5 Best Michigan Ski Resorts for Beginners (Easy to Compare)

Being on the lake, Michigan offers some of the best snow in the Midwest. As such, they have a long history of skiing even though they aren't as well known as Utah or Colorado. With more than 51 ski areas that span the state. It's a great place to learn! 

Here are 5 of the best places to ski in Michigan if you’re a beginner:

Resort Name

Easy Green Trails

Lifts

Snow Tubing Available

20 Trails

9 Lifts (1 Magic Carpet)

Yes

19 Trails

10 Lifts (1 Magic Carpet)

Yes

16 Trails

8 Lifts (2 Magic Carpets)

No

15 Trails

9 Lifts (No Magic Carpets)

No

5 Trails

5 Lifts (No Magic Carpets)

No

Boyne Highlands Resort

Boyne Highlands takes winter fun seriously. When it comes to skiing, they offer more skiable acres than any other resort in lower Michigan. They also have the longest run. Their focus on families makes it a great place for beginners.

Easy Green Trails  

Boyne Highlands offers a total of 20 green trails just for beginners. That's 37% of their slopes. They also offer 2 easy terrain parks for when you are ready to test your skills.

Magic Carpet Lifts 

There is one magic carpet area designated for beginners to learn to ski without accessing the lifts. 

easy ski icon

Lesson Packages 

The SnowSports Academy is known for being a great ski school. They have a program, First Turns Ski, designed specifically for beginners. They also offer clinics and private lessons.

You can also sign the kids up (ages 3 to 12) for ski camp or their own lessons. Boyne Highlands provides both half and full-day options.

For the little ones not quite ready to ski they offer child care.

Check out their site for the latest pricing.

skis icon

Rental Packages

For a first timer, having the right equipment is key. Boyne Highland's state-of-the-art rental center is designed to help you get the right fit. They even offer express rental to keep lines short. You can arrange for your rentals ahead of time to make the process even quicker. The latest rates are on their website.

snow tube icon

Snow Tubing Availability

Race down the mountain on an 800 foot tube run. The snow tubing park is fully equipped with a magic carpet to make the hike back to the top of the hill less daunting.

mountain icon

Off Mountain Activities

There are so many other activities at Boyne such as: 

  • Cross country skiing, 
  • Sledding 
  • Ice skating
  • Snowshoeing 
  • Snowmobiling 
  • Horseback riding 
  • Fat tire biking
  • Zip lining
  • Evening fires to enjoy
  • Spa treatments
  • Fitness center with sauna and indoor pool 

When you're ready to eat or grab a drink there are 13 different spots to choose from.

You can even book reservation for a dinner theater

happy face icon

Common Praises

This resort is a bit more laid back than others in the area. The staff is amazing. The slopes are well groomed and offer great variety. They may not offer a village atmosphere, but the amenities and options are fantastic.

Shanty Creek Resort

Shanty Creek is a year-round, destination resort and conference center. The property includes 4,500 acres and 3 villages, each with their own lodging, skiing, and dining. Numerous accolades and awards are featured on their site. Because they offer so much to their guests, we think the beginner skier is bound to have a great time.

Easy Green Trails  

There are a total of 53 lifts across 2 mountains. Summit Mountain offers 3 green trails. Schuss Mountain offers 16. There is plenty of variety to keep you going.

Magic Carpet Lifts 

Schuss Mountain (1 of their 2 mountains) recently opened a magic carpet lift. It is an area designed just for beginners getting started. They even offer a magic carpet lift only ticket.

easy ski icon

Lesson Packages 

Certified instructors facilitate lessons for beginner skiers through advanced. If they don't offer something you feel will be a fit, they offer to create something that will. Lessons are available for groups, individuals, and children ages 3 to 12. For current pricing and online reservations, check out their website.

skis icon

Rental Packages

The resort recently opened a brand new rental shop carrying the majority of their inventory. They also offer 2 additional rental shops to accommodate all guest needs. There are rates for full-day, half-day, and night skiing rentals. Rates are available on their website.

snow tube icon

Snow Tubing Availability

Shanty Creek offers a multi-lane snow tube park. Tickets must be purchased online at least 48-hours in advance. Sessions are sold in hour increments and begin on each hour of operation.

mountain icon

Off Mountain Activities

When you have tired of skiing (downhill or cross country) and snow tubing, there is still plenty to try. The resort offers plenty of other snow activities such as: 

  • Snowshoeing
  • Dog sledding
  • Fat tire biking

To warm it up try a spa package. Relax in the whirlpool, sauna or steam room. Take a dip in 1 of 2 indoor pools. Check out the fitness center for cardio or weight training. When you are ready to grab a bite to eat there are 3 restaurants to choose from. There is even live entertainment.   

happy face icon

Common Praises

Beautiful setting with a wonderful staff. Great slopes for all level of skiers. The trails generally end in the same location making it perfect for families to stay connected during the day. Overall, a resort people visit time and time again.

Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain's mission is to be the stage for exceptional experiences that connect people. That is apparent in their 36 hole championship golf course, 58 downhill slopes, 25km of cross-country trails, and the award-winning Crystal Spa. In 2017, they were recognized by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the best family ski resorts in the US and Canada.   

Easy Green Trails  

There are 15 trails and 1 terrain park designed specifically with beginners in mind. They also have the Totem Park set aside for learning (they even offer the option to pay $10 to stay here versus riding the lifts).

Magic Carpet Lifts 

Take advantage of 2 magic carpet areas as you master staying on your feet and gliding down the slope.

easy ski icon

Lesson Packages 

Certified ski instructors are ready to work with skiers of any skill level.

Beginner lessons are offered to groups or on-demand for your own group of similar skill level up to 5 people.

Kids ages 3 to 12 will be grouped by age and skill level in half or full-day lessons. You can even schedule in advance for their Nanny McSki doorstep program.

Private lessons are another option for all ages.

Regardless of your choice, it's always best to book in advance!

Current rates are available here.

skis icon

Rental Packages

Their rental shop is conveniently located slopeside. Certified technicians will assist in making sure everything fits properly and you are safely ready to go. Check out rates here.

snow tube icon

Snow Tubing Availability

Crystal Mountain does not offer snow tubing.

mountain icon

Off Mountain Activities

After a day of skiing, there is still so much to do.

Outdoors activities they offer include:

  • Ice skating
  • Playing hockey
  • Snowshoeing
  • Fat tire biking 
  • Snowmobiling 
  • Playing snowy outdoor laser tag. 
  • Horse & carriage rides

When you're ready to head inside, splash around in the pool or soak in a hot tub (indoors or outdoors).

There is a also fitness center onsite if you're looking to work out. 

Guest can participate in campfires or play a scavenger hunt game during their stay.

Don't forget time to relax at the spa!

When it's time to eat they offer everything from an onsite grocery store to full-service restaurants, even in-room dining.

happy face icon

Common Praises

Helpful staff, fast lifts, and nice slopes make this a great place to ski. Family oriented. They offer slopes that are perfect for beginners just learning. There is plenty to do onsite or nearby.

Nubs Nob

Nubs Nob offers 248 acres of slopes with 97% of them being serviced by snow making. They are the only Midwestern area to ever earn awards from Ski Magazine (#1 on terrain parks and #4 for grooming).

Nubs Nob is not a resort. They only offer skiing. However, there are 58 condo and vacation rentals nearby to accommodate your stay.

Easy Green Trails  

There are 15 green trails for beginners totaling 30% of the property. 

Magic Carpet Lifts 

The only lifts on the mountain are chair lifts. Don't let this scare you off. There is plenty here geared towards the beginner learning to ski.

easy ski icon

Lesson Packages 

Private lessons are available for all ages and skill levels.

Learn to Ski Group lessons begin at 2nd grade level and up available for

  • Half days
  • Full days
  • And even nights

They are one of the only resorts to offer a free beginner area to learn, including a terrain park and chair lift. It lets new skiers build confidence with ease. 

Reservations are required and pricing is available on their website.

skis icon

Rental Packages

Their rental shop is set up to get you fit and on the slopes faster by allowing guests to buy lift tickets at the same time. That means less time waiting in line. Get everything you need for skiing or snowboarding and rent by the day or for your entire stay. Rates are listed on their website.

snow tube icon

Snow Tubing Availability

There is no snow tube park at Nubs Nob.

mountain icon

Off Mountain Activities

This location is all about the skiing and thus have less off-mountain activities than some of the others. They do have you covered for food though. 

There is a coffee cart, cafeteria and pub on site.

They also have designated areas for those that bring their own food. In addition, on busy days they offer soups and sandwiches in the warming hut and outdoor burgers and brats. The pub offers live entertainment.

happy face icon

Common Praises

They have the best and most varied runs in lower Michigan. There is something for everyone. The mountain never feels busy. Wonderful skiing that almost matches what you find out west.

Pine Mountain Golf & Ski Resort

Pine Mountain is a full-service resort located in the gateway to the Upper Peninsula. They even like to boast the best skiing in the "UP". They also pride themselves on being a friendly, family resort. Accommodations offered are in the lodge or one of their ski-in, ski-out condos. Everything you need for the perfect ski getaway.  

Easy Green Trails  

Pine Mountain offers 5 beginner trails

Magic Carpet Lifts 

While there are no magic carpet lifts, there is still plenty of space dedicated to those just learning to ski.

easy ski icon

Lesson Packages 

Beginner group lessons are available for those ages 7 and up. You can also book your lessons as private or semi-private. Children ages 6 and under must be private lessons to meet their learning needs. Email reservations are highly suggested. Pricing is available on their website

skis icon

Rental Packages

Rentals on site to accommodate all of your ski and snowboard needs. Two-day rental options offer a discount. Check out their website for the latest pricing.

snow tube icon

Snow Tubing Availability

Pine Mountain does not have a snow tube park.

mountain icon

Off Mountain Activities

If you are staying onsite you can take advantage of the indoor pool, hot tub and sauna. Farmers is a full-service restaurant and bar. You can also check out the Sitzmark Bar on the weekends for drinks with a view and live entertainment.

happy face icon

Common Praises

The mountain is small and well situated for beginner and intermediate skiers. Yet, it has the very best view from the top. If you are just starting out, it is easily one of the most affordable places to take lessons. 

Leave a Comment