In Utah we are serious about our skiing and snowboarding, we even display our passion on our license plates, “The Greatest Snow on Earth®.” Th e abundance of light, dry snow that falls each winter, in addition to Utah being home to more world-acclaimed ski resorts than any other state in the nation, are two reasons why. Utah resorts are also some of the most conveniently accessible in the United States.
At the heart of them all is Park City, considered one of the most elite ski towns of the world, home to two of the top ten U.S. resorts. The resorts are continually updating their operations to improve their guests’ experience and, in addition to the skiing and riding, Park City offers world-class options for dining, lodging, family activities and nightlife.
Here is a glimpse of what to expect for the 2018 season:
Park City Mountain
Park City Mountain is the biggest in the U.S. with a total of 7,300 acres. It has more groomed runs than any other ski area in North America and includes over 300 trails, 41 lift s (including 32 mostly high-speed chairs and several gondolas), 8 terrain parks, one super pipe and one mini pipe. PCM offers something for everyone with diverse terrain for all abilities, including good concentrations of intermediate runs. Within about 40 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport, you can be at either of the two base areas: Park City or Canyons Village. Besides skiing/riding, resort activities include the Flying Eagle Zipline, Alpine Coaster, Viking Yurt dinners, sleigh rides, snowshoe and snowmobile tours.
Deer Valley Resort
Located just outside of Park City (only 37 miles from Salt Lake International Airport) is Deer Valley Resort. Th is skiers-only resort is home to great powder, groomers, steeps and moguls with more than 2,000 acres of skiable terrain, as well as excellent ski schools and a wide variety of other winter activities like dog-sled or horse-drawn sleigh rides. Soon to be part of a newly formed multi-resort venture, we can expect to see changes at the resort in the future as well as the availability of multi-resort passes that will rival Vail’s Epic pass; but for now the announcement includes assurances that things will stay the same and guests will continue to enjoy the quality service they have come to expect from this premier resort. Consistently ranked #1 in guest service among ski resorts in North America Deer Valley is a skier’s destination resort.
Also about 40 minutes from the SLC airport is the Wasatch Mountains’ Little Cottonwood Canyon, where you’ll fi nd Snowbird Ski Area, with Utah’s biggest vertical drop, and Alta Ski Area, a skiers-only area with a wide variety of unique natural features. Th ey are also both a part of the Wasatch Benefi t Program, a collaboration where qualifying season pass holders at Alta, Deer Valley, Snowbird or Solitude receive two complimentary day.
Oft en described by skiers and riders as an intermediate to advanced mountain, Snowbird contains a variety of beginner, intermediate and expert terrain. Here you can fi nd steep bowls and chutes, long groomed trails, tree glades and night skiing—all at the resort boasting Utah’s longest ski/riding season. Powder lovers rejoice: powder days are a common occurrence here, with 500+ inches annually. Th e resort is serviced by an aerial tram (docking at 11,000 ft .) offering access to a veritable mixed bag of challenging terrain. Some of the most popular terrain at Snowbird is found in the wide open bowls of Mineral Basin, which also serves as the connection point to Alta.
About a mile up the road from Snowbird is Alta Ski Area, featuring 2,200 acres of some of the most diverse and challenging terrain in North America. Alta is one of three “skiers only” resorts in the U.S., as well as one of the oldest ski areas, running lift s since 1939. Due to a unique microclimate surrounding the area, Alta receives an abundant amount of extremely dry and light snow. That, combined with some of the most spectacular scenery, amazing steeps and excellent (but oft en overlooked) intermediate and beginner terrain, “Alta is for Skiers.” New in 2017: construction of the new Supreme lift is currently underway through November. The detachable quad lift will no longer have a mid-station to cut down lift ride-time.
And two more that are worth a little extra drive time…
Heading 55 miles north from SLC, just outside of Eden, Utah, is the hidden treasure known as Powder Mountain. They off er something for everyone, from groomers to terrain parks. Because of the mountain’s inverted topography, skiers can move laterally with ease, covering several peaks and bowls from each individual lift . Powder Mountain has 8,464 acres of accessible terrain, the most skiable acreage in the U.S., but they are all about “Preserving the Pow.” And it’s not just a slogan. Even aft er adding new lift s and over 1,000 acres of lift -serviced terrain, rather than pack in more people, they limit ticket sales to 1,500 per day (only 1,000 season passes per year), to preserve the uncrowded, unspoiled spirit of the mountain. They advise purchasing your tickets beforehand, so you don’t miss out. Th e resort also offers unique experiences via their Adventure Center, including Cat skiing, side country skiing, inbound guided and backcountry tours.
Snowbasin Resort has an average snowfall greater than that in Park City, yet is oft en overlooked because of the famous resorts in Park City and the Cottonwood Canyons. Snowbasin is a true gem located 45 minutes from the Salt Lake International Airport—offering 3,000 skiable acres, 3,000 vertical feet and varied terrain for all abilities with some of the best views in Utah. You’ll find three terrain parks, wide-open bowls, trees, glades and groomers accessible with the high-speed gondola, tram or one of seven lifts. For those who enjoy luxury with their adventure, Snowbasin has it all, from its majestic lodges with ski services and facilities, to award-winning dining and après ski activities.