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Afton Alps


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Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport 


Name Description Maximum Occupancy Price Range

Afton House Inn


Charming B&B with  in-room jacuzzi and fireplace.


Extra person charges may apply

$79 and up 

AmericInn Lodge and Suites 


Hotel offers guest rooms and suites, with complimentary hot breakfast and Internet access, indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna and game area. 

Extra person charges may apply

$69 and up 

Country Inn By Carlson


Spacious guest rooms and suites with complimentary hot breakfast and Internet access, large indoor pool, whirlpool and fitness center.  

Extra person charges may apply 

$84 and up 











2010 - 2011 Rental Equipment Rates

2010 - 2011 Lesson Rates

2010 - 2011 Snow Tubing Rates


Afton Alps

Located in the rolling hills of the St. Croix River Valley, Afton Alps Recreation Area is surrounded by the Afton State Park on three sides. Afton Alps offers recreation all year round, with golfing and mountain biking in the summer and skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing in the winter.

Snow making percent100%
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Magic carpet3
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Rope tow
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Poma
Lifts-Surface Lifts-T bar
Lifts-Surface Lifts-J bar
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Single
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Double14
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Triple3
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Quad1
Lifts-Chair Lifts-High speed quad
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Five person
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Six person
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Eight person
Lifts-Coggle train
Lifts-Total number of lifts21
Lifts-Total lift capacity
Trails-4-Expert only
Trails-5-Terrain park
Trails-6-Half pipe
Runs-Steepest run
Runs-Longest run
General-Base elevation
General-Vertical drop
General-Mountain range
General-Annual skier visits
General-Back country access
General-Total area in bounds250
General-Snow making coverage250
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC


Pros: Lots of runs, nice terrain parks for the very little ones, good service, location to Mpls.

Cons: Parking lot is a mud pit, expensive

Went on 2/8/16. Snow was kind of sticky as it was around 38 degrees. My wife, a very new skier, at first found it a little steep for learning, but then we located the meadows (?) area and all was good. For boarding there is a lot flat land area that is a pain (but when I switched to boarding, I knew this was something I'd have to deal with). 


I'm not sure what they're called, but the workers in the blue outfits were great. Near the end, one basically gave a short private lesson to my wife as he was showing us the way back to the main lodge. He also gave us excellent tips for a trip we're about to take that will afford us two days of skiing in Colorado. 


If you are going to hit a vail resort, it's probably worth the steep lift ticket price because you can have it taken off tickets at any other Vail resort.


Pros: None

Cons: slow chairs, long lines, no respect for others by the skiers/boarders, all the terrain is the same

Wow, board after 20 minutes of skiing.


Can we get our money back?


Wife and I felt like we were stuck on the same green run all day long even though we moved across the entire place.  Each run skied just like the last, until we reached the end.  My wife said: "Hey Honey, I think we found an easy Blue."  Reality was Afton claimed it was a Black Diamond, what a joke.


20 minutes to wait in line to ski for 20 to 25 seconds coming down terrible terrain.


Food was awful, and we witnessed some of the worst skiing technique wise we have ever seen by Ski Patrol, and Ski Instructors.


If you make the mistake of going here, you will want to change your name to Forrest, and just run Forrest run!


Snow sucked as well on 1/31/15 it was like skiing on ice chunks the size of kernels of corn, with nothing but solid Ice underneath.


Pros: Close, good instructors, youth racing program

Cons: Small hills, slow lifts

Afton is one of the two ski hills with a legitimate claim to be the best in the Twin Cities area (within 45 minutes or so).  It has more vertical (that's not saying much) than anywhere but Welch Village (which is the other one), and more runs and more acreage than any of the others.  Claimed vertical is 350 feet.


Lift tickets are comparable to other hills in the area.   Season passes are a bit more expensive than at some other places.


Contrary to a previous review, there is a fairly wide range of runs, from narrow and steep(ish), to meandering green runs, to a short mogul run, to a couple of runs with some interesting changes in slope and fall line (as much as that can happen in 300 ft...).   The very steepest runs are roughly equivalent to a steeper blue out west, and they're really short.   No tree or off-trail skiing to speak of.


They have a very good ski and snowboard school.   Beginners are taught by kids, but those kids have been trained in how to teach the basic skills.   More advanced lessons get more advanced teachers:  my lessons have all been taught by PSIA Level III instructors (yes, at "Gaper Alps," in one previous reviewer's parlance).


This is a day-use area for skiers from the Twin Cities metro area.   Food is available at any of 4  (not 5) chalets in different parts of the area.   The generic cafeteria food is just that:  nothing special.   Two of the chalets (Highlands and the main Alps chalet) have bar areas that have pretty good beers on tap, some local, and better food, though still nothing fancy.


They have NASTAR and two junior racing programs, one more serious and one more for kids who want to have fun and go fast, but aren't necessarily bucking for the high school team.


The lifts are slow, but no slower than the other local hills.  With the exception of weekend and holiday afternoons, I have NEVER waited in line more than 60 seconds except when something has gone wrong (like a little kid falling off the chair).  That's one of the advantages of all of those lifts:  almost every run gives access to more than one of them.


Grooming is good, snow-making coverage is pretty much the whole place---2011-12 they were 100% open, despite there being essentially no natural snow cover at all.   Natural or man-made, the snow tends to range from firm to icy, due to cold weather and limited snowfall.   Hard wax and sharp edges are what you want.


There are some good skiers on the slopes.   There can also be good-sized groups of never-evers or almost-nevers clogging things up on the weekends.  When not otherwise constrained, on the weekend I will show up early (they open at 9) and be gone by 1 or 2, before it really starts getting jammed.


The shop has a moderately good selection of gear and gives a 25% discount to season pass holders.  Their service department does a good job on basic stuff, and will do quick adjustments right away and at no charge.


The next step up for us is Lutsen, 4 hours away, then out west.   Spirit Mountain is closer than Lutsen, but shorter and smaller.


One open question right now is what effect the recent purchase by Vail Resorts will have.  We'll see.


Pros: Tons of Runs, New Chalet, Season Ticket Holders get discounts to Vail, Family Friendly, 5 Chalets

Cons: Slow Chairlifts!!

What a Great Ski Resort right in the twin cities! My kids were there for Skijammers and I decided that I would try a few runs. Great Skiing! The runs are nicely groomed, and steep. They even have moguls, which are rare at Minnesota ski places.  Spend the extra money and minutes to drive out here, you will never want to go back to Buck or Highland again!  The only downside of this place is the chairlifts, which are slow and outdated; but hopefully Vail will be adding in some faster newer quads soon! (Fingers Crossed)


Pros: It's a short drive from the Twin Cities

Cons: Skied One Run, You Have Skied Them All, Overcrowded and Overpriced

This place should be called Gaper Alps.  Saw many skiing in Jeans, only 1 person new how to carve turns that I saw skiing, or boarding.  Witnessed multiple instructors that could not perform parallel turns, let alone carved turns.  Ski Patrol, no carving turns, but at least the skis were kept parallel.  Ski Instructors also were teaching lessons, while not wearing helmets.


Lot's of lifts, but the runs all feel the same.  Almost all of the lifts are two person lifts dating back to the 1970's (very, very slow) compared to the faster quads at two areas not that far away, they really suck.  Prices for season passes are insane.  The steepest run, which is black, isn't as steep or long as other places near by blue runs. Although the grooming is good, and the snow had very good speed, and edge grip.


We were pretty board while my nephew was racing, so we took some runs, we recorded 27 seconds down, 12 minute wait to get on a lift, with a 3 minute ride to the top.


Most of our runs of the day were that way, and I was really happy to get roughly a half a minute of skiing for every 15 minutes I waited to get back to the top for my next run.


Lifties are friendly, and the place seems to be pretty family friendly.


The main chalet is so outdated, with poor food choices, and poor tasting food.  The main chalet looks and feels just like it did in 1982, I kind of felt like I was in a bowling center, with everything inside looking so dated to the early 1980's.


I recommend driving an extra half hour, you will find a place that has better terrain, instruction, facilities, and where you won't be bored after two runs.  If you have no choice, enjoy the gaper show, as that was the most entertaining part of the resort.  I wanted to take video, and create a website, kind of like the peopleofwalmart.com  I thought it had to be gaper day, or some gag, but no, that's the norm at Gaper Alps