5 Best Ski Resorts in Michigan

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.

1. Mount Bohemia

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.

2. Schuss Mountain

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.

3. Marquette Mountain

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 are 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.

5. Cannonsburg

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.

Final Words

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 I’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 me know about them in the comments below!

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  • Andy B

    Sorry, this list is unusual, and leaves out what most consider the top four ski areas in the state.

    Bohemia is legendary and from what I hear worth the drive. Though not for beginners, as they don’t groom.

    I’ve never been to Brule, which is kind of the point–if you’re going to drive 9 hours you are probably going elsewhere–if you’re from Detroit you can be in Vermont in 9 hours.
    Marquette and Cannonsburg are good local hills.

    Most Michiganders find the Northwest lower peninsula to be the best combination of good ski hills and proximity to bigger cities. Here is my local rundown.

    Shuss/Shanty Creek. Good variety of lodging price points. The hill feels smaller because all lifts come to the same point. A great terrain park, with its own lift that you can lap repeatedly if you want. The worst grooming and snowmaking, so icy and cruddy if we haven’t had snow in awhile. The most laid back/scruffy/local of these options, and the cheapest.

    Crystal Mountain. The best for upscale lodging. The hill is the shortest of these options, but somehow they make if feel bigger than it is. Awesome ski school (our family went there every Friday night). The run on either end of the hill (Buck and Loki lifts) are the best consistent pitch runs in lower Michigan in my opinion.

    Boyne Mountain. The grandfather of all Michigan ski resorts. Great terrain, a lot of great racing-oriented skiers. Excellent dining options and they have a water park if you want to do that and a giant wooden bridge that is actually really cool. A great place for a familly vacation. The new lift out back really helps and beginners should head back there. Negatives are crowds. Good terrain park. Connected to the Ikon plan, so many ski here because they save money if they are taking a trip out west.

    Highlands at Harbor Springs (formerly Boyne Highlands). Great terrain options. This is a small thing, but the hill is setup so you can’t see the parking lot very often (which is a usual feature of a Michigan ski place) so it just feels bigger. Lots of room to spread out. Lodging is good but you’ll probably drive to town for dinner. Lifts are old/slow and not well placed–I don’t mind but my (spoiled :)) kids don’t like them. They are placing some new lifts in coming years. Limited terrain park. Same pass as Boyne.

    Nubs Nob. The best snow, no contest. A local’s hill that is really well set up. The vibe is a place for real skiers and boarders who don’t care about other amenities but just want great skiing, which it delivers. Let me put it this way: I saw a class of people learning to use AT gear, and this is the only Michigan resort where that wouldn’t seem weird.

    • Christine

      Hey Andy,

      Thanks so much for sharing all this! I’m not a Michigan local, so it’s great to have that perspective and get some more insight into what you think are the best places to ski there. I’ll be sure to work this into any updates of this post, and appreciate you going in-depth. Cheers to a good winter!

  • Eric T

    Another great ski resort approximately 90 to 100 miles north of Grand Rapids, near the town of Cadillac is Caberfae Peaks. It’s a true ski resort with on site hotel, restaurant, and bar. Plus awesome ski hills, they have 5 lifts, and terrain park. It is kind of centrally located in Northern Michigan, and about a 4 hour drive from Metro Detroit. It is the oldest ski resort in Michigan built in the late 19 30s in the Huron Manistee National Forest, and the current ownership is adding more lifts, and runs. It has a lot to offer every level of skier. From green and blue runs all the way up black diamonds for advanced, and expert skiers

    • Christine

      Hey Eric,

      Happy to hear you approve of my choice here, and now I know what your home ski hill is! Sounds like you’ve had some solid experiences here, and I’ll have to come check it out whenever I get the chance to get back to Michigan. Great to know about Caberfae Peaks, too – I have yet to ski there, but now it’s on the list. As long as you are having fun and getting some turns in, I don’t think it matters all that much where you ski. And those hometown resorts can have sentimental value that can’t be beat!

  • Eric T

    Wow, I didn’t think you would pick Cannonsburg as a top 5 hill in Michigan! ,but thanks a lot this is where my daughter and I ski and snowboard. It is our home hill, and we love it.. This is where I learned to ski, and where my daughter rides her board. While there are a many places to ski in Michigan.,I do agree with you on this choice. The staff here is SUPER, the instructors are top notch. They had me up and skiing in a day and a half, and doing a pretty good job of it.I absolutely love my Cannonsburg. As someone new to skiing this is a great place to learn how to ski, and ride. This coming season my goal is to tackle The Face. I can truly say it’s not the biggest ski hill in Michigan, but it is one of the best. As far as the people that run the place, and learning how to ski. Thanks Ski Girl for the great review of my home hill.