Dedicated Jackson skiers had only one criticism of the new Bridger Gondola: "What took them so long?" Jackson virtually defines the term Challenge. As one reader put it, "No mountain has ever kicked my butt like Jackson."
Located high on a bluff above the Mississippi River, eight scenic miles from historic Galena, Chestnut Mountain has long been one of the Midwest's most popular resorts. It has 17 trails, a 475-foot vertical drop, five chairlifts and three surface lifts, a seven-acre terrain park with halfpipes, quarter pipes, tabletops, kickers and rollers.
Giants Ridge broke into the Top 10 last year at No. 5 and continues to climb this year. This spunky northern Minnesota resort north of Duluth has parlayed good snow and great grooming into what skiers consider one of the best ski operations in the region.