Cascade Mountain Ski & Snowboard Resort
Address: Cascade Mountain Rd, Portage, WI 53901
Time from Chicago: 3 hours (175 miles)
Hills: 36 runs, vertical drop of up to 490 feet
Skiing at Cascade Mountain
At nearly three hours away from downtown Chicago, Cascade Mountain in central Wisconsin is a bit further away than some of the other Chicago area ski resorts. It’s north of Madison and northwest of Milwaukee. Is the long drive to Cascade Mountain worth it? Well, that depends what you’re looking for.
Cascade lists 36 runs on its mountain, and there’s a nice variety of hills for skiers of different ability levels. Beginners can try to Bunny Run, Magic Carpet, and Easy Ridge runs. The Ptarmigan and Badger Bowl are among the intermediate trails, while advanced hills include the Radical Rob, Bridge Ridge, and Screamin’ Steven. The trails are popular with both skiers and snowboarders. Click for a Cascade Mountain trail map.
As of this writing, pricing at Cascade Mountain consists of a number of different options. A full day and night lift ticket is $55, but there’s also a “flex” pass good for eight hours for $49, so you can save the extra $6 if you know you won’t be there longer than eight hours.
A “Closing Ticket” good for the last five hours of the night is $25, making that the most economical way to visit the resort – although if you’re driving all the way from Chicago, you probably don’t want to be skiing that late at Cascade unless you’ve booked a hotel. There’s also a tubing add-on for $10 for those who want to enjoy the thrills of snowtubing.
Kids under 12 get a free lift ticket with a paid parent. Cascade Mountain has also been known to offer a Groupon from time to time, so keep your eyes open for deals if you’re curious about trying the resort for the first time. The resort also prides itself on its instructional programs, which newbies may want to check out.