Downhill skiing (also known as Alpine skiing) is one of the best winter things to do in Michigan! If you want to plan a skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing trip this winter, here are our picks for the best Michigan ski resorts.
In general, Michigan ski resorts open sometime around mid-November to early December. Many of the ski resorts close at the end of March. With deep bases of machine-made and natural snow, though, some Michigan ski resorts are able to stay open into April.
Did you know? There are more than 40 ski resorts in Michigan, which is the second-most in the country after New York. The more than 1,000 runs, 250 lifts, and 50 terrain parks at Michigan ski resorts give the top 10 ski resorts in the world a run for their money.
Best Upper Peninsula Michigan Ski Resorts
Mount Bohemia | Mohawk
At the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, Mount Bohemia is famous for getting an average of 270 inches of snow every year. With 585 acres of skiable terrain, no grooming, and a 900-foot vertical drop, this resort is most suitable for expert skiers and snowboarders.
Yurts and a hostel serve as slope-side lodging, and the nearby Michigan Tech University college town has several microbreweries and restaurants to indulge in after your skiing or snowboarding adventures.
Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort | Bessemer
Located in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort is considered one of the top ski resorts in the Midwest. The average snowfall is more than 200 inches every year across the more than 250 acres of skiable terrain.
From bunny hills to challenging black diamond trails, there are runs for all ages and skill levels. Slope-side accommodations are available in Caribou Lodge.
Mont Ripley Ski Area | Ripley
Mont Ripley, located just across the water from Michigan Tech University, is the oldest ski area in Michigan and is located in the snowiest part of the state. So it only makes sense that it would have awesome snow-based activities right?
Have a true alpine experience for yourself and experience all Mont Ripley has to offer, including a snow tubing park, a terrain park perfect for snowboarding, and 24 trails catering to skiers of all abilities.
Not only can you do all of those things here, but you’ll also get great views of the Keweenaw Waterway. Great views and great skiing — does it really get any better in winter?
SnowRiver Mountain Resort | Bessemer & Wakefield
Practically next door to Big Powderhorn, SnowRiver Mountain Resort actually consists of two family-friendly ski resorts in Michigan. Black River Basin in Bessemer and Jackson Creek Summit in Wakefield only have a 10-minute drive between them.
Black River has better terrain for beginning skiers and amateurs, while Jackson Creek has steeper runs for advanced skiers and snowboarders, including a 638-foot vertical drop. Additionally, SnowRiver Mountain Resort is one of the best Michigan ski resorts with lodging that’s affordable for families.
Ski Brule | Iron River
With snow-making capabilities, Ski Brule is known for having the longest ski seasons — up to six months! Actually, it opens as early as October and sometimes doesn’t close until May. Precision grooming makes for excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions all season.
There’s plenty of family-friendly fun, too, with a snow tubing park, three terrain parks, fat tire biking, snowshoeing, and sleigh rides.
Pine Mountain Ski & Golf Resort | Iron Mountain
Part of the Trademark By Wyndham Collection, Pine Mountain Ski & Golf Resort is a four-season resort with top-notch cross-country skiing and snowmobiling experiences.
As a family-friendly winter destination, Pine Mountain Ski Resort in the Upper Peninsula has beginner group lessons for kids and five beginner trails. It has one of the best jumping hills as well, which attracts top ski jumpers from around the world.
When you aren’t playing in the snow, you can take advantage of the hot tub, indoor pool, and sauna.
Marquette Mountain | Marquette
Although Marquette is known for Northern Michigan University, Marquette Mountain is a local ski hill where you can get great views of Lake Superior. It only has 170 skiable acres, 18 runs, and an average annual snowfall of 149 inches.
However, you get a community ski atmosphere, and it’s one of the most challenging ski areas in the state. Lessons are available for kids, and those aged 5 and younger ski for free.
Best Michigan Ski Resorts in the Northern Lower Peninsula
Boyne Resorts | Harbor Springs & Boyne Falls
If you’re looking for the best ski resort for beginners and the biggest ski resort in Michigan, you’ll find it at Boyne Highlands Resort. In fact, the more than 432 acres, 53 runs, eight lifts, and three terrain parks include 20 easy green trails, making it one of the best Michigan ski resorts for families.
Aside from cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fat tire biking, and snowmobiling, Boyne Highlands offers zip-lining, spa treatments, an indoor pool and sauna, sledding, and horseback riding.
Despite that, Boyne Mountain Resort is no slouch when it comes to fun in the snow. Although it has fewer acres of skiable terrain, there are 60 runs and a variety of skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, ice skating, and other activities.
Having the largest indoor water park (Avalanche Bay) in the state sets it apart from the other Northern Michigan ski resorts.
Treetops Resort | Gaylord
With an annual average of 136 inches of snow, Treetops Resort is open for about four months and has more than 30 winter activities and events.
The mix of family-friendly activities includes downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Reserve a unique tubing experience with extreme tubing, which features a 400-foot run and 80-foot vertical drop.
The resort has sunrise groomer rides, dog sledding, sleigh rides, and a scavenger hunt too.
Caberfae Peaks | Cadillac
In some circles, Caberfae Peaks Ski Resort in Cadillac is known as “Alta of the Midwest” as well as one of the best ski values in the state.
It’s not hard to see why because Caberfae has top-notch terrain, some of the state’s highest lift-served peaks, huge vertical drops. It has nearly three dozen runs and paths for skiers and riders of all abilities.
Whether you want to ski as much as you can or relax at the lodge, Caberfae is one of the most scenic ski spots in Northern Michigan to hit the slopes.
Shanty Creek Resort | Bellaire
Offering both downhill and cross-country skiing and snowboarding opportunities, Shanty Creek Resort is one of the top Michigan resorts for families. It actually consists of three villages — Cedar River, Summit Mountain, and Schuss Mountain — which are spread across 5,000 acres.
The two mountain ski areas feature 53 runs, and 19 of them are easy green trails for beginners. Aside from Nordic skiing, the resort provides snowshoeing, snowmobiling, fat tire biking, Alpine tubing, and dog sledding.
Mt. Holiday | Traverse City
Originally established in 1949, Mt. Holiday is one of the few Michigan ski resorts for families that are run by a volunteer nonprofit organization. It’s open all year with outdoor recreational and educational activities.
During the winter, you can go skiing and snowboarding on any of the 16 runs, which vary in difficulty. There are snow tubing and zip lining as well.
related: winter things to do in Traverse City
Nub’s Nob Ski Area | Harbor Springs
Nub’s Nob has been a favorite skiing spot among Northern Michiganders since 1958 and gets its unique name from its founder, Norman “Nubby” Sarns, and is thought to have some of the best snow in the Midwest.
Across 248 acres of skiable terrain, skiing enthusiasts can explore 53 ski runs, which include 9 expert runs, 15 easy runs, and two terrain parks, as well as 427 feet of vertical drop and 3 peaks. The area also has a free beginner area and a conveyor, which is perfect for beginning skiers and youngsters.
Even if you’re not a skier, there’s always plenty of action here, and Nub’s Nob hosts open racing events, a Beech Nuts junior Nordic race, a Torchlight Parade in December, and much more.
Crystal Mountain | Thompsonville
One of the most popular Northern Michigan ski resorts with lodging, Crystal Mountain is a four-season resort comparable to Steamboat Springs in Colorado and Deer Valley in Utah.
The 102 acres of skiable terrain include 58 downhill slopes and a 375-foot vertical drop. Even if you don’t ski or snowboard, you can enjoy other activities and amenities:
- Award-winning spa
- Indoor pool
- Snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and fat-tire biking
- The only Alpine slide in Michigan
- Ice skating
- Outdoor laser tag
- Horse and carriage rides
Snow Snake Ski and Golf | Harrison
This is one of the Northern Michigan ski resorts that runs under the radar. Since 1949, Snow Snake Ski and Golf has been open for skiing and snowboarding in the winter.
There are two terrain parks — a small one on the beginner hill and a large one in the Bone Yard. Snow Snake aims to provide a welcoming experience for skiers and snowboarders of all levels and provides an excellent learning environment for both activities and staffs nearly 50 instructors at the resort.
Best Southern Michigan Ski Resorts
Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl | Grand Haven
Nestled in the hills of Southwestern Michigan, Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl is established on what was a WWII training camp for the U.S. Coast Guard. Its location along Lake Michigan gives you a beautiful view as you ski or snowboard down the six runs.
Although the ski area has undergone many changes over the years, its purpose is to provide an affordable place for people to participate in snow sports.
Timber Ridge Ski Area | Gobles
Outdoor winter enthusiasts will love visiting family-owned Timber Ridge because it offers a little bit of everything, including tubing, skiing, and snowboarding.
Tubing is first-come, first-serve, and, once visitors take the moving sidewalk lift up, they can slide down one of nine tubing lanes. Visitors can tube for $25 for two hours and all participants must sign a waiver.
At Timber Ridge, the ski resort offers some of the best skiing in Southwest Michigan with quick lifts, short lines, and a variety of slopes, two terrain parks, and wooded trails.
Bottom line: It’s hard not to have fun here when there’s something for everyone!
Cannonsburg Ski Area | Belmont
Founded in 1965, Cannonsburg Ski Area is one of the top Michigan ski resorts for families because of its year-round events and outdoor activities.
Only a 10-minute drive from Grand Rapids, you can go skiing, snowboarding, fat tire biking, and snow tubing in the state’s largest facility.
The ski area has two terrain parks and 21 runs, including one at 1,800 feet. In addition, winter trails are open for snowshoeing.
Bittersweet Ski Resort | Otsego
Just a 30-minute drive from Kalamazoo, Bittersweet Ski Resort is a recreational facility and resort with 20 ski slopes and 350 vertical feet. The terrain is diverse, so all ages and skill levels will have a great time in the snow.
Along with two rope tows and seven lifts, it has two wonder carpets. You’ll find a full-service ski shop, restaurant, and bar in the on-site lodge.
Mt. Brighton Ski Resort | Brighton
With 130 acres of skiable terrain, Mt. Brighton Ski Resort has five lifts, 25 trails, and three terrain parks with varying difficulties. It underwent a renovation by Vail Resorts during the 2013-14 season.
The 43 new guns, higher capacity piping, 92 new hydrants, and new automated pump house have had a huge impact on the resort’s snow-making capabilities.
Mount Holly | Holly
A high-quality ski resort just an hour north of Detroit? That’s exactly what you’ll find at Mount Holly!
Mt. Holly features 19 trails and seven chairlifts, including the only high-speed detachable quad in the area. The trails are geared more toward intermediate and advanced skiers, but there are areas for beginners and world-class instructors on sight.
Mt. Holly is known in Michigan as Where the North Begins, so come ride its immaculate slopes and trails for yourself.
Alpine Valley Ski Area | White Lake
For a mountain of fun in the trees, Alpine Valley Ski Area is the home hill of Kyle Mack, who was on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team, for which he won a silver medal.
Since it’s one of the largest Southern Michigan ski areas, it offers some of the most picturesque views of surrounding nature. Typically open from November to March, the hill has four terrain parks, 25 runs, and a 300-foot vertical drop.
Pine Knob Ski and Snowboard Resort | Clarkston
Whether you’re a novice or master skier or snowboarder, Pine Knob Ski and Snowboard Resort is a fantastic place to spend the winter snow season. There are three terrain parks, 17 runs, and lessons by certified instructors.
Its two Wonder carpets are famous worldwide and rise to 100 feet and 300 feet. The Ski Shop has everything that you need, and the snow-makers maintain optimal conditions.
Find Out What Else Michigan Has to Offer in the Winter
This list of the best Michigan ski resorts is only a starting point for your Michigan winter adventures. There are many more things to do in Michigan in winter. For instance, you could visit family-friendly winter vacation destinations in Michigan or take a polar express train ride in Michigan during the holidays.
What’s your favorite Michigan ski resort to visit in the winter?