Insiders Guide: Crystal Mountain
Crystal Mountain may not be the biggest Midwest ski resort in terms of vertical, but they more than make up for that with great trails, terrain parks, numerous glades, and one of the best teaching areas around the Great Lakes.
It's been named nationwide among the best ski resorts for families in Parents Magazine, Conde' Nast Traveler, U.S. News & World Report and Forbes. It offers 58 trails and slopes and three terrain parks serviced by eight lifts including a high-speed quad. The village area with the recent 31,200 square-foot expansion of the village center, surrounding plaza and Inn at the Mountain is arguably one of the best mountain villages in the Heartland.
There are food options for fine dining, family-friendly, and quick breakfast choices. The Thistle Pub and Grille, located in the Kinlochen Inn, offers a warm, romantic atmosphere for fine dining. The Wild Tomato in the main lodge offers good food and a family-friendly atmosphere. For a quick easy breakfast hit the Waffle Cabin or Clipper Cafe before heading uphill. The Vista Lounge, the main lodge, is the place for some after skiing drinks and live music.
There's a wealth of accommodations that you can consider for your stay: The Inn at the Mountain hotel-style rooms; the elegant Kinlochen Inn, perfect for large families; the ski-in, ski-out mountain top condos with spectacular views.
The front side of Crystal the high-speed Crystal Clipper quickly whisks you to the top. There are several easy runs back to the base and Clipper. If you head towards the Loki Quad, on your left looking downhill, or the Buck Quad, right, you will find a quartet of enticing black diamond runs off each chair. Of course, there are a few easier green and blue trails as well. Take off back along the ridge from the top of the Clipper and you'll find three more pockets of nice, flowing intermediate runs, each with its own chair. Glade runs are scattered around the Mountain.
For Other Fun
For off-slope fun there's 25-kilometer's of groomed cross country trails and snowshoeing trails also. Over nine miles of separate trails are groomed for fat tire snow biking, the most miles of any northern Michigan resort. In the village ice skating is available and horse-drawn surrey rides for a change of pace.
Hot lodging dates, where you can save up to 25-percent, exist throughout the ski season in limited quantity. Kids, six and under, sleep and eat breakfast free (up to two kids eat free, per paying adult).