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Utah Ski & Snowboard Resort Guide


The license plates in Utah read “Greatest Snow on Earth,” and for good reason. While it’s hard to name the state number one, the skiing and snowboarding in Utah is some of the best in the United States, and the world. Located in the westernmost edge of the Rocky Mountains, Utah’s ski and snowboard areas serve everyone from the most diehard powder hounds to celebrities. Many of these ski and snowboard areas are less than an hour away from Salt Lake City, too. This makes Salt Lake City a great home base for a longer ski and snowboard vacations, allowing for day trips to many resorts.

Several of Utah’s ski and snowboard areas are clustered close together up the various canyons that wind their way up from Salt Lake City. Perhaps the most famous of these canyon’s is Little Cottonwood Canyon, where Alta and Snowbird are located. Just over the mountains to the north, Brighton and Solitude are located in Big Cottonwood Canyon. To the north of these ski and snowboard areas are Park City and Deer Valley, off of Interstate 80.

These ski and snowboard areas in Utah are some of the most well known resorts in the United States. The over the top luxury of Deer Valley draws a high-end clientele like that of Aspen, while the locals at Alta are keeping the ski bum dream alive. Utah’s variety is definitely a strong complement to the huge quantity of natural snow.
 

Utah Ski Resort Map

Alta


Alta is a mountain for skiers, literally and figuratively. Alta is one of the few skier-only resort in the United States, so snowboarders will have to head over to Snowbird to experience the riding in Little Cottonwood Canyon. The terrain here is some of the best inbounds terrain in Utah and the United States as a whole. The snow that falls here is not only plentiful, but incredibly light, making for epic Utah powder days.The advanced and expert terrain at Alta is some of the best inbounds terrain in the United States, and the huge annual snowfall brings light a deep powder days throughout the year. Alta is a favorite of local professional skiers, hard core ski bums, and visiting powder hounds alike.

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Brighton


Located just past Solitude in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Brighton ski and snowboard resort is a quick drive from Salt Lake City. All of the area’s 1,050 skiable acres can be accessed via high speed quad, which makes getting around the mountain a breeze. Brighton also has one of the best terrain parks in Utah. A perfect alternative to the bigger and more developed ski areas in Utah, Brighton is fun and laid-back. There is plenty of terrain for every ability of skier and snowboarder to explore here.

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Deer Valley


Deer Valley is all about luxury. The village is a major draw for high-end visitors while the mountain carries the theme through with finely manicured slopes. Deer Valley undoubtedly hase some of the best grooming in the world. The ski area (sorry snowboarders, Deer Valley is ski-only), is spread across six different mountains, with an expansive 22 lifts bringing skiers to them. This large lift network and skier exclusivity means that crowds and lift lines are a rarity. The provides lots of terrain for beginner and intermediate skiers. While the advanced and expert opinion may not stack up to some of Utah's’ other ski resorts, there is some more challenging terrain available.

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Park City Mountian


Park City Mountain is one of the biggest single ski and snowboard resort in the United States. Spread across what used to be two separate ski areas, Park City boasts 7,300 skiable acres and 41 lifts. Park City also has some of the best terrain parks in the world; it’s no wonder that both the ski and snowboard slopestyle gold medalists, Joss Christensen and Sage Kotsenburg, are from here. While the steeps and extreme terrain at Park City may not quite stack up to that of Alta and Snowbird, Park CIty does have a great variety of terrain, from the parks to the peaks. The sheer size and variety, along with the great town make Park City of of Utah’s best family ski and snowboard destinations.

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Powder Mountain


With a new 1,000 acre expansion in the 2016-17 winter, Powder Mountain ski and snowboard area became the largest resort in the United States, at a massive 8,464 acres. Powder Mountain, or Pow Mow as it’s locally known, is a more laid-back area without a developed base area and sparsely crowded slopes (there is even a limit to the number of skiers and snowboarders allowed on the mountain everyday). While it may not have an expansive village and lift infrastructure, Powder Mountain has plenty of snow to go around. Very cheap snowcat rides help skiers and snowboarder access a wealth of inbounds and backcountry terrain, too.

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Snowbasin


When Salt Lake City held the 2002 Winter Olympics the downhill and Super-G racers were held at Snowbasin. The ski and snowboard area is known for it friendly staff and great modern lift infrastructure. Snowbasin is farther north than most Utah ski and snowboard resorts, just outside of Ogden. Snowbasin is about a 40 minute drive from Salt Lake City. The ski and snowboard area is relatively uncrowded, and has some fun, wide-open skiing and snowboarding, although it’s not as well known for its expert or extreme terrain.

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Snowbird


Snowbird is an expert skier or snowboarder's dream. This Utah ski and snowboard resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon receives huge snowfalls on its wide array of steep and technical terrain. The mountain is best suited to expert skiers and snowboarders, with lots of steep terrain, cliffs, and chutes. The famous Snowbird Aerial Tram runs top to bottom, and is the starting point of any big day at the resort. Expert skiers and snowboarders visiting Utah will not want to miss Snowbird. Connected to next door Alta, skiers can buy a lift ticket that allows access to both of these stellar Little Cottonwood Canyon resorts.

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Solitude


Solitude resort is an accurate name; this Utah ski and snowboard resort is known for its deep powder and uncrowded slopes. This laid back area has great terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. It’s also connected to neighboring Brighton, with a shared lift ticket. Intermediate skiers and snowboarders have plenty of terrain to explore, while the various ridges that flank the resort’s boundaries hold fun advanced terrain. It’s smaller than many of Utah’s other ski and snowboard resorts, but Solitude is fun nonetheless.

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Brian Head

Brian Head Ski and Snowboard Resort

Brian Head is a cool little old-school Utah ski and snowboard area that is a far cry from the huge and sometimes intimidating mountains like Alta. Brian Head is one of Utah’s most family friendly ski and snowboard areas with very affordable prices and great beginner terrain. The ski and snowboard area is located in Southern Utah, about halfway between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, about a three and a half hour drive from either.

 

Sundance

Sundance Ski and Snowboard Area

75 minutes outside of Salt Lake City, Sundance Mountain Resort is a nice little ski and snowboard resort. In the shadow of the impressive Mount Timpanogos, the three lifts at Sundance may be a bit old and slow, but they still access some great terrain. There is terrain for every ability of skier and snowboarder. Expert skiers will have fun up high on the Arrowhead chairlift in Bishop’s Bowl. It snows a little bit less here than areas like Alta and snowbird, but there is fun riding and and few crowds to share it with. The area is relatively small at only 450 acres.
 
 
Need ski or snowboard gear for your trip? Gear up! Shop online, or stop by one of our amazing flagship stores in Seattle, Portland, or Denver and get stocked up on everything you need for an all-time day on the slopes.

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