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Best Northern Michigan Ski Resorts: Updated Guide (2023)

northern michigan ski resorts guide

Best Northern Michigan Ski Resorts

Imagine standing atop a ski hill with Michigan’s wintery wonderland spread out before you: crisp, clean air, the scent of pine in air; surrounded by an endless vista of towering trees and sparkling lakes.

Are you already heading for your skis and goggles?

Michigan is the ski and snowboard capital of the Midwest, with more than 40 ski resorts. That’s more than any other state in country, with the exception of New York.

Some of Michigan’s best ski resorts can be found in northern Michigan, and they are amazing winter vacation destinations for families, couples and solo travelers alike.

These ski resorts in Michigan are great for family getaways, offering a wide variety of winter sports and winter activities in addition to skiing, too. Want to try snow tubing or ride a fat tire bike? How about warming up with some hot cocoa around a blazing firepit?

Snow reports are promising a great ski season, so read on to discover your best ski resort in Michigan.

skiing at a northern Michigan ski resort

Best Ski Resorts in Northern Michigan (Lower Peninsula)

Boyne Highlands
Michigan’s largest ski resort is located near the tip of Michigan’s mitten in Harbor Springs. With 435 skiable acres, Boyne Highlands is known for its excellent ski school and learn-to-ski programs.

The stunning backdrop of northern Michigan is the home of this top-rated ski Resort, a favorite of highly-seasoned skiers as well as those just starting out.

Boyne Highlands Resort really does take learning to ski to the next level: The Austrian-American SnowSports Academy offers lessons for beginning skiers and snowboards of all ages and abilities throughout the ski season.

There’s more than just downhill skiing and snowboarding: tubing hills, snowshoeing, ice skating, cross country skiing and dogsledding are some of the other activities you’ll find here, as well as a spa and outdoor pool.

The accommodations are spacious and comfortable, ranging from hotel rooms and condominiums to townhouses, cottages and homes.

PRO TIP: Take a lesson or two and spend some time on the North Camelot run, and then head over to the Lois Lane and North Peak Pass runs.

Boyne oOuntain Resort

1 Boyne Mountain Rd, Boyne Falls, MI 49713

It’s one of the top Michigan ski resorts for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, and Boyne Mountain is a great place to start your lifelong love of skiing.

Located in northern Michigan just south of Petoskey in scenic Boyne Falls, Boyne Mountain is a sprawling resort with one of Michigan’s best indoor waterparks, Avalanche Bay.

Boyne’s Snowsports Academy offers both group and private lessons for children and adults; there’s also a Boyne Flyer’s Program for kids ages 7-12.

In addition to Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark, Boyne Mountain Resort offers tubing, horseback riding, fat-tire snow biking, ice skating, snowshoeing, a zip-line and Sno-Go biking on terrain hills. Night skiing is popular here with beautiful skiing trails : the snow sparkles like crystals under the lights.

There’s a wide range of accommodations from luxury hotel rooms to condos, cottages and entire homes.

PRO-TIP: After you’ve had your lessons, head over to Hilda’s Hideway, one of out favorite beginners runs in Michigan. The long and winding slope allows to you go at your own pace, gaining speed when you feel ready.

kids skiing at a northern Michigan ski resort

Crystal Mountain Ski Resort
Thompsonville, MI 49683

Located in a quietly beautiful corner of northern Michigan near Frankfort, and south of Traverse City, Crystal Mountain is a perfect spot to develop a lifelong love for skiing. Crystal Mountain is a top ski resort for families.

Family-owned and operated, this fun spot is a long-time favorite with skiers of all ages and abilities due to the variety of runs. The diverse terrain offers opportunity to master the basics on gentle slopes and transition up to more challenging runs (think black diamond) when you are ready.

Crystal Mountain offers 58 downhill ski runs, cross country, and snowboard lessons for individual or groups. They are ready for first timers of all ages, too, offering a wide variety of options for learning to ski and/or taking it to the next level.

Kids learn-to-ski programs include the Nanny McSki and Crystal Kids Ski and Snowboard; while older kids and adults can start with either private or group on demand lessons. There’s also a Burton Learn-to-Ride program for snowboarders.

If you have experienced skiers in your party, there’s also a Master the Mountain for Intermediate to Advanced Skiers, and a Family McSki Program offers tours of the mountains and lessons on learning how to ski together safely.

There’s tons of fun activities including snowshoeing, fat-tire biking and horse-drawn surrey rides, ice-skating and more.

Crystal Mountain doesn’t skimp on the apres-ski, either: Crystal Spa and the indoor fitness center is a great place to relax after a day on the slopes. Accommodations range from comfortable hotel rooms and full-service condominiums to comfortable cottages and large homes, all within easy distance to the lifts.

PRO TIP: After you’ve mastered the bunny hill, head over to these favorite Beginners Run: Giggles and Hoot Owl.

The Homestead
1 Woodridge Rd, Glen Arbor, MI 49636

First, there’s the location: Can you even imagine the beauty of skiing down a hill overlooking Lake Michigan? It’s truly scenic Michigan at its best.

The Homestead is nestled along the shoreline of Lake Michigan in heart of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (named one of the “Most Beautiful Places in America” by Good Morning America), and the resort fits perfectly into this stunning landscape.

The atmosphere at the Homestead is relaxed, inviting and comfortable…. It’s just a perfect spot to enjoy the snow and learn to ski or snowboard.

Skiing at The Homestead is geared towards families with a variety of runs, although most of the hills are for beginner to intermediate-level skiers. The Homestead offers ski instruction for all ages, too: group or private lessons are available from certified ski instructors at a relaxed pace.

After you’ve had your fill of downhill skiing, there’s much more to do: Snowshoeing and Cross-Country (Nordic}) skiing are great ways to explore the trails in the dunes, and a full-service luxury spa and salon and fitness center is also a popular spot.

The accommodations at The Homestead are a My Michigan Beach favorite, all of rooms clean and very comfortably appointed: think upscale rustic lodge. They range from hotel rooms to condominiums and cottages to homes, and all are lovely.

PRO TIP: After a day of skiing, bundle up and head over to the Lake Michigan shoreline and try and catch the sun as it dips into the lake: it’s a truly stunning sight.

[Image: guide to best ski resorts in Michigan]

Schuss Mountain at Shanty Creek
5780 Shanty Creek Rd, Bellaire, MI 49615

Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire, MI is a long-time favorite destination for skiers of all abilities, including beginners.

Although this resort has some serious runs (including terrain parks) for advanced skiers and snowboarders, it is also dedicated to making lifelong skiers out of everyone.

There’s a Ski School, staffed by certified professional ski instructors, offering private lessons for children and adults, as well as Hire-A-Pro Private Lessons.

A Super Sunday’s program offers a lift ticket, rental equipment, and how-to learning stations for a discounted price and is a great chance to get comfortable on skis in a low-key setting.

There’s more than just skiing: you’ll find everything from a multi-lane alpine tubing park, dog sledding and cross country skiing to fat-tire biking and ice-fishing, as well as a full-service spa and fitness center.

Accommodations vary at Shanty Creek, too: Hotel Rooms and condominiums to homes at a variety of price points.

Pro-Tip: If you’re starting out, you’ll love Summit Mountain. Helm’s Gate and Greenway are the best spots in the state to “get your ski legs” up and running.

More Places to Ski in Northern Michigan
Caberfae Peaks
1 Caberfae Ln, Cadillac, MI 49601

You’ll find some of the steepest vertical drops in Michigan, as well as a large terrain park, at this ski resort in northwest Michigan.

Nubs Nob
500 Nubs Nob Rd, Harbor Springs, MI 49740

Nubs Nob 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
3962 Wilkinson Rd, Gaylord, MI 49735

This central Michigan destination has a stunning setting: breathtaking views overlooking a valley. Treetops Resort is a perfect spot for a family winter getaway, with activities geared toward family fun. In addition to cross country and downhill skiing and snowboarding, you can also try dog-sledding.

Otsego Club
696 M-32, Gaylord, MI 49735

This family-friendly ski resort offers skiing and snowboarding as well as snowshoeing and tubing. The accommodations here are comfortable and generously-sized, too.

Hanson Hills
7601 Old Lake Rd, Grayling, MI 49738

Snow Snake
3407 E Mannsiding Rd, Harrison, MI 48625

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