Giants Ridge, Minn.: Rank 4 West of Lake Michigan, 1998

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Giants Ridge remains a secret to most skiers, but some SKI readers are beginning to discover this gem. Crowds have yet to come en masse, but consider that a reason to visit, along with the superb skiing you'll find. There are scenic lakes and endless forests, while trails sweeping off rocky summits offer great intermediate cruisers and advanced terrain. And on the outer fringes of the hill, off among the birch forests, sequestered trails gently wind down the hill. The North Face area, which opened for the 1996-97 season, offers some of the best advanced skiing in the region. The cross-country skiing is arguably the finest in the Midwest, as the United States' top cross-country skiers flock here to train on the world-class trail network. When visiting Giants Ridge, dress warmly because it can be very cold. Iron Range residents take pride in their region's reputation as "America's Icebox."

What's New Opening of the Giants Ridge Inn & Conference Center, slated for this fall, has been postponed.
A Good Deal Skiers dissatisfied with conditions by 10 am receive a free pass for a return any time during the season.
High/Low Rank Scenery (3), Challenge (5); Weather (10).
Don't Miss This area has a strong Finnish presence¿take time to explore nearby Eveleth, Biwakik and Virginia.