View Full Version : For those of you that travel to the UP, how do you plan your trip
09-10-2009, 02:09 PM
Here is my plan. Stay the 30th of dec til Jan 2nd somewhere where there is snow.
I'm from SEMN, so at this time of year there isn't much rideable snow around my parts (unless you count last year where we had our best snoe of the year at this time)
The plan is to find a place, particually a cabin, that sits on a trail anywhere north of Ontonagon. If there is snow there, great, i can ride out the front door. If not, how easy is it to trailer to a spot and dump the sleds in the Keweenaw area?
I'll be bringing the wife and kids (7 and 4) along so we want a cabin type place to stay so we can spread out a bit. Found quite a few for around $100 a night, pretty much what i am looking for.
Unfortunately I have to make resi's at this taime and can't wait until a week before hand to make plans...
Thoughts on how else i should approach this?
09-10-2009, 02:21 PM
That sounds like a really good plan Chad. Honestly, I'd stick to the Mass City, Rockland, Twin Lakes, even up to South Range area, in the center of the Peninsula. Onto is awesome, but they tend to get less snow early on (IMO) because they are close to the lake. The LES hits in the high areas first, in the center of the peninsula. There, you also have lots of options to head in any direction. In Onto, you've only got 3 directions, and probably only one that will be good riding at that time of year. Usually, all the great people that rent out places there are very open to giving you a break on the reservation if the snow doesn't come. Everywhere I've ever stayed, they will give you a 'no snow, no pay' deal. That usually means that trails are open or not, not necessarily that the snow is good. But it's something, in case this strange weather pattern we are in wrecks the sledding this year....
There is always someone willing to let you park a trailer to ride, so no worries there either. If needed, just head to a town and find a spot. Just make sure you ask. Most won't mind if it's just a day trip.
Wildlife Refuge in South Range is right on the trail system, and has really nice cabins. Check them out. Big supporter of the site too.
09-10-2009, 02:47 PM
I plan my trip based on the conditions and generally wait till a week or 2 before. We usually ride sun-wed, so getting a room or cabin is usually not a problem. That being said the areas listed above are pretty safe bets for having snow.
09-10-2009, 03:10 PM
You'll have guaranteed ridable snow for New Year's anywhere in the snowbelt where the snow just hammers from northern Iron County, WI (about 50 miles south of Hurley area)on North into the UP.
It's a wise choice to book right now for holiday periods like what you're looking at. Everywhere will be booked up over New Years before too much longer...
09-10-2009, 03:22 PM
Just to clarify things a bit. It was stated that the LES hits areas inland. This is true, but you only have to travel a mile or less inland for the full effect to take place. So locales right along the lake can sometimes be thin, but you do not have to travel far at all to hit the deep. Plus, go too far inland (or away from the lake) and you will run out of the LES. In most cases, the LES stops after around 20-30 miles inland.
I'll also add that waiting until the last minute between Christmas and New Years and you could be stuck with very few choices on where to stay- especially if the snow is not good in other areas of the Midwest at that time. I'd venture to guess that some of the more popular places are already booked for that time frame, but it would not hurt to call and find out or even get on the cancellation list.
09-10-2009, 03:22 PM
You could plan on riding anywhere within 30 miles of lake superior that time of year. In fact, I would feel comfortable planning a trip for the second weekend of december anywhere in the heavy lake effect areas. Bergland, white pine, twin lakes, houghton, keewenaw etc. Some of the best powder of the year these past two winters was on opening weekend of riding in the western UP.
09-10-2009, 04:26 PM
Thanks for the responses so far. I am judging the snowfall amount by going back through John's archives and looking over the NOAA's Snow depth reports from years back to get an idea. Seeing i am not a local, this is all i have to go by :D
Not that we will be out 8 hours a day...with the kids, they will only go so far...probably 2 3 hours trips a day if we are lucky. And trails only seeing my wife isn't keen on off trail riding...especially with the cushy Pantera.
09-10-2009, 04:55 PM
I would check with Matt at the Bluff in Rockland, great easy loops from there(109/12/3 & 13/3). Also check with Krupp's, Wydonette Hill GC(same trails and loops, actually 1 more with the Freda Loop). All very nice places to stay in the heart of the snow belt. I have stayed at The Bluff and Krupp's and have nothing but great things to say about both of those places. I have been going up to the UP for 12 years and this is where we have been going with great luck. If you are adventurous you can head down to Porky Pine Mountains(easy ride from Rockland or Mass City). This would be a FULL day trip with the family but worth it. Good Luck!
09-10-2009, 05:17 PM
I would check into the wild life refuge cabins in South range. Very nice place and has gas station near by. They might be booked for those dates. Good location for short trips either go north or south.Lots of places to stop with the kids.Good luck
09-10-2009, 05:23 PM
Wild Life Refuge Cabins in South Range are a great place to stay. Right on the trail. www.wildliferefugecabins.com (http://www.wildliferefugecabins.com) or call (906)482-1001.
09-10-2009, 08:14 PM
Hate to be a smarta** but North of Ontos all you'll find is water. But if you're open to anyplace in the area I would recommend Parkview in Twin Lakes. On the trail, attached bar & restaurant, hot tub & pool and most of the time they have snow in the area that time of year. Good Luck!!
I hope for your sake all the up has snow I have been up a few times the day after xmass and the snow was calumet and north.the fist time I brought the wife to the up it was one of those times and she will never go back to the up.allllot of people packed in to not alot of trail most pumped up for the first ride of the year riding like aholes. when with the boys we just hit loging roads and risk stumps inthe woods.and hay that cushy pantara has a 136 strap on a 2in and go for it
09-10-2009, 09:35 PM
well, i need to hear the all the pros and cons. hate to hear bad things, but at least i'd be prepared.
I've gone up the North Shore in the past for new years and stayed on the Gunflint. I've just been there so many other times, i figured this would be different.
I hate to have to go during this time, but we are being forced to take PTO at work during this time, so i figured, what the heck, lets go somewhere.
There are openings at the wildlife refuge...
09-10-2009, 10:02 PM
Wildlife Refuge would be a good place to setup base. Easy to head in every direction from there and it's right off the Freda Loop.
09-10-2009, 10:04 PM
Forced time off, SE Minnesota - Do you work at McNeilus?
09-10-2009, 10:05 PM
We made our reservations for that week last month. Hate to do it that early, but it gets extremely busy that week and if you wait, you don't get a place. Just ask their "no snow policy" up front, most will work with you. Just keep "thinking snow" for that week.
09-10-2009, 10:08 PM
no, i work at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester believe it or not...new cost savings thing they are doing...
they have to have $$ banked matching every hour of PTO you have banked. not a bad move...probably have hundreds of thousands over that time...
09-10-2009, 10:54 PM
I have had reservations up as far north as the Parkview (South Range?) and as far south as Eagle River for that time of year. There was only one time where I did not get reimbursed for the first night, but they gave me 12 months to book again and get that night back. I can't remember anymore where that was, but I know it was around the Ontonagon/Porcupine Mtns area.
I have riden in good and bad conditions at that time of year. I know about 8 or 9 years ago we stayed in Houghton area and it was horrible in all directions. BUT - they have been getting more snow AND they seem to be taking care of their trails so much better than they used to (IMO).
For the most part I think you should be safe. Especially if you're only riding a couple hours a day. Just get out early. And like John said, if there is no snow anywhere else in the Midwest it will be even busier up there.
09-10-2009, 11:50 PM
The best advice I could give is to get out on the trails early, especially since you will only be riding about 3 hours a day. The earlier you get out, the better the trails are and by about 3:00 in the afternoon, they can start to get pretty beat up. Most people will stay out late during the Holiday and sleep in late, leaving the trails with much less traffic in the mornings. Have fun, you'll love it!
09-15-2009, 09:19 AM
thanks to all that helped me out on this. Just confirmed resi's at the Wildlife Refuge Cabins. 4 nights and 3 whole days to take a look around, either by sled or truck.
We'll be on the trailer early seeing the kids get up early. Plus, with the time zone change, it will be really early. Hopefully we wont bother the folks on new years morning when we fire the sleds up at 7 :D
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