Address: Indianhead 500 Indianhead Rd Wakefield, MI 49968
Countie(s) trail is located in: Gogebic
Trail Type(s): Cross Country Skiing <> Downhill Skiing <> Hiking <> Ice Skating <> Snowshoe
Trail Measurement: 30 Runs
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Indianhead Mountain is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Wakefield Township, Gogebic County. Indianhead Mountain is in an area called “Big Snow Country”, so named because of the annual 200-inch (5.1 m) average snowfall, courtesy of the lake effect from Lake Superior. The area is home to several popular ski resorts such as Big Powderhorn and Blackjack Ski Resort.
The roots of Indianhead Mountain Resort tie in closely with the past and current economy of the area. In the late 1950s, Jack English, an amateur pilot from Chicago, over flew Indian Head Mountain. After seeing the abundant snow and area conditions, he developed Indianhead Mountain Resort. This was the impetus for the local ski industry—in the following years, other resorts opened and the area became a skiing hotspot. English is credited with creating the ski industry in the area, and shifting the local economy away from the failing iron mines to one of the most popular ski destinations in the country. An indication of how important skiing has become to the region is Gogebic Community College’s ski area management program, one of the few in the country.
The area offers snowshoeing, ice skating, cross-country skiing and other winter activities. The area is best known for downhill alpine skiing. Indianhead itself only offers downhill alpine skiing.
Indianhead features runs from very easy greens through double diamond. Over 95% of the hill is groomed, and although there is no official tree skiing, adventurous skiers manage it anyway. There are 10 Beginner Green runs (the largest, Voyagers Highway is in itself the size of many Midwest ski areas), seven More Difficult Blue runs, seven Most difficult Black runs, and four Expert Double Diamond runs primarily because of moguls.
The facilities normally found at the hill base are on top of the hill at Indianhead. This means that all skiing begins at the hill top, so your last lift ride for the day is up and off the hill. There are no accommodations at the base of the hill, but there are numerous trailside condos, hill top condos, and rental cabins in the area.
Indianhead is considered to be a family friendly ski area. Kids under nine ski free with a paid adult.
Amenities include the typical bars, snack areas and restaurant at the top of the hill, and a large restaurant / snack area at the base of the hill. There’s also a ski shop, ski and board rentals, and lockers throughout the lodge.
The mountain is serviced by three double chairlifts, one quad lift, one triple lift, one Poma lift, two T-bar lifts and a towrope. The T-bar lifts are at the base of some Expert runs.
The hill also offers NASTAR racing and has a ski school with private and group lessons. The NASTAR run has permanent course start and end structures for registration, start, timing, etc. on Sundance.
The mountain is popular in the Summer months with many hiking clubs and groups. Many clubs consider it a difficult, albeit enjoyable hike.
The 9 hole golf course opens on May 12.
In May, the slopes become home to herds of Whitetail deer.
The mountain is near the Black River, which provides access to some of the most well known waterfalls in the Western U.P.
The views from the top of Indianhead Mountain provide some of the best views of the Fall Colors. People travel from all over the world to see the varieties of Maple, Oak and other hardwoods change color. Indianhead Mountain is on one of the many Fall Color Routes.
Indianhead Mountain ski area is located in northwestern Michigan, 200 miles (320 km) northeast of Minneapolis St. Paul via I-35 to US 2, 110 miles (180 km) from Duluth, and 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from Wakefield.
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References and More Info
- Compass Latitude: 46°30’00.9″N
- Compass Longitude: 89°58’16.0″W
- Numeric Latitude: 46.500263
- Numeric Longitude: ‘-89.971115
- Elevation in Feet: 1,220 to 1,730
- Elevation in Meters: 370 to 530
- Trail Measurement: 30 Runs