Thanks to Lake Superior the Western U.P. welcomes some 200 inches of natural lake effect snow each season, earning the region the moniker Big Snow Country. The drops here are higher than elsewhere in Michigan, such as the 600-foot vertical at Marquette Mountain Ski Area, which also features 25 runs including a 1-1/4-miler, and three terrain parks. Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort in Bessemer has been rated “Best Downhill Terrain” in the Midwest, with 33 trails from novice to difficult (including a mile-long run), plus two terrain parks over 253 skiable acres. Nearby Blackjack Resort’s two terrain parks boast a 50-foot tabletop jump and half-pipe, and the 20 ski trails include a 465-foot vertical drop. In addition to 29 downhill ski runs from beginner to expert, Indianhead Mountain in Wakefield caters to boarders with its Big Chief Terrain Park for the experienced and Timber Wolf for beginners.
A 30-acre terrain park and a variety of challenges await boarders at Ski Brule in Iron River, voted Visitors Choice, Favorite Midwest Resort three years running at OnTheSnow.com. Beginner boarders head to Idun Terrain Park at Norway Mountain in Norway before advancing to the challenging Odin Terrain Park and, for experts, the high speed jumps of the Frigga race run.
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park you can reach more than 100 acres of backcountry terrain aboard the Expedition Everest Snowcat---no extra charge for the spectacular views of Lake Superior. Experienced boarders looking for challenging backcountry thrills head to the Keweenaw Peninsula and Mt. Bohemia. With a 900-foot vertical drop and 81 runs, it deserves Skiing Magazine’s title of “The Jackson Hole of the Midwest.”
Not ready for that level of excitement? The three downhill runs at Silver Mountain Ski Hill in St. Ignace are ideal for beginner and intermediate snowboarders in the Eastern U.P., and just a short drive from the Mackinac Bridge.
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