Lutsen Mountains is a ski area in the north central United States; an alpine area located on the North Shore region of Cook County in northeastern Minnesota.
Lutsen is one of the northernmost ski areas in the United States outside of Alaska. It is located in the rugged Sawtooth Mountains, part of the Superior Highlands on the north shore of Lake Superior. Lutsen receives natural snow, at times lake effect snow from the lake at its foot, and also has snowmaking equipment. Lutsen Mountains Resort is the largest ski resort in the Midwest, also having the most vertical drop in the Midwest. The ski season extends from November into mid-April, longer than most other resorts in the Upper Midwest.
Lutsen has four mountains, named Eagle, Ullr, Mystery, and Moose Mountains. Eagle should not be confused with Eagle Mountain, the highest point in Minnesota, which is actually in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
In 1989, Lutsen Mountains installed a German-made PHB Hall gondola to provide access between the base area and Moose Mountain. The gondola is the first, and currently the only, gondola in a mid-American ski resort. Lutsen is known as a family-friendly resort, being named as a Top 20 Family Ski Resort for two years in a row.
In May 2013, it was announced that Lutsen is installing a six-place high speed detachable lift on Moose Mountain to replace the current Caribou double chair. The existing Caribou double lift will be stored and re-installed on the backside of Moose Mountain to service expert terrain.
In summer 2014, Lutsen installed a new pipeline to carry water for snowmaking from Lake Superior to the resort's pumping facility. This alleviates the need to pull water from the Poplar River, a designated trout stream.
Within the next ten to fifteen years, Lutsen has plans to expand its pedestrian village & skier services, as well as add additional skier services and base facilities on Eagle and Moose Mountains. Current plans outline a 150-acre expansion, effectively doubling the current skiing acreage, with five or more new chairlifts and several dozen new ski runs. This expansion plan would mark the first attempt by a private ski resort in Minnesota to expand on to public lands, namely the Superior National Forest.
In December 2014, it was announced that Lutsen would begin its expansion and modernization efforts by purchasing and installing a $7 million Doppelmayr 8-passenger high-speed gondola to bring skiers between Eagle and Moose Mountains, replacing the current PHB Hall Skycruiser model, which was installed as a used lift in the late 1980s.
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