With its friendly atmosphere and inviting views, Spirit Mountain in Duluth, MN is an enjoyable place to be. Whether you choose to fly down a ski slope, glide along the cross country trails, or spend time in front of a campfire during summer, you’ll certainly enjoy your time here.
In the years before 1973, the hills on the extreme west side of Duluth was only wilderness. The hillside overlooking the St. Louis Bay and its’ islands seemed to be an ideal spot for a ski hill. Developers took a drive along Skyline Parkway and came up with a plan. With a 700 foot vertical drop, this new ski area would rival others in the Midwest. In 1974, Spirit Mountain became a reality. The recreation complex is located off the Boundary Avenue exit of I-35 in Duluth, Minnesota, and along the scenic Skyline Parkway. An interesting note: during the summer months, you can see the parkway’s original road crossing the ski runs. It was re-routed when the ski resort was created.
Each year, skiers wait patiently for the first substantial snowfall and if it doesn’t happen by Thanksgiving, the snow-making machines are turned on and work overtime. Spirit Mountain has 22 ski runs, six of which are labeled easy. Nine of them are more difficult, and six more are very difficult. There is one super long run, called Four Pipe, which is an extraordinary 5,400 feet in length. Skis, ski boots and snowboards are available for rental in the chalet. Ski lessons are also available for a fee.
Don’t forget about the popular Nordic ski trails, located just a few blocks from the main chalet along Skyline Parkway. 22 miles of amazingly scenic trails wind through the lush birch and evergreen forest. Cross country skis and boots are available in the office control building. If you need them, Nordic skiing lessons are also available.
Spirit Mountain is open every day throughout the winter season. Holiday hours are shortened. Season ski passes are always on sale for both downhill and Nordic skiing. The prices on the season passes are extremely reasonable.
One of the premier events in Duluth each year is held here; it is the AMSOIL sponsored SnoCross event. Many of the world’s best snowmobile riders compete in front of huge crowds each winter in Duluth. Their daring aerial displays and high speeds draw thousands of spectators. From year to year, the event is held during different times of the winter. It was held this winter from December 11th to December 13th, 2009.
Don’t forget the summer months! Spirit Mountain Campground is open and offers 73 campsites. All of them have fire pits, electricity and picnic tables. 39 of them have water for your convenience and there are two buildings with shower and bathroom facilities. Many hiking trails are adjacent to the campground and connect with the Superior Hiking Trail.
Plus, the chalet offers large rooms for banquets and weddings. With the wonderful natural beauty of the area and the view high above Duluth, it’s an ideal place to have a special event. For information about this or anything else, visit the official Spirit Mountain website.