3 of the Best Places to Go Downhill Skiing in Iowa

Lori Erickson
| January 25, 2024 | 1 Minute Read
Two kids in snowsuits, helmets and goggles stand with their snowboards at the bottom of a ski slope. Various people are snowboarding behind them

Seven Oaks Recreation, Boone

Set amid the rugged countryside of the Des Moines River valley, Seven Oaks is one of three Iowa’s ski resorts, with a vertical drop of 275 feet that’s accessed by two triple chairlifts, two rope tows and two handle tows.

In addition to 11 ski runs, the 32-acre resort has two terrain parks with specially designed jumps, rails and other obstacles where skiers and snowboarders can practice their tricks. Seven Oaks also offers a thrilling snow tubing park for ages 4 and above.

Seven Oaks is especially welcoming to families and beginners, offering free mini ski and snowboard lessons to everyone that purchases a lift ticket. Seven Oaks is capable of making its own snow when Mother Nature isn’t providing it, and they groom daily to offer some of the best snow conditions.  

Mt. Crescent Ski Area, Honey Creek

Since 1961, this resort has been offering winter thrills amid the steep Loess Hills. Located 15 miles northeast of Omaha, Mt. Crescent is part of Hitchcock Nature Center, a 1,500-acre reserve.

The resort has a vertical drop of 300 feet and has 10 runs located on 50 acres. The longest run is 2,400 feet in length.

Midnight Madness skiing on lighted runs will be held from 8 p.m. to midnight on Jan. 12 and 26 and Feb. 9 and 23. On selected days, Mt. Crescent offers family-friendly sledding with chairlift access.  

Sundown Mountain Resort, Dubuque

You’ll find Iowa’s most challenging skiing at Dubuque’s Sundown Mountain Resort, whose 85 acres have a vertical drop of 475 feet thanks to its location on tall bluffs. From its top elevation, you can see three states and 100 square miles of countryside.

Sundown has 21 runs that are reached by six lifts, as well as two terrain parks. On Friday nights in January and February, Sundown has skiing and snowboarding under the stars from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. The resort also offers adaptive ski equipment and lessons for guests with special needs.  

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