Big Snow Resort

8 Top Rated Ski Resorts in Michigan

Maybe you don’t associate Michigan with skiing. But visit this state in the winter and you’ll see that Michigan takes its skiing seriously. With the exception of New York, Michigan has more ski areas than any other state. Currently, the state has 49 ski areas, 269 lifts, 50 terrain parks, nearly 1,000 trails and the country’s only hill for ski flying, which is like ski jumping but on a larger scale.

While these statistics are impressive, Michigan places two different factors than other states when it comes to skiing: convenience and cost. Surprisingly, no matter where you are in the state, you’re always within two hours of a ski resort, and lift tickets are much cheaper than traditional ski states like Colorado and Utah.

1 Big Snow Resort

Big Snow Resort | Photo copyright: Big Snow Resort

Big Snow delivers in his name. In an average year it receives more than 17 meters of snow to cover its two mountains, Indianhead and Blackjack. While they both cater to all skiers and have terrain parks, beginners and advanced skiers have a little more terrain to choose from at Blackjack, which also offers night skiing. Still, Indianhead has a good beginner area with a new ski cover. Of course, if it’s the size you’re looking for, Indianhead weighs in as the favorite, with 270 skiable acres versus 170 acres. Big Snow isn’t just about skiing though, it offers live music every weekend and plenty of other events like yoga at Blackjack Mountain Ski Lodge. Need a break from skiing? Head to the tubing slide or yeti snow fort on Blackjack, where you can climb and slide to your heart’s content.

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Accommodation: Where to Stay near Big Snow Resort

Read also:Best Campgrounds in South Lake Tahoe

2 Boyne Resorts

Boyne Highlands Rachel Kramer / photo modified
Boyne Highlands Rachel Kramer / photo modified

Michigan’s most famous ski resort is Boyne, which actually consists of two mountains, Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands. These are the two largest resorts in northern Michigan and each has over 400 acres with more than 115 trails, including several miles of slopes, making the mountain more like that of the West. Here you will find America’s first high-speed six-place chairlift and Michigan’s first four-place chairlift. In addition, the two mountains feature 11 terrain parks and the SnowSports Academy, which always earns praise from guests. Both mountains also offer free skiing and snowboarding areas for beginners. For those not into the downhill scene, an impressive 70-plus kilometers of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails await.

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Accommodation: Where to Stay in Boyne

3 Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain ski resort on a cold winter night
Crystal Mountain ski resort on a cold winter night

Crystal has scored a spot on lists of the 10 best family ski resorts in the United States and Canada, putting it in the company of heavy hitters like Deer Valley in Park City, Utah and Steamboat Springs in Colorado. Credit goes not only to the 102-acre ski area, but also to the amenities, including the luxury cabins at the base of the slope, free activities like family camps, an indoor pool with a play area for families, and a full range of additional snow activities like snow tubing with fat -snow snowcat, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Crystal also has an 18,500-square-foot LEED-certified spa. On the slopes, nine lifts provide access to 58 trails, 27 of which are for night skiing. There are also four terrain areas and four open spaces.

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Lodging: Crystal Mountain

4 Mount Bohemia

Being vertical is one of the biggest draws to Mount Bohemia, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Here you’ll find the longest vertical in the Midwest at 900 feet. Mount Bohemia is also blessed with an abundance of lake snow, receiving an average of 273 inches per year, but because the trails are not groomed and the pistes are expert or advanced, this is a mountain solely for serious skiers who undoubtedly love the extreme hinterland of the mountain. The wooded runs feature slides and cliff drops. The resort also recently opened the Midwest’s first ski resort, with 24 coed bunk beds in two different rooms, a sauna and an outdoor hot tub, all on the side of the ski slope. You can also sleep in a yurt – six people sleep ten people each – or one of twelve log cabins with capacity for up to seven people each.

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5 Nub’s Nob

Nub's Nob
Nub’s Nob

If you’re looking to get your ski legs on for the first time or before heading west, Nub’s Nob is where you want to go. That’s because 30 percent of the trails are marked as easiest and another 50 percent as more difficult. That only leaves a small amount on the hardest, but with only a 427-foot vertical drop, even intermediate skiers should be able to tackle these trails. However, if you are a beginner, there is a free beginners section with a chairlift, so if you have any questions about whether you like the sport, you can always try it before buying a ticket. (In addition, those eight and under and 70 plus ski free daily.) Once you’re on the slopes, head to Pintail Peak for fun skiing on gently swaying trails.

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Accommodation: Where to Stay near Nub’s Nob

6 Pine Mountain

Tucked away in the Upper Peninsula, family-friendly Pine Mountain likes to say it has the best groomed slopes in the Midwest. It features 27 trails and a terrain park, plus night skiing. What sets Pine Mountain apart, however, is its ski jump, often revered as one of the best in the world. Every February, the Kiwanis Ski Club hosts a jumping tournament, where top jumpers in the world have set numerous records over the years. In fact, the American record of 459 feet, which still stands, was set on Pine Mountain. More than 20,000 spectators attend Jump Weekend.

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7 Shanty Creek Resorts

Chairlift shade
Chairlift shade

Beginner and advanced skiers flock to Shanty Creek Resorts, which features two mountains, Schuss and Summit, with 52 trails. More than 60 percent of the slopes are suitable for these two levels of skiers, although the resort also has advanced terrain. There are also five terrain parks, tubing, fat tire biking and 30 kilometers of groomed and trails for Nordic skiers. One designation this resort has earned over the years is top value in the Midwest.

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Accommodation: Shanty Creek Resorts

8 Ski Brule

This may sound more like a dessert than a ski resort, but once you ski here you’ll see why this is the ultimate sweet treat. Ski Brule consistently ranks as one of the Midwest’s best resorts. It also promises to be the first, sometimes as early as October, and will remain open for about six months. Much of the credit goes to its location near the Wisconsin-Michigan border, as well as its immense snowmaking capabilities. Within 24 hours it can generate enough snow to open a trail. With three terrain parks and a tubing park, this is truly a family-friendly resort that remains open for night skiing. It also offers many additional activities, such as acrobag, fat bike trails, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails, sleigh rides and a full children’s program.

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Read also:

Top-Rated Ski Resorts in New Hampshire

top-rated resorts in Michigan

Top Rated Ski Resorts in Colorado

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