Family-owned Crystal Mountain, Mich. lands the top spot in the 2013 OnTheSnow Visitors' Choice Awards for Best Terrain in the Midwest. There are 85 acres in which to play and despite the relatively short vertical of 375 feet, one run rambles a half mile. Nine lifts serve 45 slopes of fun, 27 of them illuminated for night skiing seven nights a week. Snowboarders are welcome everywhere on the mountain and there are special terrain features that keep it fun whether you're sliding on one board or two. Overnight lodging is available in over 250 hotel rooms, suites, condominiums, townhouses and vacation homes, which are located near the skiing and golf facilities.
WHERE TO GO FOR BEGINNER TERRAIN: Beginner runs account for 25-percent of the terrain here. The beginner area, Totem Park, is ideal for first-timers and often used for ski lessons. It is located near the bottom of the Loki Quad Chair. When you're steady enough, practice turns on the long, gentle green runs.
WHERE TO GO FOR INTERMEDIATE TERRAIN: Half of Crystal's terrain is classified at an intermediate level. For the best choice of long blue cruisers, take the Loki Quad Chair or the Cheers Chair.
WHERE TO GO FOR EXPERT TERRAIN: Approximately 25-percent of Crystal's terrain is suitable for advanced skiers; the majority of the black runs can be accessed via the Buck Chair and the Loki Quad Chair. Also classified as 'black' is Tuck's Terrain Park and the Glacier Valley Glade Area.