While North Dakota doesn’t have the biggest ski resorts in the US, this north-central state is a great place for beginner and intermediate riders to hit the slopes. With two of its three resorts located just below the Canadian border, you can easily make your ND ski trip include a quick trip up north. Although lacking a plethora of options, no matter where you go, you’re sure to have a great winter trip.
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 …
North Dakota Ski Areas by City
Located near the town of Bottineau in the Turtle Mountains, Bottineau Winter Park sits on the border with Manitoba and offers a mere 40 total skiable acres. Another choice by the Canadian border is Frost Fire Park, which is a tiny 25 skiable acres. The biggest in North Dakota is Huff Hills Ski Area at skiable 80 acres. It’s located in Mandan, ND, much further south closer to the South Dakota border in the central part of the state.
Guide to North Dakota’s 3 Ski Resorts
North Dakota has 3 ski areas for skiers and snowboarders to explore. Two of these ski resorts are situated along the Canadian border and the 3rd is just half an hour south of Bismarck.
These resorts don’t have huge vertical drops and challenging runs, but they’re the perfect size for learning to ski or brushing up on ski and snowboard skills. The 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, each resort receives an average of 40 inches annually, with January being the snowiest time of the year.
And with such low temperatures, all the resorts are easily able to make their own snow. The ski season usually runs from late November through late March.
North Dakota Resorts near Canada
Frost Fire Park has 7 runs of varying difficulties and 1 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 10 miles away.
Although it’s not easy to reach Frost Fire Park, located along the border of Manitoba, the resort offers charter buses 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 8 trails across the mountain are accessed by 6 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.
North Dakota 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 and shop, lockers, and plenty of seating on 3 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 and downhill skiing. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to better appreciate the cold North Dakota winters.