Michigan is a windswept, snowy state that can turn fully white during the winter. Even so, it’s not the first place people think of when it comes to top skiing destinations.
Though it’s not as big as other snow sport regions like Colorado and California, the 38 different resorts scattered throughout the northern mountains have plenty to offer and the ones listed here are some of the best in the state.
First and foremost is Mount Bohemia. It’s definitely geared toward experienced or advanced skiers and can be challenging. The resort sits in the UP at the very top of the Keweenaw Peninsula and offers a range of excellent runs.
There are no groomers on the mountain, but the 250-inches of annual snowfall give you plenty of places to ride. Just know that there are tons of steep tree stashes, as well as plenty of rocks and cliffs. There are two chairs that will take you up to 900-foot vertical drops. You can even ski between the chairs, have a bus pick you up on the access road, and then drop you off for another lap.
While Mount Bohemia won’t give you the best amenities in the world, if you call ahead you can book a stay in one of the excellent mountain cabins or yurts. There’s also the ever-popular Log Cabin Bar for those who want access to a great apres scene. The resort also boasts the largest hot tub in the UP for those cold winter nights.
Located at Shanty Creek, Schuss Mountain is a rare gem tucked away near Bellaire. This makes our list because it sits in the lake belt and can easily get a ton of fresh snow at any time. There are a variety of different runs here. First is Kingdom Come, which provides a deep pitch on a groomed slope. There is also Kings Canyon, which is great for any skier who wants long, fast turns.
As with so many great resorts, Schuss Mountain offers something for everyone. You can hit smooth runs that are perfect for families with younger kids, but there are also some awesome tree paths for much more advanced skiers. The ski school is also one of the best in the state and the price is generally affordable.
Another bonus of Schuss Mountain is the ample dining areas around it. There are plenty of restaurants that range from high-end sit-down areas to much more casual experiences. If you want to take a long trip to the area, there are a lot of different ways to lodge as well.
While not quite as secluded as some other resorts in the state, the ever-popular Marquette Mountain is a college destination that provides incredible skiing. Located within striking distance of North Michigan University, the resort has 600 vertical feet and plenty of snowfall all throughout the winter months. It’s situated in the Upper Peninsula and gives you plenty of riding options.
Both Upper Rocket and Cliffs Ridge are excellent fall line options, while Snowfield and Contour have a lot of open space where you can zip or turn to your heart’s content. There’s also a lot of ungroomed areas for skiers who want to break away from the crowds and venture out on their own.
While Marquette Mountain is a good distance from the Detroit area, it’s not as busy as you would first think. That makes it a nice place for people who want to take a break from the everyday bustle. An adult weekend ticket will also only run you about $48, which makes it quite affordable for all types of skiers.
4. Ski Brule
Ski Brule is a little ways off the beaten path for many. Even so, it makes our list because the resort, which sits near the Wisconsin/Michigan border, is one of the hidden gems of the Upper Peninsula. That northern location gives it one of the longest ski seasons in the state, often starting in October and heading all the way to May. That means you can enjoy the open terrain with small or limited crowds.
This resort comes with 500 vertical feet, which makes it a great destination for both individual snow enthusiasts and families. There are some long runs, like the mile-long Homestead and Maple Syrup, as well as ample open slopes that just about everyone can enjoy. For those that want to hike, there are plenty of cross country and snowshoe trails as well. Add on the different dining and sleeping options, and you have a place where you can truly get away.
Our final top Michigan resort is Cannonsburg, and it makes the list even despite a small vertical drop. While that may push some people away, quite a few riders flock to this area for the excellent racing and freestyle scene. You can speed down popular runs like Face and Plunge, or you can hit the park and try your hand at a range of different tricks.
This resort is one of the best places for younger skiers, but there are plenty of older ones that compete for bragging rights as well. There are plenty of rails, and the resort even has a tubing park during nights for people who want something a bit different. Located Northeast of Grand Rapids, it’s not hard to find a good place to eat or sleep nearby.
Michigan is a bit out of the way for some people, but if you’re heading to or live in this state and want some premium skiing, look no further than what we’ve listed above. There are plenty of great skiing destinations if you know where to search, and they each give you something different. The Wolverine state may be better-known for its lakes and forests, but there’s plenty to do in the winter as well.
Where do you ski in Michigan? Are there any resorts we didn’t cover? Let us know about them in the comments below!
Joseph Scalise is an avid writer, editor, and snow sports enthusiast who loves to spend his time outdoors. He began his love of writing early on in life and continued to pursue it as he grew older. While his time behind the computer doesn’t get him into the wild unknown as much as he would like, he never misses a chance to head up (or down) a mountain, across a river, or through a lush forest. When he’s not planning new trips, you can always find him typing away on his next project.