Virtual brochure and information for Copper Peak, one of many online travel brochures for tourist information in Ironwood, MI. Provided by your source for Mackinaw Information and Mackinac Information.
Copper Peak Inc.
P.O. Box 159
Ironwood, MI 49938
An Adventure Ride
During the summer and fall color seasons visitors can ride the 800-foot chair lift to the crest of the hill - a 360 foot high copper bearing volcanic outcrop - at Copper Peak, then take the 18-story elevator to the main observation deck of the world’s largest ski jump. From here some elect to walk the additional eight stories to the uppermost start gate. From this vantage point some 241 feet about the crest of the hill and 26 stories above the base of the elevator, visitors have the opportunity to "experience the feelings" of the ski flyer who is about to send himself down the 469 foot, 35-degree inrun.
The Midwest’s Premier Vista
Visitors to the Sears Tower in Chicago, the IDS building in Minneapolis, or the Arch in St. Louis are impressed by the views offered by these sites. We guarantee one thing: You will not find a more inspiring vista than Copper Peak - the Eiffel Tower of the North.
The observation decks on the giant ski jump provide the highest, most awesome, unobstructed vista in the Midwest overlooking more than 2500 square miles including parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. (Under proper weather conditions one can see nearly 100 miles across Lake Superior to the Minnesota, Canadian border.)
Copper Peak is located in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan near the Wisconsin border. From the observation decks atop the giant ski jump one can see 40 miles or more in every direction overlooking the vast Lake Superior shoreline and the colorful mixed conifer-hardwoods of the Ottawa National Forest and the Black River National Scenic Byway. Other visible points of interest include the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park (the Midwest’s largest containing huge tracts of virgin timber), the Gogebic-Penokee Hills (site of iron ore discovery which led to the development of local communities of Wakefield, Bessemer, Ironwood MI, and Hurly, WI). Other points of interest include the Big Snow Country downhill ski areas and dozens of scenic and historic sites which highlight the rich copper and iron-mining heritage of the area.
International Ski Flying Facility
On any given day, one may see a pair of bald eagles or other birds of prey soaring above the hillside of Copper Peak International Ski Flying Hill. There is always a gentle updraft on the 600-foot landing slope of the only ski flying facility in the Western Hemisphere which enables these birds of prey to capture air under their wings and soar gently above the hillside.
It is the same updraft which, during international ski flying competitions, enables ski flyers to generate lift allowing them to soar 600 feet or more. That’s the length of two football fields! Put in perspective, ski flyers travel in unassisted flight further than baseball greats Babe Ruth, Mark McGuire, and Sammy Sosa can hit a baseball. Only about one hundred of the finest athletes in the world qualify to challenge and ride the air currents at Copper Peak. Ski flying is not a sport of the feint of heart.
Everything about Copper Peak is big. The upper start gate and observation deck of this mammoth, cantilevered, 300-ton COR-TEN steel superstructure reaches an elevation of 1782 feet above sea level, nearly 1200 feet above Lake Superior. This is one of the highest points in the State of Michigan. In competition, ski flyers accelerate to speeds near 70 mph (113 km/h) and launch themselves off the 8-foot high take-off in a "leap of faith" and soar unassisted further than the Wright brothers first powered flights.
Those who have seen a ski flying competition agree: There is no more daring, exciting and graceful sport on the planet. The training, strength, sense of timing, skill and "presence of mind" explain why only so few can qualify to ski fly. Some characterize ski flying as "poetry on skis." If you have never seen a ski flying competition, make every effort to do so. You won’t be disappointed.
Copper Peak is owned and operated by COPPER PEAK INC., a MI 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation "for the benefit and enjoyment of the citizens of this region, state and nation." It is a registered Michigan historic site and a member of the Western Upper Peninsula Heritage Trail Network. There are four copper exploratory pits on the Copper Peak hillside that date back to the "Copper Rush" days of the mid-1840’s. This facility sits at the cross-roads of the rich copper mining and iron mining history of the area. Numerous historic sites are identifiable from the observation decks and brief historic articles atop the giant ski jump tell of the unique and exciting iron mind, copper mining, and Native American history of this area.
The adjacent counties of Gogebic and Ontonagon (MI), and Iron (WI) have the highest concentration of waterfalls in the Midwest. Black River - near Copper Peak - has five major waterfalls and others can be seen on the nearby Presque Isle and the Montreal Rivers. Contact area chambers of commerce for specific locations of waterfalls.
Activities during the winter season are event driven and include international ski flying competitions and the Snowmobile Hill Climb. These usually occur in February. Check our web site for a calendar of events.
Take an Adventure Ride via the chair lift and elevator to the top of the giant ski jump. The facilities are open daily from mid-June through Labor Day (except Mon.) and open weekends beginning Memorial Day weekend through mid-June, and after Labor Day through the incredibly beautiful fall color season, ending about mid-October. Copper Peak is located 10 miles North of Bessemer on County Rd. 513.
Visit the Copper Peak Gift Shop and Museum for a variety of gifts and souvenirs, and exposure to the rich history of ski flying.
Nearby Black River Harbor offers charter fishing, hiking trails, picnic and playground areas, a 40-unit campground, and an excellent swimming beach.