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Top 10 Ski Resorts in Utah to try out on your next vacation

Snowbird

Out of all the ski resorts Snowbird is quite unique. The two iconic trams one blue and the other red are popular in their own right. They both take the skier during winter or hiker in summertime to the top of Hidden Peak which stands at 11,000 feet above sea level. At the top of Hidden Peak you can hike down in summertime or ski down in winter. There is also the option to take the next tram down the mountain  if you're not in for a hike or skiing in winter. The base camp at Snowbird is 8,000 feet, it takes approximately ten minutes to reach the summit rising within ten minutes = 3,000 feet in elevation. There is a restaurant at the top of Hidden Peak called The Summit. It has pub food for those that enjoy a quick snack. You can always take with you in your backpack a small lunch though if you're on a budget. Snowbird allows both skiers and snowboarders on their slopes. Snowbird also hosts the Oktoberfest in September every year, which is a great idea if you want to get some great food and drink  and stroll through the many vendors that come and sell to the crowds.

Snowbird Ski Resort      Photo by Andrew Bain

           Alta

Alta Ski Resort actually in the 19th century was a silver mining town. The town itself still exists and there is plenty of lodges for visitors from out of town. Norwegian skier and entrepreneur Alf Engen started the Alta Ski School and Resort in the late 1930's. Since then the popularity of skiing has grown to a major industry for Utah. Alf Engen was well known for being a ski jumper but he also skied and taught the younger generations to follow suit. Only skiers are allowed at Alta, snowboarding is not allowed. Which is ok I guess because Snowbird is just below Alta, a stone throw away. During the summertime Alta is home to the amazing Albion Basin which has many wild flowers blooming in June. 


Solitude

The general area where Solitude Ski Resort resides today was once a community of silver miners in the 19th century. The miners that worked there coined the name of Solitude. The actual ski resort didn't come in to existence till 1957. The ski resort was built by uranium mining tycoon Robert M. Barrett. It is quite a beautiful resort which I remember skiing at in the mid 1980's. During the summertime the resort allows for lots of beautiful hiking trails. The actual resort in the 50's had only two ski lifts, but time has passed and the little ski resort has grown into a small village with accommodations for overnight lodging including some great restaurants.


Brighton

The skiing resort of Brighton is as most locals say “the best kept secret for skiers and snowboarders alike.” It’s where the locals ski. With that said isn’t it intriguing to say the least? Indeed so, Brighton is another ski resort that’s history goes way back to the 1930’s. Believe it or not Brighton Ski Resort is the oldest ski resort in Utah. The ski resort opened in 1936 beating Alta for the oldest by 3 years, which opened in January 1939. Brighton like Alta is at the very top of the canyon. Brighton is at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon and Alta is at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon. Don’t let the “little” in the name confuse you, there ain’t anything little about it. Brighton ski resort is probably the most friendly to snowboarders because they have half pipes and other railings on several runs specifically for snowboarders.


Photo by M Outdoors
Brighton Ski Resort          Photo by M Outdoors


 


Park City Mountain

Park City Mountain resort is most famous for hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics. There is a dedicated Olympic Park and an Alf Engen Ski Museum outside of Park City. Park City Mountain also has the distinguished accolade of being the largest skiing and snowboarding resort in the United States. With over 7,300 acres of skiable terrain. Over 330 trails and 17 mountain peaks, Park City is ready for anyone, family or single or couple, whatever you need they are ready. Park City also started off as a silver mining town, becoming a city in 1884. The actual ski resort opened in 1963. During the summertime it is considered a summer resort too, there is an alpine slide that you can ride during the summer months.


Deer Valley

Deer Valley is a high end skiing resort which opened in 1981. It has hosted many ski races including, the International Ski Federation, freestyle moguls, aerial and alpine slalom events. Deer Valley allows only skiers on their slopes, just like Alta Ski Resort. Lodging and Food at Deer Valley is great in that you can choose from bakery goods to full on dinners. The Golden Hirsch Cafe which serves fresh pastries with coffee, hot tea or cocoa. Golden Hirsch also serves warm breakfasts as in the skier's breakfast which is a cheddar egg scramble with crispy hash brown and choice of bacon or sausage. For fine dining there is the Mariposa open till 9 p.m.  The Mariposa has delicious entrees such as the Big Glory Bay King Salmon to Double Chop Venison or Bone-In Niman Ranch New York Strip. The lodging is expensive but worthwhile with the Stein Eriksen Lodge to St. Regis Deer Valley. During the summer months Deer Valley hosts lots of music concerts and plenty of hiking.


Snowbasin

North of Salt Lake City there is the city of Ogden and the gateway to Snowbasin. Only 40 minutes from the Salt Lake International Airport and 20 minutes from downtown Ogden. Snowbasin opened in 1939 and its skiing slopes were designed by Alf Engen. Snowbasin hosted some of the events from the 2002 Winter Olympics, namely, downhill, combined, and Super-G events among others. There are no overnight lodges at Snowbasin, but they make up for it with having some of the most opulent and luxurious day lodges in Utah. Snowbasin also has amazing views of the surrounding mountains which were carved from ancient glaciers. Hotel Little America in Salt Lake City has a good discount for Premier Pass Holders getting 20% off lodging. Snowbasin is also open during the summertime with free barbeque with music concerts.


Snowbasin Ski Resort    Photo by Tim Peterson

           

         Powder Mountain

If you are wanting to avoid the crowds of skiers at the other resorts, then Powder Mountain is your best bet. Powder Mountain ski resort opened in 1972. During that time there was only one ski lift, but over the years they now have 9 ski lifts with 154 trails and 8,464 acres of skiable terrain. Powder Mountain truly has a small community feel to it, the town of Eden is right by it and as of 2021 the population of Eden is approximately 794. During the summertime the resort has ten biking trails that are very popular. If you don't have a bike or don't want to haul your bike, you can rent bikes at Level9Sports store in Ogden. There is overnight lodging available with Horizon Cabin, Cascade Townhomes and Moose Hollow Condos. The Horizon Cabins are amazing with great views and architecturally pleasing contemporary style designed by architect Brian Mackay-Lyons. Powder Mountain as per square acreage is the largest ski resort in the United States.  


Nordic Valley Ski Resort

Just an hour away from Salt Lake City lies Nordic Valley Ski Resort formerly known as Wolf Mountain Ski Resort. It is touted as being a great place to ski for beginners and the best price for skiing in Utah. The location of the ski resort is only five minutes away from Eden, Utah. The ski resort opened initially in 1968. Locals and people all all around say that the ski resort has the best night skiing available in the state. Where some resorts have part of their mountain lit up during the night, Nordic Valley Ski Resort has 100% of the resort lit up during the night.They recently added to the resort around 300 acres and a six person ski lift. Both skiers and snowboarders are allowed to ski at the resort. The surrounding area has a small town feel to it, and the slopes are not crowded like other resorts might be. The Nordic Valley Grill is a restaurant that functions from an old unique farm barn, but it is renovated and looks pretty nice. You can order your food online or on your phone, and pickup your order at a designated time so there is no waiting.


Sundance

Nestled under the Timpanogos mountains lies Sundance Ski Resort. This resort is famously owned by Robert Redford. He named the resort after his iconic role in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The resort lies near Provo Canyon and is unique in that it has so many beautiful aspen trees. Robert Redford a life-long skier, bought the acreage surrounding Sundance from the Stewart family, that owned most of the surrounding land since the mid 19th century. The ski resort has four chairlifts including one handle tow, surmounting in 44 ski runs spread across 450 acres.


Brian Head Resort

If you love Southern Utah red rock country and happen to love skiing  too, then Brian Head resort might be just for you. The ski resort is family oriented and they allow both skiers and snowboarders on their mountain. There is actually two mountain peaks that are connected by a bridge. The resort first opened in 1964. The origins of the name Brian Head lead back to the 19th century when the place was surveyed by John Wesley Powell who in turn named it after an official at the Geographical Survey Office. If you don’t ski or snowboard, then you can enjoy a snow tubing experience like no other. The resort has a magic carpet system that makes climbing the mountain effortless, it’s like a conveyor belt that you stand on as it sends you uphill. And like I said if you love red rocks and skiing you’re in luck cause the Cedar Breaks National Monument is a stone throw away from Brian Head Ski Resort. Actually they’re only 3 miles apart...yep only 3 miles. During the summertime you can mountain bike and hike at Brian Head Ski Resort and visit Cedar Breaks all in a few hours. 


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