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Michigan info, Crystal area in particular

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi all, in reviewing season pass options for this coming winter the fill a quad deal at crystal is very appealing but I'm not as familiar with that area.

The last several years I've been skiing mostly Nub's or Highlands and staying in the Petosky area.

A couple of times during the season I'll spend a long weekend and am wondering if there is anything near Crystal that is reasonable without going back to Cadillac every night? I'm not real crazy about staying right at the resort for cost reasons.

I don't expect fancy, but we do want clean. Not concerned about nightlife, I can curl up with a book and be contented. A hot tub or sauna on site would be a plus.

Thanks for any input.
post #2 of 16
I am far more familiar with the Cadillac area, but there are certainly a bunch of affordable options right near Crystal Mt. Num came up to ski with us last year and found a great cabin close by that was affordable, and I have friends who Snowmobile near Thompsonville and stay close by.
I'll do some checking and get back with you soon!!

Don't forget to connect with me when you come up. I'm always looking for someone to help me tease my husband about his motocross helmet and rear entry boots:
post #3 of 16
Yeah, I'd definitely recommend the cabin I stayed in. Clean and cozy, and about 2 miles from Crystal. I'll pm you the details and contact info.

How many of you are there?
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
I haven't committed to Crystal yet, I have mixed feelings about it. A couple of times I've been there I liked it, a couple it was just okay. During the week when no one is around its a lot of fun, but on weekends it seems crowded. They focus on families and kids, which is okay but since I don't have any it sometimes gets old having to ski around them all the time. Fortunetly I have days off during the week sometime.

I really like Nub's but money talks. They are both about the same distance/drive time for me.

It would be fun to hook up with some bears closer to home. I've met and skied with a lot folks out west during LGC 2&3 but no one here in MI.

What is it about a 30 minute drive from Cadillac out to Crystal?

Thanks again!
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Num,

Thanks I'll watch for it. Generally 2 adults.
post #6 of 16
We used to rent a few cabins near there. It was really easy to get to/from the area. I remember one was so close we hiked to the top of the hill at night and slid down on cookie sheets.

I always like Crystal when I was growing up. The only places better in Michigan I've gone too were Highlands and Sugarloaf (I think that's closed now?) I've never to Nub's Nob, but I suspect that's better too.

I bet vrbo.com has something listed.
post #7 of 16
If you want a change of pace, you might want to try Caberfae Peaks. In my personal opinion the skiing is better. In terms of acres, Crystal is larger. The two “peaks” as they call them at Caberfae offer much more challenge and length. During the week the place is dead. You can make laps all day long all by yourself. On weekends they lines are not ever as long as Crystal. In my opinion Crystal only has two lifts by the time you figure out the HS quad does not really go anywhere. (I am making judgments based on my skiing ability, which my not be what you prefer). The lodge has on old school ski feel about it. Nothing pretentious or complicated just a LARGE wood structure with a picnic area and fireplace downstairs and a cafeteria and bar upstairs. We go there with friends that live in Cadillac all the time and we plug in our crock-pot at the picnic tables down stairs. Most of the time I can park with in 20 feet of the lodge. (If you have been to Boyne Mountain lately, you end up walking a couple hundred yards.). The people are really friendly. HERE IS THE BEST PART. You can get a season’s pass for $99.00 or $198.00 before the end of October. The $99.00 rates are if you want a weekend only OR a midweek only. The $198.00 pass is FOR ALL SEASON NO BLACKOUT DATES. You cannot beat that deal. Last year I went to the Warren Miller ski film in Lansing and got a season’s pass for $99.00 no restrictions. I have no idea if they are doing it again.

Here is the downside (there is always a downside). The lifts are kind of old and a bit slow side, except for the two main peak chairs, which are the ones I always use. The snowmaking is a bit behind the times. They did add some guns this year. The grooming is also a bit rough, not bad, but not a good as other resorts. No way could you even compare it to Nub’s. They did add a groomer last year, but I think the need to send the operators to a class. Lastly, the season is usually a couple weeks shorter then Crystal.

Taken as a whole, I love the place. For the money it is a great deal. My home mountain is Boyne Mountain since we have a place in Kalkaska. Every other weekend we are at Crystal since we have friends in Cadillac. If you are staying in Cadillac it is only a 20-minute drive.
post #8 of 16
I Live south of Cadillac about 5 miles.
I leave my house and am parked at the Base of Buck in 40 minutes.

If you're interested in some bargains at Caberfae, let me know, I can get a community card, which gives you a huge discount on lift tickets.

If you're looking at a season pass that will be used a lot, Caberfae is fun, but is limited in variety of terrain.
Of my favourite ski resorts, Nubs is the best, but its a two hr drive for me, as Crystal is a quick jaunt I can go any time.
post #9 of 16
I can give some input on this one. First of all, I would recommend staying in the Crystal Lake area, which is only about 15-20 minutes away. I say this because that's my favorite place in the world and I've been there every summer of my life. There are a few cozy cabin type campsite places off of M115 or along jnct M31- including the Betsie River, if rustic is your game. Don't know what you are expecting to spend, but Frankfort is a fun town, but Benzonia/Beulah is closer to Crystal Mtn.(both towns only 15-25 minutes from the ski resort.

I was at Crystal Mountain about a month ago and it looked great -for golf. There's no comparison between Crystal Mtn and Caberfae as far as resort feel. Crystal makes you feel like you're on vacation while Caberfae is very much a day trip sort of place. On the other hand, the vert is better at Caberfae and they have some fun hills. In fact, considering only the skiing, its pretty close. Crystal has more runs, but none of them are quite as good as Caberfae's better ones, in my opinion. Caberfae is very no frills, just enjoy the skiing, and I can appreciate that on a snowy winter's day. There are more tree runs at Crystal, and better lifts, but Caberfae has fewer crowds and a really nice powder run (if you get some) off the left of the south peak.
I like them both fine, but neither is as good as Nub's, that is for sure. I think Nub's is best in the lower Peninsula.
However, I guarantee you will enjoy Benzie county and the Crystal Lake area, if you decide to stay outside of the Crystal Mountain Resort.
post #10 of 16
I can't comment on Crystal or Caberfae, I haven't been to either sience I was 10.

I am a bear that will ski with anyone at Boyne (mountain or highlands) or Nub's. I have a condo and travel up from Detroit almost every weekend. I have every other friday off, makes the long weekends nice.

Also, I know this is a strech for most people, but Boyne started offering College Season Passes last year $250. Just a thought...
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input. I'm going to wait a few weeks and see what shakes out at work, that depends on what days of the week I'll be able to ski. May be weekends with a few midweek days mixed in or it could be Tuesday and Wednesdays all winter.

I'll keep everyone posted, it would be fun to ski with some other Michigan bears this winter.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedalbiker View Post
Thanks for all the input. I'm going to wait a few weeks and see what shakes out at work, that depends on what days of the week I'll be able to ski. May be weekends with a few midweek days mixed in or it could be Tuesday and Wednesdays all winter.

I'll keep everyone posted, it would be fun to ski with some other Michigan bears this winter.
We will get a Mini Michigan GTG organized!
Look for it when snow hits!
post #13 of 16
I'd come up for that!
post #14 of 16
First post! I'm really pleasantly surprised to see so many Michigan skiers on here.

I've skiing nothing but MI my entire lift, and I like Caberfae a lot more than I like Crystal. As everybody else has said, it's very no-frills, which I like more than the resort feel of Crystal, and while there are less runs at Caberfae, the ones that are there are better.

Caberfae's college nights, M, W, and F, really turn me on to them too. $10 lift tickets after 5PM, and only a dollar more each hour before that. I try to get up there at least twice a week.

I'd also like to pump my current favorite resort, out of the admittedly small number I've been to, Schuss Mountain. The runs aren't very long, but there's a huge variety of them, from easy circles to skinny steep wooded runs, and the terrain park is very nice. Me and about half a dozen buddies rented a house about 5 minutes away for the weekend, which was old but decent and very clean, and we each ended up paying only about $45 for it for the entire weekend.
post #15 of 16
set something up and I'll see who I can bring... and remember - it snows in IL too!!
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
We will get a Mini Michigan GTG organized!
Look for it when snow hits!
I'm in, I'm in!!!!!
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