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Boyne Highlands Ski Resort Review (Relaxed Blue Bird Cruising)

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Updated March 27th, 2024

Groomer run at Boyne Highlands

Boyne Highlands Ski Resort in Harbor Springs Michigan is the sister resort to Boyne Mountain. Although Boyne Mountain is more famous nationwide, many skiers in Michigan believe that Boyne Highlands has much better skiing.

Boyne Highlands Resort checks in as the biggest ski resort in Michigan by area at 435 acres. It has the highest vertical drop in the lower peninsula at 552 feet. It has a wide variety of runs ranging from wide open groomers to moguls to a narrow steep chute. It sits next to Nubs Nob Ski Resort. You can make a very nice ski weekend by skiing one each day.

Blue Bird Cruising

The area where Boyne Highlands shines is in it’s wide open well groomed cruising runs. Although the vertical drop at Boyne Highlands is more then the rest of the lower peninsula it tends to be at a modest pitch. The majority of runs at Boyne Highlands that are marked as Black Diamond are really more towards blue in difficulty.

Heather, Amy’s Run, and Floradora are really good runs to go get your cruise on when you are looking forward to a more relaxed day on the slopes. These would make an excellent place for someone learning to parallel turn to practice. They are long, wide, and have no intimidating pitches.

Black Diamond Groomers

There are a few short steep runs at Boyne Highlands when you want a little bit more challenge. Most steep runs at Boyne Highlands tend to only have 1 short steep pitch. If you ski here don’t expect any really long steep runs given the taller vertical drop.

The runs off of Tournament Pass are good for enjoying a short steep pitch. There are several short steep options for getting down the mountain in this area.

black diamond groomed run

Olympic is the longest steep pitch at Boyne Highlands Resort and accessible from Heather Highspeed Quad when you want to do a bunch of steep runs. The downside to Olympic is that like other runs at Boyne Highlands. You have to ski halfway down the mountain on a green/blue run to get to it.

Black Diamond Glade, although it has glade in the name, has no trees and is just a short steep groomed pitch. It has a nice long run out so you can really let yourself fly with no worries of stopping at the bottom.


The Dark Side and K2 are typically left to grow moguls. They are really 1 run but the Darkside half is more steep. K2 is a really good place to try out and practice mogul skiing for newer skiers. My wife gave them a couple of tries on our last trip. Nothing is more fun on 45 degree slushy day then hitting some soft slushy bumps.

skiing moguls


There are a few small gladed areas at Boyne Highlands. I have yet to be there when the conditions were favorable for skiing them either due to lack of snow or snow that was too hardened to be fun. Boyne Highlands is more south-facing than Nubs Nob which it sits next too. It has a big effect on the snow quality between the 2.

Tyler’s Tangle Glade Chute

This one run is my single favorite thing about skiing Boyne Highlands. At the top of Amy’s lift is a small, really tight steep chute with some rocks and logs to avoid. It is steep and technical. It is the most difficult run I’ve found in Michigan outside of going to Mt Bohemia or Buddha Bowl at Mont Ripley. This run isn’t marked on the trail map other than being in the glade. There is no trail sign at the top of it. It runs from the top of Amy’s lift down to Stephen’s Pass.

See my list of favorite black diamond runs in Michigan here.

Steep chute at Boyne Highlands


Boyne Highlands has a restaurant and cafeteria in the main lodge complex. I recommend the Mac & Cheese both here and Boyne Mountain as the best item on the lunch menu. They also have a small warmup hut at the top of North Face and Interconnect lifts. They serve some basic food here as well as beer.

warming hut at Highlands

Apres Drinks

Boyne Highlands is home to the famous Zoo Bar where the Zoo De Mac bike ride originated. The Zoo Bar is located in the main lodge. Be surer to check it out for all your apres needs.

Where to stay

There is an on-mountain lodge as part of the base lodge complex. There are also several condo options on resort grounds. You can find out more about the on-mountain lodging here. There are a bunch of hotel options in Harbor Springs, and Petosky. You can head over to Priceline or Expedia or any other travel site and look for discounts. There are also many rentals available on VRBO and AirBNB in the surrounding area.

Getting to Boyne Highlands Ski Resort

Boyne Highlands is 4.5 hours north of Detroit in Harbor Springs. Take I-75 to the Indian River Exit. Take Rt. 68 to US 31 to Rt 119 to get to Harbor Springs. It’s fairly straight forward to get to Boyne Highland. There is plenty of parking and it is flat unlike the steep lot at Nubs Nob.

Boyne Highlands Mountain Facts

  • Vertical Drop – 552 feet
  • Lifts – 8 chair lifts, 1 magic carpet
  • 55 trails
  • Skiable Acres – 435 acres
  • Snowmaking – 404 acres
  • Adult Lift Tickets – Saturday $101, Friday and Sunday $91, midweek $81
  • Adults over 80 and children 5 and under ski for free
  • Adult Season Passes – $593 unrestricted – they have a variety of restricted options for less
  • Night Skiing Lift Tickets – Included with a day ticket or $55 for night skiing only
  • Day Skiing Hours – 9am – 4:30pm
  • Night Skiing Hours – 4:30-9pm on select days. Click here to see the schedule.

The Verdict

Boyne Highlands Resort is an excellent place to go if you’re interested in a day of skiing long wide open relaxed groomers. It has some hidden gems such as the Tyler’s Tangle Chute when you need to get your adrenaline going.

Doug Ryan Portrait Skiing 200x200

Ryan Craig
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days, I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible. Visit our About Us page and learn more.


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