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Best Ski Resorts in Michigan: Ultimate Michigan Ski Guide

Michigan skiing and snowboarding

Best Michigan Skiing and Snowboarding in 2023

The Michigan skiing and snowboarding sesson is here. Whether you ski, snowboard or simply hang around for the apres ski, ski season means pure Michigan winter fun.

And once Michigan’s ski and cnowboard season is open, it means hundreds of acres of skiable terrain and endless runs of fresh, powdery snow waiting for you. You’re not alone: Michigan’s ski runs are loved by beginner to pros. In fact, Olympic snowboarder Zoe Kalapos grew up shredding in northern Michigan!

Whether you’re an accomplished skier or snowboarder, Michigan has the perfect run for you. And whether you get to the top of your hill by the rope tow, chair lifts or magic carpets, it’s time to get your snow on!

Michigan ski resorts

Guide to Michigan Ski Resorts

As the ski capital of the Midwest, Michigan is home to more than 40 ski resorts, each offering different levels of skiing and snowboarding experiences from beginners up. From Mount Bohemia’s largest vertical drop to Mt. Brighton’s bunny hill, there’s a way for everyone to get out on the slopes in Michigan.

You’ll also find a wide variety of amenities and activities at each ski resort: in addition to snowboarding and downhill skiing, you’ll find activities like cross country skiingsnow tubing, fat tire biking, and more.

Although the length of the ski season can vary depending on the weather, Michigan’s 2022-2023 ski season looks to be a lengthy one.

That means you can plan on spending lots of time playing in the snow and enjoying winter activities at one of Michigan’s top-rated ski resorts.

If playing in the snow isn’t your thing, you’ll also find luxurious spas and cozy lodges: perfect spots to enjoy some winter fun from inside.

Read on to discover Michigan’s best ski resorts

Michigan ski resorts

About Michigan Ski Resorts: What’s Different

If you’ve ever skied the Rockies, Vermont, or 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 our guide.

You’re in for some spectacular scenery, too: 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?

How about taking in spectacular views of Lake Superior and Lac Labelle from the top of Mount Bohemia, with it’s 900-foot vertical drop?

michigan ski resorts the homestead
Photo from The Homestead

Where to Ski In Michigan: Find Your BEST Michigan Ski Resort

Whether you’re a seasoned skier or snowboarder, just starting out, or simply looking for a winter vacation spot for your family, Michigan has a ski area for you.

PRO-TIP: No gear? Don’t let it stop you: you’ll find rentals available just about everywhere.

What’s the Best Ski Resort in Michigan?

It’s a question with many answers…and here’s ours: it depends.

Michigan has more than 40 unique ski areas. 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 the 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. Here are some things to consider:

Skilled Skiers

For example, skilled skiers seeking more of a challenge might head to the terrain park at Boyne Mountain, or to Mount Bohemia Ski Resort in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, home of the biggest vertical drop in the Midwest. Many other places boast terrain parks, moguls, and many black diamond runs.

New to Skiing and Snowboarding?

Many Michigan ski resorts offer lessons from top-rated professionals in the form of both 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 ski resorts

Best Michigan Skiing for Family Getaways

If you’re looking for a fun family getaway, most Michigan ski resorts offer an extensive array of après ski and winter activities for those less anxious to hit the slopes atop a pair of skis or snowboard.

In addition to winter sports, you’ll find outdoor hot tubs, horse-drawn carriage rides, bonfires, and more, all perfect spots for a winter family getaway in Michigan.

The Michigan mountain resorts are ready for you: if you’ve already started to think about where to buy your lift tickets or season passes, read on.

Ski Resorts in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offers some challenging skiing, and the terrain in the Upper Peninsula is similar to the Rockies.

You’ll find more dramatic vertical drops and longer, wide-open runs. If you’re seeking a more challenging ski experience (with some easier runs mixed in), be sure and check out these top ski resorts.

Big Snow Resort

Blackjack Mountain
N11251 Black Jack Rd, Bessemer, MI 49911

Indianhead Mountain – Big Snow Resort
500 Indianhead Rd, Wakefield, MI 49968

Big Snow is one of the biggest ski resorts in the U.P., one resort with two amazing ski mountains: Blackjack and Indianhead. Both are worth a visit.

Snow is king here: this area receives more than 200 inches of snow annually. With a wide range of runs from very easy through double diamond, Indianhead Mountain is a very family-friendly spot to ski, with 195 acres of skiable terrain. It’s one of our favorite ski resorts in the U.P.

Blackjack is geared more toward more accomplished skiers, with 22 downhill runs across 126 skiable acres. You will find some green runs for beginners, here, too.

Downhill skiing not your thing? You’ll also find snowshoeing, ice skating, cross country skiing, and other fun winter activities. In fact, you can even rent a snowmobile to ride the endless miles of trails through the pristine U.P. forest.

Big Powderhorn Mountain

This family-friendly ski resort in the western Upper Peninsula is a favorite mid-west destination for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. The sprawling resort offers enough diversity of slopes to satisfy everyone: there’s truly enough snow to go around.  This means more advanced skiers will be able to enjoy themselves while beginners can learn comfortably at their own pace.

Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort is great for beginners and those who have never stepped into a ski or snowboard boot: private and semi-private as well as group lessons are available for all ages and abilities from top-certified ski instructors.

Introductory packages that include lessons, rentals, and lift tickets make this Upper Peninsula spot attractive to the pocketbook as well. A variety of lodging choices are available: choose from spacious and comfortable condos, chalets, or entire homes. 

PRO TIP: Once you’re feeling confident standing upright on our skis, try out the Trigger and Big Bird runs – so much fun for beginners. 

Mount Bohemia

6532 Lac La Belle Road, Lac La Belle (Mohawk), Michigan

Mount Bohemia is not for beginners: with the longest runs, the highest vertical drop (Voodoo Mountain) and deepest powder in the Midwest, this is a hidden secret is a true treasure for backcountry skiers & riders.

Ski Brule

397 Brule Mountain Rd, Iron River, MI 49935

Ski Brule has some serious snow-making machines, and they’re usually the first to open and the last to close.

This fun, family-friendly ski resort in the western U.P. is a convenient drive from Chicago and Milwaukee. Located in Iron River, it offers one of the best terrain parks in Michigan along with a double black diamond run.

There’s a lot to do here: in addition to skiing and snowboarding, you’ll find snow tubing, crosscountry skiing, and snowshoeing. There’s also ice skating, sleigh rides, marshmallow roasts, and torchlight parades, making it a perfect snow setting for some family fun.

We love the cozy cabins and chalets, here: they’re very comfortable and inviting.

More Places to Ski in the Upper Peninsula

  • Pine Mountain Resort
    N3332 Pine Mountain Rd, Iron Mountain, MI 49801Comfortable lodging and a wide variety of ski runs makes this great spot for families, beginners and groups with varying ability.
  • Marquette Mountain
    4501 M-553, Marquette, MI 49855Just minutes from downtown Marquette, Marquette Mountain offers some of the most challenging skiing in the area. You’ll find a very cool terrain park and they also offer night skiing, thanks to LED lighting.
  • Ski the Porkies in the Porcupine Mountain range offers a unique experience in a natural setting on the shores of Lake Superior.
  • Mont Ripley Ski Area in Hancock is owned by Michigan Tech University and has some of the most beautiful views – along with some challenging terrain. Check out the 440’ ft vertical drop.

Ski Resorts in Northern Michigan (Lower Peninsula)

The Highlands at Harbor Springs

Michigan’s largest ski resorts is located near the tip of Michigan’s mitten in Harbor Springs. 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 Mountain 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.

Crystal Mountain Ski Resort

Thompsonville, MI 49683

Located in a quietly beautiful corner of northern Michigan near Frankfort, 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 downhill, 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 Lake Shore (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.

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 49601You’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 49740Nubs 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 49735This 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 49735This 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
Michigan skiing and snowboarding hills

Ski Resorts in West Michigan

Just outside of Grand Rapids, MI, you’ll find some ski areas popular with both skiers and snowboarders. Although these resorts do not offer accommodations on site, you’ll find plenty of lovely spots to stay nearby: the Grand Rapids area is one of Michigan’s top travel destinations.

Cannonsburg Ski Area
6800 Cannonsburg Rd NE, Belmont, MI 49306

Just a little northeast of Grand Rapids, is Cannonsburg Ski Area. You’ll find 18 runs and two terrain parks, tubing and fat tire biking.

Canonsburg is also home to a great program for girls ages 3-5 called “Mountain Minnies,” which introduces the fun of downhills skiing at a young age.

Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl
Mulligan Dr, Grand Haven, MI 49417

This local ski hill in Grand Haven is 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. This is a My Michigan Beach favorite spot for beginning skiers

Bittersweet Ski Area
600 River Rd, Otsego, MI 49078

Timber Ridge Ski Area
07500 23 1/2 St, Gobles, MI 49055

Ski Resorts in Southeast Michigan

Alpine Valley Ski
6775 Highland Rd, White Lake, MI 48383

This smaller ski resort in White Lake Township packs a lot of good skiing into a small area. Alpine Valley offers a great mix of beginner, intermediate and black diamond runs as well as three terrain parks.

Mt. Brighton Ski Area
4141 Bauer Rd, Brighton, MI 48116

If you love in metro Detroit and ski, chances are good that you started out at Mt. Brighton. It’s a great little mountain with a surprisingly wide range of runs: you’ll find 24 of them here.

Pine Knob Ski and Snowboard Resort
7778 Sashabaw Rd, Village of Clarkston, MI 48348

Pine Knob Ski and Snowboard Resort is located in Clarkston in southeast Michigan, just north of the metro Detroit area. You’ll find three terrain parks here, and a good variety of runs, too. Pine Knob offers great group and individual ski lessons through their ski school.

Mount Holly
13536 Dixie Hwy, Holly, MI 48442

Swiss Valley
13421 Mann St, Jones, MI 49061