With so many options for winter sports at Giants Ridge, and only three hours drive from the Twin Cities, Giants Ridge is the perfect local winter getaway for Minnesotans. There are miles upon miles of quiet unspoiled nordic trails, gravity-fed fat bike trials, downhill ski and snowboard runs. You’ll never be stuck for ways to get outside and get some fresh air.
Skiing & Snowboarding
Probably one of the best known winter sports at Giants Ridge is the downhill skiing and snowboarding mountain. With 35 runs, 5 lifts and 2 terrain parks, Giants Ridge Ski Resort is a great place to visit for downhill skiing and snowboarding. With lift tickets starting from $25, and adult ski / board rental packages at $34, it’s an affordable way to get out and enjoy the slopes this winter.
They also have a great plan in place for COVID-19 safety. All lift tickets, rentals and lessons must be purchased online. Face covering must be worn indoors, when riding lifts and during lessons. Food is only available for take-out. And they’re encouraging you to get ready in your car, and use this as your warming house. Although a few people have got creative and brought ice fishing tents!
Cross Country Skiing
Giants Ridge is home to more than 60km of world-class nordic ski trails. From beginner trails to more advanced, the expansive trail system has something to offer people of all skill levels.
Trail passes are $17 for a full day, and you can rent a waxless package for just $14 for adults. You can even ski at night on a magical 3km lighted two-way loop designed for beginners. The perfect way to get away from it all and explore the natural surrounding of Northern Minnesota.
One of the lesser-known winter sports at Giants Ridge is snow tubing. There are three snow tubing lanes and a tow lift to operate them. Not just for kids, snow tubing can be fun for all the family! It costs $16 and you get a two-hour window.
There are approximately 4.8 km of snowshoe trails at Giants Ridge that meander through the beautiful Northwoods scenery and Wynne Lake. Trail passes are $15 per day and you can rent snowshoes for $14 per day.
This winter there is a Ladies Snowshoe Series that offers guided beginner and intermediate hikes on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. The $49 tickets include a guide, equipment rental, headlamp and dinner voucher with glass of wine.
Fat Tire Biking
With so many winter sports at Giants Ridge to choose from, it can be hard to decide. One winter sport we recommend to try is fat tire biking. There’s everything you need at Giants Ridge for a great fat tire biking experience. With over 60 km of nordic trail system on the edge of the Superior National Forest, there’s plenty of room to explore.
For the adrenalin junkies, winter 2020 has seen the opening of a brand new downhill fat biking experience. A high-speed chair lift serves gravity-fed trails from the top of the mountain. Places are limited with just 16 people per day across two 3 hour sessions.
You can rent the bikes for $40 for a 3 hour session. The lift access pass for downhill fat tire biking is $30 for adults, and $17 if you only want the nordic trail pass.
You’ll have to go further afield for this winter sport, but it’s totally worth it. Dog sledding is a perfect way to create lasting memories on your trip to Giants Ridge. Traverse through the magical winter wonderland as your team of huskies pull you along.
Chilly Dogs in Ely (50 minutes from Giants Ridge) offers a half day excursion for $160 per adult. You get to meet the Alaskan huskies, learn about the breed, have a full orientation before heading out on an expedition. When you return, there’s hot chocolate, a brief educational program and a trip to the gift shop before heading home. Trips vary by length and are suitable for beginners.
I hope this list has given you some ideas for action packed winter sports at Giants Ridge, or even just a relaxing magical winter getaway in Northern Minnesota. Don’t stay cooped up at home all winter, get out and explore all that Giants Ridge has to offer for your health and mental health. Something we all need now more than ever.
The Hygge Suite has limited availability for December 2020 through February 2021 for single travelers or couples. So book now to avoid disappointment. For larger groups we highly recommend Green Gate Guest Houses. They have properties at Giants Ridge and also a few miles away, and accommodate groups of up to 13 travelers.