Indianhead Mountain at Big Snow | What to Know Before You Go!

Lifts at Indianhead Mountain - Big Snow
Lifts at Indianhead Mountain – Big Snow Photo Credit: David Gleason(Flickr CC)

There are only a few ski areas in the U.S. where your ticket is good for multiple mountains. At Big Snow Resort, lift tickets let you ski or snowboard at Indianhead Mountain and Blackjack Mountain.  We are diving into Indianhead Mountain to get you up to speed with everything you need to know before visiting.

Read on and you’ll be able to make the decision if Indianhead is the best place to go skiing or snowboarding this winter at Big Snow.

Highlights of Indianhead Mountain in Michigan

So you are debating on going to Indianhead because you could spend your time at Blackjack. Well here are some stats on Indianhead that might get you excited – 

  • 30 trails
  • 9 Lifts
  • Terrain park
  • Night skiing on select trails

Where is Indianhead Mountain Located?

Indianhead Mountain is located in Wakefield, Michigan. It sits just below Lake Superior in the upper peninsula. We have compiled some of the driving distances nearby where a lot of people come from – 

  • Minneapolis, MN – 4 hours and 30 minutes, 238 miles
  • Duluth, MN – 2 hours and 20 minutes, 120 miles 
  • Green Bay, WI – 3 hours and 40 minutes, 220 miles 
  • Milwaukee, WI – 5 hours, 310 miles

What is Indianhead Mountain Ski Area?

 Indianhead Mountain is part of Big Snow Ski Resort. Indianhead is separated from their other mountain, Blackjack by the Black River. One lift ticket gives access to all the 56 trails in total of the two mountains. They even have a free bus to get you between the mountains. 

Big Snow with its two mountains is a winter destination. They have the trails, lodging and food onsite so you only need to show up and have fun.

Lodging Near Indianhead Mountain

One of the great things about visiting Indianhead Mountain at Big Snow is the onsite lodging. Most people hear the upper peninsula of Michigan and immediately get turned off on the idea of visiting. Especially if they are from the lower peninsula.  

Thankfully if you make the drive then there are multiple options for lodging at Big Snow and Indianhead. Hotel-style rooms start at just over $115 a night generally and go up from there. Chalets start around $400 but can sleep to 13 in ones like the Wakaigan.

Before booking at Big Snow, two other good options to compare rates and amenities are the Black River Lodge that sits just to the north and the AmericInn by Wyndham Ironwood.

If camping is more your style then there is Alpine Campground & RV park just 5 minutes from Indianhead Mountain.

Key Takeaway: There are a lot of lodging options near Indianhead Mountain -Big Snow. Be sure to compare your options because sometimes you can get better amenities off the mountain itself.

How Tall is Indianhead Mountain?

Indianhead Mountain has a summit of 1,953 feet with the base at 1,297 feet. There are 656 feet of vertical at Indianhead.

Night Skiing at Indianhead Mountain

 There is night skiing at Indianhead Mountain – Big Snow but it is only on select trails. Night skiing is free with the daily lift tickets and is ONLY on Indianhead Mountain. The trails include Voyager’s Highway, Old Flambeau and Chippewa.

The last thing to note about night skiing is that it is only on Fridays and Saturdays.

Key Takeaway: Night skiing is only at Indianhead Mountain on Fridays and Saturdays. It is never at Blackjack Mountain.

The Best Time to Visit Indianhead Mountain

The best time to visit Indianhead Mountain is on weekday mornings. Tuesday is generally a little quieter on the trails when the mountain opens. Indianhead is open 7 days a week but if you want freshly groomed trails, it is best to hit Indianhead right when they open.

Does Indianhead Mountain Have a Ski Shop?

Both Indianhead and Blackjack have ski shops. You’ll find the one at Indianhead Mountain at the Summit Center on top of the mountain. H.W. Rider is the ski shop you need to visit when you forget gear. 

H.W. RIder also has a sister shop on US 2 in Ironwood. If you stay at one of the inns, in Ironwood, you ought to stop by and check out the shop. It is called Hobbywheel.

Indianhead Mountain Terrain Park

Snowboarder on jump at Indianhead terrain park.
Lifts at Indianhead Mountain – Big Snow Photo Credit: Ryan Anger (Flickr CC)

Indianhead Mountain is the more advanced mountain overall at Big Snow. This holds true for their terrain park, The Big Chief as well. Newer terrain park riders should check out the parks over at Blackjack.

Is Indianhead Mountain Good for Beginners?

There are some really nice greens to ride for beginners at Indianhead Mountain like Voyager’s Highway, Deer Track and Running Bear. Also, they have a learning area at the top of the mountain which is great for beginners. Beginners will find Indianhead best if they take a lesson if it is the first time on the mountain.

Trails at Indianhead Mountain – What to Know 

30 of the 56 trails of Big Snow are at Indianhead Mountain. That is over half! Indianhead has some longer runs and is a good all-around mountain. 

Some trails you should check out depending on your ability are as follows – 


  • Voyager’s Highway
  • Deer Track


  • Agogebic
  • Chippewa


  • Geronimo
  • Tetonka
Tucker Sno-Cat at Indianhead Mountain – Big Snow Photo Credit: David Gleason(Flickr CC)

Other Winter Activities at Indianhead

There’s enough stuff to keep you busy off the trails as on the trails. When planning your trip to Indianhead at Big Snow, there is also snowshoeing, snowmobiling and often live music at the resort.

If you are wanting to ride snowmobiles then Big Snow is the place. 70 miles of trails connect to Big Snow in the Gogebic Range Trail System. Just be sure to monitor the snow and check with the resort as they don’t rent when there isn’t enough snow.

Summers at Indianhead Mountain

After the snow is long gone, Indianhead remains action-packed.  There are over 13 miles of off-road trails to explore and test you. Bring out your best off road vehicle and explore the trails at Indianhead ORV park.

Is Indianhead Mountain Better than Blackjack Mountain?

A common thing we hear people asking is if Indianhead is better than Blackjack Mountain at Big Snow. They each offer their unique trails. It is best to start out on Indianhead but if you are looking to try to get away from lift lines a bit then shifting over to Blackjack can make sense at times. Just hop on the free shuttle and they will get you moved around pretty easily.

 Indianhead Mountain at Big Snow – Final Thoughts:

Big Snow will give you options. You have your choice between Indianhead and Blackjack, both on one ticket! You can’t beat that. Even though the trails are fun, it is fun in itself to switch up mountains. If you vacation on the weekends then you can even catch night skiing at Indianhead on Fridays and Saturdays, making it all the more better.

Whether it is your first time to big snow or you make the trip every year, you are sure to find a trail that you will fall in love with.

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