10 Best Ski Destinations for Families in North Dakota

By Kelsey Cardot

10 Best Ski Destinations for Families in North Dakota

Work up a sweat with one of winter’s most enjoyable, adrenaline-pumping sports. Skiing is a fun way to get the whole family active. Whether cross-country skiing through the wilderness or practicing on one of the state’s ski resorts, North Dakota has something for everyone at these 10 best ski destinations for families. See you on the slopes!

1. Huff Hills Ski Area, Mandan, ND

The Huff Hill Ski Area is located conveniently only about 16 miles south of the Bismarck-Mandan area, and offers skiing and snowboarding for the whole family. Depending on weather conditions, the ski area usually opens around Thanksgiving and stays open until mid-March. There is a beginner area with terrain suitable for children and beginners, and Huff Hills Ski Patrol members provide free ski lessons in this area. There is a restaurant on site with food like chili, hamburgers, or pizza. Equipment rentals are available. The Huff Hills Ski Area is North Dakota’s largest ski area, with four chairlifts, and 16 runs, the longest of which is 0.75 miles-long.

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2. Frost Fire Ski Area, Walhalla, ND

Right on the North Dakota-Manitoba, Canada border and only two hours southwest of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the Frost Fire Ski Area is a popular ski destination for both Americans and Canadians. A beginner slope is available for novice skier and snowboarders. The trails are rated as either cross-country, easy, more difficult, or most difficult. Beginners should try trails like the Appleton Meadows or the Yarrow Trail. There is also a tubing trail available, which is popular with the kids!

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3. Bottineau Winter Park, Bottineau, ND

Located in North Dakota’s beautiful Turtle Mountains, Bottineau Winter Park has skiing and snowboarding facilities like a full-service rental shop, six ski lifts, eight downhill trails with fantastic views of the Turtle Mountains, and lessons for beginners in private or group lessons. There are a wide variety of trails available from trails in the beginners area to the ungroomed expert glade runs and race courses. A day of winter sports at Bottineau Winter Park is an unforgettable experience, and you’ll want to come back every season!

Bottineau, ND

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4. Bear’s Den Mountain, Fort Ransom, ND

Bear’s Den Mountain ski area is in the small town of Fort Ransom in eastern North Dakota between Jamestown and Fargo. The ski destination has a chalet, chair lift, rope tow, terrain park, and trails from beginner to expert. No matter what your skill level or athletic ability, Bear’s Den Mountain is the perfect winter getaway! 

5. The Greenway, Grand Forks, ND

In the heart of Grand Forks, the Greenway is over 2,000 acres of scenic outdoor recreation. This area has several parks, two golf courses, four disc golf courses, trails, fishing sites, snowmobiling, and, of course, cross-country skiing. During the winter, more than 20 miles of multi-purpose trails are opened for cross country skiing. 

6. Lake Metigoshe State Park

Meaning “clear lake surrounded by oak trees” in the native Chippewa language, Lake Metigoshe State Park is known for the many recreational opportunity in the area, like boating, swimming, camping, fishing, and canoeing. In the winter months, the park is open for winter sports like snowmobiling, sledding, ice fishing, and cross country skiing. The trail in the park connects to over 250 miles of groomed trails open to cross country skiing throughout the Turtle Mountains. 

7. The Pembina Gorge, Walhalla, ND

Near the North Dakota-Canada border, the Pembina Gorge has over 12,500 acres of wilderness with recreation like canoeing, hiking, biking, hunting, bird watching, horseback riding, and more. In the winter, the trails are opened up for downhill and cross country skiing as well as snowmobiling. There are enough trails in the Pembina Gorge that there will be something that the whole family can enjoy.

8. Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery and Aquarium, Riverdale, ND

The Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery and Aquarium may not sound like a fantastic skiing destination, but the nearby trails are popular with cross-country skiers. The trails near the hatchery link up to the campground downstream. After skiing, take a look inside the hatchery and aquarium to learn about all the native fish species and conservation efforts.

9. Tetrault Woods State Forest

Untouched by civilization, the Tetrault Wood State Forest is the perfect chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and ski through the quiet wilderness. The forest is 420 acres and undeveloped. Many of the trails are used by snowmobilers and cross country skiers in the winter months, and some of the trails lead from the woods to the Pembina River and Pembina Hills. 

10. Turtle River State Park

Turtle River State Park has year round recreation opportunities but is most fun in the winter months when it is open for skiing. The park has about 10 miles of trails going through the scenic wilderness area and near the river, letting skiers get in touch with nature.

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