Alpine vs. Wilmot: Which is the best ski resort?


Wilmot mountain

Diego Marquez, Staff writer

With snow in the forecast, countless families are scheduling their ski trips up north to Wisconsin. While there are many ski destinations, there are two mainly popular resorts within 60 miles of Lake Forest High School, Alpine Valley and Wilmot resort. 

So that begs the question; which resort is better?


Starting with pricing, both Wilmot and Alpine Valley have competitive pricing which makes them extremely similar. The Alpine Valley full day lift ticket is set at $88 while the Wilmot Mountain full day lift ticket is set at $89. Where they differ is in their season pass, with Wilmot Mountain being $859 for the 13+ Pass, and Alpine Valley’s pass being $652 for the 13+ Pass.

For many, learning how to ski is a popular endeavor in the Midwest which brings rental costs into the conversation. For equipment rentals (Helmet, Poles, Skis/Snowboard), Alpine Valley’s full day rate is set at $70 while Wilmot Mountain’s full day rate is set at $48. These are both affordable options and have an organized system of rental which maximizes efficiency.

Ultimately, I think Alpine Valley outperforms Wilmot Mountain in terms of pricing because they offer a season pass that is significantly less expensive.


With a vertical drop of 388 feet and more than 100 acres of skiable terrain, Alpine Valley offers 21 routes of varying degrees of difficulty. In addition, people love Alpine Valley’s terrain park for its variety of features and regular attention. 

With a vertical drop of 200 feet and almost 120 acres of skiable terrain, Wilmot Mountain offers 25 routes of varying degrees of difficulty. There are four progression parks, or terrain parks with varying degrees of difficulty, on Wilmot Mountain.

All in all, in my opinion, Alpine Valley’s terrain is better due to its height advantage, which greatly improves the skiing experience, even though Wilmot Valley has more acres. Additionally, Alpine Valley’s terrain park is renowned for its intricate architecture and flow.


Depending on traffic, it will take between 40 and 60 minutes to go from Lake Forest to Alpine Valley Ski Resort, which is located around 60 miles away. In contrast, Wilmot Mountain is 34 miles from Lake Forest, taking between 30 and 50 minutes to drive, and the travel time for both will depend on traffic. 

Most students will carpool with friends or have their parents drive them there. However, there is a popular substitute that children on the North Shore use if some people do not have access to a personal vehicle. Through The Snowflake Club, Williams Ski & Patio provides weekly ski excursions to a variety of mountains. 

Wilmot Mountain is more frequently visited by The Snowflake Club due to the closer proximity it has to the North Shore suburbs. Therefore, Wilmot Mountain is definitely more accessible than Alpine Valley and because of that, attracts more traffic.


Generally, there is a lot to consider between these two popular ski destinations. Wisconsin resorts generally are similar in terms of their terrain, but they distinguish themselves in their devotion to their local areas and how they can really connect to the many skiers who frequent the hills. 

Wilmot Mountain was acquired by Vail Resorts in January 2016, bringing that resort under the umbrella of the renowned Epic Resort chain. This resulted in almost $13 million in renovation costs, which were used to upgrade the resort and lifts. Although the updates brought this resort up to date, Wilmot Mountain has recently lost its hometown charm and feels commercialized. 

Originally a family-run resort, Wisconsin Resorts, Inc. currently owns Alpine Valley. Due to the distinctive architectural style of their hotel, lodge, and internationally acclaimed amphitheater, this resort offers a really charming Nordic vibe. The Alpine Valley administration upholds Alpine Valley’s heritage, which has preserved appeal among many people who like skiing or simply hanging out in their restaurant or bar.

Despite the fact that Wilmot Mountain is more spacious, convenient, and modern. Alpine Valley consistently succeeds in creating the atmosphere of a ski resort while retaining its incredible regional character. So, in my opinion, Alpine Valley Resort is the best ski resort for families in the Midwest.