Boyne Highlands, Mich.: Rank 4 East of Lake Michigan, 1998


Boyne Highlands, about 20 miles north of Boyne Mountain, is the larger of the two Boyne resorts in Michigan. With 42 ski runs and the capacity for 1,200 guests, it's a sprawling complex. In fact, it's one of the few ski areas in the Midwest where first-timers actually need a trail map to keep from getting lost. The skiing at the Highlands is less intense than at the Mountain. The terrain is more suitable for cruising and the layout is more family friendly. The Highlands boasts some good steeps¿South Challenger has enough pitch to host Pro Tour ski races¿but its real strengths are space and length. Kath Run, for example, is an intermediate trail with a touch of Snowmass' Big Burn, with room enough for sweeping sideline-to-sideline swaths. The newest trails at the Highlands are on North Peak, where the Black Diamond Glade is the greatest attraction. A characteristic of Boyne Resorts is getting skiers up the hill, and the Highlands is no exception with 10 lifts, including a high-speed quad. While the skiing doesn't have the spunk of Boyne Mountain, many people prefer the more laid-back atmosphere. One reader states: "The terrain is a little more fun than Boyne Mountain." Another opines: "Superbly maintained and laid out."

What's New Snowboard halfpipe and terrain park; Snow tubing (free with lift ticket, or $12 for 2 hours tubing ticket); night skiing expanded to Wednesday through Saturday and a 9 am-9 pm lift ticket ($49 weekends/$39 midweek).
A Good Deal$50 per person, per night lift/lodging midweek; (800) 462-6963.
High/Low Rank Dining (2), Lodging (3), Lifts (3), Service (4); Accessibility (10).
Don't Miss Après-ski craziness and live entertainment at the Zoo Bar.