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Ski Resorts in Big Snow Country

As the fall days shorten, it’s time to start thinking ahead to snow season in the Upper Peninsula. Here’s a brief comparison of the two largest ski resorts in the nearby area:

Big Powderhorn Mountain vs Indianhead Mountain

When comparing these two resorts, you'll find more similarities than differences, and either one of them can definitely provide you with a fantastic skiing and snowboarding experience.


The two resorts are close in size to one another (250 acres for Big Powderhorn and 230 for Indianhead) and they have almost the same vertical drop (622 feet vs. 638 feet.) They both have about 30 runs, and about 10 lifts, and the prices for lift tickets and equipment rental are nearly identical. Both resorts have won awards from, Big Powderhorn for Best Downhill Terrain in 2009 and 2010, and Indianhead for Best Terrain Resort 2012 and Visitors’ Choice for being Family Friendly in 2011.


Indianhead’s runs are weighted heavily toward the experienced skier, with fully 50% of its runs rated as “Expert” and only 5% as “Beginner.” The resort does make an effort to reach out to beginners, however, and has recently tripled the size of its beginner area. It also has an easy-to-ride Magic Carpet lift, and it focuses one of its two terrain parks on beginner skills. On the other hand, Big Powderhorn’s runs are almost evenly divided between beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails and three terrain parks. Additionally, Big Powderhorn will appeal more to cross-country skiers, since it connects in two places with the 19-km Wolverine Nordic Trail.

Three other resorts are located in the region as well:

Blackjack Ski Resort
This resort has 126 acres of skiable terrain and 6 chair lifts. Its summit is at 850 feet, with a vertical drop of 465 feet. It’s popular for its wide cruising runs, great food and friendly staff. For a smaller resort, it focuses on being family friendly and has three terrain parks.

Whitecap Mountains Ski Resort
Wisconsin’s Whitecap Mountains resort is made up of 43 trails spread over three separate mountains. They are part of the Penokee Range, 20 miles west of Ironwood, and they offer some views of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands.

Porcupine Mountains Ski Area
42 km of Nordic trails wind through these mountains, along with plenty of alpine skiing, and snowshoe tours. Snowmobilers enjoy access to Ontonagon County’s 350 miles of groomed trails through the midwest’s most gorgeous winter scenery.