This is the latest stop in the series 101 Things To Do. Each week through December 2020, we will select one place or activity around the region to highlight.

Afton Alps offers skiers and snowboarders 300 acres of terrain, three terrain parks, 17 chairlifts, and six restaurants to keep them entertained and happy. Open for 55 years, the ski resort, located north of Hastings, spent $10 million on renovations in 2013.

“We have a lot of runs and a lot of terrain,” said Bessy Muller, marketing manager. “We have the bunny hill. We have some more challenging hills and our race hills.”

Muller noted that Afton Alps is owned by Vail Resorts which owns ski hills in eight locations in the Rocky Mountains and throughout the west, including Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge, Park City, Whistler Blackcomb, and others.

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“I think people really appreciate that we are owned by Vail Resorts,” Muller said. “They know that means that safety is our number one priority. That gives them a feeling of being able to be relaxed and have fun.”

Afton Alps has 52 trails and 17 lifts to keep skiers of all abilities busy and happy. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia
Afton Alps has 52 trails and 17 lifts to keep skiers of all abilities busy and happy. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia

It also means that skiers and snowboarders at Afton Alps can not only buy tickets and passes for the local hill, but have the opportunity to buy an Epic Pass which allows them to ski at any of the ski hills owned by Vail Resorts.

“If you are going out West, you might as well come to Afton and warm up your legs and get ready for the season,” Muller said. “There are different levels of the Epic Pass that you can get to accommodate your lifestyle and the number of times that you want to go out.”

The variety of terrain at Afton Alps allows skiers and snowboarders of any ability to find trails they can enjoy. Visitors can also rent equipment, and sign up for lessons. Ski school packages have lessons for kids, teens, and adults, and advanced levels for those interested in learning more about racing.

Skiers near the top of Teresa's Trail start down the slopes at Afton Alps on Dec. 23, 2018. Steve Gardiner / Rivertown Multimedia
Skiers near the top of Teresa's Trail start down the slopes at Afton Alps on Dec. 23, 2018. Steve Gardiner / Rivertown Multimedia

“We have our legendary ski school,” Muller said. “Our instructors are trained the same as out west on any of the Vail properties, so that is something that really sets us apart.”

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The season at Afton Alps runs from November to March, depending on the weather. The slopes do have snowmaking capabilities, so as soon as the temperature is low enough, crews begin producing snow to set the base and make skiing possible.

Afton Alps has a number of special events such as Ski With Santa, a New Year’s Eve fireworks show, and others.

“I hope people come to Afton Alps and have fun,” Muller said. “I hope they have a really good guest experience and want to come back.”

If you go...

Name: Afton Alps

Address: 6600 Peller Ave. S., Hastings, Minn.

Phone: 651-436-5245

Website: https://www.aftonalps.com

Hours: Office, retail shop, and ski hill hours vary. See website.

Cost: Afton Alps offers a variety of ticket and season pass options.