Indianhead Mountain

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Indianhead Mountain
IndianHead-Mountain-logo.png
Location Wakefield Township, Michigan, United States
Nearest city Wakefield, Michigan
Vertical 638 feet (194 m)
Top elevation 1,935 ft (590 m)
Base elevation 1,297 ft (395 m)
Skiable area 195 acres (0.79 km2)
Runs 28
Longest run 1-mile (1.6 km)
Lift system 5 chair lifts, 1 PomaLift, 2 T-Bars, 1 TowRope
Lift capacity 10,131 skiers/hr
Terrain parks Yes - 1 Big Chief Natural Terrain Park
Snowfall 17 ft (5.2 m) annual
Snowmaking Yes (90%)
Night skiing No
Website indianheadmtn.com

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[1] from Lake Superior. The area is home to several popular ski resorts such as Big Powderhorn and Blackjack Ski Resort.

History[edit]

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.[2] An indication of how important skiing has become to the region is Gogebic Community College's ski area management program,[3] one of the few in the country.[4]

Winter activities[edit]

The area offers snowshoeing, ice skating, cross-country skiing[5] and other winter activities. The area is best known for downhill alpine skiing. Indianhead itself only offers downhill alpine skiing.

Skiing[edit]

Indianhead features runs from very easy greens through double diamond.[6] 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),[7] 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.[8] Youngsters under age nine years ski free with a paid adult.

Base of NASTAR run

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.

Summer activities[edit]

Hiking[edit]

The mountain is popular in the summer months with many hiking clubs and groups. Many clubs consider it a difficult, albeit enjoyable hike.[9]

Wildlife[edit]

In May, the slopes become home to herds of Whitetail deer.[10]

Waterfalls[edit]

The mountain is near the Black River, which provides access to some of the most well known waterfalls in the Western U.P.[11]

Fall colors[edit]

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.[12]

Location[edit]

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.[13]

Photographs[edit]

Shot from the Base Place at the base of the headwall.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lake Effect explanation". Island Net. Retrieved December 21, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Local Ski Industry". LLw-ve.com. Retrieved December 21, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Gogebic Community College's Ski Management program". Gogebic. Retrieved December 21, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Area History". Hunts-Upguide. Retrieved December 21, 2007. 
  5. ^ "70 Cross Country". Cross country Skier. Archived from Cross Country the original Check |url= value (help) on July 8, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Trail Map". Indianhead Mountain. Retrieved December 21, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Run Information". On The Snow. Retrieved December 21, 2007. 
  8. ^ "332 Reviews". On The Snow. Retrieved December 21, 2007. [dead link]
  9. ^ [1] Summer Schedule
  10. ^ [2] Mountain Review
  11. ^ "Waterfalls". Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Fall Color Tours Northern Michigan - UP Travel". Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  13. ^ [3] Map and directions

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°30′00″N 89°58′15″W / 46.50000°N 89.97083°W / 46.50000; -89.97083