Did You Know Michigan Has a Ski Jumping Hill

This installment of "Exploring Michigan" travels deep into the woods of Michigan's Upper Penisula to a truly unique site in our State

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Exploring Michigan: Copper Peak, Ironwood, MI — February 8, 2023

It is likely that a majority of Michigan residents would be surprised to learn that our state has one of the largest Ski Jumps in the world. Welcome to Copper Peak! Located near Ironwood in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula, Copper Peak is unique and holds a place in sporting lore that may soon be repeated.

Copper Peak’s History

The Iconic Copper Peak Ski Jump tower has been keeping watch over 2,500 square miles, three states, and beautiful Lake Superior for more than 40 years. The site hosted ten ski-flying events between 1970 and 1994.

Copper Peak

Envisioned as a world-class ski jumping facility, Copper Peak had a relatively short run of what was then known as ski flying events, beginning in 1970 and ending in 1994. Although no jumps have been taken for many years, thousands of visitors every year take the chairlift up the landing and the elevator up the tower and walk the final eight stories to take in the 26-story view.

Copper Peak’s Adventure Ride continues to draw in thousands of visitors each year to enjoy the views from the top of this unique attraction.

Others mountain bike on the single-track trails that wind through the surrounding hills. And still more come to take pictures of the fall colors, enjoy the birds and wildlife, or just relax.

Mountain Biking

The Mountain Bike Trails at Copper Peak offer a great cross-country mountain bike experience to those of all abilities. The ride is not a “technical” trail system, but it is made fun, challenging, and exciting by 600 feet of elevation gain over the 5.5-mile trail system.

Your ride begins at the base of the ski jump landing hill and descends down to the beautiful Black River to enjoy the river scenery. From there, winding trails lead you on a 600-vertical foot ascent to the top of the ski jump, where you can take in the beautiful 360-degree view and have a look at the massive ski jump structure. Rest up for an exhilarating descent back down to the base, with dozens of bermed corners and many fun “play” features along the trail.

The Gift Shop

The Copper Peak Museum & Gift Shop offers a variety of gifts and souvenirs, as well as artifacts illustrating the rich history of ski flying. From posters to tee shirts to caps, you can leave your adventure and take a little bit of Copper Peak with you.

For those brave visitors who climbed to the very top of the ski-flying scaffolding, be sure to stop at the Gift Shop on your way out for a special free bumper sticker to illustrate your achievement. The building also includes restroom facilities. Shop Online

What is New

Copper Peak will soon be the world’s largest active ski jumping hill, designated by the International Ski Federation (FIS). The facility has received $20 million from the great State of Michigan to redevelop the hill and host year-round ski jumping events and training.

Organizers report: “The future of Copper Peak is about more than Copper Peak. It is an opportunity to support the sport of ski jumping in Michigan and the USA, an opportunity to showcase Michigan’s beautiful western Upper Peninsula, and an opportunity for growth and economic development for the entire region.”

Our mission is to re-establish Copper Peak as the world’s largest active ski jump for both summer and winter competitions that will showcase Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the entire surrounding region as a global outdoor recreation destination.

Our vision is to position Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as a world-class destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Ignite interest in the region as a unique place to live, work and play; and to spur business investment in the region.

If You Go

Copper Peak is located in Ironwood, Michigan. The town is in the northwest corner of Michigan’s Upper Penisula. Traveling from Fenton, making arrangements for an overnight stay is advisable. The distance one-way is approximately 550 miles, north on I-75 across the Mackinac Bridge. When the interstate ends, travel on local roads slows the journey. Expect a nine-ten hour trip.

Be sure to call in advance, the facility is open from late May to late October. However inclement weather can change the hours of operation. Contact information is on the Copper Peak visit page of their website.

N13870 Copper Peak Road, P.O. Box 159, Ironwood, MI 49938. Phone 906-932-3500