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Boyne Highlands Resort

 

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Trail Map
Trail Map

 

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Lodging
Lodging
 
Name Description Maximum Occupancy Price Range

Alpine Village

 

Upscale two and four bedroom ski-in/ski-out condominiums.

 

Extra person charges may apply 

 $373 and up

Main Lodge 

 

165 slope side hotel rooms and suites offering complimentary Internet access, outdoor heated pool, hot tub and restaurant. 

Extra person charges may apply

$164 and up 

Bartley House

 

Cozy rooms with small refrigerators, ski-in ski-out, large hot tub and access to the Main Lodge pool. 

Extra person charges may apply 

 $134 and up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dining

 

North Peake

 

Main Dining Room

 

Slopeside Lounge

 

 

Champions Pizza 

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Boyne Highlands Resort
Description:

Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands are two neighboring ski areas under the common ownership of Boyne USA Resorts with lift tickets valid at both centers. Each is of similar dimensions and they offer similar lift capacities. Located in Harbor Springs, Boyne Highlands has slightly more advanced terrain than Boyne Mountain. Night skiing is available on weekends, holidays and on Wednesday and Thursday evenings throughout the season. Boyne Highlands base village can accommodate up to 1500 guests and has incorporated two heated outdoor pools and one indoor heated pool. Cross country skiing is a Boyne resort strength, with 45k of prepared trails.

Details:
DetailValue
Snow making percent
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Magic carpet2
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Rope tow
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Poma
Lifts-Surface Lifts-T bar
Lifts-Surface Lifts-J bar
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Single
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Double
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Triple4
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Quad3
Lifts-Chair Lifts-High speed quad1
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Five person
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Six person
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Eight person
Lifts-Gondola
Lifts-Tram
Lifts-Coggle train
Lifts-Funicular
Lifts-Other
Lifts-Total number of lifts10
Lifts-Total lift capacity
Trails-1-Beginner37%
Trails-2-Intermediate29%
Trails-3-Advanced34%
Trails-4-Expert only
Trails-5-Terrain park3
Trails-6-Half pipe1
Trails-Total50
Runs-Steepest run
Runs-Longest run1.25 miles
General-Base elevation
General-Vertical drop552'
General-OwnerBoyne Resorts
General-Mountain range
General-Annual skier visits
General-Back country access
General-Total area in bounds430 acres
General-Snow making coverage400 acres
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Posted

Pros: Great for families/beginners/classy(?)

Cons: Bad snow compared to Nubs, not many advanced hills (In my opinion)

I live fairly close to both Nubs Nob (10 Minutes) and Boyne Highlands (15 Minutes). Every time I skied, I went to Boyne. All of my friends went there and I was content with it. The hills aren't demanding, but were steep enough to let you pick up speed and make you feel cool about yourself. Great for beginners/transitioning intermediates. The problem with Boyne is their snow quality. I have a friend who has worked both places and according to him, Boyne grooms every 3 days while Nubs does it every morning and night. For beginning/off-and-on skiers, this isn't a problem, but for more serious skiers, this can make all the difference. Don't get me wrong, Boyne is a nice place, but compared to Nubs, it seems rather mediocre. Nubs is the "Local friendly spot", while Boyne is more "Tourist/resort" type of place.

Posted

Pros: Very friendly staff. Everyone greeted us at the chairlift.

We stayed just a few miles from the area so we my wife and I skied on their any four hour ticket. We tried to get on all the blue and black runs and we had a good time skiing. The first thing we noticed was how friendly everyone was to us. The staff was certainly friendly, but also the locals skiing there. As we skied later in the week at Boyne, people that we talked to said that the older groups prefer Boyne Highlands because it is more enjoyable skiing for them while Boyne is skiing at a faster pace. It would certainly be good to try both and see which you prefer since they are approximately 20 miles of each other.

Posted

Pros: most vertical in lower peninsula, best blue-green cruiser in the area, less of a zoo than Boyne Mountain

Cons: not managed up to it's potential, spotty grooming

Boyne Highlands invites comparison with it's sister resort 50 miles to the south, Boyne Mountain, and it's neighbor Nubs Nob which is just across the street.

Compared to Boyne Mountain, the Highlands is less crowded, more "friendly" and more low-key.  There's also less to do while you're not skiing (ie not as much of a party scene, no waterpark, airport, shopping, etc.)  Of the two hills, I strongly prefer the Highlands, but I'm there for the skiing, not the nightlife, etc.  The terrain is about a toss-up between the two - the Mountain has a larger network of beginner trails, but there's still plenty of easy greens to be found at the Highlands.  The Highlands has the best easy cruiser in the lower peninsula - Heather's  - and some decent blacks by Michigan Standards (Challenger, Olympic, Rob Roy)

Compared to Nubs, on paper the Highlands would seem like the clear choice over it's neighbor across the street.  100' more vertical, a high speed lift, the "Boyne brand."  In reality, the Highlands trails tend to have a long run-in and long run-out so it doesn't reall "ski" bigger than Nubs.  The HS lift is somewhat of a mixed blessing - the majority of patrons swarm the high speed lift making the hill seem more crowded; at Nubs the crowd tends to spread out.  That said, the HSQ is nice when you have the hill to yourself.

Some other points of comparison of Nubs and the Highlands:
  • The snowmaking and grooming.  The more I ski, the more I realize that snow quality is a very big factor in my enjoyment.  One wouldn't think that two resorts literally across the street from one another would have conditions this different, but they do.  The Highlands crew is just kind of indifferent to snowmaking and grooming   For instance, you're likely to find hoses lying across trails, you'll see unattended snow guns spitting ice pellets.  The Highlands has a tendency to groom the snow while it's still wet so that it sets up rock hard in the morning, but not before criss-crossing it with snowmobiles so that the trails have rock hard snowmobile ruts in addition to the rock hard courderoy. By contrast, Nubs' snowmaking and grooming is first rate.
  • Nubs has a far better view of Lake Michigan. Especially from Nubs South and Pintail Peak
  • Not much tree skiing at the Highlands.  Nubs has 7 glades.
  • Every run at the Highlands faces east.  Most days, this isn't a problem, but it is a problem when the wind is blowing strong out of the east - at the Highlands, there's nowhere to go to avoid it.  Nubs has slopes that face in different directions, so you can always get out of the wind.  The other time when this is a problem is sunny days late in the season - the sun comes up and bakes the slopes for three hours before the lifts open, and the snow turns to mashed potatoes by noon.  Meanwhile across the street the snow stays in shadow making for much better conditions. Note that Boyne , Crystal and Schuss Mountains also have this east facing problem, although Schuss and Crystal have some slopes that don't face east. Of course, this "problem" is not a problem at all on  clear days in the heart of the season - just the opposite.
  • For beginners, it's about a wash.  Lots of easy stuff at both hills.  Both have a free beginner area - Nubs' "Big Time" has a gentler slope than the Highlands "Camelot", but I'd be hard pressed to say whether that makes one better than the other.
  • For advanced skiers, it's the snow that makes the difference, not the terrain. The terrain is about equal as  far as the groomers go, although Chute is steeper than anything at the Highlands.
  • Both hills have a good layout for skiing with the family - almost all lifts serve green, blue and black trails so you can ride the lift as a group,  pick your trail depending on your ability or mood and meet at the lift
  • The Highlands has the Zoo bar, which has been the place for apres ski in the Petoskey area for decades.  Nub's Pub is not as much of a "scene".
  • Better slopeside accomodations at the Highlands. (Nubs has none)

Lest this review seem overly negative, I should mention that I've had many good days at the Highlands, and pay to ski there several times a year when I could ski across the street on my pass for free. And  I plan to keep skiing there, at least a couple times a year.  I just wish the management would try a bit harder at the snow quality thing.

Bottom Line: A good hill by Michigan standards that could be much better.  Check the weather forecast and avoid if the wind is strong from the east or it's late season and sunny.