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Crystal Mountain Michigan

Judge this ski resort by its stats and you’re not doing yourself any favours. It may not have the highest mountain or the widest ski area, but style and soul it’s got in spades. Crystal Mountain’s considered among the best in the Midwest for its dedication to healthy living, family fun, and a ridiculously long list of off-slope activities.

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

At a glance: • Excellent spa • Fast lifts

Great for: • Families • Non skiers • Activities

Judge this ski resort by its stats and you’re not doing yourself any favours. It may not have the highest mountain or the widest ski area, but style and soul it’s got in spades. Crystal Mountain’s considered among the best in the Midwest for its dedication to healthy living, family fun, and a ridiculously long list of off-slope activities.

Crystal Mountain Michigan Resort

Crystal’s slopes were once groomed by volunteers sidestepping up and down in skis. Boy, has this resort come a long way. It saw $9 million in renovation for the 2016/17 season, topping up a cool $200 million over the last 2 decades.

Trails and a small stream meander through a sprawling village base, a charming, clean looking blend of townhouses, forest bound condos and a village hub where you’ll find the hotels and the luscious, award-winning Crystal spa. There’s a trendy, modern focus on healthy, balanced lifestyles here, with “Peak Performance” menus at the restaurants, sunset yoga sessions and a 20-person hot tub...

What hasn’t and - fingers crossed - won’t change is this Michigan mountain’s natural splendour. On a rise above the Betsie Valley, it’s not the highest, nor the broadest of land masses, but it’s still built to thrill – draped in thick pines, a hop and a skip from the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (some say the most beautiful place in America) and massive, see-it-from-space Michigan Lake. The resort itself bends over backwards to keep skiers and non-skiers busy, but if you prefer to keep one eye on the horizon, road trips come rewarded with frame-worthy photography and the surrounding Benzie County features some of north Michigan’s best restaurants, breweries and wineries.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Michigan, USA

Established: 1956

Open: December - April

Downhill: 102 acres / 58 runs

View our detailed Crystal Mountain Michigan snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Crystal Mountain Michigan snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport (TVC)32 miles, 45 mins
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 22%

  • 48%

  • 30%

Top Altitude:1132ft / 345m
Bottom Altitude:757ft / 231m
Resort Altitude:757ft / 231m
Longest run:0.5miles
Slope Orientation:N S E W
Vertical Drop:375ft / 114m
Skiable Vertical:
Night Skiing:Yes
Glacier:No

Snow Report

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  • Base
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  • Forecast
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Web Cam

Crystal Mountain Michigan web cams
Downhill Runs:102 acres / 58 runs
Beginner slopes:22%
Intermediate:48%
Advanced slopes:30%
Lift Pass Price: $79 (adult single day pass)
Nearby resorts:

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Crystal Mountain Michigan

Since the opening of the Backyard in the 2016/17 season, runs here stream down 4 different mountain faces, with a mix of terrain including a fine collection of glades. Runs are not the longest, but this makes Crystal all the more excellent for families with little, easily-tired legs. This resort majors in family skiing in general, with excellent programs and the exciting prospect of night skiing on 27 different slopes practically every night of the week.

Crystal’s Totem Park has been specially designed for beginners, a safe space for newbies to learn the ropes without speed devils rushing around them. If the resort still offers beginner packages, this will be a great resort to take some skis for a test ride without having to commit. When you’re hooked, there are green trails from just about every lift to practice on.

48% of the piste map is dedicated to intermediates and whether you like moguls, gentle winding turns, tree-lined trails to hop on and off of or NASTAR racing, it’s time to start rubbing your hands together. Better still, all are serviced by noticeably fast chair lifts, meaning more time on this spectacular hill and more laps.

With a modest 375ft vertical, experts were never going to find the ride of their lives at Crystal. There are, for instance, no double black diamond runs. Still, single blacks Loki and Thor will require concentration, and glades like Gorge and Buckaroo are dotted about all over the place. You’ll also find Crystal’s extensive 40km of XC trails contain plenty of black diamond challenges, great whether you enjoy, or have yet to try, skiing as the Nords do.

After a short hiatus from its halfpipe, Crystal is back on boarding in a big way. It contains 4 terrain parks, including a boarder-cross course and the mini Riglet Park, where mini rippers as young as 3 can take classes (a rarity).

Crystal Mountain Michigan Apres Ski

There are a million and one things going on in Crystal, more than most of the Midwest resorts put together. Non-skiers won’t have to while the hours watching boxsets. The award-winning Crystal Spa leads the pack, where you’ll be thoroughly spoilt with Chocolate coconut cream pie pedi’s. End an afternoon at the spa with a sleigh ride around the village or a yoga class at the fitness center to relax yourself to sleep.

For those with energy to spare, snowshoe through a captivating collection of poem stones in the Michigan Legacy Art Park, take a snowmobile for a test drive, enjoy an initiation to fatbiking, outdoor ice skate or hit the road and explore the local Sleeping Bear Dunes and lighthouses of the Michigan lake.

When the time comes to refuel, there’s a collection of stock but solid options. The Thistle Bar and Grille consistently delivers deliciousness, whether you’re being good with the Peak Performance menu, or scoffing Michigander paninis (turkey, Swiss cheese, cherrywood bacon, cherry chutney, sourdough - yum in a bun) and you’ll find clever cocktails and après specials in the second story Vista Lounge. Head further afield to Traverse City for wine tours and hearty slap ups. This dreamy, beach-front town has everything from Latin-Asian Fusion to chili cheese dogs and shakes (you’re in the US, after all).

Best time to go

Best time to ski Crystal Mountain Michigan

When is the best time to ski Crystal Mountain Michigan?

Average annual snowfall of 132 inches (335cm) is reinforced by snowmaking on 98% of terrain here, usually ensuring good coverage for most of the season, and often allowing this resort to open as early as Thanksgiving.

A hotspot for spring skiing, Crystal usually sees 30% of its snowfall in March and April, the time events like on-slope kayak races, cardboard sled races and Mardi Gras festivals fill the calendar.

Peak Dates

Christmas in Crystal Mountain is as busy a time as any other, seeing buffets in the restaurants, skiing with Santa, cookie decoration and story time at the inn, and that’s on top of all the usual activities.

Deciding how to spend New Year in Crystal Mountain is no cake walk. Previous years have seen Jungle Family Fun parties, pool parties, teen discos, buffets, dinners, plus champagne and dancing for the grownups, all in the space of 6 or so hours. Pick a favourite, party hop, or divide and reunite at 12 for fireworks and parade.

Whether you’re after a relaxing week off work, activities, activities, activities or a good balance of both, Half Term in Crystal Mountain is going to deliver. And as the schools in the US don’t take this week off, crowds and lift lines won’t ruin your zen.

Spring skiing is this resort’s forte and you can often schuss in the morning and golf in the afternoon for Easter in Crystal Mountain. It celebrates with delicious Easter buffets and Easter Egg hunts.

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Families in Crystal Mountain Michigan

“Family-friendly” doesn’t quite cover the extra effort Crystal makes to ensure family ski trips are spectacular, starting with all kinds of off-slope fun. Activities like ice skating and hockey, the Edge zipline adventure course, fat biking and horse-drawn sleighs are just the beginning. You’ll find organised fun and games like family campfires, scavenger hunts and photo hunts. And, just plain adorable, special “build-a-buddy” kits let kids make their own stuffed animals.

If you can find the time, head to the Mountain Adventure Zone to book sprogs from the age of 3 in for a lesson with the ski school. They’ll get acquainted with the snow in the safety of the Totem Park, before moving onto the Loki Quad chairlift, specially designed to be easy to hop on and off. Thanks to collaboration with Burton, this is also one of a few resorts that offers boarding lessons to little ones as young as 3. But the Nanny Mcski program here is probably the most notable, where an instructor meets children at your door, feeds them brekkie and lunch, oversees equipment rentals and takes them to the slopes for the day. 100% hassle free and hard to let go of…

If you’re going to do a family ski trip right, “me-time” for mum and dad is of the utmost importance. This is why there’s just so much childcare here. This includes Cubs Ski and Care programs blending daycare with introductory ski sessions for ages 3 to 6, the Adventure Care program, looking after all under 6 and private babysitting for all ages.

GroupsGroup Holidays Crystal Mountain Michigan

It's like Crystal has made it their mission to ensure everyone in a group leaves with a big smile, starting with enough off-slope activities to keep even complete non-skiers feeling busy. Whether you’re reserving the outdoor ice rink for a hockey match, howling with laughter over a game of outdoor laser tag, soaking in the spa, night skiing till 9 or venturing out to ice caves at the Michigan Lake, the worst part is - there’s not enough time to do it all. It’s small wonder Conde Nast recently voted Crystal #1 Resort for Family Reunions.

Food and wine fanatics and intrepid explorers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to daytrip to Traverse City, one of Americas Top 10 beach towns, 45 minutes away, and stuffed with affordable wineries.

Sweetening the deal, groups of 25 or more have previously enjoyed discounts on lift tickets and rentals.

More Crystal Mountain Michigan Holiday Resources


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