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Indy Pass Road Trip: Northwest Lower Michigan

Crystal-Mounta-frost-covered-trees-atop-Main-Street Crystal Mountain on a frost covered morning.

With spring break coming over the next few weeks SnoCountry, in a couple of different articles, will take a look at some Great Lakes ski resorts honoring the Indy Pass that are grouped together for reasonable driving distances.

The Indy Pass is good for two free days at each resort, plus 25% off the daily rate for a third day. Focusing on independently owned mountains, the Indy Pass is accepted at 59 resorts across U.S. and Canada.

First up is northwest Lower Michigan with three of the region's top resorts that make a good choice for southern Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Chicago Indy Pass holders to consider making a road trip. There are less than 100 miles between the three ski resorts once you reach the most southern.

Start with Caberfae Peaks, located 15 miles northwest of Cadillac. Home to the Lower Peninsula’s highest lift-served terrain it looks out over an expansive National Forest. Skiing off two peaks with close to a 500-foot vertical, it offers five lifts, 34 runs, and two terrain parks. South Peak is mostly expert terrain, and there are even 25-acres of backcountry skiing. The resort has a couple of restaurants, a bar, and lodging. Slopeside lodging is available.

About a half-hour northwest on M-115 is Crystal Mountain. It's considered one of the top ski resorts in the Heartland, according to recent articles in Forbes, Outside Magazine, and U.S. News & World Report. There are 58 runs, a variety of glades, three terrain parks, eight lifts including a high-speed quad, cross country trails, and fat-tire biking. The compact village puts lifts, ski school, hotel, condos, and restaurants within an easy, five-minute walk. There are three restaurants and a variety of lodging. Most days in March are available for the resort's 25-percent off hot lodging dates except for the weekends of March 5-6 and 12-13.

An hour-and-half northeast through Traverse City will get you to Shanty Creek Resort near Bellaire. It's Schuss Mountain, with a 450-foot vertical, offers 42 runs and three terrain parks serviced by eight lifts. A handful of advanced runs range from steep open slopes to narrow, quick tree-lined trails. The backside slopes are a nice collection of intermediate cruisers and advanced glades. There is a variety of hotel lodging choices and restaurants available.


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