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Upper Peninsula Ski Hill Round-Up

Marquette Mountain - base of hill - panoramic
Photo of Marquette Mountain by Rick the Photo Guy

The Western Upper Peninsula is home to 10 ski hills and some of the finest skiing and snowboarding in the Midwest. Among the hills you’ll find great variety… family resorts, backcountry skiing, terrain parks, touristy resorts, and more secluded hills. I haven’t been to all of them yet, so far I’ve been to six of the ten. You can expect to see me as a regular at Marquette Mountain this season.

Big Powderhorn Mountain

Big Powderhorn Ski Hill

Bessemer, MI
www.bigpowderhorn.net
Season Pass: $285 to $385
Runs: 29
Lifts: 9
Vertical: 600 feet
Longest Run: 5,280 feet
Skiable Acres: 253

During the off season Big Powderhorn has made several additions to their hill, mostly in the terrain park. They have added rails and boxes and are home to some of the longest rails in the Midwest, including a 115 foot long rail. Last year the addition of “Katie’s Catwalk” became the newest, steepest, and narrowest run at Big Powderhorn.

Powderhorn also features: terrain park, instructional programs, kid’s programs, racing programs, ski/snowboard rentals, ski shop, cross country skiing, ice skating rink, horse-drawn sleighs, swimming, dining facilities, lodging, and snowmaking.

Blackjack Ski Resort
(closed for 2008-09)

Bessemer, MI
www.skiblackjack.com
Runs: 20
Lifts: 6
Vertical: 465 feet
Longest Run: 5,300 feet
Skiable Acres: 101

Unfortunately, Blackjack has been closed for the 2008-09 season.

“Accordingly, Blackjack management has decided to suspend operations for the coming ski season. Blackjack ski resort will be closed for the 2008-2009 ski season.

New marketing plans are being undertaken to find a buyer. Blackjack owners want to sell the business in its entirety. The Steiger family and Blackjack share holders wish to thank all the peopleā€¦. from skiers and snowboarders, lodging guests, lodging owners, to employees, businesses, and local news media who supported us at every moment beginning with our opening day Dec 26, 1977.

We have had 31 ski seasons and we are grateful for all the people we have met and friendships we have made.”

Blackjack website

Indianhead Mountain Resort

Indianhead Ski Hill

Wakefield, MI
www.indianheadmtn.com
Season Pass: $273 to $405
Runs: 28
Lifts: 9
Vertical: 638 feet
Longest Run: 5,300 feet
Skiable Acres: 200+

Indianhead is one of those strange hills where the lodge is at the top of the hill rather than the bottom. And with Blackjack closed for the season you can expect to see a little bit longer lines at Indianhead this year.

Indianhead also features: terrain park, instructional programs, kid’s programs, racing programs, ski/snowboard rentals, ski shop, cross country skiing, ice skating, sleigh rides, health club, dining facilities, lodging, and snowmaking.

Marquette Mountain

Marquette Mountain Ski Hill

Marquette, MI
www.marquettemountain.com
Season Pass: $309 to $429
Runs: 25
Lifts: 4
Vertical: 600 feet
Longest Run: 8,400 feet
Skiable Acres: 147

Marquette Mountain has one of the youngest groups of skiers and snowboarders due to Northern Michigan University being nearby. They also feature the best (in my opinion) terrain park in the Upper Peninsula. This year they added additional snowmaking to the east side trails. Look out for lots of great events, competitions and more. Now that I live in Marquette you’ll be sure to see some photos from some of the Marquette Mountain events.

Marquette Mountain also features: terrain park, instructional programs, kid’s programs, racing programs, ski/snowboard rentals, ski ship, snowshoeing, dining, snowmaking, and night skiing five days a week

Mont Ripley

Mont Ripley Ski Hill

Ripley, MI
www.skimontripley.com
Season Pass: $150 to $310 (free for MTU students)
Runs: 24
Lifts: 3
Vertical: 440 feet

Mont Ripley has probably seen more changes than any other hill in the last several years (other than Mount Bohemia of course, which is still quite new). Last year Mont Ripley opened a new chairlift on the east side of the hill and opened a few new trails. This year all Michigan Tech students get to ski/snowboard for free, with a season pass included in their tuition. Mont Ripley is also offering a couple new packages with their 4-day pass and full season rental.

Mont Ripley also features: instruction programs, racing league, ski/snowboard rentals, ski shop, dining, and night skiing six nights a week.

Mount Bohemia

Mount Bohemia Ski Hill

Lac La Belle, MI
www.mtbohemia.com
Season Pass: $340
Runs: 71
Lifts: 2
Vertical: 900 feet
Longest Run: 9,240 feet

Mount Bohemia has now been open for a few years. They continue to market themselves as a “no beginners allowed” backcountry hill with expert terrain and boast the highest vertical drop in the Upper Peninsula at 900 feet.

Mount Bohemia also features: ski/snowboard rentals, ski shop, dining facilities, and yurts!

Norway Mountain

Norway Mountain Ski Hill

Norway, MI
www.norwaymountain.com
Season Pass: $129 to $259
Runs: 17
Lifts: 6
Vertical: 500 feet
Longest Run: 5,300 feet
Skiable Acres: 60

For the 2008-09 season Norway Mountain has added additional seating to their lodge, revamped their ski shop and ski school areas, added a new “Piston Bully Snow Groomer”, and a new 2nd season of the expanded learning area.

Norway Mountain also features: terrain park, instructional programs, kid’s programs, racing programs, ski/snowboard rental, ski shop, dining facilities, lodging and snowmaking.

Pine Mountain Resort

Pine Mountain Ski Hill

Iron Mountain, MI
www.pinemountainresort.com

Runs: 26
Lifts: 4
Vertical: 500 feet
Longest Run: 5,280 feet
Skiable Acres: 340

This season Pine Mountain has put additional effort into pricing instructional and family packages. Their Sunday Family Day package will run from noon to 4 p.m. and includes lift tickets and rentals for a family of 4 for $69. They will also offer three free learn to ski/ride days on December 13, December 14, and December 21.

Pine Mountain also features: terrain park, instructional programs, kid’s programs, ski/snowboard rental, ski shop, swimming, dining, lodging, snowmaking, and night skiing five nights a week.

Porcupine Mountains

The Porkies Ski Hill

Ontonagon, MI
www.skitheporkies.com
Season Pass: $340
Runs: 42
Lifts: 2
Vertical: 787 feet
Longest Run: 5,800 feet
Skiable Acres: 320+

The latest improvement at the Porkies is the new snowcat access for over 100 acres of backcountry terrain. However, this year the double chair will not be operated.

Porcupine Mountains also features: instructional programs, kid’s programs, ski/snowboard rentals, ski shop, cross country skiing, showshoeing, dining, and lodging.

Ski Brule

Ski Brule  Ski Hill

Iron River, MI
www.skibrule.com
Season Pass: $296 to $401
Season pass:
Runs: 17
Lifts: 11
Vertical: 500 feet
Longest Run: 5,300 feet

Ski Brule has long been marketed as the best “family ski resort” in the Upper Peninsula and continues to be the first to open and last to close (most seasons). To continue to make this happen they have added additional snowmaking equipment for the season. They have also put a large effort into revamping their terrain parks.

Ski Brule also features: terrain park, instructional programs, kid’s programs, ski/snowboard rentals, ski shop, cross country skiing, tubing, snowshoeing, ice skating, dining, lodging, snowmkaing, and night skiing.


3 Wonderful Comments

  1. Great job on featuring the ski hills. I like seeing the ones from my area of the U.P. right on top of your list (Powderhorn and Indianhead, it’s too bad Blackjack won’t be open this year.) There’s also one more over here. It’s the small but affordable Mt. Zion on the campus of Gogebic Community College. All students can ski free and it’s a great place for people to learn to ski.

  2. Yooper Steez
    Admin
    Dec 2, 2008

    Dusty…

    Good call on Mt. Zion, I forget about that one. I’ll have to add that to the list, and make it there to snowboard as well.

  3. For those of you Yoopers who want an amazing terrain park challenge you cannot forget about Nubs Nob! I know, it’s not in the UP but, you can see the UP from the top of Nubs. And, if the park is not your thing Nubs still has lots of tree skiing and PLENTY of snow! This year (2008-2009) nubs has already recieved over 3′ of fresh powder as well as the snow they’ve made from their unmatched state-of-the-art snowmaking that has been ranked in the top ten across NORTH AMERICA for more than the past 10 years. Check it out… http://www.NubsNob.com

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