Buh bye, Tahoe, Vail and Banff. USA Today readers just found a new favorite ski resort—and it’s ours. Head to the Upper Peninsula this winter to see why Mount Bohemia is a national favorite.

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In Michigan, we ski what we have and are glad for it—Midwestern skiers are masters of the short and brutal, the quick and icy. It’s all in the name of time on the slopes in a season that’s relatively short and unpredictable, by ski resort standards.

But the skiers who know, know: The U.P.’s Mount Bohemia in Lac La Belle is unlike any skiing in North America. And somehow, the word’s been leaked. Readers of USA Today just named it the best, beating out monster resorts in Banff, Lake Tahoe and Colorado, including heavy hitters Winter Park and Vail.

Um, what? How?

Photo by Chris Guibert

Photo by Chris Guibert

Photo by Chris Guibert

Chalk it up to Mount Bohemia’s position on the Keweenaw Peninsula, a dumping point for incredible lake effect storms that blow nearly 300 inches of snow on the mountain each year. Weather patterns create legit powder days the likes of which you’d expect to see out West, and adding to the intensity? The resort glades, chutes and wide-open runs are au natural—no grooming here. And, at 900 feet, Mount Bohemia claims the longest vertical drop in the state.

Regular Mount Bohemia skiers don’t mind that the terrain acts as a natural weed-out factor for the less hardcore among us. Which prompts the caveat that if you’re not comfortable in deep, uneven snow on steep slopes, this isn’t a good choice for a weekend ski with the kiddos. It is, however, a resort with a fantastic culture (check out their staff-created TV show on YouTube) and a chill vibe, especially in the parking lot, where you’ll find a strong tailgating game.

What the terrain lacks in accessibility, the price makes up for: Day passes are a modest $92 and season passes will set you back $275—roughly the cost of a single-day lift ticket at Vail.

Photo by Chris Guibert

Photo by Chris Guibert

Photo by Chris Guibert

When to Go to Mount Bohemia and Where to Stay

When to go: Late January and February are best, when squalls from the lake dump tons of powder on a pretty reliable basis, although last April saw some epic storms. Local advice? Get a hyper-local forecast and keep an eye for storms, and plan your trip accordingly.

Where to stay: Mount Bohemia has several lodging options, including ski-in/ski-out cabins and yurts, and the nearby five-bedroom Inn on Lac La Belle. The historic Keweenaw Mountain Lodge is 20 minutes away in Copper Harbor (and was recently designated an international dark sky park). View our lodging options to find your perfect stay.

Photo by Chris Guibert

Photo by Chris Guibert

Photo by Chris Guibert

Photo(s) by Chris Guibert