Upper Peninsula Winter Activities & Sports

Every winter day, you will find adventure and tranquility throughout the Upper Peninsula. Besides the groomed trails, there are millions of acres of meadows, forested backcountry and frozen lakes to cross-country ski, snowshoe, ice fish, fat tire bike and ice skate. Have the guts to do something extreme? We have sheer ice walls to climb, a luge to hurtle down and lakes to ice sail, kiteboard and ice surf.

Explore The Best Snowmobile Trails in America

Snowmobile riders repeatedly vote for the U.P. as the best place in America to run their sleds. With an average annual snowfall of 200 inches, 3,000 miles of groomed trails and unforgettable shoreline and forest scenery, it’s hard to surpass. When the snow melts, those trails are perfect for ORVing and ATVing.

Head for the Hills to Ski and Snowboard

The U.P. has some of the longest runs, highest verticals and deepest powder in the Midwest. Whatever your downhill or boarding level, you’ll find the hill, the instructions and winter exhilaration you want. With nine ski resorts, kids-ski-free deals, alpine races and a season that stretches from late November to mid-April, there’s no excuse for staying indoors.

Try These Tamer Slopes or Go Sledding and Tubing

We also have affordable slopes that are designed for beginners and to tune up your skills. Or get the family away from their screens to feel the snow spray as they tube or sled in the crisp fresh air.If you are in  the Western U.P., enjoy the thrill of tubing, snowboarding and cross-country and downhill skiing at Crystella Ski Hill in Crystal Falls.

While vacationing in the Central U.P., bring the family for hours of fun skiing, snowboarding, sledding and flying down the iced toboggan run at Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming. Or hone your skills at the John & Melissa Besse Sports Park in Gladstone, where there’s skiing and snowboarding throughout the week and tubing on weekends.

In the Eastern U.P., Doc Holle’s Silver Mountain in St. Ignace is a favorite tubing destination, but if the snow conditions are right, you also can snowboard and ski there. Watching your winter getaway budget? Big Valley Ski and Tube Hill in Newberry is a low-cost opportunity to get outside and play when you are in Tahquamenon Country. If you are visiting near Sault Ste. Marie, pack your outdoor winter gear and head to Sault Seal Recreation Area. This is a major winter activities destination with seven tubing runs, two tubing lifts, a ski and snowboard hill with a lift and heated chalet.

Hurtle Down a Luge Track — the Ultimate Winter Speed Thrill

Incredible! That will be your experience as you ride a luge sled down the 800-meter, ice-covered track at the Lucy Hill Naturbahn Luge in Negaunee. This is where Olympic hopefuls practice, if that is on your dream list, too.

Love cross-country skiing and snowshoeing UP north

When it comes to winter recreation, the Upper Peninsula has boasting rights for being the best place in Michigan to immerse in winter’s beauty along serene cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. There are trails for all levels and abilities that bring you to frozen waterfalls, century-old lighthouses, vast Great Lakes beaches, historic towns and within feet of our wildlife. Many state parks offer the magical experience of lantern-lit cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. Enjoy the warm glow of the woods on the groomed loop, and end your evening relaxing with refreshments next to a roaring bonfire. Bring the entire family!

Find Peace and Thrills Ice Fishing

Some folks may shake their heads when you say you are going to spend hours sitting on a frozen lake in the U.P.  But they haven’t felt the tug of the line — the heart-pounding focus it demands to reel in a scrappy, 10-lb. walleye, guiding it through a hole in the ice. Nor have they experienced the soothing silence. Something so hard to find back home.

Enjoy this winter sport anywhere in the U.P. typically from December to March and sometimes as late as April and May. You can fish on any of the 4,300 frozen inland lakes plus the ice-covered bays of Lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior.

Make Happy Memories Dog Sledding

What could be better than gliding through snowy trails of scenic hardwoods capped with powder? Add a team of playful sled dogs to UP the fun factor! This experience goes well beyond a ride in a sled. Mushing is a celebration of true U.P. spirit and offers an exhilarating taste of the local flavor. Throughout the region, you will find experienced Iditarod-tested mushers who will teach you everything you need to know about the sport. Dog sledding has broad appeal for visitors of all ages and abilities. These Alaskan Huskies are friendly and gentle and love socializing with people. Those with limited ability to participate in more physically demanding sports will enjoy a ride with these enthusiastic pups. Children 10 years of age and older can lead their own sled team!

Discover the U.P.