Michigan Skier
Page: Ski Resort Guide

Michigan Ski Resort Guide



Big Powderhorn – Bessemer

Big Powderhorn is a favorite in the Upper Midwest, and there's infinite variety in the runs. The vertical is a solid 622 feet, one of the highest in the Midwest. Lodging at the area features an array of chalets and condos, and a family friendly ski village means there’s plenty to see and do. 

Vertical Drop: 622'
Lifts: 10 (9 chairs, 1 surface)
Terrain: 35% novice, 35% intermediate, 30% expert.
Trails: 28
Cross Country: 17km
Snowboards: 2 terrain parks, Oxbow and Powderkeg
Information: (906) 932-4838, 1-800-501-7669.
Website: www.bigpowderhorn.net 


Blackjack – Bessemer

Blackjack Ski Resort is located in the beautiful Black River Valley in the Lake Superior snowbelt of Michigan's western Upper Peninsula. The area will benefit from new ownership for the second season.

Vertical Drop: 465’
Lifts: 4 chairs, 2 surface
Terrain: 20% novice, 40% intermediate, 40% expert.
Trails: 22
Snowboards: 2 Parks and 3 Pipes
Information: 888-906-9835, 800-848-1125.
Website: www.skiblackjack.com 


Indianhead Mountain – Wakefield

Indianhead Mountain Resort in Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula offers 195 acres of skiable terrain and wide open runs reminiscent of the Rockies. The base lodge and facilities are actually at the top of the mountain, which treats guests to stunning vistas. Snowmaking and grooming are a specialty of the resort, which typically opens earlier and stays open later than most other ski areas in the region. A great health and recreation club facility is also open to guests.

Vertical Drop: 638’
Lifts: 5 chairs, 4 surface
Terrain: 21% novice, 37% intermediate, 42% expert.
Trails: 28
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Olympic-size Halfpipe
Information: 800-346-3426
Website: www.indianheadmtn.com


Marquette Mountain – Marquette

Known as a skier’s mountain, Marquette Mountain features a great race program and plenty of challenging terrain. The area contains a 4,000’ alpine terrain park and two legal tree runs. A new terrain park opens this season. The city of Marquette, the home of Northern Michigan University, is only five minutes away, so there are many lodging and dining options near the resort.

Vertical Drop: 600'
Lifts: 3 chairs, 1 surface
Terrain: 15% novice, 65% intermediate, 20% expert.
Trails: 25
Snowboards: 3 terrain parks all designed by ability: lite weight, big air, all natural. 1 halfpipe, 13 rails.
Information: 906-225-1155, 800-944-7669.
Website: www.marquettemountain.com


Mont Ripley – Houghton

Mont Ripley is operated by Michigan Tech University provides a comfortable chalet featuring a cafeteria and lockers as well as a ski shop and ski school. The terrain is varied, with something for beginners and experts alike. The area is also known for its professional National Ski Patrol unit. Mont Ripley sits adjacent to the Keweenaw National Historic Park. 

Vertical Drop: 423'
Lifts: 1 chair, 1 surface
Terrain: 28% novice, 30% intermediate, 31% advanced, 11% expert.
Trails: 16
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 906-487-2340
Web Site: www.aux.mtu.edu/ski/ 


Mt. Bohemia – Keweenaw

Located in the Keweenaw Peninsula, Mt. Bohemia boasts the state’s highest vertical and steepest terrain. Mt. Bohemia offers the biggest vertical drop in the Midwest, featuring expert slopes and some cliff-like drops on some of the steeper runs, a true western experience. The area also has the largest skiable glade between the Rockies and Eastern resorts, extreme back country terrain, and upwards of 300 inches of powder per winter. Bohemia is undoubtedly the most unique ski experience in the entire Midwest.

Vertical Drop: 900'
Lifts: 2 chairs, 1 surface
Terrain: 7% novice, 39% intermediate, 54% expert.
Trails: 48
Snowboards welcome on all slopes and glades.
Information: 888-937-2411, 906-289-4105
Website: www.mtbohemia.com


Norway Mountain – Norway

Skiers recognize Norway Mountain for its varied terrain and friendly staff. The lodge and trailside condos are located on the summit of the mountain, making for easy access to the ski runs. The resort has excellent programs for kids and families at the Alpine Learning Center, and you can even purchase lift tickets and resort merchandise via their on-line store.

Vertical Drop: 500'
Lifts: 3 chair, 2 surface
Terrain: 30% novice, 35% intermediate, 35% expert
Trails: 15
Cross Country: 5km; 3km snowshoeing.
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 906 563-9700, 800-272-5445
Website: www.norwaymountain.com 


Pine Mountain – Iron Mountain

Pine Mountain is one of the Upper Peninsula’s most famous ski resorts. It’s main lodge is a classic and the resort also offers a selection of condos. Resort spa facilities are open to all guests. While there, don’t miss a visit to Famers, the location of the Upper Peninsula sports Hall of Fame. Pine Mountain Resort is located next to Timberstone Golf Course rated by "Golf Digest" Magazine as one of the top courses in the US.

Vertical Drop: 500'
Lifts: 3 chairs, 2 surface
Terrain: 30% novice, 40% intermediate, 30% expert
Trails: 23
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 906-774-2747
Website: www.pinemountainresort.com 


Porcupine Mountains – Ontonagon

Porcupine Mountains ski area is located in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan's largest state park. The park is in Ontonagon County, at the western edge of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The park harbors the last extensive tract of old-growth hemlock forests, and is one of the Midwest's most extensive wilderness areas. The Porkies are home to one of the first alpine ski areas in the Midwest as well as some of the most scenic Nordic ski trails in the entire Great Lakes region. The chalet offers ski and snowboard rentals, pro shop, rest rooms, 3 fireplaces, and cafeteria.


Vertical Drop: 641'
Lifts: 2 chair, 2 surface
Terrain: 21% novice, 50% intermediate, 29% expert.
Trails: 15
Cross Country: 42km
Information: 906-885-5275
Website: www.ontonagon.net/porkies/ski/ 


Ski Brule -- Iron River

Ski Brule is always the first ski resort in Michigan to open and the last to close. The resort really caters to families and children with an array of ski programs and deals. Off the slopes families and kids can also enjoy ice skating, sleigh rides, marshmallow roasts, torchlight parades, and a visit to the Homestead Lodge for a barbeque.

Vertical Drop: 500'
Lifts: 5 chairs, 2 T-Bars, 4 surface
Terrain: 30% novice, 35% intermediate, 35% expert
Trails: 17
Cross Country: 23km
Snowboards: Snowboarders welcome on all runs, but Snowshoe and Rapids are dedicated snowboard terrain: halfpipe, whales, spines, table tops, and kickers.
Information: 800-362-7853
Website: www.skibrule.com


Mt. Zion – Ironwood

Mt. Zion is run by the ski management school of Gogebic Community College and is the oldest winter recreation complex in Big Snow Country. With ski and snowboard rentals, a snow tubing park, free cross country skiing, and a snack bar, the area is a popular spot for families.

Vertical Drop: 300’
Lifts: 1 chair, 1 surface
Terrain: 25% novice, 50% intermediate, 25% expert
Cross Country: 3km
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 906-932-3718
Website: www.gogebic.cc.mi.us/studentinfo/mtzion 


More Ski Areas

Al Quaal – Ishpeming – 906-486-6181

Gladstone Sports Park – Gladstone – 906-428-9130



Boyne Highlands – Harbor Springs

Boyne Highlands is one of Michigan’s best family resorts. The area is well-known for its excellent ski school and children’s programs. The terrain is expansive, and the lift structure is one of the most efficient in the region. With three base lodges, plenty of ski in/ski out condos, and three hotels, the resort has plenty of capacity, and the outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs are a big favorite. Additional glade skiing on North Peak Pass and Tournament pass have been added. Twin Zip rides augment the action this winter.

Vertical Drop: 545'
Lifts: 8 chairs (including a high speed quad), 2 surface
Terrain: 37% novice, 29% intermediate, 31% expert
Trails: 50
Cross Country: 25km
Snowboards: Terrain park and pipe
Information: 800-GO-BOYNE
Website: www.boyne.com 

Boyne Mountain – Boyne Falls

Boyne Mountain, the dean of Midwest ski resorts, was the first North American resort to install a six-seat chair lift, and it’s where the triple and quad lifts were invented. Always known as a place with challenging and varied terrain, the Mountain also boasts a wide variety of lodging options, the Austrian/American ski school, and the best apres ski in the Midwest, featuring the legendary Snowflake Lounge. Don't miss Avalanche Bay, the state's largest indoor water park located at the base of the slopes. 

Vertical Drop: 500'
Lifts:10 chairs (including a high-speed 6), 2 surface
Terrain: 29% novice, 41% intermediate, 30% expert
Trails: 67
Cross Country: 35 km
Snowboards: Terrain park and pipe
Information: 800-GO-BOYNE
Website: www.boyne.com 

 Mountain Run at Boyne - Boyne Falls

One of the most popular lodging options in Boyne Mountain Resort is Bluegreen's Mountain Run at Boyne. The luxurious timeshare suites are the perfect accommodations to relax in after a day on the slopes. Each unit offers skiers a private balcony, a fireplace, a complete kitchen and a large whirlpool tub. Avid skiers have the option of upgrading to villas which offer ski in/ski out access at the base of one of the mountain's most popular runs. Guests who are taking a break from the resort's 67 ski trails can relax with friends in the on-site restaurant or at the Solace Spa in the Mountain Grand Lodge. All in all, this is a highly recommended choice for snow and ski lovers everywhere. It's got something for everyone and features some of Boyne Mountain's most comfortable suites. Now available for sale and rent at up to 60% off retail prices on SellMyTimeshareNow.com.

Information: 877-815-4227
Website: www.sellmytimesharenow.com

Challenge Mountain – Boyne Falls

Challenge Mountain is the only ski resort in the United States devoted entirely to physically and mentally challenged skiers. The area offers every type of adaptive ski gear and a dedicated staff of volunteer instructors, and all of its services and equipment are provided free of charge to special needs skiers. Challenge Mt. is open most weekends and by appointment.

Vertical Drop: 370’
Lifts: Paddle tow and snowmobiles (for certain adaptive equipment)
Terrain: 100% novice
Trails: 3
Snowboards: Available this year for the first time.
Information: 231-535-2141
Website: www.challengemt.org 


Crystal Mountain – Thompsonville

Crystal Mountain offers lodging for over 1,200 people, indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center, and a myriad of skier services in the Crystal Center. But where the resort excels is in family skiing, with solid terrain choices and excellent programs. Crystal's Totem Park is designed exclusively for first-timers and beginners to improve their skiing and snowboarding skills. The resort also has one of the best cross country ski touring centers in Michigan.

Vertical Drop: 375'
Lifts: 7 chairs (including a high speed quad), 2 surface
Terrain: 24% novice, 53% intermediate, 23% expert
Trails: 46
Cross Country: 40+ km
Snowboards: Halfpipe and 4 Parks
Information: 800-968-4676, 800-YOUR-MTN
Website: www.crystalmountain.com 


Caberfae Peaks – Cadillac

Now in its 69th ski season, Caberfae Peaks just keeps getting better. The South Peak and North Peak developments have totally changed the skiing at Caberfae Peaks in recent years. The resort now boasts some of the biggest vertical drops and longest and best ski runs in the Midwest. Other new additions include a rental building, a beautiful day lodge, and paved parking. For this winter the popular Smiling Irishmen novice run off the top of North Peak has been widened.

Vertical Drop: 485'
Lifts: 4 chairs, 2 surface
Terrain: 39% novice, 29% intermediate, 32% expert.
Trails: 34
Cross Country: 15km
Information: 231-862-3000, 800-968-7544
Website: www.caberfaepeaks.com


Hanson Hills – Grayling

Publicly owned and operated, Hanson Hills is really a winter sports park. The area offers alpine skiing and some of the best cross country skiing in the state. Hanson Hills hosts many Michigan Cup XC races.

Vertical Drop: 225’
Lifts: 1 t-bar, 3 surface
Terrain: 50% novice, 50% intermediate
Trails: 11
Cross Country: 35km
Snowboards: Terrain Park
Information: 989-348-9266
Website: www.hansonhills.org 


Mt. Holiday - Traverse City

Mt. Holiday overlooks East Bay and is only minutes from downtown Traverse City. It has a great old time lodge and restaurant staffed with plenty of super friendly locals. The skiing is mainly intermediate, so this is a great place for lessons and family outings.

Vertical Drop: 210'
Lifts: 2 chairs, three surface tows
Terrain: 50% intermediate, 40% novice, 10% expert
Trails: 14
Snowboards: Terrain Park
Other: Tube Run
Website: www.mt-holiday.com


Nub’s Nob – Harbor Springs

Nub’s Nob is an excellent family ski area famous for its excellent snow, award winning day lodge, and superb cafeteria. This is a ski-only operation, with no lodging on site, but the varied terrain keeps skiers coming back. Trails face all directions of the compass and spill off two peaks, and spectacular vistas of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay are a treat and a 4,000 sq. foot warming house and restaurant on top of Pintail Peak overlooks it all.  For this winter the slope where the Super Pipe was located has been transformed into a race arena.

Vertical Drop: 427'
Lifts: 9 chairs
Terrain: 30% novice, 50% intermediate, 20% expert
Trails: 52
Cross Country: 28km
Snowboards: Top to bottom terrain park and 450’ halfpipe
Information: 231 526-2131, 800 SKI-NUBS
Website: www.nubsnob.com 


Otsego Ski Club - Gaylord

Opened in 1939, Otsego Club is America's oldest ski club with its own facility. The club is private, but the public is invited to ski the area at selected times of the winter. The ski facilities include 27 slopes, 5 chair lifts including high speed quad, 2 snowboard half-pipe parks, and miles of marked cross country ski trails. The Club's elevation is the highest point in the famed Michigan Snow/Sun Belt, and assures exceptional skiing throughout the season.

Vertical Drop: 358’
Lifts: 5 chairlifts, including a high-speed quad
Trails: 27
Cross Country: Miles of marked trails.
Snowboards: Terrain Parks, 2 halfpipes, numerous terrain features
Information: 989-732-5181
Website: www.otsegoclub.com 


Shanty Creek – Bellaire

Shanty Creek is a four-season resort located on 4,500 acres. The complex includes two ski mountains and three villages, all tied together with a transit system. Skiers can ski both the Summit Slopes and the Schuss Slopes on one Superticket. The area also offers tubing, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and 30 km of the finest cross country skiing in Michigan. Schuss Mountain has added two new runs and a terrain park for this season.

Vertical Drop: 450'
Lifts: 7 chair, 4 surface
Terrain: 37% novice, 30% intermediate, 33% expert
Trails: 48
Cross Country: 30km
Snowboards: 2 Parks and Pipe
Information: 800 678-4111
Website: www.shantycreek.com 


The Homestead – Glen Arbor

The Homestead is unique because it rests on the western shores of Lake Michigan, overlooking the Sleeping Bear Dunes. The trails loom high over Lake Michigan and lead down to a charming Village and resort neighborhoods, all close to resort activities and amenities. Children will love the Tamarack Children’s Center. Guests can also enjoy a snowshoe in the woods, savor fine dining, or travel to nearby villages and explore shops, galleries, museums and historical sites.

Vertical Drop: 375’
Lifts: 3 chairs, 2 surface
Trails: 16
Cross Country: 18km
Snowboards: Terrain Park
Information: 231-334-5000
Website: www.thehomesteadresort.com


Treetops – Gaylord

Treetops Sylvan Resort, in the heart of Northern Michigan's snowbelt, is a perfect family getaway. Located outside "The Alpine Village" of Gaylord, Treetops has a hotel at the top of its ski hill and a good selection of condos. The ski trails wind their way through the majestic hardwood forests that cover the slopes while state-of-the-art snowmaking and grooming make skiing here a joy. The excellent ski school also is a favorite with kids and families.

Vertical Drop: 225'
Lifts: 4 chairs, 3 surface
Terrain: 30% novice, 50% intermediate, 20% expert
Trails: 19
Cross Country: 20 km
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Halfpipe
Information: 888-TREETOPS, 517-732-6711
Website: www.treetops.com

More Ski Areas

Hickory Hills – Traverse City – 231-947-8566



Apple Mountain – Freeland

Apple Mountain offers every skier and snowboarder - beginner to advanced - the opportunity to enjoy their favorite winter sport just a few miles from the heart of the tri-cities (Saginaw, Bay city, Midland). Race programs challenge skiers of all ages and levels. Apple Mountain has a quad chairlift, a snowboarding park with a half pipe, and 100% snowmaking capabilities, lighting for night skiing and a warm cozy lounge.


Vertical Drop: 220'
Lifts:1 chair, 5 Surface)
Terrain: 40% novice, 40% intermediate, 20% expert
Trails: 12
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 888-781-6789
Website: www.applemountain.com 


Snow Snake – Harrison

Snow Snake has carved out a reputation as a great place for families and students. The ski area packs a lot of fun into its 40 acres, everything from skiing and snowboarding to snow tubing. Excellent lift ticket and rental prices are a big plus for the area. 

Vertical Drop: 210’
Lifts: 1 chair, 5 surface
Terrain: 30% novice, 50% intermediate, 20% expert
Trails: 13
Cross Country: 5 km
Snowboards: Terrain Park
Information: 989-539-6583
Website: www.snowsnake.net


Bittersweet -- Otsego

Southwest Michigan's Bittersweet is in the scenic Kalamazoo River Valley. Come and features the "SWEET EXPRESS" High Speed Detachable Quad chair lift, a first for SW Michigan. The Snowberry Ski Shop has a complete line of skis, boots, and poles as well as the latest in skiing apparel and accessories. The Winner's Circle Lounge is the place to go for food and drink. 

Vertical Drop: 350'
Lifts: 6 chairs, 6 surface
Terrain: 30% novice, 60% intermediate, 10% expert
Trails: 17
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Halfpipe.
Information: 616-694-2820, 616-694-2032
Website: www.skibittersweet.com


Cannonsburg Ski Area – Cannonsburg

Cannonsburg Ski Area, just north of Grand Rapids, offers slopes of great variety close to home. Continuous grooming and snowmaking assures every skier from the unsteadiest beginner to the advanced racer that the best snow conditions are always at Cannonsburg. With a quad, triple, and double chair, T-bar and rope tows, Cannonsburg has plenty of capacity to move skiers up the hill. The area also has a top-notch ski school and popular adult and junior racing programs.

Vertical Drop: 250'
Lifts: 3 chairs, 9 surface
Terrain: 40% novice, 40% intermediate, 20% expert
Trails: 18
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 616-874-6711, 616-874-6728
Website: www.cannonsburg.com 


Swiss Valley – Jones

Celebrating its 36th Anniversary this winter, Swiss Valley is a popular destination for Michigan skiers as well as skier’s from Indianapolis to Chicago. The area specializes in group outings, with an outstanding ski school and children’s program. Swiss Valley is also home for one of the best freestyle training programs in the country, the Swiss Valley Extreme Team. With alpine themed buildings and a nifty mountain top restaurant, Swiss Valley has a lot to offer. 


Vertical Drop: 225'
Lifts: 3 chairs, 4 surface
Terrain: 20% novice, 60% intermediate, 20% expert
Snowboards: Terrain park with table tops, spines, picnic tables, kickers, floaters, and a 36’ dragon rail called “Nessie.”
Information: 616-244-5635, 616 244-8016
Website: www.skiswissvalley.com


Timber Ridge – Kalamazoo

Timber Ridge has proudly offered skiing and snowboarding in southwest Michigan for the past 42 years. The trails cascade over beautifully wooded hills. The area also features the Snowshoe Bar with huge windows overlooking the slopes, which come in handy for watching the many race programs sponsored by the resort. The Ski Patrol is one of the best in the country, and patrollers put on slope side barbeques every Saturday, a “don’t miss” attraction.

Vertical Drop: 240'
Lifts: 5 chairs, 5 surface
Terrain: 20% novice, 70% intermediate, 10% expert
Trails: 15
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 616-694-9449, 800 285-6525
Website: www.timberridgeski.com


More Ski Areas

Pando Winter Sports Park – Rockford – 616-874-8343



Alpine Valley – White Lake

A short drive from Detroit or Ann Arbor brings you to the largest ski area in southern Michigan. This family-oriented ski area features 25 scenic slopes serviced by 10 chairlifts and 10 rope tows. And when you're ready to unwind after a fun-filled day or night of challenging snowy runs, you can relax in front of one of the many massive stone fireplaces in the spacious lodge, complete with two cafeterias and snack bars. 

Vertical Drop: 300'
Lifts: 10 chairs, 10 surface
Terrain: 39% novice, 26% intermediate, 35% expert
Trails: 25
Snowboards: Terrain park and 350’ halfpipe
Information: 248-887-2180, 248-887-4183
Website: www.skialpinevalley.com 


Mt. Brighton – Brighton

Mt. Brighton is one of the busiest ski areas in Michigan, a favorite with young and old alike. The area is popular with groups and does a great job with children, but that does not mean the adults are left out. Night skiing (as late as 2 A.M. on Saturday nights) and race programs are two staples on the Mt. Brighton menu. The area also boasts a massive lodge with good food and a fun atmosphere. This year the area is featuring new progressive terrain parks.

Vertical Drop: 250'
Lifts: 7 chairs, 11 surface
Terrain: 30% novice, 40% intermediate, 30% expert
Trails: 26
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 810-229-9581
Website: www.mtbrighton.com


Mt. Holly – Holly

Nestled in beautiful Groveland Valley, Mt. Holly is just one hour north of Detroit and 15 minutes south of Flint. The area offer slopes for the whole family, and uphill capacity that includes a high speed quad. Skier friendly Mt. Holly offers night skiing, complete snow making and grooming, and a helpful staff. The sprawling lodge has some great dining spots, like a pizza room and the Lift Lounge with 21 food/drink items, as well as the best apres ski decks in Michigan.

Vertical Drop: 350'
Lifts: 7 chairs, 6 surface
Terrain: 22% novice, 39% intermediate, 39% expert
Trails: 18
Snowboards: Terrain Park
Information: 248-634-8260, 800-582-7256
Website: www.skimtholly.com 


Pine Knob -- Clarkston

Pine Knob is close to Detroit, but has an “up north” feel. The slopes offer a lot of variety, including the double black “Wall.” The day lodge is one of the classiest in Michigan, with huge windows overlooking the slopes. Beginners flock to the ski school each winter, and the Adult Racing League is one of the most active in the state.

Vertical Drop: 300'
Lifts: 5 chair, 5 surface
Terrain: 30% novice, 35% intermediate, 35% expert
Trails: 15
Snowboards: Terrain Park
Information: 248-625-0800, 800-642-SNOW
Web Site: www.skipineknob.com


Blue Mountain – Collingwood, Ontario

Although not “technically” a Michigan ski area, so many Michigan skiers trek to Blue Mt. each winter it ranks as a close cousin. With a whopping 728’ vertical and a mountain that’s 2.5 miles wide, Blue is immense. The resort is so huge it encompasses 4 distinct base areas, but the Village at Blue is the most impressive. Anchored by the stately Grand Georgian Hotel, the Village contains shops, restaurants, and a town square. 

Vertical Drop: 728’
Lifts: 12, including 4 high speed lifts
Terrain: 15% novice, 32% intermediate, 52% expert
Trails: 40
Snowboards: 4 terrain parks, 1 halfpipe, 2 Superpipes
Information: 705-445-0231
Website: www.bluemountain.ca 





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Ski Resort Guide
Feature Articles
Skier Kitchen
Gear & Tuning
About Us