HomeWeatherDoes It Snow In Michigan? Upper Peninsula Winters 

Does It Snow In Michigan? Upper Peninsula Winters 

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A big question on most tourists’ minds before traveling is, “Does it snow in Michigan?” Michigan is an interesting state that offers a lot of sites to visit and have fun in during the summer, but what happens in the winter?

Some regions in the U.S. get so much snow it is practically impossible to do anything fun, so is Michigan one of these places?

Let us get into the details and find out more about the weather conditions in the Upper Peninsula to help with your trip planning; 

Does It Snow In Michigan

Michigan is a snowy State, and its Upper Peninsula receives some of the highest snow levels in the United States. 

It is a month in the top 10 snowiest states in the U.S., with about 200 inches of snow each year. The snowiest months are between December and March, the coldest months. 

What Are The Snowiest Places In Michigan?

Michigan is a big state, and the snow levels are different in various parts. As a tourist, you ought to know which areas have the most snow so you go to or avoid them depending on your intentions. Here are some of the snowiest Michigan areas and their attractions; 

1. Sault Ste Marie, MI

Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, at an elevation of 699 feet, is one of the coldest and snowiest spots in the Upper Peninsula. The city receives 100 to 158 inches of snow annually.

The entire upper peninsula of Michigan is notorious for heavy snowfalls each year. While the average snowfall in the U.S. is roughly 28 inches, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula frequently receives more than 200 inches of snow in many of its towns and communities. 

According to the 2020 census, the Sault Ste Marie waterfront community has a population of 13,337 people.

2. Hancock, MI

Hancock is arguably one of the snowiest cities in Michigan, with some of the highest yearly snowfall measurements in the state until 2010. 

This town, adjacent to the Keweenaw Waterway from Houghton, has frequently been listed by the Weather Channel as the third snowiest city in the United States.

Hancock also provides lodging and amenities to tourists of Mont Ripley, a well-known ski resort nearby.

Mont Ripley is one of the best ski resorts in the Midwest, with chairlifts, t-bar lifts, and plenty of routes always covered in new powder.

Michigan Technological University operates Mont Ripley, the state’s oldest ski area. Hancock’s Mont Ripley ski area has provided visitors with an authentic alpine experience and many memorable years since 1934. 

This ski resort has over 22 routes, a terrain park, and a tubing park. The resort is spread across 112 acres of beautiful Michigan land overlooking the Keweenaw Waterway.

Hancock also offers many snowmobile rental shops, ensuring fun in the fresh powder. Hancock is a terrific spot for individuals wishing to have fun in the snow, whether you want to ski, tube, snowboard, ice skate, or simply enjoy the charm of an alpine village.

3. Houghton, MI

Houghton, Michigan, has one of the snowiest places in the entire state. It is, in fact, one of the snowiest and coldest regions in the whole United States. 

Houghton receives an average of 202 inches of snow every year. Many consider this town to be the snowiest in Michigan.

Houghton is located along the Keweenaw Waterway from Hancock. There are numerous winter activities available to guests. You may go sledding, cross-country skiing, extreme winter sports, or ice skating nearby. 

Alternatively, explore Nara Nature Park, a natural area with hiking trails and lovely vistas. Just ensure you bring an all-wheel-drive vehicle when visiting Houghton in the winter.

4. Ironwood, MI

Ironwood receives around 200 inches of snow each year. As a result, this town is a winter adventurer’s dream. Ironwood is also close to Lake Superior, the Great Lakes’ largest, coldest, and most pristine body of water.

Many adjacent ski resorts are conveniently located in the scenic mountains and untamed woods outside the Ottawa National Forest. 

When the upper peninsula trees are blanketed in snowy powder or adorned with glistening icicles, they are more fascinating than ever.

Snowboarders, skiers, and anybody else who appreciates winter activities may hit the slopes and warm up in downtown Ironwood with cocktails or delectable culinary treats. 

Festivals, cuisine, and family-friendly activities abound in this lovely Upper Peninsula region. Stormy Kromer, the classic wool winter caps creator with the charming earflaps, also lives in Ironwood.

Ironwood is one of the most serene and charming places to visit for those who wish to enjoy Michigan’s immaculate snowfalls and so much more, with easy access to four distinct ski slopes and plenty of places to stay.

Misconceptions About Winter In Michigan

Most people avoid Michigan during winter because of its reputation for snow and various wrong ideas that it suggests. 

But is there any truth to these stories? Let us look at 5 of the common misconceptions about Michigan and get to the bottom of each; 

Winter travel limits the fun.

Those who live in or frequently visit the Upper Peninsula never let the occasional snow get in the way of a good time. In an area like downtown Sault Ste. Marie, spending an evening out while avoiding treacherous roads is simple. 

Within a three-block radius are hundreds of taverns, restaurants, and shops. Plowed sidewalks are convenient for pedestrians, and snowmobiles are permitted on city streets for those arriving by trail.

Marquette is a must-see when traveling to the Upper Peninsula’s core region. Marquette, home to Northern Michigan University, provides visitors with enjoyable experiences such as the Marquette Harbor Light, Maritime Museum, and Presque Isle Park. 

North of town, you can take a picture of the renowned iron ore docks, one of Michigan’s most recognizable sites. Outdoor Life Magazine has previously named this Upper Peninsula hamlet one of the country’s top locations.

Everything is closed in the winter.

Many sites in the Upper Peninsula are open all year, but they take on a pleasant new appeal when coated with snow. Visit Tahquamenon Falls State Park this winter to experience Mother Nature’s incredible ice sculptures. 

Anglers see their waters altered for a new catch, while hikers gain a different viewpoint when snowshoeing through snow-covered forests. Warm up with hot cocoa or an Irish coffee at one of the four casinos in the Eastern Upper Peninsula.

Mackinac Island is also open in the winter. Visiting the island during the colder months is ideal for people looking for a slower pace. It is easier to get quiet, hang out, and enjoy the company of friends, family, and the great outdoors.

It’s too cold to do anything outside.

Some believe doing anything outside is impossible because the Upper Peninsula is so far north. Guess again! You’re guaranteed to love the outdoors with cross-country skiing, dog sled races, antique snowmobile runs, and eateries ready to serve up a good hot plate with a locally made beer. 

According to several inhabitants, it is equally as busy in winter as in summer. People on the Keweenaw Peninsula know that Lake Superior moderates temperatures sufficiently to keep it cold but comfortable in the winter.

Snowshoeing is a sport that seems tailor-made for the Upper Peninsula. Snowshoeing in Michigan is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the calm beauty of the winter season while remaining physically active. 

There’s nothing to see in the U.P. in the winter.

Let’s dispel this myth right away: when visiting the Upper Peninsula, you get to traverse the western hemisphere’s largest suspension bridge. Any Michigander crossing the bridge will tell you it is a rite of passage. 

Aside from the obvious, there are the majestic Porcupine Mountains and the gorgeous Lake Superior State University, Michigan Tech, and Northern Michigan University campuses.

Another worthwhile stop is the Bishop Baraga Shrine in L’Anse. This religious, historical monument was erected in May 1972 to honor the work of Frederick Barage. 

The 35-foot, five-ton hand-wrought brass monument, holding a pair of snowshoes, looms magnificently among the surrounding trees.

There is nothing on the Upper Peninsula that is not available in the Lower Peninsula.

That is not correct. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is notable for receiving up to 200 inches of snow annually. 

While the Lower Peninsula boasts many Pure Michigan winter activities, the Upper Peninsula’s top-rated snowmobiling paths, ski resorts, and winter festivities make it a must-see for any tourist. 

Who could forget the 300+ waterfalls that call the Upper Peninsula home? Many of these waterfalls freeze over during the cold winter months, creating an altogether new terrain known as ice caves, which are ideal for exploring and even climbing. 

Ice climbing is a popular sport in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. There’s also a festival that attracts athletes and fans from all around the world.


For those wondering, “Does it snow in Michigan?” you now have a better understanding of the region’s weather, and you will have an easier time making plans. 

Michigan is among the snowiest areas in the U.S., so you must wear your thickest coat if you want to visit.

Don’t let the high snow levels scare you from visiting Michigan in the cold months. There are a lot of resorts with various winter games for the whole family or couples. Locals are used to the weather and adapted to make everyday activities run seamlessly. 

Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper is a dedicated news blogger with a zeal for storytelling. Enthusiastically covering current events, he constantly seeks fresh angles and innovative ways to refine his craft and engage his readers.


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