Michigans Upper Peninsula is a relatively remote area covering about 30% of the states land mass but only home to a few per cent of the population. It is surrounded by the waters of three great lakes: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron and is a tourist destination for water sports in summer and for downhill and cross-country skiing in the winter.
The hills of the Upper Peninsula, the northern latitudes and the proximity of the lakes combine to create great conditions for some of the most interesting Michigan ski resorts.
Mount Bohemia Ski Area
Mount Bohemia is located at the northern end of Upper Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula near Lac La Belle. The mountain is very deliberately designed to attract expert skiers to its feet of vertical: only two runs are designated blue on the four mountains with the remainder being single or double black diamond runs. Almost all of the ski terrain available from the two lifts or by hiking (!) is left ungroomed and the ski resort website even warns No Beginners Allowed.
Nearest accommodation: There is a limited amount of accommodation, including ski-in ski-out yurts and cabins, near the base of the lifts, but the closest towns of any size are Hancock and Houghton 40 miles away.
Ski resort website: www.mtbohemia.com
Mont Ripley is the oldest ski area in Michigan and its origins date back to It has been operated by Michigan Technical University since the s and is located just outside Hancock, reputed to be the snowiest town in the Midwest. The ski hill offers 24 trails on a vertical drop of feet and has a good mixture of ski runs for all abilities served by its two chairlifts and a T-bar drag lift. The ski area also offers terrain parks and a snow tubing park as well as running a night skiing facility.
Nearest accommodation: Mont Ripley is located just outside the town of Hancock and there are lodging options both there and in the town of Houghton across the Keweenaw Waterway.
Ski resort website: www.mtu.edu
Accommodation for both the ski areas above can be found in the Hancock-Houghton area. Check availability for any dates through the link below:
Check Houghton and Hancock Accommodation Availability
Porcupine Mountains Ski Area
This small ski area dating back to is located on the shores of Lake Superior in the Porcupine Mountains State Park and is managed by a local community college programme who use it in educating students in their ski hill management course. The ski lifts one triple chair and two tows serve a vertical of feet with 20 different runs mostly suited for intermediate and advanced skiers. The ski operation is only open from Friday to Monday during the winter season and there is no night skiing available.
Nearest accommodation: There is a limited amount of accommodation available near the state park but the closest towns with a good choice of lodging would be the Bessemer-Ironwood area to the south or the Houghton-Hancock area to the north.
Ski resort website: porkies.ski
Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort
Big Powderhorn Mountain is one of three ski areas in the Ironwood-Bessemer area of the Upper Peninsula near the Wisconsin state line. The ski resort, which has its own cluster of lodging at the base, is located around four miles to the north-west of Bessemer and offers more than acres of ski terrain with a vertical drop of feet. There are 45 trails, some with snowmaking, and a terrain park served by nine chairlifts. The ski resort is connected to the IndyPass group of independent ski resorts.
Nearest accommodation: The Big Powderhorn Mountain resort offers its own chalets and condos near the base station of the ski lifts. Alternative lodging is available in nearby Bessemer and Ironwood.
Ski resort website: bigpowderhorn.net
Big Snow Resort
Big Snow Resort actually consists of two adjacent ski areas to the north-east of Bessemer: Indianhead Mountain and Blackjack Mountain. Indianhead Mountain is slightly larger in terrain and vertical than Blackjack but both ski hills offer a decent Upper Peninsula ski experience. Combined, the two ski resorts offer 15 lifts and 56 ski trails, as well as three terrain parks. The lift pass covers both ski resorts and there is a shuttle bus service which connects the two ski areas.
Nearest accommodation: The Big Snow Resort offers its own accommodation near the base station of the ski lifts. Alternative lodging is available in nearby Bessemer and Ironwood.
Ski resort website: bigsnow.com
Accommodation for the ski areas above can be found in the Bessemer-Ironwood area. Check availability for any dates through the link below:
Check Ironwood and Bessemer Accommodation Availability
Marquette is the largest town on the Upper Peninsula, with a population of more than 50, and home to Northern Michigan University. The Marquette Mountain ski area, which started in the s, is on the southern edge of the city limits and offers 25 ski trails with a vertical drop of around feet. There is also a terrain park and the area offers night skiing. The mountains heavy winter snowfall is influenced by the nearby waters of Lake Superior and one of the attractions of skiing here is the panoramas of the lake from the top.
Nearest accommodation: There is plenty of suitable accommodation available in Marquette.
Ski resort website: marquettemountain.com
Check Marquette Accommodation Availability
Ski Brule Resort
Ski Brule is a popular family-run ski area near the town of Iron River and the border with Wisconsin. It is known for its long winter seasons and targets opening in mid-November with the ski runs open through into May if conditions permit. The skiing terrain is served by five chairlifts and seven surface lifts covering a feet vertical. There are 17 trails in total with a mix of difficulty levels and three terrain parks. Night skiing is available on terrain served by surface lifts over the weekend.
Nearest accommodation: Vacation rentals and ski condos are available from the ski resort near the base area and hotel accommodation is available in nearby Iron River.
Ski resort website: skibrule.com
Check Iron River Accommodation Availability
Pine Mountain Ski Resort
Pine Mountain is a winter and summer resort on the outskirts of the town of Iron Mountain near the Wisconsin border in Michigans Upper Peninsula. The ski area started back in the late s and also features one of the USAs premier ski jumps. The skiing on a feet vertical is served by three chairlifts and a beginners tow. The ski runs are generally unchallenging and the ski area, which also offers two terrain parks, is best suited to beginner and early intermediate skiers and snowboarders.
Nearest accommodation: The ski resort offers slopeside condo accommodation and rooms in its mountain lodge. More accommodation options are available down the road in Iron Mountain.
Ski resort website: www.pinemountainresort.com
Check Iron Mountain Accommodation Availability
Information about the skiing in other parts of the state can be found on our main Michigan Ski Resorts page.
Best Ski Resorts in Michigan (with Map)
Skiing in Michigan
The first fall of fresh, powdery snow and the means only one thing in Michigan: it’s ski and snowboard season.
Although the ski season’s relatively short depending on the weather, Michigan has the top ski resorts in the Midwest. Michigan’s stunning landscape was made for snow sports: downhill, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and tubing are just some of the activities are just some of the fun you'll find at Michigan's ski mountain resorts.
High mountains and hills combined with thick pine forests surrounded by glittering icy lakes - make for the some of the most picturesque skiing in the country. The lake effect snows off of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior mean a high average snowfall for the Michigan ski and snow resort industry, and that means opportunity for snowy fun for both beginning and advanced skiers.
Imagine standing atop a ski hill with Michigan’s wintery wonderland spread out before you: crisp, clean air, the scent of pine and a endless vista of trees and lakes. It’s simply breathtaking and a must on your winter Michigan travel list.
Ski In Michigan
If you’ve ever skied the Rockies or Vermont, or even Canada, you’re in for a special treat when you discover skiing in Michigan. Whether you're in the Upper Peninsula, northern Michigan or even southeast Michigan, you can plan ski trip easily: just use this guide to ski resorts in Michigan.
The scenery is spectacular: where else but The Homestead Resort, in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes, can you gaze out at Lake Michigan from the top of the ski runs? Or try the night skiing at Marquette Mountain or Big Powderhorn in the Upper Peninsula, where the snow glistens under the lights of a wintery snow kingdom?
Best Michigan Skiing
Whether you’re a seasoned skier or snowboarder or just learning, Michigan has a ski area for you. If you’ve already started to think about where to buy your lift tickets or season passes, read on.
Many Michigan ski resorts offer lessons from top-rated professionals in the form of private and group lessons, or even ski schools aimed at getting you up and down a mountain with ease in no time. Most of these ski areas are attached to resorts, and if they're not, there are many hotels in Michigan located nearby the ski area to accommodate visitors.
Michigan Family Skiing
For skilled skiers seeking more of a challenge, Michigan offers something too: Mount Bohemia Ski Resort in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has the biggest vertical drop in the Midwest and many other spots boast terrain parks, moguls and many black diamond runs.
If you’re looking for a fun family getaway, most Michigan ski resorts offer an extensive array of après ski and other activities for those less anxious to hit the slopes. You’ll find snow tubing, ice skating, fat tire biking, outdoor hot tubs, horse-drawn carriage rides and much more, all designed to appeal to a wide variety of tastes and interests. The Michigan mountain resorts are ready for you.
Where’s the Best Skiing in Michigan?
It’s a question with many answers…and here’s one answer: it depends. As we mentioned above, Michigan has a more than 40 ski areas and each one is unique. That’s a bonus for those who ski in groups or with families, because not everyone skis at the same level of skill. With all of amenities available at the ski resorts, if you have a non-skier in the group, point them in the direction of the resort tubing park and they're guaranteed to have fun.
Some ski resorts cater to skiers and snowboarders in groups and families by providing a variety of slopes with different levels of difficulty. If you’re looking for ski resorts with some easier runs, you might consider:
Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire offers 53 runs on two mountains, with easier beginner and intermediate runs on Summit Mountain and more challenging runs on Schuss Mountain; and there's a multi-lane tubing park. Summit Mountain may be closed throughout the season, but there's always multiple opportunities for skiers of all ability at this comfortable mountain resort. Schuss Mountain at Shanty Creek is set in a beautiful location near charming Bellaire, Michigan.
Crystal Mountainin Thompsonville has 58 runs of varying difficulty, but a good many of them are easier; exactly what you’d expect from a family ski resort that starts lessons at age three. Crystal Mountain is one of the toprated ski resorts for famiilies and with good reason. From the variety of cozy and comfortable accommodations to the well-lit night skiing to the luxuriously indulgent Crystal Spa, Crystal Mountain never disappoints.
Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls and Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs are full-service resorts that offer a mix of both easy, intermediate and difficult runs; these are top-rated ski resorts offering excellent downhill skiing. Boyne Mountain Resort is also home to an indoor waterpark, Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark. Located off a little mountain road near Lake Charlevoix, both the skiing and setting are spectacular here. Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs is a great spot for advanced skiers as well as those just starting to get their "ski legs."
Nubs Nob, also in Harbor Springs, is a favorite northern Michigan destination for advanced skiers and those just starting out as well. The Nubs Nob mountain is located not far from Boyne Highlands, and offers challenging runs for both skiers and snowboarders. The Nubs Nob ski lessons are some of the best around.
Treetops Resort, in Gaylord is a central Michigan destination with breathtaking views overlooking a valley. Treetops not only offers both cross country and downhill skiing, you can also try dog-sledding.
Otsego Club, also in Gaylord, is a smaller but very family-friendly ski resort, offering skiing, snowboarding and tubing.
Caberfae Peaks in Cadillac offers some of the steepest vertical drops in Michigan, as well as a large terrain park.
Just outside of Grand Rapids, MI, you’ll find two ski areas popular with both skiers and snowboarders.
Cannonsburg Ski Area, just a little northeast of Grand Rapids, is a small downhill ski resort that also offers tubing and fat tire biking.
Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl is a local ski hill in Grand Haven intent on making skiing a family thing: in fact, parent’s always ski free! Set on the Lake Michigan coastline, you’ll get some truly stunning views of the lake here, and some good skiing, too.
Alpine Valley in White Lake packs a lot of good skiing into this smaller ski are in southeast Michigan. Alpine Valley offers a great mix of beginner, intermediate and black diamond runs as well as three terrain parks.
Pine Knob Ski and Snowboard Resort is located in Clarkston in southeast Michigan, north of the metro Detroit area. For a small mountain ski area, Pine Knob offers great group and individual ski lessons through their ski school.
Michigan also offers more challenging skiing, and the terrain in the Upper Peninsula is similar to the Rockies with more dramatic vertical drops and longer, wide-open runs. If you’re seeking a more challenging ski experience (with some easier runs mixed in) you
Big Snow Resort is located in far northwest corner of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and is the home of Blackjack Mountains and Indianhead Mountain. This is snow country - the area receives almost 18 feet of snow annually.
Marquette Mountain is located just minutes from downtown Marquette and offers some of the most challenging skiing Pine Mountain overlooks the city of Iron Mountain and has 35 ski runs and 2 terrain parks.
Voodoo Mountain at Mount Bohemia in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula has a vertical drop of feet - not for the faint of heart.
Ski the Porkies in the Porcupine Mountain range offers a unique experience in a natural setting on the shores of Lake Superior.
Ski Bruleis located in Iron River, and offers one of the best terrain parks in Michigan along with a double black diamond run.
Use the Michigan Ski Map
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Ski Resorts in Michigans Upper Peninsula
Home to 14 of Michigans ski areas, the Upper Peninsula offers up some of the best views and conditions in the midwest. Ranging from smaller mom and pop type ski areas, to full-fledged resorts, skiing in the U.P. is an experience that should be on everybodys list. Explore the ski areas and plan a trip today.
- Big Powderhorn Mountain
- Blackjack Ski Resort
- Gladstone Sports Park
- Indian Mountain Resort
- Marquette Mountain
- Mont Ripley Ski Hill
- Mount Bohemia
- Mt. Zion Recreational Complex
- Norway Mountain
- Pine Mountain Resort
Iron Mountain, MI
- Porcupine Mountains Ski Area
- Ski Brule
Iron River, MI
- Spring Valley Ski Hill
- Silver Mountain Ski Area
Skip the flight west and head to the U.P. to ski and snowboard in winter’s home
Snow blankets Michigans Upper Peninsula from early November until late April. That makes us the perfect destination for downhill ski and snowboard adventures from Thanksgiving through spring break. Our nine ski resorts are located throughout the Western and Central U.P. and the downhill terrain is sure to please young families as well as extreme adrenaline junkies! Glide down sparkling groomed trails with panoramic views for miles. Snowboarders award our terrain among powdery peaks top marks. Come UP and you will find yourself extending your stay to enjoy our unique resorts and live entertainment.
Check our Downhill Ski Report to get the current conditions for our downhill ski and snowboarding destinations.
Resorts tailored to every age and ability
Big Powderhorn offers 45 runs, skiable acres and three terrain parks. A wide range of lodging options are available, but please note that accommodations are individually owned and not operated by the resort. A charming Bavarian village adds to the enjoyment. Beginner through advanced runs. Located in Wakefield.
Big Snow offers two resorts with a combined 56 runs. Beginner and intermediate (Blackjack) and advanced (Indianhead) trails with a top vertical drop of feet. The resorts feature family activities and a variety of onsite lodging options. Stretch out and get your OM on at yoga or take an art class, while the kids burn the rest of their energy bouncing on the trampoline. Located in Bessemer-Wakefield.
Marquette Mountain offers skiable acres, a weekly race night and it is located minutes from downtown Marquette’s restaurants and shops. Season pass holders receive discounts and deals at Big Powderhorn, Pine Mountain, Iron Mountain and Mont Ripley. Bar and grill onsite.
Mont Ripley offers 24 ski runs on acres, night skiing and terrain parks. Located adjacent to the campus of Michigan Technological University, it enjoys proximity to many attractions. Beginner to advanced runs. Lodging options are located nearby. Located in Houghton on the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Mt. Bohemia appeals to extreme thrillists who need not travel out to Colorado to reach dizzying heights. Helicopter in and get a vertical drop of feet on an exhilarating downhill run! Or board the CAT to experience the Midwest’s first backcountry Snowcat ski run at the resort’s new Voodoo Mountain. Shoosh through lake-effect powder along skiable acres. Mt. Bohemia features eight distinct sections to choose from. Try unique lodging options, such as yurts, available onsite. Nordic spa. Located in Mohawk.
Pine Mountain offers an annual Ski Jump Festival in February that draws top jumpers from around the world. Live music and entertainment throughout the weekend. Twenty-eight ski runs range from beginner to expert level. Offers backcountry, freestyle and night skiing. One terrain park for snowboarding. Lodging and a restaurant are available onsite. Located in Iron Mountain.
Porcupine Mountain ski area UPs the game. Offering skiing with a side of breathtaking nature, the mountain is situated within the “Porkies” 60, pristine acres of wilderness. The park has earned the moniker, “the place that mother nature takes her children!” Downhill skiers and snowboarders enjoy 15 groomed ski trails and four glade trails. The ski area is also home to the annual Midwest Telefest, a telemark (free-heel skiing) event held in February. Lodging is available in nearby towns. Located in Ontonagon.
Ski Brule is among the top destinations for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. With 17 ski runs that range from beginner to expert on acres. This friendly resort is famous for its excellent service and has a family program. Kids of all ages will love the festive sleigh rides. Catch some air in three diverse terrain parks catering to all ability levels. Ski Brule Village offers chalets tucked into the north woods ideal for groups and families. Shopping and dining onsite in the village. Located in Iron River.
Break from the action and immerse in some history
Learn about past champions at the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in Ishpeming. Established in , the Hall of Fame honors men and women whose contributions and achievements have enriched the sport of skiing. The building reflects Nordic and alpine skiing in its architecture.
Annual Ski Jumping Tournament
Suicide Hill Ski Bowl, Ishpeming
Annual Pine Mountain Ski Jumping Tournament
U.P. Health System Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon
Swedetown Ski Trails, Calumet
Ski resorts peninsula map upper
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