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Porcupine Mountains

 

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Lodging
 
Name Description Maximum Occupancy Price Range

The Konteka Black Bear Resort 

 

Offers Internet access, refrigerators in each room, hot tub, sauna and tanning facility. 

Extra person charges may apply

$89 and up

 

 

 

     
       
       
       

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Porcupine Mountains
Description:

Fondly known as the "Porkies", Porcupine Mountains Ski Area is a unit of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and is located in Michigan's western Upper Peninsula. With skiing dating back to 1940, Porcupine Mountains was one of the first alpine ski areas to be developed in the Midwest. And with a vertical drop of 641 feet, that also makes it one of the Midwest's tallest. Located on the shore of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater body of water on the planet, the scenery is unsurpassed. Panoramas of the lake and its ever changing ice flows provide a backdrop to 11 miles of slope covering 100 acres over a 320 acre area, divided by stands of virgin forest. In these mountains, cross-country skiers will find some of the most scenic trail systems in the entire Great Lakes Region. Four main cross-country trails and several smaller trails total 42 kilometers of the groomed, double-track set Nordic system. A nordic pass gives skiers quick access to the heart of the Nordic trail system. An attractive A-frame chalet adds charm to the "Porkies." Located at the foot of Hiawatha, the chalet is spacious and well-equipped with large picture windows, three fireplaces, food service, ski shop, rental service and National Ski Patrol first aid. Here is a place where families can ski at a reasonable cost and do so in a relaxing atmosphere of scenic beauty. Kids 9 and under always ski free with paid adult.

Details:
DetailValue
Snow making percent
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Magic carpet
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-Double1 (not operating)
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Triple1
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Quad
Lifts-Chair Lifts-High speed quad
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 lifts
Lifts-Total lift capacity
Trails-1-Beginner5%
Trails-2-Intermediate40%
Trails-3-Advanced55%
Trails-4-Expert only
Trails-5-Terrain park
Trails-6-Half pipe
Trails-Total42
Runs-Steepest run
Runs-Longest run1 1/8 mile
General-Base elevation
General-Vertical drop787'
General-Owner
General-Mountain range
General-Annual skier visits
General-Back country access100 acres
General-Total area in bounds
General-Snow making coverage
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Posted

Pros: 100% natural snow, big hill by midwestern standards, spectacular view, good terrain for all abilities, laid back vibe

Cons: no snowmaking (not always a negative) old lifts, limited amenities

The Porkies is where I first fell in love with skiing.  At the time it was run as a state park, so it had a "park" vibe rather than a "resort" vibe - no advertising, no piped-in music, management decision were made for "quality of experience" reasons instead of marketing/profit motive.

Unfortunately, that system wasn't economically viable, so it's now being run by the folks who run Mt Bohemia.  I haven't been since the switch, so what follows is what the porkies used to be.  Hopefully, they haven't changed it too much. Certainly the snow and the hill are the same, and that's the strength of the Porkies.

The Porkies ski resort is directly in the lee of the Lake Superior lake-effect snow band.  It gets massive amounts of snow.  There is no snowmaking, so you can be assured of skiing 100% natural snow when you visit the Porkies. (I know this part hasn't changed).  This means shoulder season can be spotty, but when it's good it's very very good.

Until Mt Bohemia opened up with it's ~825 foot vertical drop, the Porkies reigned as the "giant" of Michigan skiing with 630'.  It's a big hill by midwestern standards.  The view of Lake Superior is nothing short of spectacular.

There's terrain for every level, and both lifts serve green, blue, and black runs so families can ride the lift together and take the trails that fit their individual ability

I don't think there's a terrain park.  There's no nightlife, or night skiing for that matter.  No lodging either (although I think there may be some rustic cabins that you can XC ski to).  It's strictly a skiing venue.

Since I was there last, they cut a bunch of trails to the west - these are not lift served; you have to hike  or take a snowcat.

Bottom line - a great place to ski and get away from it all.  It's pretty remote.