2003 Number 8 Resort in the Midwest: Boyne Mountain, Mich.


The past year has been a rough one for Boyne Mountain. Construction delays have pushed back the opening of its Mountain Grand Lodge & Spa, and owner Everett Kircher, a Midwest and, indeed, North American-legend, passed away last winter. But Boyne maintains its reputation as the Midwest's most storied ski resort. "Best in the Midwest," proclaims one reader. With 60 ski runs (including eight new trails this season), 10 chairlifts and a classy base hotel, Boyne continues to be a "skiers' mountain." Although much of the terrain is solidly intermediate, the mountain is better known for its steeps-most notably Devil's Dive and McClouth. Some would argue that you can't claim to be an expert skier unless you prove you can handle the deadly drops of Hemlock. Sometimes overlooked is the excellent Boyneland learning area near the Civic Center Lodge and the wide, gentle novice trails off the Ramshead and Top Notch chairs. And as a reader notes: "The Disciples Ridge area is great; this is a fun ski resort with something always going on." This is all fed by a lift system that is ranked No. 1 in the Midwest, headlined by the high-speed six-pack Mountain Express. And the conditions are always predictable at Boyne. "Best snow when there are poor conditions elsewhere," says a reader. In addition to terrain, Boyne is a favorite for those who like a good time after the ski day ends. "Boyne Mountain attracts the party crowd, and Boyne City offers great dining and nightlife," says a reader.

WHAT'S NEW Terrain park expansion with new rails, lighting and sound system.

A GOOD DEAL Saturday lift ticket prices have been rolled back to $39 for adults and $37 for youths, ages 9-15.

HIGH/LOW MW RANK Lifts (1), Après (4), Challenge (5); Family Programs (15), Scenery (16), Value (23).

DON'T MISS The St. Patty's Day Celebration, featured in the 2001 Warren Miller film, is one of the wildest and most colorful events in the Midwest, drawing more than 8,000 people.

READER REMARKS (+) "Most consistent vertical in Michigan." (-) "Pricey; parking for day skiers is too far away."