The area’s three major downhill ski resorts—Big Powderhorn, Blackjack, and Indianhead—line up conveniently along a short stretch of U.S. 2 just east of Ironwood . All welcome downhill skiers and snowboarders.
Heading east from Ironwood, the first resort you’ll reach is Big Powderhorn Mountain (N11375 Powderhorn Rd., Bessemer, 906/932-4838, www.bigpowderhorn.net , lift tickets $31–45). Powderhorn’s 33 downhill runs wrap across two faces, with 700 feet of vertical drop and nine double chairlifts. Perhaps more than the others, Big Powderhorn Mountain caters to families with affordable lift tickets, mostly tame runs, and plenty of ski-in/ski-out lodging bordering its slopes.
Also in Bessemer, the smaller, family-run Blackjack Ski Resort (N11251 Blackjack Rd., 888/906-9835, www.skiblackjack.com , lift tickets $28–40), with its 20 trails, carves out a niche in the market by making the most of its terrain. Cameron Run and Spillway often are left ungroomed and offer up good bump skiing, and it’s arguably the best resort around for snowboarders, with the area’s best half-pipe and a great terrain park on Broad Ax.
A few more miles down the road bring you to the Indianhead Mountain Resort (500 Indianhead Rd., Wakefield, 800/346-3426, www.indianheadmtn.com , $34–46), the area’s largest resort with 638 feet of vertical, 9 chairlifts, 2 T-bars, and 29 runs. Indianhead offers some of the region’s most challenging (although overly groomed) skiing, and pleasant runs that wind for more than a mile through the woods.