Even though summer is just around the corner and the snowy season is probably the last thing on your mind, you might want to consider planning ahead to avoid the winter rush (and price hikes) that hits when everyone starts shopping for winter vacations at the same time. And although some people might not consider Michigan a hotspot for skiing, there are a handful of resorts that offer great winter getaways without forcing you to leave the state.
In fact, Michigan ranks second only after New York when it comes to ski areas. Currently, we have 49 ski areas, 50 terrain parks, 269 lifts and almost 1,000 runs. Michigan also houses the only hill for ski flying in the country! Sky flying is more like ski jumping on a larger platform. What really sets Michigan apart from other states’ winter vacation offerings is the accessibility and cost available here. Even better is that no matter where you might be in Michigan, you’re probably not more than two hours away from an excellent skiing experience.
That all being said, the following are some of the best ski resorts in Michigan.
Ski Brule is usually the first ski resort to open in Michigan – they open their slopes as early as October and their ski season lasts for about six months. It is also the top choice in the Midwest as one of the best ski resorts. The location is the key to its popularity; it’s near the border of Wisconsin and there is a enormous and reliable snowfall in the area. In about 24 hours of snowing, the slopes in Brule can generate enough snow for you to head out on your skis. The resort has three terrain parks and the ever famous tubing park. They also offer fat bike trails, cross country, sleigh rides and acrobag. Kids of all ages will have a great time here and the resort also stays open for night skiers.
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Big Snow Resort
As defined by its name, Big Snow Resort has a massive snowfall to fill its slopes. The ski resort receives no less than 17 feet of snow on an average each year. It’s more than enough to cover the two mountains in the area, the Blackjack, and the Indianhead. Skiers of all levels can choose different terrain parks from beginners to intermediate even those who consider themselves as experts. For beginners and intermediate, Blackjack can offer a lot of them which also open for night skiing. This side of the mountain offer tubing and yeti snow where you can climb and slide until the snow melts. On the other hand, the Indianhead caters for the expert skiers which feature 270 acres of snow filled slopes. Another great thing about the Big Snow is that they offer different events aside from skiing. They host various artists to perform live music every weekend.
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Placed as one of the best family ski resorts in Canada and in the US, Crystal Mountain can contend to other well-known ski resorts. Crystal Mountain has 58 trails, which 27 of those are designated for night skiing that is well lit. They also have other four terrain areas and four glade areas. This ski resort offers luxurious facilities and amenities. They offer top notched cottages and the base of the mountain, campfires, family play area for the kids and an indoor pool. If you want a break from the skiing, they also offer activities such as snowcat biking, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. Or you can just relax in their 18,500 square foot certified spa that is illuminated with LEED.
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Shanty Creek Resorts
Families with smaller children opt to stay at Shanty Creek Resorts. Beginners and level two skiers can easily navigate its slopes since 60% of the runs are made just for them. However, they still have advanced terrain for intermediate and expert skiers. The resort offers five terrain parks, which activities such as tubing and fat tire biking. Shanty Creek Resorts also has a reputation as one of the best ski resort in the Midwest.
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Located in the northern part of Michigan, Mount Bohemia has the longest vertical in the Midwest measuring up to 900 feet. On an average year, Mount Bohemia receives more than 273 inches of snow because of the immense lake effect snow. It’s a top destination for expert skiers who do not mind rough trails and backcountry scenery. Chutes and a cliff drop mark some of the forested trails. The ski resort hostel contains 24 coed different rooms, an outdoor hot tub, and a sauna. All of the rooms are within the sloped sides so visitors can still get a glimpse of the beautiful mountain peak.
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Another great ski resort tucked away in the northern part of Michigan, Pine Mountain has the reputation to house the best ski jump in the world. The United States still holds the record for the highest ski jump measuring up to 459 feet happened in the very slope of this mountain. More than 20,000 people gathered to see the spectacular event during the Jump Weekend event. The event which Kiwanis Ski Club host happens every February invites all top jumpers, where they set world records within the past years. Pine Mountain boasts of 27 trails, a terrain park and slopes designated for night skiing.
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Beginner skiers flock the Nub’s Nob to practice their skills on one of its easy trails. The ski resorts labeled 30% of their trails as easiest while designating the other 50% for the intermediate skiers. This means Nub’s Nob only has designated a small area for the expert. However, they do have a 427-foot vertical drop which the intermediate skiers can tackle on their own. Another great thing about the resort is that they offer a free beginner area complete with a chairlift. This weighs in your ability whether you want more of the amazing adventure before going to its slopes.
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Last but definitely not the least, the Boyne Resorts, hailed as the most famous ski resort in Michigan. The ski resorts houses two mountains, the Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountains. Both are considered the largest ski resorts in the southern part of Michigan. Each mountain contains 400 acres of land with no less than 115 trails. It includes various mile-long runs similar to its counterparts in the West. Boyne Resorts also includes the country’s first ever high-speed six-place chairlift along with the first four-place chairlift in Michigan. For skiers who like speeds, the downhill 70-kilometers cross-country serves a perfect place to master those skills. The resorts even placed a free beginner and snowboard areas, so first timers will not get left behind. The SnowSports Academy is also located within the resort that earns great compliments from visitors.
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