What to do in Rib Mountain State Park

Rib Mountain State Park is a billion year old rock rising nearly 800 feet above the Wisconsin River. This ancient and huge rock formation is the third highest point in the state. Technically a monadnock, the quartzite has withstood billions of years of erosion and millions of years of glaciation. The crest of this huge mountain forms a rib-shaped, east-west ridge, thus the name "Rib Mountain." Visible from areas within the park is another nearby monadnock, Mosinee Hill.

Located in the middle of the State a short distance from Wausau, Rib Mountain State Park features the first and highest ski slope, created in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Operated privately, the downhill ski facility includes 12 slopes for alpine, telemark, snowboard, or cross-country ski. There are two double and one triple chairlifts and a rope tow. Nearly 8 miles of trails for snowshoers and hikers compliment the facility.

Hiking at the park entails exploring four color-coded routes across scenic heights of the park. The trails typically run through mixed forest of mature hardwoods and conifers. The Red Trail is 1.5 challenging miles. Yellow Trail is nearly 4.0 miles of long slopes and one steep segment. The Blue Trail covers a distance of 1.4 miles exhibiting impressive steps built by the CCC. The Green Trail is a good trail for meandering; it extends 0.7-mile over easy terrain.

Other day use areas of the park include Sunrise Lookout, a location where sightseers spend time gazing over the countryside and the city of Wausau. The observation tower rises 60 feet. At the base are a concession, picnic area and relief map of the park. A reservable picnic shelter at the site holds up to 80 individuals.

Rib Mountain State Park is the site of the mountaineer 5.0-mile run, a snowshoe event in the annual winter sports festival, Badger State Games.

Overnight facilities at the park comprise a lower and upper campground with 40 reservable sites available Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends. Camping reservations are available online or by calling a toll-free reservation number. Contact information is listed below.

Recreation
People venture to Rib Mountain State Park to sightsee, downhill ski, snowboard, snowshoe, cross-country ski, hike, and camp.

Location
Rib Mountain State Park is located in Northeast Wisconsin several miles south of Wausau.

Climate
Northeast Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. Great Lakes Michigan and Superior tend to make summers cooler and winters milder close to shore. January's average temperature is in the teens F (-teens C). Average July temperature is 68-70 degrees F (20 degrees C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) for a several day stretch. The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 30-32". Annual snowfalls in the Northeast Region have a wide range; the southern areas may receive 50" while the northern areas may receive in excess of 180". Nighttime summer temperatures can dip below freezing. Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.

Address
4200 Park Road
Wausau, WI 54401

Phone: 715-842-2522

  • Rib Mountain State Park Travel Q&A

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