Indianhead Mountain Big Snow Resort

A guide to downhill skiing in the U.P.

Ironwood is a winter playground, surrounded by some of the best downhill skiing in the upper Midwest. There are six ski hills in and around Ironwood, each offering a different downhill experience—and all the hills are just minutes apart. Unsure where to start? Here’s a guide to downhill skiing in the U.P., including directions to the ski resorts, opening dates and lift ticket information.


Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort

Located east of Ironwood and north of Bessemer, the 253-acre Big Powderhorn resort offers a complete downhill ski experience near Ironwood. The resort features a charming Bavarian-style village and some outstanding skiing. You’ll find 45 trails, 9 double chairlifts, 622 feet of vertical and three unique terrain parks. Big Powderhorn is open for alpine skiing and snowboarding and there are runs for easy, intermediate, and difficult trail ratings. The park’s summit is an impressive 1,622 feet and is part of the Gogebic Range. The resort also connects to the Wolverine Nordic Trail, a cross-country ski trail.

How to get to Big Powderhorn: Take U.S. Highway 2 east from Ironwood to Powderhorn Road. Follow Powderhorn Road north to the resort. The address: 11375 Powderhorn Rd, Bessemer, MI 49911.

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Mt. Zion Recreational Complex

Find fantastic downhill skiing in the heart of Ironwood! Mt. Zion is part of Gogebic Community College but it’s open to the public for skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and free cross-country skiing. The hill has a 300-foot vertical drop and beautiful panoramic views of Ironwood and the surrounding countryside. Mt. Zion is very well-managed—it’s a laboratory for the college’s nationally recognized Ski Area Management Program. The hill also offers various ski/snowboard programs and rental gear is available. Senior citizens (62+) ski or snowboard for free!

How to get to Mt. Zion: The hill is located in the heart of Ironwood. Here is the address: E4946 Jackson Rd, Ironwood, MI 49938.

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Whitecap Mountains Ski Resort

Take a short drive southwest of Ironwood to experience this expansive winter sports destination. Whitecap Mountains Ski Resort is a 400-acre ski area, tucked between the ancient Penokee Range and Weber Lake. The hill includes five chair lifts, 43 ski and snowboard runs and a variety of scenic snowshoe and cross-country skiing trails.  The complex is also connected to the area’s snowmobile trail network and there’s access to ice fishing and skating on Weber Lake.

How to get to Whitecap Mountain: The resort is about 12 miles southwest of Ironwood. Take Wisconsin Highway 77 southwest to County Highway E in Iron Belt. Follow the signs for the resort. The address of Whitecap Mountains is 9106 W Co. Rd E, Upson, WI 54565.

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Indianhead Mountain and Blackjack Mountain – Big Snow Resort

You can have twice the fun at Big Snow Resort! Find Big Snow a short drive east of Ironwood—it’s actually two ski hills that operate together as Big Snow Resort. Indianhead Mountain and Blackjack Mountain both offer a premier downhill skiing experience, and your Big Snow lift ticket works on both hills. Indianhead stands at 1,770 feet of elevation and boasts 520 feet of vertical—the longest run is 1 mile. Skiers at Indian are served by five chair lifts. Blackjack offers skiers 490 feet of vertical, 22 runs and four double chair lifts. Three terrain parks challenge experienced skiers.

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How to get to Big Snow Resort: The two resorts are just four miles apart and a shuttle runs between the two hills. Indianhead Mountain is located at 500 Indianhead Road, Wakefield, MI 49968. Blackjack Mountain is located at N11251 Blackjack Road, Bessemer, MI 49911. To get to the hills from Ironwood, take U.S. Highway 2 east from town. Turn north (left) onto Baker Blackjack Road to get to the Blackjack hill. To get to Indianhead, continue a bit further on Highway 2 and turn north (left) onto Indianhead Road.

Porcupine Mountains Ski Area

The Porcupine Mountains draw people throughout the year to visit the U.P. and experience a real wilderness and stunning outdoor beauty. There’s perhaps no better way to experience this special place than on skis. The hill is located within the Porcupine Mountains State Park, an expansive park that holds a large tract of old growth forest. Snowboarders, alpine and telemark skiers are treated to sweeping views of Lake Superior, 670 feet of vertical and 250 skiable acres. The longest run is a mile long. There’s also a natural terrain park and some of the area’s best backcountry skiing.

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How to get to the Porcupine Mountains Ski Area: The hill is located at Michigan Highway 107, Ontonagon, MI 49953. It’s about a 50-minute drive from Ironwood; take U.S. Highway 2 east to M-64. Take a left and head to 107th Engineers Memorial Highway. Take a left and head to the ski area.

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