Crystal Mountain Ski Vacation Guide

Ski & Ride Guide

Crystal Mountain supplies more than 90 skiable acres with a 375-foot vertical drop, sizable for the Midwestern hills. Approximately 50 downhill slopes are lift-served by a system that includes a high speed quad powered by renewal wind energy, and among the fastest lift in Michigan. Skiable acres comprised of a diverse terrain, a variety of glade areas and a couple of learning parks.  Ski terrain span easy to difficult with 20% of the trails designated for the easiest runs, 46% more difficult, and 34% the most difficult, which can be found along the front side of the mountain. More than half of all trails are equipped with lighting for night-skiing to cater to all ability levels.

Freestylers will discover long and lower terrain park features on all three hills, progressive features for the seasoned rider, and a beginner’s park near the top of the front-side.  The more advanced skier or rider may enjoy Last Call, a challenging glades run, which starts at the North Face, and connects back to the front-side slopes.

The resort provides an excellent children’s ski program for ages three and older, and also offers lessons for individual or groups of many ages. Young snowboarders can learn to ride within the Burton Riglet Park, a flatland training area, or on subtle rollers and banks within Totem Park.

Après Ski

Not far from Crystal Mountain’s base is the residential village with all of the normal accoutrements.  Guests can grab a bite to eat at the Lodge, or cruise the ice skating rink in front. The Peak Fitness Center in the village offers workout equipment, classes, and indoor pool and two hot tubs for visitor to use. 

After a workout or a ski day, guests can get pampered at the luxurious Crystal Spa, a destination of its own in an 18,000 ft. space, with a complete array of full-service treatments to relax the muscles and stimulate the senses. 

The Adventure Park at Water’s Edge offers many activities all year long, included an outdoor pool and a climbing wall, along with a zip line and an alpine slide in the off season.  

Surrounded by trails, Crystal Mountain offers guests brisk horse-drawn surrey rides through the grounds, or fun dog sled rides through the wooded trails and the open terrain to satisfy the winter adventurer.  

Snowshoeing through Michigan’s Legacy Art Park is yet another way to enjoy the resort’s landscape as well as the many sculptures along the trek. Similarly, snowmobile drivers can easily access Michigan DNR Trail 391, which leads to a large network of groomed trails to explore on their own, or first-timers can arrange a guided tour.

Family-Friendly Activities

After a day on the slopes families can enjoy horse-drawn surrey rides that are free for ages 8 and younger with a paying adult. Another option is to warm up and relax around the fire circle at the Bungalows, or on selected nights, at the rink-side bonfire with unlimited marshmallows. 

The ice skating rink located on the lawn at the Inn provides hours of winter fun that anyone can enjoy. The Peak Fitness Center in the village offers an indoor pool with a separate family play area. The Park at the Water’s Edgeprovides kid-centered activitiesthrough the ski season, along with a fun zone that allows kids freedom for open play, and Kids Night Out, programming also provides more structured activities to participate in. 

Crystal Mountain accommodates children as young as 3 through pre-teen with a wide variety of ski lessons and daycare options. The many learn-to-ski programs vary in age groups and difficulty levels, and includes the Burton learn to turn programs aimed at accelerating the riding curve for Toddlers.  Crystal’s unique Nanny McSki service offers an elite instructor for private groups of children of any age. The service includes meeting the children at their lodging, overseeing equipment rentals and fittings, meals and slopeside ski and ride instructions, and dropping them off at the end of the day. 

Free and Almost Free Things to Do

Winter Trails Day is an annual one day cross country skiing event that offers free two-hour rentals and trail passes for participants. 

Free Surrey Rides for kids 8 and younger with paying adult.

Crystal Mountain Snowboard Vacation Guide

Parks & Pipes

Crystal’s terrain park designs include lower and longer features within several parks such as Basin Street and Rotary Run Skier/Boarder-Cross Course.  New freestylers will find Jester’s Alley, the dedicated learning area with lower elements between the gentler Main Street and Giggles runs on the front-side, while experienced riders can challenge themselves to hit every feature in the clean, continuous Tank Line found on Tuck’s.

Rising snowboarders of the youngest set can learn their skills at the Burton Riglet Park, a flat training area with lower natural features designed to build confidence. They can progress to the Totem Park learning area to practice before testing their skills on the easiest trails.