Utah is the home of “The Greatest Snow on Earth®” and more world-acclaimed ski resorts than any other state in the nation. The abundance of light, dry snow and some of the most conveniently accessible resorts in the U.S., make Utah a premier ski and snowboarding destination.
At the heart of them all is Park City, considered one of the elite ski towns of the world, home to two of the top ten U.S. resorts. The resorts are continually improving operations to provide guests the best experience possible, and this season is no exception with new lifts, hotels, restaurants and on-mountain amenities. In addition to great skiing and riding, visitors can also expect world-class options for dining, lodging, family activities and nightlife.
PARK CITY MOUNTAIN
Within about 40 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport, you can be at either of the two base areas: Park City and Canyons Village. Park City Mountain, the biggest in the U.S. with a total of 7,300 acres, has more groomed runs than any other ski area. Park City Mountain offers diverse terrain for all abilities, including good concentrations of intermediate runs. Snowmaking will be added to Red Pine Road, a major connector trail off the Tombstone Lift, meaning an earlier opening for the Tombstone. Canyons Village will debut the new High Meadow Park, a dedicated learning area designed exclusively for beginner skiers, as well as new snowmaking to maintain ideal snow for beginners. The existing High Meadow lift will be replaced with a high-speed, four-passenger lift, shortening ride time by 70 percent. Besides skiing/riding, resort activities include Viking Yurt dinners, sleigh rides, snowshoe and snowmobile tours.
SNOWBIRD SKI AREA
Snowbird offers a variety of beginner, intermediate and expert terrain and powder days are common, with 500+ inches annually. Here you can find steep bowls and chutes, long groomed trails, tree glades and night skiing—all at the resort boasting Utah’s longest ski/riding season. The resort is serviced by an aerial tram (docking at 11,000 ft.) and two new pedestrian bridges will allow for easier access to The Cliff Lodge, Snowbird Center and Lower Village. 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.
ALTA SKI AREA
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 oneof the oldest ski areas, running lifts since 1939. Due to a unique microclimate, Alta receives an abundant amount of extremely dry and light snow. Th at combined with some of the most spectacular scenery, amazing steeps and excellent intermediate and beginner terrain is why “Alta is for Skiers.” Th is season sees a new fixed-grip, quad chairlift connecting the ski area to the newly expanded Snowpine Lodge.
DEER VALLEY RESORT
Located just outside of Park City (only 37 miles from the airport) is Deer Valley Resort. The 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 top-shelf dining options. With their latest improvement project, comes over $8 million worth of enhancements: the Homestake lift will be replaced by a new, detachable, high-speed quad chairlift , enhanced snowmaking systems, a new snowcat, updated rental shop equipment – just to name a few.
Keeping their guests happy is the top priority of Deer Valley. They go the extra mile to unload your skis with curbside valet and by limiting the number of skiers on the mountain. With their exceptional service and dedication to perfection, it’s no surprise Deer Valley Resort was ranked the #1 ski resort in North America for 2018. (It has garnered this title an amazing 6 times.) New for 2018-19 season, the Ikon Pass offers access to more than 30 resorts, including Deer Valley.
Heading 55 miles north from Salt Lake City, just outside of Eden, Utah, is the hidden treasure known as Powder Mountain: a one-of-a-kind resort with something for everyone, from groomers to terrain parks, and unique experiences via their Adventure Center like Cat skiing and backcountry tours. The mountain’s inverted topography allows skiers to move laterally with ease, covering several peaks and bowls from each individual lift. Powder Mountain is all about “Preserving the Pow,” and it’s not just a slogan. They were one of the first resorts to cap day passes (1,500/day) and season passes (1000/year) – to preserve the uncrowded, unspoiled spirit of the mountain. Purchase tickets beforehand, so you don’t miss out.
Snowbasin is a true gem located 45 minutes from the Salt Lake International Airport—offering 3000 skiable acres, 3000 vertical feet, varied terrain for all abilities and 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. This summer, mountain ops crews reworked Mt. Ogden Bowl Road to allow for earlier grooming, giving guests a better experience coming down from John Paul Lodge. For those who like luxury with their adventure, Snowbasin has it all.
By Denys Manninen