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trip report porcupine mountains

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have not written a trip report in a while so here goes.


My wife and I went to the porcupine mountains in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan this weekend. We had not been here is 4 years. This place holds a special place in my heart. This is where my 4 kids learned to ski when they were 4 years old I have been going here for over 30 years.

The drive is a 7 hour road trip from the Chicago area which is half the adventure. You drive through Madison, then Wausau and then we take the scenic route through Rhinelander (watch out for the Hodags) up north to Ontonogon and then to our lodging in Silver City. There was 6” to 1’ of snow on the ground all the way up and then when you cross in the Michigan the magic happens, the lake effect snow machine takes over and there is at least 2 to 3 feet of show on the ground. The drive through the forests and rolling hills in Rockland is always scenic. The remoteness  and peacefulness causes complete decompression.

We stayed at the Americinn in Silver City. We have stayed here for years. It is the only “real” hotel in the area. The place is very dated but fine for our needs. It has an indoor pool and hot tub and offers a continental breakfast. The only restaurant and bar within 10 miles is at the hotel. The food is bland and tasteless but that has always been my expectations there. The bar is cozy and simple. I think the pool table has been there for 30 years.

You drive about 5 miles along lake superior which is stunning to the Porkies.


When we pulled in there were about a dozen cars in the lot. ( I guess it was going to be busy)


The lodge was cozy and wonderful as often. The only drawback was there was not water due to frozen pipes so porta-potties had to be used. ( This situation has happened there in a few other trips there)


There is 1 chairlift which goes to the top and they installed a recent tow rope at the top to get to the other side of the mountain where the old chair lift broke. This was a great addition to gain access to the other side of the mountain.

There was about 2” of fresh snow on the ground to start the day. The porkies only has natural lake effect snow and no snow making equipment which makes it unique. The first run we took was hidden valley which is a meandering green run to start the adventure. The rest of the day we went on every run. The runs were groomed except a few.  We took the new tow rope and went down the Porcupine Plunge were the old chair lift was. Lots of fresh powder stashes on the run.

The runs through the woods were great. The tree runs off snow valley is their terrain park called log jamming.  Natural features make this an interesting run. The agate glades from top to bottom get a good leg burn going.

Had a wonderful time brought back great memories. The porkies was originally run by the DNR then Lonnie from Mount Bohemia (I love Bohemia)  took it over and now it is run by the community College. In my opinion when it was run by Bohemia it went downhill. (gift shop and cafeteria basically were non existent) With the college running it the ski shop, gift shop and cafeteria look great. The installation of the new tow rope is great. The total cost of lift tickets for 2 people for 2 days was $79.00 when purchased in advance online. The drive is long but the price is right. I will be back and hope to teach my grand children to ski there.


the drive and hotel

lake superior


full parking lot


the lodge


lake superior






through the woods



agate woods

log jammin


agate woods


log jamin


log jamin






hidden valley



porcupine plunge

post #2 of 4

Nice Trip Report.  I forgot how cloudy the skied were in Michigan since moving to the Sierra. 

post #3 of 4

It was run by the Department of Corrections, all the lifties were inmates, when I went up in the early 90's.   I remember all the little taverns with Old Style signs along the roads in the North Woods.


Way too far for me to drive now.

post #4 of 4

We have been to the U.P. last year during fall, really nice place. Always sad to see a lost chair... do you know what exactly happened? And the Poma is also gone?

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