Visit Otsego Club Ski Resort in Gaylord, Michigan
As far as ski resorts in Michigan go, Otsego Club in Gaylord, MI is the place to go for short lift lines, alpine village vibes, and some of the best affordable skiing in lower Michigan.
If skiing is on your Michigan Outdoor Winter Activities bucket list, add Otsego Resort to your itinerary!
3.5 HOURS FROM DETROIT • 2 HOURS 45 MINUTES FROM GRAND RAPIDS • 2.5 HOURS FROM LANSING
Head to Otsego Resort for a Vintage Ski Club Experience
Some say it’s like a European village you’d find in the mountains. Others marvel at the breathtaking valley views, stellar slope conditions, and short lift lines.
What began as a private ski club in 1939 evolved into the Otsego Resort that you can experience today.
In fact, a vintage ski groomer sits outside the main entrance, inviting you to take a photo and step into the resort’s history.
Otsego Ski Resort is a Hidden Gem in Michigan
Upon arrival at the resort, you’ll notice Swiss Alpine architecture everywhere.
In the 1940s, when the ski resort buildings were being planned, several ski club members who had skied the Alps proposed buildings with Swiss Alpine characteristics. This idea took hold and today you’ll still see the theme throughout.
The resort was built in 1947.
The final result? Buildings anchored with fieldstone foundations topped with walls of vertical pine. Gables, bell towers, balconies, bays, scrolled woodwork, and brightly painted wood trim round out the facades.
Commanding, majestic stone fireplaces that draw attention both indoors and out are found dotting the campus as well.
When you arrive at Otsego Resort you might wonder how skiing is possible here.
The nearby downtown of Gaylord is amazingly flat, considering it’s perched on the highest point of Michigan’s lower peninsula.
Even driving into Otsego Resort, there are no hills to be seen.
That all changes when you walk around the main lodge, though, and find yourself facing sweeping valley views and dramatic, downward elevation changes of the Sturgeon River Valley. That’s probably why the ski club here was once called the Otsego Ski Club at Hidden Valley.
Like history? Here’s a fun look at resort promo materials from the late 90s, while it was still a private club:
With the highest elevation in the lower peninsula, Gaylord is in the heart of Michigan’s snow belt and is blessed with a hearty snowfall of about 150 inches per year.
That, combined with an area full of peaks and valleys, makes the region a prime place for downhill skiing.
Otsego Ski Resort has built on this foundation over the decades and has mastered the art of snowmaking and snow maintenance.
Plus, short lift lines at Otsego Resort mean that you spend your time skiing rather than waiting in line. It still feels like a private resort here, even though the place has been open to the public for several years now.
Variety of Terrain is Another Perk of Otsego Resort
There’s a good balance of beginner, intermediate, and difficult ski runs, along with several terrain parks.
While chairlifts are older and slower than you’ll find at trendier resorts this is not an issue with such short lift lines.
Nestled in the valley near the bottom of lift #5 is the mother of all hidden gems, the River House.
Tucked away near a babbling creek, it’s more than charming.
If you’re skiing for the day, plan to meet your friends or kids at the River House for lunch or a snack.
Inside of the picturesque ski cabin, cozy up to the giant circular fireplace, dry your gloves and sip marshmallow-mounded hot cocoas.
How do you get to this vintage hangout? For most, it’s a ski-in experience. (There’s a shuttle for non-skiers.)
All in all, you will be hard-pressed to find a better way to spend a Michigan winter weekend than at Otsego Resort. It’s worth a try!
for 2021-2022 season
|Wednesday||3:30pm – 8:30pm|
|Thursday||3:30pm – 8:30pm|
|Friday||2:00pm – 8:30pm|
|Saturday||9:00am – 8:30pm|
|Sunday||9:00am – 4:00pm|
Buy lift tickets online in advance to save.
Regular rate adult lift tickets are $65 per day, $55 for teens, and $50 for juniors. Kids 6 and under are $5.
Occasionally, Otsego Resort has Bump Day Deals. Check their FB page or call to confirm current availability.
- Wednesday and Thursdays are $10 Bump Days!
- $10 lift tickets
- $10 rentals
- $10 tubing
- $10 Dining specials
FAQs – Ostego Resort
Is lodging available at Otsego Ski Resort?
Yes. Rooms, suites, and condominium rentals are available. Accommodations are comfortable and offer good value. Some building exteriors are in need of paint and touchups. Lodging is located a short walk from the slopes.
Does Otsego Resort have a pool?
Yes, the outdoor pool is open in the summer.
How does Otsego Resort compare to other Michigan Ski Resorts?
Otsego Resort is historic, like Caberfae. Both were founded in the early 1900s and have similar terrain, old-school design, and slower/smaller chairlifts. Otsego Resort, however, has smaller crowds than Caberfae, a better terrain park, and a bigger variety of lodging options.
The ski runs are longer than Crystal Mountain.
More Places to Stay in Gaylord
Lodging in Gaylord, MI is affordable when compared to other Michigan ski towns.
See hotel & VRBO list here or use the map below.