Michigan has a lot of ski areas, with the biggest hills and mountains being up north. Still, the Metro Detroit area is home to four of the state's almost 50 resorts and they range from kid-friendly man-made slopes to ones with expert-approved double black diamond runs. Southeastern Michigan's local winter wonderlands are fun for extreme skiers, beginner skiers, and nonskiers alike. There may not be very many of them, but they're about as diverse and family-friendly as they come.
Alpine Valley in White Lake not only has 25 slopes, but it also has a lounge with dancing and a pretty good view. It claims to have the most beginner runs in the region, but there are eight advanced-graded trails that extreme powder seekers will love, too. Alpine Valley also has nine high-capacity chairs, four beginner ropes, and a Wonder Carpet, also for beginners. There's an old-but-charming lodge to hang in after the day is done. It's located within an hour's drive of downtown Detroit and is open every year from December until March.
Mt. Brighton has the most runs (26) in Southeast Michigan. Because the area doesn't have skiable slopes naturally, everything here is man-made. They reach a maximum height of 230 vertical feet, which make Mt. Brighton a perfect place for beginners and kids. Intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders aren't left out, though, with two terrain parks to play on and a combined 17 runs to choose from.
Mt. Brighton is located right off U.S. Route 23 and is a 45-minute drive from downtown Detroit. At the resort, you can indulge in après-ski at Bruhn’s Bar, the Ski Hill Grill, or the Ore Creek Mountain Grill.
Mt. Holly, 54 miles north of downtown Detroit, has Southeast Michigan's longest run, which spans 2,100 feet. It's a great destination for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, seeing as its 19 slopes are split almost evenly between easy, intermediate, and expert. Mt. Holly also gets good marks for the speed of its seven lifts. It boasts five tow ropes, two magic carpets, nine black diamond runs and a terrain park with a half-pipe. The resort has two cafeterias, a lounge, and a fireplace room for warming up after a day on the snow.
Pine Knob, located in Clarkston off of I-75, has double-diamond runs, three terrain parks, and race leagues. It prides itself on its snow-making equipment and prowess and its super-fast ski lifts. The staff is young and there's plenty to accommodate your après-ski, including Off the Wall Lounge, which has been known to host open mic nights and other parties. The 17 runs are equally split between expert, intermediate, and easy. There are six chairlifts, four tow ropes, two magic carpets, and a vertical drop of 300 feet. Pine Knob is one of the closest ones to the Metro Detroit area, too, about 40 miles away.