12/30/2011 04:07 pm ET | Updated Jan 05, 2012

Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide

Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa in Michigan is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.

The Basics

Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa, located in northern Michigan, was named the number one ski resort in the Midwest by Ski Magazine in 2005. In January 2011, the Chicago Tribune praised the resort for its family-friendly atmosphere. The Traverse City Airport, located just 40 miles from the resort, makes it fast and easy to get to the slopes. With affordable rates and a variety of amenities, Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa has something to offer skiers of all ages.

The Mountain

Crystal Mountain has a 375-foot vertical drop. The mountain gets an average of 125 inches of snow per year, and the resort can manufacture enough snow to cover 98 percent of the skiable terrain, creating ideal powder conditions most of the season. The longest run is only about a half-mile long. The mountain doesn't have any double black diamond runs, which are for expert skiers only, so it might not be the best place for an experienced skier looking for challenging trails. The ski season typically stretches from December through April.

Trails And Lifts

With 45 trails in a variety of skill levels, including green (beginner), blue (intermediate) and black (experienced), there is a trail for almost everyone at Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa. Skiers can access the top of the mountain on one of nine lifts: two carpets, two double chairs, two triple chairs and three quad chairs. The three terrain parks create a skiing environment that's well suited to young skiers and beginners. The resort offers nighttime skiing every night of the season. A groomed cross-country trail is available for Nordic skiers as well as traditional cross-country skiers.

In The News

Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa features a daily NASTAR race, which is a national recreational ski racing program. The races offer opportunities for all skill levels. In January, Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa also hosts an annual cross-country paintball biathlon. The Maple Syrup Festival and Mardi Gras on the Mountain are held in March every year.


A basic lift ticket at Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa costs $45 for adults and $35 for children. Season passes cost $369 for adults, $329 for children and seniors, and $25 for children under 9. Equipment rental costs $10 to $38, depending on length of the rental. Contact the rental office for more information. Classes are offered for all ages and vary in price depending on the student's age and length of the class. Contact the Crystal Mountain Snowsports School for more information.


Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa is a complete destination with a spa, lodging, dining and other activities for the whole family. Wild Tomato Restaurant & Bar is a casual cafe that serves everything from hearty pot roast to light Caeser salads. The cafe uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. The Crystal Spa features several packages and treatments to relax and soothe skiers after a day on the slopes. A variety of Lodging Neighborhoods are available that can house groups of all sizes. They feature a pool, housekeeping, free Internet access, laundry facilities and a fitness center.

WATCH: Crystal Mountain

Watch some serious deep powder skiing at Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa.