Indianhead, Mich.: Rank 2 West of Lake Michigan, 1998


Indianhead is the big chief of Michigan's Upper Peninsula ski tribe. It's an upside-down resort, with the lodging and main facilities located on top of the 638-vertical-foot ski hill, highest in the U.P. It's the most popular of the five nearby areas that market themselves collectively as Big Snow Country. The trails are wide, impeccably groomed boulevards perfect for cruising and making long, lazy turns. The hill steepens as it nears the bottom, giving Indianhead its challenging reputation. Winnebago's headwall offers a testy combination of steep and deep, pock-marked with gnarly moguls. With all lifts funneling back to the compact base area on top, you can turn the kids lose. "Long runs, high quality of snow and grooming and an excellent children's program keep us coming back," says one reader. The lodge, converted from a turn-of-the-century barn, offers comfortable rooms with rustic decor and a good, affordable restaurant.

What's New Ten acres of glade skiing; a half-pipe; and three runs on the east side of the area.
A Good Deal Lift and lodging packages starting at $59 per person are available all season except for holidays. Kids 12 and under stay and ski free when staying with adult guests (they don't have to be parents); (800) 346-3426.
High/Low Rank Snow (2), Terrain (5), Weather (5); Off-Hill Activities (11), Accessibility (17).
Don't Miss For lively nightlife, head across the state line to Hurley, Wis. Check out the Liberty Bell and the Ironhorse, where the food is good and the entertainment lively.