When you visit Michigan in the wintertime, you’ll notice that it appears to be the region that treats skiing literally. With the exception of New York, Michigan has the most ski resorts of any region.
The Wolverine State now boasts over 40 best Michigan ski resorts, more than 250 chairlifts, 50 terrain parks, and around 1,000 routes. In addition, Michigan is host to the nation’s only ski flying mountain, which is similar to ski jumping but on a greater scale.
While those figures are outstanding, there are two more criteria that distinguish Michigan from other states with regard to skiing: accessibility and affordability. Surprisingly, no matter where you travel in the state, there is always a ski resort within two hours.
Purchasing lift tickets at ski resorts in Colorado or Utah is also significantly more expensive than skiing in Michigan.
Michigan is second in the United States for the number of ski resorts. There are more than 40 ski resorts in the Great Lakes state, split between both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. Even if you’re a seasoned skier or snowboarder searching for a new adventure, or a family with children seeking a relaxing weekend escape, Michigan has something for everyone.
Most folks assume Michigan’s northwest Lower Peninsula when they think of “going up north,” and with valid reason. The traditional flash flooding snows we see drifting in off the enormous lake help to make this region one of the snowiest belts in the state. Be careful if you’re lucky enough to catch a storm cycle because when it’s great, it’s very terrific.
With our list of the best Michigan ski resorts in the state, you can find the greatest places to hit the slopes.
List of 10 Best Skiing Resorts in Michigan
There are many best Michigan ski resorts. As not everyone skis at the same degree of competence, this is a benefit for people who ski in teams or with family. With all of the facilities available at the ski resorts, if you have a non-skier in your company, refer them to the resort tubing park and they’ll be sure to have a good time.
Some ski resorts appeal to groups of peers of skiers and snowboarders by offering a range of slopes with varying degrees of intensity.
1. Big Snow Resort
Big Snow lives up to its moniker. It accumulates more than 17 feet of snow on normal each year to blanket its two summits, Indianhead Peek and Blackjack Peek.
Since both are designed to accommodate skiers of all abilities, Blackjack offers significantly more terrain for beginners and advanced. Indianhead Mountain does feature a new ski carpet and a nice beginner’s section.
If it’s the size you’re seeking, Indianhead comes out on top, with 230 acres of skiable terrain vs 170 acres. After January 1st, both slopes offer night skiing on weekends. Both mountains include two famous terrain parks, and Indianhead Mountain just introduced a new meadow area for anyone looking to get away from the groomed runs.
Big Snow is more than simply skiing; it also includes live bands every weekend and a variety of other activities, such as meditation at Blackjack Mountain Ski Lodge.
2. Boyne Resorts
Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands, Michigan’s most well-known resorts, are actually two hills. These are just the world’s leading resorts in lower Michigan, each covering more than 400 acres and offers over 115 trails.
The longest ski run in Michigan is at Boyne Highlands, which features a 1.25-mile path. All of these conveniences give the highlands a Western flavour.
The first slightly elevated, six-place chairlift in America is at Boyne Mountain Resort, while the first four-place chairlift in Michigan is at Boyne Highlands. The two peaks also include 11 terrain parks and the Snow Sports Academy, which consistently receives positive feedback from visitors. Free novice ski and snowboard zones are available on both slopes.
If downhill skiing isn’t your thing, each mountain has 35+ kilometres of cross-country and snowshoe paths. Overnight amenities, such as lodge rooms, cottages, and ski-in chalets, are highly appreciated on each mountain.
Boyne Highland and Boyne Mountain Resort have been contributing to Ikon Pass ski resorts since the 2018 – 2019 season.
3. Crystal Mountain
Crystal has been named one of the best Michigan ski resort towns in the United States and Canada, joining the ranks of such heavyweights as Deer Valley in Utah and Steamboat Springs in Colorado. The resort’s facilities, as well as the 102 acres of skiable terrain, deserve credit.
Elegant chalets at the bottom of the slope, additional events such as family campfires, and an indoor swimming pool with a family ball pit are just a few of the unique attractions at Crystal Mountain. Other snow sports available on the mountain include fat-tire snowcat riding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
Crystal also has a LEED-certified spa with an area of 18,500 square feet. Winter pains and discomfort may be treated with specialised therapies at the Crystal Spa. Nine lifts provide accessibility to 58 tracks on the slopes, including 27 that are illuminated for night skiing. There are three different terrain zones at the resort.
4. Ski Brule
This may seem more like a delicacy than a ski resort, but after you’ve skied here, you’ll understand why it’s the perfect sweet pleasure.
Ski Brule is routinely rated as being one of the greatest resorts in the Midwest. It will also be the first one to open, maybe as early as October, and will remain open for around six months.
Its position near the Wisconsin-Michigan boundary, as well as its massive good snow capabilities, deserve a lot of credit. It can make enough snowfall to open any of its 17 trails in under 24 hours. It also has three terrain parks, a tubing park, and is open until midnight for night skiing.
Fat biking, cross-country skiing, and sleigh rides are among the other snow sports available at Ski Brule. The resort’s innovative Acrobat lets visitors release themselves from a five-foot leap into an inflated landing platform (free with the purchase of a lift ticket).
5. Mount Bohemia
One of the most appealing aspects of Mount Bohemia in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is the opportunity to get higher. With 900 feet of vertical, this is the Midwest’s longest vertical. Mount Bohemia is also endowed with a lot of lake effect snow, with an elevation of 273 inches every year.
Mount Bohemia is only for committed skiers who will enjoy the mountain’s severe backcountry sector, which is ungroomed and has routes that are either excellent or advanced.
There are chutes and cliffs falling on the wooded runs. Mount Bohemia is presently in charge of the construction of Voodoo Summit, which has additional intermediate lines and snowcat skiing.
The lodge also just launched the first ski resort hostel in the Midwest. The Mount Bohemia Log Cabin Hostel has 24 coed bunk beds in two rooms, a sauna, and an outdoor hot tub, all of these are slope-side. You may also sleep in a tent (each sleeping 10 people) or one of the 12 log cottages (each bedding up to seven persons).
6. Pine Mountain Resort
Pine Summit, hidden away in the Upper Peninsula, prides itself on having the best-kept slopes in the Midwest. It has approximately 30 routes, as well as a terrain park and night skiing. But it’s Pine Mountain’s ski jump, which is widely regarded as one of the greatest in the world.
The Kiwanis Ski Club sponsors Jump Weekend every February, where elite jumping from across the globe has established multiple world marks throughout the years. In reality, Pine Mountain owns the US record of 459 feet, which it still retains. Jump Weekend attracts around 20,000 onlookers.
A transfer of ownership at Pine Mountain in 2018 ushered in the start of a multi-million-dollar renovation. Visitors staying at the Lodge at Pine Mountain may experience newly refurbished accommodations with alpine décor and accessible skiing access. At the Cedar, the resort also has recently remodelled trailside condos. It is one of the best Michigan ski resorts with this explicit view.
7. Shanty Creek Resort
Shanty Creek Resort attracts amateur and advanced skiers with two unique ski areas, Schuss Mountain and Summit Mountain, with a total of 53 routes. More than 60% of the routes are suited for beginners and experienced skiers, however higher terrain is available as well.
Three terrain parks, tubing, fat tyre biking, and 30 kilometres of groomed and track-set Nordic ski slopes are also available at Shanty Creek Resort.
Adult daily lift tickets range from $65 (weekday) to $85 (weekend) for the 2023/2023 season. Night skiing, which takes place between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, is also available at a subsidised rate.
Both Schuss Mountain and Summit Mountain have lift passes. Shanty Creek Resorts has also just improved their equipment rentals and include the most up-to-date Rossignol technology, a world leader in ski innovation.
8. Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort
Big Powderhorn is a popular ski destination in the Upper Peninsula, with enough to offer skiers of all abilities. There are 45 named trails spanning from bunny hills to black diamond runs like “Cannonball” and “Don’t Chute” scattered throughout 250+ skiable acres. The various routes are served by nine double chairlifts.
The Caribou Lodge at Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort offers slope-side accommodation. The lodge’s personal pool and jacuzzi are available to guests staying at no charge.
The Caribou Lodge is also a great spot to get a bite to eat or relax after a day on the slopes. Spaghetti, surf and turf, and hot hamburgers are on the menu at the resort.
9. Mount Holly Ski & Snowboard Resort
Mount Holly is located in Southeast Michigan’s Groveland Valley, about an hour’s drive northwest of Detroit. The region is notable for its extended winter and the limited number of routes, some of which are geared at moderate and expert skiers.
Mount Holly features 16 courses in all, with seven chairlifts and two cable tows to get you there. The resort’s entire altitude drop is roughly 350 feet, providing fast but exciting courses to the bottom. With 100 per cent of the mountain prepared to accept artificial snow, there are new trails to be made every day.
The hill is very enjoyable for beginners. Access to simpler routes close to the main mountain is provided by two rope tows and a flying carpet. This beginner’s section is a fantastic spot to practise before moving on to the more difficult slopes.
10. Otsego Club and Resort – Gaylord
Otsego Club, a ski and golf club east of Gaylord that stayed exclusive for over 80 years but is now available to the public, is just a short drive off I-75. Otsego Club is a hidden treasure in northern Michigan that even the most seasoned skiers or snowboarders should visit. Winter Olympians preparing for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver visited Otsego Club in 2010.
Otsego Club provides a fantastic range of terrain for all grades and experience levels, with roughly 400 vertical feet and 136 skiable acres, as well as 5 lifts rotating. Both skiers and snowboarders may rent from a large fleet of vehicles. Staying overnight or for the full weekend is something you owe to yourself. The facilities are excellent, and there are several on-site lodgings ranging from hotel rooms to condominiums.
Prices are comparable to those at other northern Michigan resorts, and it’s best to book ahead of time, but keep a close eye out for last-minute offers if you’re looking for a last-minute trip.
This year’s ski season in Michigan appears to be a little different from previous years. Social separation and enforced mask use in public venues and on chairlifts are among the new norms. Before visiting, make sure to check the resort’s official website for detailed information and any closures.
Whatever you choose to do, remember that planning ahead and making reservations early can save you money and time once you arrive. Michigan’s ski slopes have something for everyone, from the beginner to the expert skier or snowboarder looking for an adventure to a full-fledged family vacation.
If playing in the snow isn’t your style, there are also magnificent spas and warm cabins to choose from. In the winter, get outside and take advantage of everything Michigan has to offer.
Read also: Best New Hampshire Ski Resorts