Crystal Mountain, Mich.
Most of Michigan’s ski areas are steeped in rich skiing history, but it’s hard to beat Crystal Mountain’s Cinderella story. This 102-acre resort just outside of Thompsonville is the product of a 1955 high school class project turned communityrun ski area formerly known as the Buck Hills Ski Club. Now family-owned, Crystal Mountain is a four-season resort 28 miles southwest of Traverse City that draws locals and tourists alike thanks to its laundry list of base area amenities, including a variety of slopeside lodging and an award-winning spa.
Crystal Mountain can’t claim the most terrain or vertical among Michigan’s ski hills, but it does make use of every square inch of its hill. Snow guns cover 98 percent of the terrain, ensuring that the ski area’s 58 trails are accessible from early season to closing day; and lights line 27 of its slopes so that skiers can squeeze in a few laps on work and school nights.
While Crystal Mountain has come a long way since its beginning as a communityrun hill, the spirit of community remains today and the resort is known first and foremost as a family-friendly ski destination.