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Hi,

a few years ago my family went tp the UP sledding and stayed in Silver City. We found the trails to be very rough an I’m wondering if launching from a different point like Watersmeet or Iron river or further north like Marquette? This is over winter break a week after Xmas,

thanks,
 

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I spend a fair amount of time on the "West/South" end of the UP. I can give you input on that area. I don't spend enough time around Marquette.
There are a lot of factors that can affect trail conditions and sometimes they change on a daily or even hourly basis. I don't base out of Silver City, but probably visit an average of once per week during the season. The conditions right next to the lake change faster than inland. The lakeshore generally doesn't see the LES snows, so the base is not quite as deep. The LES areas start within ten miles of Silver City. The ride in and out can vary a lot especially if there are grooming equipment issues. You can run into trails maintained by three different clubs within the first thirty miles out of the city. The different clubs also groom at varied times during the day. During heavy traffic weeks that can be a big factor.
Watersmeet and Iron River generally both have pretty good conditions when there is snow. They both rely a bit more on system snow vs. LES. Their snow holds well when adequate. (That means the groom holds longer.) They do not receive as many refresher snows like the LES belts. The snow will become granular after big melting spells. It is more difficult to get a good groom to last.
Bottom line, it would be tough to rule out any area right now. It would also be difficult to give a recommendation for conditions in January. The earliest indicators will be rain and mud this fall delaying the trails freezing.(Some big mudholes just take a ton of time and work). Then watch for cold temps and snow. Last season I rode in pouring rain around Silver City to Watersmeet Dec. 29-30. I thought it would take half the season to fix that mess. It was waterhole after waterhole. Rode the area again Jan. 6-10 and conditions were dang good. It was impressive what fresh snow and cold did for the trails along with the clubs grooming.
Pick the area you want to ride and watch the weather. Then watch the grooming reports. Updated daily reports help a lot with ride planning.
 

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This is over winter break a week after Xmas,
Ooof- the week after Christmas is almost as bad as the week before Presidents Weekend (EVERYWHERE in the central/western UP). That early in the season, you MAY still be seeing wet spots, and the traffic will be heavy. Keep your expectations low, and you won't be disappointed. I tend to only go mid week, and I generally avoid going that week after Christmas and around Presidents weekend.

I agree with Favoritos- Silver City tends to be a crap shoot due to the weather and the mud & water on Trail 1 south of Silver City. That week, I don't recommend Ironwood since there is only 1 trail east and it gets beat to he11. I like the resorts on Lake Gogebic, but that week will be a zoo and is most likely already booked. Personally, I'd recommend the Twin Lakes area (Krupps Resort- https://www.kruppsresortmi.com/) as a starting point, but again I suspect it would be really tough to get lodging that week.

If your heart is set on that weekend, where you can actually find lodging will be the deciding factor.....
 
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