Nestled in the hills surrounding Bellaire in Michigan’s northwestern lower peninsula, Shanty Creek is an award winning northern Michigan ski and snowboard destination. For many families, Shanty Creek provides an affordable ‘up-north’ getaway with something for everyone. Boasting 450 vertical feet and an average snowfall of 200″+ per year, there is plenty of terrain that spreads across Shanty Creek’s two ski areas, Schuss Mountain and Summit Mountain. Snag a Super Pass and you have access to both areas.
Summit Mountain is where you can find what Shanty Creek calls ‘America’s most affordable lift ticket’ at just $10 for an entire day of skiing or riding. With 11 runs, 2 chairs and 1 surface tow, Summit Mountain is more than enough for the average beginner to intermediate skier or rider. Don’t let that comment fool you, there are a couple advanced runs and a nice size terrain park that is sure to entertain most seasoned enthusiasts.
Once you have warmed up, head to Schuss Mountain where the length and difficulty of terrain increases. 38 runs are fed by 5 lifts, providing something for every skill level, including a magic carpet for the beginners, a nice half pipe and the Purple Daze terrain park.
Advanced skiers and riders will be impressed and challenged by the large face runs while beginner and intermediate level skiers and riders will be just at home with blues and greens running around the outside. The best part – all of the lifts unload in a central location at the top of Schuss, allowing everyone to ride together on the lifts and hit any run they desire.
Shanty Creek offers up downhill thrills for non-skiers and snowboarders as well with their tubing park. Located at Cedar Village, the 5-lane tubing park is an excellent time to get a group together and have some fun off the slopes.
With three distinct villages, Shanty Creek offers an abundance of on-site accommodations and the complimentary shuttle service means you can experience the entire resort no matter where you’re staying.
Located at the top of Summit Mountain, Summit Village recently underwent a $10 million renovation and the main lodge shows it. Guest rooms inside the Summit Hotel and Lodge are very spacious, some with great views overlooking Lake Bellaire. Summit Lodge, which houses the Lakeview Restaurant, has been painstakingly renovated. The woodwork, two large fireplaces and multiple couches and chairs make Summit an inviting central hub for Shanty Creek Resorts.
If you’re in need of additional room, check out Cedar Village, featuring everything from one and two bedroom suites to three and four bedroom condos. Right outside your door, guests of Cedar Village have access to the north face of Schuss Mountain. At the base of Schuss Mountain, Schuss Village offers a variety of accommodations close to the slopes and Ivan’s tavern for off the slope entertainment.
If you’re looking to go faster, need your boots tweaked or are looking for that killer new jacket, check out Mountain Soul in the Timberline shops at Summit Mountain. Mountain Soul is dedicated to skiers and snowboarders year round by providing their services in Michigan during the winter months and Mt. Hood, Oregon in the summer months. Schuss Mountain also has a full service shop located at the base of the hill. The Pro Sports Center carries a number of staple items from top manufactures, including an entire room dedicated to Burton products. Odds are if you forgot something or needed to make an addition to your collection of ski and snowboard apparel, Mountain Soul and The Pro Center have you covered.
If you’re staying at Shanty Creek, the complimentary shuttle service makes frequent trips downtown (5 minute ride) to the quaint village of Bellaire, where you can find additional dining options and various shops offering up a number of sundries. If you make the trip downtown, a stop at Short’s Brewing is in order for a pizza and an excellent selection of craft brews all made in Northern Michigan. If a good cup of coffee is more your style, check outMoka, serving up fresh roasted coffee daily, along with bottled wines, pizzas and other deli items.
Lift ticket and equipment rentals do vary depending on the time of the season however, odds are you can take advantage of one of the many ticket specials offered up almost weekly, making Shanty Creek an affordable ‘up north’ destination.
Written by: J. Dodge