Best Skiing In Michigan: Guide For Best Resorts and Dates for Peak Snow Conditions

Written by Lev Baker
Published: January 13, 2023
© Jhansonxi, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons – License / Original
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Despite its famously cold weather, Michigan is not usually the first place that comes to mind when you think of top ski destinations, but trust us – the Great Lakes State has some seriously impressive resorts and some of the best snow conditions you’ll find anywhere in the United States or even the world! Since Michigan is surrounded by the Great Lakes, it gets plentiful snowfall each winter and is one of the snowiest states in the USA.

From the thrilling runs at Boyne Mountain to the beautiful views at Nub’s Nob, Michigan has something for every type of skier. Plus, with various resorts scattered across the state, you’ll be able to find the perfect spot for your ski trip, no matter where you’re coming from. Plus, many of these resorts offer additional amenities so that family members or friends that don’t like to ski so much can still enjoy themselves. So, without wasting any more time, let’s have a look at some of the best skiing resorts Michigan has to offer.

Boyne Mountain Resort

Nestled in the charming village of Boyne Falls, Boyne Mountain Resorts has been providing winter fun for over 70 years. The resort features two mountains, Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands, each offering alpine and Nordic skiing, as well as other activities like snowshoeing, tubing, and ice skating.

The resort is known for its impressive terrain, with over 400 acres of skiable land and 115 trails on each mountain, including Michigan’s longest ski run at Boyne Highlands.

Boyne Mountain Resort is not only known for its impressive ski facilities, but it also has the distinction of being home to America’s first high-speed, six-person chairlift. Meanwhile, Boyne Highlands also boasts Michigan’s first four-person chairlift.

The resorts also feature 11 terrain parks and the SnowSports Academy for those looking to improve their skills. And for those just starting out, both mountains offer free beginner ski and snowboard areas.

But it’s not all about downhill skiing at Boyne Mountain Resorts. The two mountains also offer over 21 miles of cross-country and snowshoe trails for those looking to explore the beautiful Michigan winter landscape. And when it’s time to rest, the resort has plenty of accommodations choices, including lodge rooms, ski-in chalets, and cottages.

As of the 2018/19 ski season, Boyne Mountain Resort and Boyne Highlands have become part of the Ikon Pass network, providing guests with even more opportunities to take advantage of the various amenities and activities offered at the resort. In addition to daily passes and season passes, there are also “stay-and-ski” packages available for those looking to make a winter vacation out of their visit.

Wondering about the nearest airport? The Boyne Mountain Airport (BFA) is the closest option, but it only services private planes. Don’t worry; there’s another airport nearby that’s perfect for commercial flights. The Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) is serviced by Delta, United Express, and American Airlines, and it’s about an hour and 20 minutes away from Boyne by car. So, getting to this ski resort in the first place is the only downside. With that said, it is well worth the trip!

Average Annual Snowfall

On average, Boyne Mountain Resort receives an impressive 113 inches of snow each year. The best time to visit this beautiful place is from December to February. 

January gets the most snow; the average snowfall for the month is a whopping 40 inches. That’s a lot of powdery goodness for both skiers and snowboarders to enjoy. And if you’re planning a trip, you can expect an average of 14 snowfall days in January, giving you plenty of opportunities to hit the trails.

When it comes to the base and summit depths, you can expect an average base depth of 37 inches and an average summit depth of 47 inches. But don’t let those numbers fool you – at its maximum, the base depth can reach an impressive 60 inches.

Boyne Mountain Resort offers some of the best skiing in Michigan
Boyne Mountain Resort in Michigan receives an impressive 113 inches of snow each year and offers over 400 acres of skiable land.


Crystal Mountain

If you’re looking for a top-rated ski resort for your family, you’ll want to check out Crystal Mountain. 

Located in Thompsonville, Michigan, this resort has made it onto numerous lists of the best ski resorts for families. And it’s no surprise why – with 102 acres of skiable terrain, luxurious cottages at the base of the mountain, and a variety of complimentary activities like an indoor pool, and family campfires, there’s something for everyone at Crystal Mountain.

Not only can you hit the slopes at Crystal Mountain, but there are also plenty of other snow activities to enjoy, such as snowcat biking on fat tires, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing. And when you’re done with the day’s adventures, you can unwind and relax at the resort’s 18,500-square-foot LEED-certified spa. This spa offers specialized treatments to help alleviate any winter-related aches and soreness.

The mountain itself boasts nine lifts, 58 trails (27 of these trails are also lit for some epic night skiing), three terrain areas, and six glade areas. So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, there’s plenty of challenging and fun terrain to explore at Crystal Mountain. 

There are two commercial airports within a quick drive. The Manistee Blacker Airport is just 26 miles away, and the Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport is 31 miles away. So, this is a convenient location for skiers in Michigan!

All in all, it’s an excellent choice for a family ski vacation.

Average Annual Snowfall

There is no shortage of snow at Crystal Mountain, as the yearly average is just over 115 inches, and almost all of it falls from December to February. 

January has the most snowfall and is the best time to visit. On average, January sees about 45 inches of snowfall. This month typically has 15 days with snowfall, so be prepared to bundle up if you’re planning on visiting during this time.

The average base depth for January is 44 inches, while the average summit depth is a bit deeper at 54 inches.

Crystal Mountain night skiing in Michigan
Crystal Mountain has nine chair lifts, 58 trails (nearly half available for night skiing), three terrain areas, and six glade areas.

©Ryan Kulawiak/

Mount Bohemia

Are you looking for a challenging ski resort that’s perfect for advanced skiers? Then you might want to check out Mount Bohemia in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

This mountain is known for its extreme backcountry area and ungroomed trails that are mainly expert or advanced level. Plus, it boasts the longest vertical drop in the Midwest at a whopping 900 feet. If you are looking for an adventure ski trip, Mount Bohemia is the best choice for you!

One thing that sets Mount Bohemia apart is the abundance of lake-effect snow it receives each year – an average of 273 inches. That’s an insane amount of fresh powder for you to enjoy! In addition to the ski runs at Mount Bohemia, the resort also oversees the development of nearby Voodoo Mountain, which features intermediate runs and the opportunity to try snowcat skiing.

Mount Bohemia offers a range of accommodations to suit different needs and preferences. One recent addition is the Midwest’s first ski resort hostel, which features a sauna and outdoor hot tub, as well as 24 bunks. So, there are also good options for skiers on a tighter budget. All of these amenities are conveniently located slope-side.

For a different type of lodging experience, Mount Bohemia also offers the option to stay in a yurt, which can sleep up to 10 people, or one of the 12 log cabins that can accommodate up to seven people each. So, no matter what your preferences are, Mount Bohemia has a range of options to suit your needs, whether you’re seeking a challenging ski mountain or comfortable accommodations.

Looking for the nearest airport? It’s just a quick 39-mile drive from the Houghton County Memorial Airport (CMX). 

Average Annual Snowfall

If you love snow, Mount Bohemia is the place for you! This resort gets an impressive 273 inches of snow each year, with the heaviest falls occurring in January and February. These two months see an average of 36 and 39 inches of snowfall, respectively, with around 10 days of snowfall each. 

The base depth in February is an average of 28 inches, and the summit depth is 30 inches. With all of this snow, you’ll definitely have plenty of fun on the slopes! 

Nub’s Nob Ski Area

Are you new to skiing and looking for the perfect spot to try it out and take some lessons? 

Nub’s Nob is the place for you! With 30% of the trails marked as easy and another 50% intermediate, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn and improve your skills. And even if you’re an intermediate skier, the 427-foot vertical drop shouldn’t be too challenging.

For those who are completely new to the sport, Nub’s Nob has a free beginner area with a chairlift. This is a great way to try out skiing before committing to a ticket.

Plus, kids aged 8 and under and adults aged 70 and over can ski for free. Once you’re ready to hit the slopes, Pintail Peak is a great place to start, with its gently winding trails.

In recent years, Nub’s Nob has made some impressive upgrades to the resort. They’ve increased their snowmaking efforts and added new snowcats to create those perfect corduroy trails. To provide more options for skiers and snowshoers, Nub’s Nob has also added a 1.24-mile trail specifically for snowshoeing. This trail allows uphill skiers to access the Arena Glades without the need to ride a lift.

If you’re planning a ski trip to Nub’s Nob, you’ll be happy to know that it’s just a short 9-miles drive from the Pellston Regional Airport of Emmet County.

So why wait? Come on out and enjoy everything Nub’s Nob has to offer!

Average Annual Snowfall

On average, Nub’s Nob Ski Area sees about 123 inches of snowfall annually. Most of it tends to come down between December and February, with January being the snowiest month. January typically sees around 35 inches of snowfall, with about 12 days of snow.

But here’s the exciting part: while January sees the most snowfall, February tends to have a deeper base of snow on the mountain. The average base depth in February is 59 inches, and the summit depth is even deeper at 61 inches. So, if you’re hoping for some really deep powder, February might be the best time to visit Nub’s Nob.

Nub's Nob ski resort in Michigan
Nub’s Nob is a great place to learn to ski with 30% of the trails marked as easy.

©Mr Swordfish2, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons – License

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Crystal Mountain resort in Michigan
Chair lift and trails at Crystal Mountain resort in Michigan, USA.
© Jhansonxi, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons – License / Original

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I have been a freelance writer for the past 2 years. I have a huge love of animals and I love building my knowledge of animals through research. I love sea creatures in particular, my favorite being the octopus because of their intelligence, and I mean, come on, what's not to love! I have a rescue boxer named Dante who is the friendliest pup a man could ask for.

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