served peaks of Michigan, the crowd here is always jam-packed. Visitors who want to make a weekend holiday out of it can choose to stay back at their resort facility.

6. Swiss Valley Ski & Snowboard Area (132.5 miles from Chicago)

Another doable winter trip outside Illinois, the Swiss Valley Ski & Snowboard Area is Michigan’s favorite skiing spot. It is a family-oriented place featuring 11 trails, seven lifts, and two terrain parks. Luckily the place offers both day and night snow adventures along with relaxing fireplaces at different corners. What makes Swiss valley the best and finest are the warm and comfortable hosting. Although it isn’t a stay-back site, their amenities and facilities alone insist visitors spend the night enjoying the vibes around. They also run a Valley kids ski program designed especially for kids between 5 to 11 years. Even under fewer charges, they train kids with the finest yet safest skiing skills. In the end, to warm yourself from inside, you can try their cafeteria as well.

7. Alpine Valley Ski Resort (92.2 miles from Chicago)

Another great reach from Chicago, Illinois, the Alpine Valley Ski Resort is a must-visit winter destination. It is located in Wisconsin state, an approachable spot for Illinoisans. While their night skiing is quite thrilling, the daytime snow adventures are equally well. The resort features several trails spread over 90 acres, ideal for skiers of all levels. However, experts suggest Alpine as an advanced and professional-level skiing area. Enthusiasts who were looking for some adventure and thrill and chose it as their ultimate winter stop. For the ones who want to stay back, the resort also offers European-style luxurious living.

8. Timber Ridge Ski Resort (146.4 miles from Chicago)

The Timber Ridge Ski Resort is an absolute Midwest winter wonderland you can explore from Illinois. Though not the biggest, it features 50 acres of skiing area with 15 trails. The longest vertical drop here is 240 feet. The resort also features two terrain parks, a tubing park, and eight ski lifts. Winters at timber ridge are not only about skiing but also events and festivals. The entire winter season, one or the other festival keeps skiers and snowboarders engaged and entertained. They have leagues to theme parties, kids’ friendly races, and much more. After you are done with the long session of fun, Timber Ridge opens up leisure options, including retreat, lodge, and their heated indoor waterpark.

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